Minutes
Graduate Council Meeting
February 1, 1999

Members: Sue Blodgett, College of Agriculture (Entomology); Ken Bowers, College of Letters & Science (Mathematics); Therese Sullivan, College of Nursing; Dan Hertz, College of Business; Ralph Johnson, College of Arts & Architecture (Architecture); John Sears, College of Engineering (Chemical Engineering); Craig Stewart, College of Education, Health & Human Development (HHD); Bruce McLeod, Graduate Dean (Chair)

The meeting commenced at 2:10 pm. .  Members present:  Ken Bowers, Bruce McLeod, Craig Stewart, John Sears, Sue Blodgett, Dan Hertz, Ralph Johnson, Rebecca Ward, Sandy Mueller.

Bruce stated that he would like Council meetings to run an hour, with an occasional exception if there are many items on the agenda.

1. Mission of the Graduate Council

Bruce proposed that the mission of the Graduate Council is not to review courses, but to give input to the CGS Dean on matters of policy, deadlines, enforcement of deadlines, operation of the graduate program at MSU, and there was general consensus on that issue. Bruce asked for written feedback on the CGS Mission statement, objectives and definitions of a graduate program, a graduate course, and a graduate faculty. He will then incorporate all the ideas and present a new draft at the next meeting.

2. Discussion of Mission, Policies, Definitions, Residency

The College of Graduate Studies (Bruce and Becky) will determine which courses are acceptable. Departments may appeal to the Council. Craig Stewart requested that each council member be cc'd if a course in their respective department is denied, as they are the people who will be contacted. Everyone agreed and Becky and Bruce will implement this. Sue Blodgett suggested a flow sheet/cover sheet to check off when a class is submitted, which can then be returned if the class is denied to let people know why. Becky will develop this and circulate it at the next meeting.

Initiating CGS coordination with the other MSU campuses was discussed. According to the Board of Regents, Provost Chapman is the a Dean of Grad Studies over all the campuses and CGS, therefore, will not be the coordinator.

There was some discussion of the present Residency Policy and how it affects the colleges. If a student applies for residency the first year they can only take 6 credits a semester. Some departments allow this and load a student heavily the second year. Sometimes a student must attend another year because classes are not offered every term. Other departments ignore the residency and just subsidize the student as a non-resident because it is cheaper than having them stay an extra year. One departments solution is to have the student audit classes the first year, even though they do not receive credit for the class. Some departments felt that this policy did not affect them too much, while others said it impacted their recruitment tremendously. Residency has not been a discussable item in Helena and Bruce noted that often the prevalent response is based on an understanding of undergraduate issues, not graduate issues. He will be looking into the possibility of having this policy changed.

Bruce mentioned his meetings with each College to initiate dialogue, present his philosophy and solicit feedback. He would like all Deans and Department Heads to understand that the Grad School will be overly diligent in following the book this year, to enforce policy. There was some concern that this would be hard on students, that they were either receiving no advising or wrong information and Bruce indicated that exceptions will be considered, just not the norm. In that light, Becky notified members that probation letters regarding low GPA's will be going out, with copies to the student, advisor and department head.

John Sears questioned the 1 month notification for Masters orals and other departments discussed how they handle that. Bruce indicated that this was a policy that the council could look at modifying, but that other deadlines such as those for programs need to be adhered to by departments.

Some pros and cons of having a Graduate Faculty were discussed - what do other universities do - the possibility of two levels, teaching and chairing Ph.D. committees - the effects on adjunct faculty, distance learning and extended studies - application criteria - valuing a terminal degree. General consensus was that this policy would solve a lot of problems.

Written feedback on all of the above topics will be sent to Bruce to incorporate into the draft he will present to the Graduate Council at the next meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Graduate Council is scheduled for Monday, March 1, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. in the President's Conference Room of Montana Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.