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Graduate School


Minutes of
November 3rd, 2006

MEMBERS PRESENT: Seran Aktuna, Rita Arras, Rakesh Bharati, Mike Crider, Gary Denue for Jay Starratt, Dave Duvernell, Steve Hansen, Jean Harrison, Chair, Stephanie McAndrews, Steve McCommas, Michael Shaw, Laura Strom, William White, S. William Whitson

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Dinesh Dasari, Duff Wrobbel

GUESTS: Huei Li Chin, Assistant Professor, Music
T. R. Carr, Chair, Public Administration
Paul. W. Ferguson, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Christa Johnson, Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
Vicki Scott, Graduate Program Director, Special Education
Randall Smith, Chair, Curriculum and Instruction
Vaughn Vandegrift, Chancellor
Mary Weishaar, Assistant Dean, School of Education

I. Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paul W. Ferguson

When asked how graduate education fits into the SIUE strategic plan, Chancellor Vandegrift stated that he saw graduate education as an important part of the university's mission. Provost Ferguson said that as a part of his overall orientation and transition into the Provost's Office he has been reviewing organizational issues, enrollment trends and the role of research at SIUE. He said that perhaps the Provost's Office could improve the balance of support between graduate and undergraduate education. One of the ways of affecting this balance is to revise some aspects of the Provost Office structure. This change should address how research could be more integrated throughout the university. With that concept in mind and pending the approval of the Board of Trustees on November 9th, the Provost and Chancellor have proposed that Dean Hansen's title will change to Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and he will become a member of the Provost's Senior Staff. This is an early initiative to improve how we strategically think about research/scholarship and graduate education and enable improved discussions at the Provost's Office Senior Staff planning meetings. If his proposed new title is approved, university-wide centers/institutes including the Institute of Urban Research, the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, and the Illinois Education Research Council will be under Dr. Hansen's direction, thus improving another aspect of the research infrastructure.

S. William Whitson commented that the restructuring seemed long overdue, since the needs of graduate education have always been secondary to those of undergraduate education.

Provost Ferguson remarked that he hopes that the restructuring is a welcome change, and that this change will facilitate increased support in the University's ability to obtain external funding in support of scholarship. He noted that when compared to 12 AQIP peer institutions, 7 of 12 institutions have designated an Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School but that SIUE is #2 in extramural funding among those 12 institutions.

Dr. Ferguson also added that in the goal to achieve efficient and cost-effective approaches that the Provost's Office will consider how the current program on undergraduate assessment can be expanded and applied to the graduate sector as well.

Regarding the restructuring, Jean Harrison asked Provost Ferguson how the changes will affect professors, and whether resources will increase. Provost Ferguson answered that the structure will first ensure a balanced approach and support strategic thinking about programming and funding. The process to address multiple academic issues will become more inclusive. Dr. Hansen added that being able to participate in staff meetings gives graduate education and research a voice it hasn't had before.

Chancellor Vandegrift stated that SIUE is having great demands placed on it by students, parents, and politicians at the undergraduate level, as well as being asked to reach out to graduate students with certificate programs. Graduate enrollment has declined in the last couple of years, and revenue from the State of Illinois has declined. The Chancellor is seeking to learn what SIUE can do to evaluate how graduate programs can serve the needs of the region. Project SAGE (Strategic Advancement of Graduate Education) is designed to help find solutions to these challenges. This is an opportune time for graduate programs since the community is watching us to determine how we can meet their needs. Chancellor Vandegrift added that SIUE has to examine issues such as waiving graduate tuition. He commented that SIUE can't keep its graduate programs going without sufficient revenue. He said that the benefits to faculty and students will percolate down through SAGE.

In response to a question about a potential shift in SIUE's mission, Paul Ferguson said that he does not see a shift in mission but a need to better define the mission, particularly related to the teacher/scholar model and how research/scholarship is best integrated into academic activities.

