Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
November 17, 2003

Graduate Council Members:

Ken Bowers, College of Letters & Science; Janice Bowman, College of Agriculture; Katie Daughenbaugh, Graduate Students; Marc Giullian, College of Business; Richard Helzer, College of Arts & Architecture; Bruce McLeod, Graduate Dean, Chair; Gretchen McNeely, College of Nursing; Craig Stewart, College of Education, Health & Human Development; Rob Maher, College of Engineering; Warren Jones, Faculty Council, Ex-officio


Graduate Council Agenda Items:

Minutes for October

A motion to approve the minutes of the October meeting was made by Bowman seconded by Giullian. The vote was unanimous.

1. Use of Graduate Council Web Board


McLeod asked about use of the Graduate Council web board. Discussion followed about making motions and when to vote. A statement will be included indicating “a motion has been made and seconded” that will trigger members to vote on the motion. The ability to edit your own comments was mentioned as was the use of cut and paste to make commenting easier. Members who feel that insufficient comment has been made must ask for additional comments on the subject.

2. Use of publications in theses or dissertations and acceptability of student’s name when listed other than first or second author on a publication

Discussion: Many students are turning in papers or a collection of papers as their thesis or dissertation. Concerns arise about the format as well as the document being a body of work and not simply papers stapled together. The recommended format includes a general introduction, papers in a generic format with a connecting statement between each paper, and a conclusion showing how all the papers tie together. Reformatting issues were discussed. The significance of placement of the student’s name on the thesis or dissertation was discussed. A collection of papers may have varying authors. Since chapters in a thesis or dissertation do not have authors, a discussion developed on what format MSU wants to appear on the web. The issue of determination of authorship was discussed. It was suggested that if the advisor and committee members sign off on the thesis or dissertation they are accepting responsibility that it is the student’s work.

3. Role of Graduate Dean’s approval of the thesis or dissertation versus “Meets Minimum Departmental Requirements” for the Master’s/Doctoral Degree

McLeod would like the flexibility to refuse to sign poor quality thesis or dissertations and to place a statement “Meets Minimum Departmental Requirements” on the signature page. This statement would emphasize that thesis and dissertations are being approved at the department level that the Graduate Dean feels are not a adequate representation of Montana State University’s graduate work. Currently if the dean does not sign the thesis or dissertation the student does not graduate. The possibility of adding ALL committee members’ names and signatures to the signature page (instead of just the chair and department head) was discussed. Ward will put together a revised signature page.

4. Credit registration the semester of graduation

Discussion: To reduce final semester fees for students, McLeod proposed that the three credit minimum registration the semester of graduation be eliminated and replaced with ONE credit PLUS a nonrefundable fee of $150.00 when the “Application for Advanced Degree” is submitted The $150.00 fee would be to cover costs of the College of Graduate Studies and the Registrar’s Office. The fee proposal would have to go to the Board of Regents.

5. Changing the “Application for Advanced Degree” deadline from early in the intended semester of completion versus one year prior to completion as is done with undergraduates.

Undergraduates can predict a year in advance when they will graduate. Graduates cannot easily predict when they will graduate due to research or writing problems.

Time ran to continue further discussion.

Meeting adjourned 2:05 p.m.