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PROGRAMS COMMITTEE

Minutes of

March 1, 2013

MEMBERS PRESENT: Kathy Behm, Marietta Bell-Scriber, Steffany Chleboun (Chair), Nicholas Guehlstorf, Shrikant Jategaonkar, Koung Hee Leem, Lynn Maurer for Jerry Weinberg, Gertrude Pannirselvam, Allison Thomason, Emily Truckenbrod

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Scott Belobrajdic, Ron Schaefer, Tim Patrick, Ken Witt

GUESTS: Isaac Blankson, Chair, Speech Communication
Jocelyn DeGroot Brown, Graduate Program Director, Speech Communication
Denise Cobb, Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Effectiveness
Mike Costigan, Chair, Accounting
Gary Giamartino, Dean, School of Business
Ali Kutan, Program Director, Economics and Finance
Sorin Nastasia, Assistant Professor, Speech Communication
John Navin, Chair, Economics and Finance
Michael Shaw, Graduate Program Director and Chair, Chemistry
Myung-Sin Song, Graduate Program Director, Mathematics

I. Announcements

No announcements were made.

II. Minutes of February 1, 2013

The internal review team's rating for PAPA should be "is well developed," not "in good standing." The minutes were approved as amended.

III. Program Review Report: Economics and Finance

The internal review team was composed of Allison Thomason (Chair), Historical Studies; Thomas Fowler, Biological Sciences; Nicholas Guehlstorf, Political Science; and Sangsook Park, Art and Design. Allison Thomason and Nicholas Guehlstorf represented the internal review team at the meeting. Ali Kutan, John Navin, and Gary Giamartino represented the program, department, and School respectively.

The internal review team identified several strengths of this graduate program. The program is accredited, the students develop good skills that are useful for their market and are quite well placed. The faculty members are very productive in their research. The review team recommends that the program should encourage collaborative research opportunities with graduate students, improve selection of elective courses, improve admission standards and mentoring of students, particularly international students, reevaluate commitment to M.A. (thesis option), work with other departments and Library to purchase additional data sets, and work with ITS to improve technology in the classrooms. The team rated the program as "developing with promising aspects with some issues needing greater attention, time, resources."

Kutan and Navin indicated that since the program is short (3 semesters) it is hard to collaborate with students on research. Students get research opportunities in the course projects. The department would like to have more research assistantships. Pannirselvam asked if admitting more students in the thesis options would lead to more RAs. Navin again said that this wouldn't help since the students are in the program for a short duration. Jategaonkar said that instructors do get opportunities to work on research with students when student interests match with faculty interests.

Visa status of international students is sometimes an issue when students don't complete their program on time. Pannirselvam said that speeding the I-20 process may not help solve this issue. Thomason said that better evaluation of student credentials and effective mentoring should help address this issue. Kutan said that they have a student orientation and Navin said that they monitor student performance and progress quite regularly. They are also trying to move to a cohort model starting this fall to better orient and mentor the students. Regarding the pressure on junior faculty especially for grade inflation, to ensure international students maintain their visa status, Jategaonkar said that he has never felt such pressure.

Navin said that they are working on offering more electives, especially in Finance, and rotating them according to needs and faculty availability.

While they would like more funding for data sets, funds have been an issue with the budget constraints. Giamartino said that they try to ensure that classroom technology is well maintained and would like more information on specific rooms to help with this issue.

Pannirselvam made a motion to accept the report and rate the program in good standing. Jategaonkar seconded. The Programs Committee unanimously voted "the program in good standing."

Thomason made the motion that the program enrollment is sustainable. Guehlstorf seconded. The Programs Committee unanimously rated the program in enrollment as sustainable.

Guehlstorf made the motion that graduation rate is satisfactory. Jategaonkar seconded the motion. The Programs Committee unanimously rated the program in enrollment as satisfactory.

IV. Program Review Report: Accountancy

The internal review team was composed of Amie King, Special Education & Communication Disorders; Cindy Traub, Mathematics and Statistics; Fengxia Wang, Mechanical Engineering; Thad Meeks, Psychology; Koung Hee Leem, Mathematics and Statistics (Chair). Koung Hee Leem represented the internal review team at the meeting. Mike Costigan and Gary Giamartino represented the program and School respectively.

The internal review team identified several strengths of this graduate program. The program is very well managed even with limited resources, the faculty is committed to teaching excellence and on students' learning and success, and the students have a high pass rate in the CPA exam. The program needs additional faculty; it had accreditation issues due to lack of faculty. The program should consider more offerings of ACCT 580, the capstone course, to enable student graduation. The program might also consider aligning the program courses with CPA requirements. Students could be provided better information about job opportunities.