Dave Duvernell asked how the Science Building planning process will be decided, and how research and teaching space will be allocated. Provost Ferguson said that the existing building will be renovated for teaching, and the new building is anticipated to provide research space.

Rakesh Bharati asked whether SIUE would make curricular changes. Chancellor Vandegrift reminded him that faculty are looking at the BRIDGE project to define general education, and said that faculty may want to consider what skills could be imparted by different pedagogies. Provost Ferguson stated that SIUE is under tremendous pressure to expand, and that summer school should be better able to serve students. He also said that SIUE is in competition with other campuses in the Metro-East area, and that Madhav Segal raised thoughtful issues about access and quality in his enrollment analysis of the School of Education. Chancellor Vandegrift added that Saint Louis University and McKendree College are more active in this area, although the quality of SIUE's programs is better. We have to ask why our product may be perceived as not attractive any longer. Is SIUE offering summer courses to meet its own needs or those of its students? We have so much going for us that with a bit of self-searching and minor tweaking, SIUE can again become a primary source for graduate education.

Rita Arras asked whether Chancellor Vandegrift saw SIUE offering doctoral degrees. Vandegrift said that he did not since becoming a doctoral institution wouldn't fit our current teacher/scholar model. It would be difficult to sell the idea to the BOT and IBHE. Harrison asked if the Health Science Building on the long range plan would include allied health professions. Ferguson stated that there has been some interest expressed in evaluating a new unit in Allied Health Sciences in addition to a potential for a master's level health sciences program in the future.

Dr. Hansen asked whether there was room for a professional doctorate in nursing. Chancellor Vandegrift clarified that he had been talking about traditional doctoral level programs when he said that it would not be in SIUE's best interest to pursue them. There may be future opportunities for professional doctoral degrees in nursing, for example. Provost Ferguson added that the current cooperative doctoral programs that SIUE has with Carbondale in history, engineering science, and education could be nurtured better. SIUE wants to bring something new that represents problem solving in the Metro-East.

Chancellor Vandegrift concluded by thanking the members of the Graduate Council for their work, adding that SIUE needs that wisdom, and the administration listens to its advice.

II. Announcements

Bill Whitson congratulated Dean Hansen on being considered for the position of Associate Provost for Research.

Dean Hansen announced that Madhav Segal will present his marketing analysis of the School of Education's enrollment issues at the December 1st Graduate Council meeting. The January meeting will be devoted to discussion of the Teacher/Scholar model. Whitson suggested that the Teacher/Scholar model discussion may work better as a half day session; Hansen may consider holding a retreat for the members of the Graduate Council and its committees.

Hansen asked that the ERP consider the by-laws of the Graduate Council and to consider expanding the Council to represent professional programs as well as graduate programs. He suggested that such a change would have broad implications for governance.

Christa Johnson announced that she has been co-organizing the "Metropolitan St. Louis Regional Grants Conference," scheduled to take place over the course of two days, January 10th and 11th, 2007, at SIUE and Washington University consecutively. The guest speakers include Tom Cooley and Richard Buckius from the NSF, and several representatives from the USDA, Department of Energy, NIH, Army Corps of Engineers, and NEH. There will be a number of sessions for faculty from all disciplines including panel discussions related to foundation and corporate support and tech transfer.

III. Approval of Minutes of October 6th, 2006

The minutes were accepted as submitted.

IV. Report of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee met to review the SAGE proposals. The recipients will make a progress report in April, 2007, and a final report to the Graduate Council in September of 2007.

V. Report of the Programs Committee

A. Form 91A - Special Education

The graduate program wishes to include a retention requirement that states, "Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work leading to the master's degree in Special Education. Students must also obtain a B or better in EPFR 501 Research Methods and Obtain a B or better on the research paper requirement in that course."

The motion to accept the proposal from the Programs Committee passed unanimously.

