Minutes of University Graduate Council
April 26, 2007

Present:  Michelle Hardy (AG), John Brittingham (A & A), 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), Sarah Codd (M. ENGR), Anne Camper (CIVIL E.), Brett Gunnink (CIVIL E.), Richard Helzer (ART), and Todd Larkin (ART).

Meeting commenced at 8:05 a.m. in 103 Sherrick.
UNIVERSITY GRADUATE COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS: (Numbers refer to item numbers on the Agenda).
1. Approval of Minutes of March 22, 2007

  1. Michelle asked that all “tenured” be changed to “tenure track”
  2. Rita asked that her wording be changed to “Nursing was requesting permission to use non tenure track faculty as a Chair for committees of students who are completing professional projects”.

Motion: Rob Maher motioned to accept the minutes as amended; Bob Rydell seconded; vote was unanimous.
2. Changes to Engineering Requirements

  1.  With a recent change, the DGE policy is 60 post baccalaureate credits are required for a PhD degree, with 18 credits as the maximum number of dissertation credits allowed.  Sarah Codd and Anne Camper requested that the maximum number of dissertation credits on a Program of Study be increased, for Fall 2007.

The discussion following included:

  1.  Need for graded coursework as well as dissertation work on Program of Study (not all dissertation credits)
  2. Possibility of 18 credits as minimum, but not as maximum
  3. Necessity of a written cap, to prevent future misunderstandings—do departments have a maximum cap already? Departments set requirements
  4. 18 credit policy originated about 18 years ago, following a problem with a department’s “self mentoring” students
  5. Current DGE policy allows exceptions; after department reviews exception request, present it to the UGC for approval

Motion: by Rob Maher that the UGC approve the proposed request which reads “under our proposal PhD students in Engineering can apply up to 25 thesis credits”.  Priscilla seconded; vote was unanimous.


3. Civil Engineering Request for Minimum of 15 Credits

  1. Current DGE policy requires 2/3 of total credits for MS degree (20 credits) be 500 level credits; Brett Gunnink of Civil Engineering requested that the total number of 500 level credits be reduced to 15 credits

Discussion following included:

  1. Concern that civil engineering does not have enough resources
  2. Problem with MS Construction Management which involves engineering and senior level business courses—co-convening would not work
  3. Possibility of changing some 400 level courses to 500 level
  4. Possibility of requiring 15 credits of 500 level plus specific other credits

Motion: by Ives that UGC accept both requests by Civil Enineering: For the degree of Master of Construction Engineering Management and for the Plan B option of the degree Master of Science in Civil Engineering, that a minimum of 15 – 500 level credit hours be required, rather than the 2/3 required by new Graduate College rules” with final approval by the Vice Provost of the Division of Graduate Education.  Priscilla seconded; vote was unanimous.
Motion: by Priscilla to change current DGE policy from “2/3 of total credits must be 500 level” to “a minimum of 20 credits must be 500 level credits.  Some departments may require a higher number of 500 level credits”.  Seth seconded; vote was unanimous.
4.  MA in Art History

  1. Richard Helzer and Todd Larkin of MSU Art Department are requesting the addition of a new MA degree in Art History

Discussion following included:

  1. Concerns about financial sustainability beyond the first year – and whether UGC has the responsibility/expertise to evaluate financing
  2. Actual number of students who would be enrolled in the degree
  3. MSU’s committment to expanding graduate programs—with more students or with more programs?
  4. Adequate faculty (in event of sickness or sabbatical) and possible changes in duties for all Art faculty
  5. Possibility of offering the proposed degree on-line
  6. Lack of firm and full commitment from the Dean of Art
  7. Academic Affairs Committee of Faculty Council will require a much more specific accounting (a full business plan)
  8. Request will be a Level II request before the Board of Regents – will require a year to be approved
  9. Need for details of why Missoula closed its degree

Action:  Carl will approach Provost Dooley with the proposal to discern its possibility.
Items 5 through 13 to be discussed at next meeting – May 10.
Meeting ended at 10:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted
MaryKay West
DGE