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Graduate School

Graduate Council


Minutes of

March 19th, 2009

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Chair, Rakesh Bharati, Wai Hsien Cheah, Christa Johnson, Craig Miner, Mariana Solares, G. Stacey Staples, Erin Timpe, Jianpeng Zhou


I. Announcements

Marcus Agustin announced that the ERP has approved a draft of the guidelines outlining the creation of a Graduate Scholars Council. Christa Johnson added that there did not seem to be a conflict with the Peer Consulting and Mentoring Program headed by Isaac Blankson. This item can be forwarded to the Graduate Council for its April 3rd meeting.

II. Minutes of February 19th, 2009

After Marcus Agustin noted that Laura Hanson had been absent on February 19th, Rakesh Bharati made a motion to approve the minutes as amended; Wai Hsien Cheah seconded. The motion passed with eight ayes and one abstention.

III. Including the Professional Schools in the Graduate Council

This item of business will be addressed next month.

IV. Continuing Business

A. Matching Funds for External Grants

Rakesh Bharati made a motion to approve this proposal; Erin Timpe seconded. The proposal was then discussed by the committee.

Jianpeng Zhou raised the issue of providing matching funds in those cases in which matching funds were required for external grants. He feels that there is a need to provide this service if funds become available because this strategy would increase the odds of certain external grant proposals getting funded. Questions raised were whether or not assistance with matching funds toward other grants would be suspended if the funds were depleted.

Johnson stressed that meeting matching needs on an ad hoc basis is what the Graduate School does now; this proposal is a way to formalize the process. Zhou suggested that instead of creating a new fund to accommodate the needs of those faculty whose grant proposals require matching money, the Graduate School use an existing fund. The tri-yearly competitions for Assigned Time for Research/Equipment and Tools/Interdisciplinary Proposals could be held semi-annually instead of annually. Instead of offering only one type of award at a time, Zhou proposed that the Graduate School offer all at once and allow the applicants to choose which they wanted. The Matching Funds could be offered as one of four options. The question arose of whether the schools and college should give their input and rank the proposals before they are forwarded to the Graduate School.

The ERP agreed that Christa Johnson and Jianpeng Zhou should work together to consolidate the proposal as part of the current competitions for Assigned Time for Research/Equipment and Tools/Interdisciplinary Proposals.

B. Responsible Conduct in Research Training

Christa Johnson announced that NSF sent out an announcement requesting comments on the premise that the certification process is sufficient. ERP will continue this discussion next month.

Christa Johnson will e-mail this to the committee.

C. Non Tenure Track Faculty Funding

This discussion arose from the proposal that eligibility for internal faculty grants be revised. Clinical faculty in the Schools of Pharmacy, Dental Medicine and Nursing are not tenure track, therefore are ineligible to receive assistance through internal grants. The main characteristic of this group is that they are full time exempt faculty. There are 11 clinical professors in the School of Dental Medicine, 22 in the School of Pharmacy, and 31 in the School of Nursing. In the School of Pharmacy, the expectation of service is a greater expectation than that of scholarship, although scholarship and the attendant research is necessary for the promotion of rank.

Marcus Agustin and Erin Timpe will draft a letter, run it by the members of ERP through e-mail, and then send it to Steve Hansen.

D. Biosafety Policy Update

Erin Timpe said that one of her colleagues had three questions about the proposed new policy. She will forward his e-mail to the committee.

E. Review Committees and Operating Papers

Christa Johnson asked the question of whether the research committees of the Graduate Council are organized in the best way possible to serve the needs of the faculty. Two main concerns are the uneven workload between the Research and Development (R&D) Committee, and the Research and Projects Advisory Board (RPAB), and the timing of competitions. Johnson asked the committee to re-examine the review process and committee appointments. The committee felt that there was not enough time in the 2008-09 academic year to re-examine the composition of the research committees.

It will take up this issue next year.

V. New Business

A. Eligibility for Travel Funds - Students from Professional Programs

Currently, graduate students seeking a master's degree are eligible to apply for matching funds for travel to disseminate their research. The School of Pharmacy has requested that the ERP consider allowing students from the professional schools (the School of Pharmacy and the School of Dental Medicine) to be eligible. The students from the School of Pharmacy are not required to have their bachelor's degree to be admitted into the Pharm.D. program. Although their status could be considered undergraduate, Erin Timpe assured the ERP committee that the Pharmacy students are not eligible for funds as undergraduates, such as offered by the Undergraduate Research Academy. Rakesh Bharati voiced the consensus that this issue should be reviewed after the issue of determining eligibility for internal funding for non tenure-track faculty from the professional schools is resolved.

The committee agreed to delay further discussion of this issue until the issue of IV.C. is resolved.

VI. Adjournment

Rakesh Bharati made a motion to adjourn; Craig Miner seconded. The meeting adjourned at 12:01 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen
Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, Graduate School

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