Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
October 19, 2001


Graduate Council Members

Ken Bowers, College of Letters & Science (Mathematics)

Janice Bowman, College of Agriculture (Animal & Range Sciences)

Doug Cairns, College of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

Marc Giullian, College of Business

Richard Helzer, College of Arts & Architecture (Art)

Bruce McLeod, Graduate Dean

Gretchen McNeely, College of Nursing

Allison Spain, Graduate Students (Art)

Craig Stewart, College of Education, Health & Human Development (HHD)


Present: Chair Bruce McLeod, Ken Bowers, Janice Bowman, Marc Giullian, Richard Helzer, Craig Stewart, Allison Spain (student representative), Lynn Taylor (alternate for Nursing), Rebecca Ward, Maggie Gudatis (College of Graduate Studies)

Graduate Council Items:

Item 1: Discussion and vote regarding reduction in credits for the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

The Department of Education, with the full backing of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, is requesting to reduce the credits required for a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from 36 to 30. Bowers and Stewart pointed out that a similar reduction was approved for the Psychology Department.  Spain asked for clarification of the credits that will be removed.  McLeod explained that the entire program content was being revised to enhance marketing.     

MOTION: Bowers moved to approve the proposal. Bowman seconded the motion.

VOTE: unanimous.

Item 2: Policy and Procedure Review.

In order to bring currency to College of Graduate Studies policies and procedures and to make them less ambiguous and user-friendly, the College of Graduate studies, under Rebecca Ward's direction, has undertaken a complete revision of graduate policies and procedures.  Dean McLeod asked Ward to explain where the College of Graduate Studies is in the process of reviewing and making changes.  Ward explained that the original deadline of October fifteenth had not been met because the project was more involved than anyone expected.  A draft of the newly, revamped policies and procedures will be given to the Graduate Council in the near future.  Ward indicated she hopes the policies will be in effect by the end of Spring Semester 2002.     

Item 3: Discussion on content course requirement for doctoral degrees (excluding 690 credits).

The requirements for earning a doctoral degree were discussed.  Dean McLeod opened the topic up for discussion by asking what, if any, content courses should be required in addition to the dissertation.  Bowers said that the Math department has transfer students that have passed their comprehensive exams during the first registration, which then qualifies them to begin the research work without having to take any coursework. Stewart said he believes in the traditional doctoral path in that the doctoral student should require twice as much coursework as the masters.  Bowman explained the proficiency requirement in Animal and Range Science and how it might impact research only or research/coursework degrees.  McLeod explained to the Council that Engineering is moving towards a set number of courses that will be required to earn the doctoral degree.  

Dean McLeod continued the discussion by asking whether MSU's graduate programs are training doctoral students to pass comprehensive exams or if the programs are training students to be capable thinkers by providing breadth of experience.  Guillian responded by saying that, from his personal experience, any program not providing breadth of experience would be doing a disservice to future doctoral graduates.  McLeod said that requiring course content in the form of credits may take away some of the power that individual research professors can use against a student for not meeting their personal standards of research.  Eventually, McLeod would like the Council to define the standards for a doctoral degree.  

 Agenda Item 4, 5 and 6 were tabled until the next meeting.   

* The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., October 26th in the SUB 273.

Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes October 19, 2001