Division of Graduate Education
Minutes of University Graduate Council
December 13, 2007
Present: Priscilla Wisner (BUS), Mark Nelson (EHHD), Robert Maher (ENGR), Carl Fox (DGE),
Robert Rydell (L&S-Letters), Yves Idzerda (L&S-Science), Rita Cheek (NURS), Seth Humphries
(STUDENT), Warren Jones (FC).
Also attending were MaryKay West (DGE), Jen Jencso (DGE), Donna Negaard (DGE), and Kaylee Ranck.
Meeting commenced at 1:10 p.m. in 114 Sherrick.
Approval of Minutes of November 15, 2007
- Correction: (l) under “PhD Credits”—change from annual review to “review every seven years”
- Correction: (a) under “Web Survey and Catalog Update”—change to “with view of prospective students”
Motion: Priscilla motioned and Rob Maher seconded to approve minutes as amended. Approved by unanimous vote.
Open Campus Forum
- No one came forward.
DGE Staff Reports
- Graduate Student Open Forum – Carl Fox
- On November 28, DGE held an Open Forum for all grad students, in Leigh Lounge; 12 students attended
- The number one topics of discussion was formatting of theses and dissertations—especially the length of time required to reformat from a journal submission
- Other topics brought up were a possible grad student organization, social gatherings for grads, an interdisciplinary campus journal which the English department is starting, seminars with more professional development subjects
- DGE received no answer as to the best way to communicate with grads (not many use “My Portal”).
- GTA Study – Jen Jencso
- Jen is investigating how GTAs are trained and if GTAs perceive their training as effective
- The study involved 13 students, in two focus groups
- Students felt their training was mediocre—they would like more professional teaching development, especially more hands-on training
- Students need their training to be for credit (2?) – come for a week of training before fall and spring semesters
- Possibly award student a GTA Training Certificate to go on their transcript
- During Spring 2008, Jen will hold focus groups for faculty.
- MSU Catalog Update – Kaylee Ranck
- Beginning in January, Kaylee will coordinate with the Registrar’s office
- DGE is working on finalizing the Policies and Procedures.
- Council of Graduate Schools Meeting – Carl Fox and Donna Negaard
- Carl and Donna attended the Council in Seattle last week
- Graduate education is critical for national competitiveness
- Montana has three Gates Millennium Scholars who receive full ride scholarships which supports the students all the way through their doctoral program
- Donna attended workshops on diversity, co-convening, and benchmarking for masters.
- DGE Annual Report – Carl Fox
- Handed out copies of the Report – will be on DGE website
- Will become an annual report of the status of MSU graduate education
- Any comments or suggestions to Carl.
Graduate Assistant Tuition Waivers – Carl Fox
- Carl would like to tie the tuition waivers to GTAs
- Currently, there is no system for tracking tuition waivers or GTAs—need to develop an effective tracking system
- Montana is the only state that does not offer full tuition waivers for full GTAs
- If a TA position is discontinued, student often becomes a RA (lot of shifting with semesters)
- Carl’s goal is to increase grad FTE
- Carl will check other universities for their tuition waiver allocations and how they are established.
Challenge Courses – Donna Negaard
- Current policy does not allow grads the ability to challenge courses
- Questions were raised: can non-degree grad challenge? Does student pay for credits challenged? How many credits does student take before able to challenge a course? Can a student challenge a prerequisite?
- Course challenge is seldom used – is there a need for this? Members to discuss with their colleges what professors feel as the value of challenges.
Spring Semester UGC Meeting Time
- Final decision was for 3rd Wednesday of the month, from 10:00 to noon
- Upcoming meetings will be February 20, March 26 (March 19 is unavailable for intercampus communications), and April 16.
Comprehensive Exam Policy – Jen Jencso
- Need to discuss in the future what constitutes a comp exam and when is the best time for it to be taken
- Preliminary vs qualifying vs comprehensive exam
- There are a variety of timelines and formats that are followed.
Meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
Next UGC Meeting: Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:00 – noon.