Costigan said that there are plans to add faculty resources. One line has been added by reallocation within the School and another will be added with funding from the University and using the funds for a new instructor position. They are in the process of filling these lines in addition to a position to fill a vacancy created due to tenure recommendation for a faculty. With these additions the Department meets its accreditation recommendations; full accreditation to the program has been granted. These additional resources and slack created by increasing class sizes for ACCT 200 and ACCT 210 will allow the Department to offer ACCT 580 three (rather than two) times a year to help students graduate on time and provide funding for a program director.

Bell-Scriber asked how students find out about job openings. Costigan said that the Career Development Center (CDC) manages the posting and interview scheduling. There are quite a few companies that interview our students. Pannirselvam wondered if the undergraduates have more knowledge about the than graduates and Costigan agreed. The Department also receives ad hoc inquiries that are passed on to students. The issue might be one of communications. The department now has a faculty member who is working on the program website to provide more timely information about jobs.

The Department faculty would prefer to structure their courses on knowledge requirement rather than the CPA exam. In the past they have offered CPA review sessions and it is possible that Dr. Brad Reed will offer them again.

As changes in accounting standards and requirements happen, faculty members need to attend conferences and workshops to understand the changes and make content improvements. For example when International Accounting Standards were considered for adoption in the US, the faculty needed to attend workshops to learn the specifics of these standards. These are not "research" conferences and could be expensive. Funding for such development conferences are becoming an issue. Giamartino suggested that the Programs Committee has the power to advocate for such funding for faculty.

Pannirselvam made the motion that the program was in good standing. Truckenbrod seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

The committee unanimously agreed that the program's enrollment sustainable (Pannirselvam made motion, Truckenbrod seconded).

The vote was unanimous for "satisfactory" for graduation rates (Truckenbrod, Guehlstorf seconded.)

V. Form 91A - Speech Communication/Public Relations (CAS-12-118)

Form 91A - Speech Communication/Public Relations (CAS-12-122)

118: Since an increasing number of students are pursuing applied projects as an exit option for the M.A program, the Department would like to add SPC 598 to the "Treatise Plan" to distinguish this option from SPC 599 thesis. The department has added a number of SPC courses they would like to reduce the number of out-of-department courses, independent studies, and 400-level courses that count for the program from 9, 6, and 6 to 6, 6, and 3 respectively.

Blankson said that since the program was practically oriented they see more students wanting to do projects, sometimes for clients.

122: The Department would like to add a concentration in Public Relations (PR) to the M.A. program. The undergraduate program track in PR has been very successful; students from this program would like to have an opportunity to continue their graduate studies. Survey of undergraduate students and responses from alumni indicate interest in this track. The track would need the addition of four new courses SPC 551, SPC 552, SPC 553, SPC 554, which have been approved. This track would require three required courses (SPC 550, SPC 551, and SPC 552) and 12-15 hours of electives. Two courses, SPC 553 and SPC 554, have been added for electives in this track.

Blankson was asked why this addition does not require any new resources. The Department has enough faculty to teach the added courses.

Pannirselvam made a motion to approve the request; Bell-Scriber seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VI. Form 91A - Mathematics (CAS-12-130)

The program had been offering 2 of their content courses as MATH 590d and STAT 590. These courses have been offered successfully and have been approved as MATH 534 and STAT 535. They would like the program catalog to reflect these number changes.

Pannirselvam made the motion to approve the changes, Leem seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VII. Form 91A - Chemistry (CAS-11-91)

The program would like to change the TOEFL requirements for the M.S. degree to reflect the changes in TOEFL and the Graduate School admission standard. "For international students, a minimum score of 550 on the paper based TOEFL test, 79 on the internet based TOEFL test, or Overall Band of 6.5 on IELTS, is required."

About half of the 38 students are international students and many of them have assistantships.

Jategaonkar asked what the current TOEFL test options are - paper based, computer based, and Internet based. It was thought that since the Graduate School English proficiency requirements would be most current the program catalog should read: For international students, the English proficiency requirements will be in correspondence with the Graduate School requirements.

Thomason made the motion that the change be approved as amended, with Chemistry resubmitting the Form 91A with this particular language. Guehlstorf seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VIII. Continuing Business

PAPA - Guehlstorf made a motion that the degree completion rate needs intervention (for lack of resources?); Pannirselvam seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

MMR - Jategaonkar made a motion that the enrollment is sustainable; Leem seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Pannirselvam made a motion that the degree completion is satisfactory; Leem seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IX. New Business

There was no new business.

X. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:54 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Steffany Chleboun, Chair,
Programs Committee and Associate Professor of
Special Education and Communications Disorders

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