Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
September 19, 2002


Graduate Council Members:


Ken Bowers, College of Letters & Science; Janice Bowman, College of Agriculture; Doug Cairns, College of Engineering; Marc Giullian, College of Business; Richard Helzer, College of Arts & Architecture; Bruce McLeod, Graduate Dean; Gretchen McNeely, College of Nursing; Jill Hayes, Graduate Students; Craig Stewart, College of Education, Health & Human Development


      Present: Chair Bruce McLeod, Janice Bowman, Richard Helzer, Lynn Taylor (for Gretchen McNeely), Mark Giullian, Ken Bowers, Craig Stewart, Doug Cairns, Jill Hayes, Rebecca Ward (College of Graduate Studies), Donna Negaard (College of Graduate Studies)

Graduate Council Agenda Items:


Item 1:  Approval of July 15 and August 20 minutes


   Motion:  Bowman moved to accept the July 15 and August 20 minutes.  Bowers seconded.

                   Vote:  Unanimously passed


Item 2:  Age of course work on programs

Current policy specifies six year age limit on course work for master’s degrees and ten year limit on course work for doctoral degrees. Situations arise when students drop out of a program for several years and the course work becomes outdated.  Is a student current in the area of study if she/he hasn’t been in a classroom for 6+ or 10+ years?


The Graduate Council discussed the following: 

·         Work experience versus academic experience – if someone is actually receiving the equivalent experience versus the academic equivalent, a student should be able to take an exam, challenge the class or prove in some method that it is the same.    

·         Firm limits on age of coursework must be established for the integrity of the degrees offered by the College of Graduate Studies.  There still could be exceptions to the year limitation on a case by case basis but they would need to be exceptional cases.  Employment in the field of the degree would not be an exceptional case.  Some departments already have limits in place that are stricter than the College of Graduate Studies.

·         The limits currently in place have extra time for ‘life circumstances’ and for someone taking classes only during summer semesters.

·         Employers are hiring employees based upon the date of their degree.  When academic courses are outdated, an employer may not be getting the most up-to-date employee. The College of Graduate Studies would like to ensure issuing degrees to students who show currency degree.

   Motion:  Bowers motioned to reaffirm the limit of 6 years for master and 10 years for doctoral credits for a student’s program of study.  Stewart seconded.


   Vote:  Unanimously passed.


Item 3:  Minimum GPAs required to graduate

Currently students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for their cumulative, program and last semester of attendance.  The Graduate Council discussed the program minimum and last semester of attendance minimum of 3.0 GPA.  Additional discussion continued about the cumulative GPA requirement.

·         Will this cause grade inflation?

·         Should a student be penalized for classes taken before being admitted to a graduate program?

·         Should prerequisites taken before a student enters the program also be held to the same standards as his/her graduate courses?

·         The College of Graduate College should retain the current policy and work with the exceptions to the rule.

·         Shows the overall quality of the student’s performance.

·         What do we expect from our graduate students?

   Motion:  Bowman moved to retain the current College of Graduate Studies policy requiring 3.0 cumulative, program and last semester.  Craig Stewart seconded.


   Vote:  Passed (5 members for, 3 members opposed)


Item 4: Minimum number of 5XX-level courses on a masters and a doctoral program.

Currently the College of Graduate Studies requires a minimum of two-thirds of the program credit requirements to be at the 5XX level.  Some departments may require a higher percentage of 5XX level. 


    Motion:  Stewart moved to continue the policy of requiring a minimum of two-thirds of the degree credit requirement (including thesis) must be at the 5XX level.  Giullian seconded.


   Vote:  Passed unanimously


Item 5:  Other Issues (Professional Masters)


The Graduate Council initiated discussion regarding ‘professional masters’ programs.  The Graduate Council will continue the discussion at a later meeting.


Action:  McLeod asked the Graduate Council to consider what makes a graduate degree different than an undergraduate degree.



The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m., October 21st in the President's Conference Room (MT Hall 103).