B. Form 91A - Literacy Education

The graduate program wishes to change its admission criteria to include test scores, and set retention standards of earning a B or better in each course. Other retention standards include passing Literacy Notebooks, disposition papers, and the Reading Specialist Content Test. It wishes to clarify its requirements and match the language with the proposed Post-Master's Certificate in Literacy Specialist.

The motion to accept the proposal from the Programs Committee passed unanimously.

C. Form 91A - Literacy Education: Post-Master's Certificate: Literacy Specialist

This proposal was developed in response to the requirement of the Illinois State Board of Education requirement that all teachers must complete an approved program of study to earn reading specialist certification. SIUE is the only approved reading specialist program in Southern Illinois. Students who have already received their master's degree are currently taking these required courses as unclassified students. It would be beneficial for the School of Education to get credit for these students by bringing them into a School of Education program. The proposed certificate is the same as the master's program in literacy education, but without the professional core course or the capstone experience. The program does not anticipate needing additional faculty in the immediate future, but will eventually need them as the program grows.

The motion to accept the proposal from the Programs Committee passed unanimously.

D. Three Year Review - Biotechnology Management

The Biotechnology Management graduate program has admitted four students since its inception, one of whom has graduated. Although there are a lot of applicants, the main reason for not accepting more students is the program's inability to guarantee that there will be internships for the Professional Master's candidates. Local businesses are reluctant to promise a spot to an unknown student. The program director has tried a number of strategies to solve this dilemma, including working with the Career Development Center and using a graduate assistant to search for internship opportunities. Without funding for a director and secretary to serve this program, there are no personnel dedicated to solving this impasse.

The motion to accept the report from the Programs Committee passed unanimously.

E. Program Review Progress Reports

Mike Shaw announced that the program reviews are in progress.

VI. Report of the Educational and Research Policies Committee

A. Partial Tuition Waivers for 25% Graduate Assistants

SIUE offers two levels of graduate/teaching assistantships: the 25% assistantship (referred to as part time) requires that the student work for 10 hours per week and the 50% assistantship requires 20 hours per week. All assistantships award a stipend as well as a tuition waiver. Currently, SIUE waives the full amount of tuition for those who hold either type of assistantship with no maximum limit on the number of credit hours waived.

Christa Johnson provided a PowerPoint outlining the issues. SIUE is giving tuition waivers worth $3.86 million to graduate assistants. The amount waived in FY 05 was 49.7% of the assessed graduate tuition. 57.43% of all assistantships are awarded as partial assistantships. Johnson conducted an informal survey through a list-serve of Illinois universities, and discovered that out of 15 respondents, only 3 reported "giving full tuition waivers for part time grad assistants." Although SIUE is the most generous institution in Illinois in giving tuition waivers to part time graduate assistantships, it has low stipend levels, and it also has one of the lowest rates of tuition in Illinois.

Johnson asked the question, "What if [SIUE] could recover some of this tuition and increase stipends?" She suggested that if SIUE could recover $750,000 by discontinuing the practice of granting full waivers for partial assistantships, SIUE's assistantship stipends might be increased by as much as $200/month. She concluded by suggesting that the impact of changing the current policy may produce "more competitive stipends, better students, and more 50% assistantship appointments." She felt that SIUE would be attracting a somewhat different cohort by offering higher stipends for the 50% graduate assistantships. She stressed that the Graduate School does not wish to restrict departments' flexibility by putting a cap on the number of 25% assistantships.

The Council noted that this measure would impact grants, although individual grants could pick up the tuition cost to the student. Another concern was that this move would negatively impact departments who use GAs to teach.

The ERP made a motion to have 25% graduate assistants pay 50% of the tuition cost of all credit hours at the in-state rate. The motion passed unanimously.

The ERP also made a motion to request the dollars captured go back to graduate assistant stipends. The motion passed unanimously.

VII. Old Business

There was no old business.

VIII. New Business

There was no new business.

IX. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:01 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen, Dean
Graduate Studies and Research

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