College of Graduate Studies


Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
April 11, 2005

Present: Chair Bruce McLeod, Ken Bowers, Joanne Erickson (for Rich Howard), Marc Giullian, Robert Maher, Ben Meyer, Robert Rydell, Jean Sheffield (for Patty Holkup), Warren Jones (Faculty Council), Becky Paye (CGS), Mary Kay West (CGS), Steve Cherry (Math), and Jarrett Barber (Math). .

Meeting commenced at 3:00 p.m. in SUB 271.

GRADUATE COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS: (Numbers refer to item numbers on the Agenda)

1. Presentation of the proposal for the MS in Ecological and Environmental Statistics Mark Taper and Steve Cherry

 Cherry presented the background for the proposal. Ecology students need greater quantitative statistics training without the rigor of a full MS degree in Statistics. Several students in the past have received their PhD degree and then returned for a MS in Statistics. The new MS would be used by PhD candidates in Ecology, possibly in Microbiology, and other degrees. A check of the employment field indicated there are jobs that will need this degree. This degree is not offered anywhere else in the United States.

2. Graduate Council discussion of the proposal  

  • Jones reported that the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Council had met with Mark Taper (Ecology) and the proposal was well received
  • Bowers reported that the proposal has full support of the Math department
  • McLeod stated that a student would be prepared to go into a PhD program after receiving this MS degree. He suggested that ptotential employers be contacted for letters of support to present to the Board of Regents with the Proposal
  • This MS would differ from a MS in Statistics
  • No new courses would be required as they already exist in Statistics and Ecology
  • Barber raised the possibility of adding two TA lines. McLeod said funds might be available.

Cherry and Barber left. A motion was made by Maher and seconded by Guillan that

Graduate Council approve the Proposal for the MS in Ecological and Environmental Statistics with the added recommendations of

  • adding two TA lines
  • obtaining letters of support from potential employers.

 The vote was unanimous.

3. A brief discussion of the changes in the way the BOR will accept submission items

McLeod reported that the BOR will not discuss any New Program proposals at their meeting in May. There are no BOR committee meetings scheduled in July, therefore the earliest the BOR would review this proposal would be in September. There can be no advertising of the new degree until the BOR approves it.

4. Continuation of discussion of problems with communication between Graduate Council and MSU campus

McLeod opened the floor for additional ideas for increasing communication. The discussion included:

  • Suggestion – once a semester, Graduate Council to meet with graduate coordinators and department administrative assistants
  • Suggestion – email all PROPOSED policy changes to graduate coordinators and department admins, with links for comments
  • Graduate Council web board is accessible to Graduate Council members only; could this be broadened?

Meeting adjourned at 4:00.

The final meeting of Graduate Council for Spring 2005 is scheduled for Monday, April 25, at 3:00 p.m. in SUB 271.