Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
October 26, 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: Bruce McLeod, Rebecca Ward, John Lund (for Ken Bowers), Richard Helzer, Janice Bowman, Mark Giullian, Craig Stewart, Doug Cairns, Gretchen McNeely, and Allison Spain.  Robert Carson (Education) and Mike Tess (Animal & Range) were guests at the meeting.

Graduate Council Items:

Item 1:  Department of Education Certification Program


Dr. Robert Carson distributed information regarding a Masters Plus Certification proposal to all board members.  He explained that this program is aimed at non-traditional students with undergraduate degrees (not in education) and professional work experience, who now desire to enter the teaching profession.  Dr. Carson reviewed the certification process, and that MSU’s Department of Education recommends graduates for teacher certification, but does not have the authority to grant the certification.  The Office of Public Instruction in Helena is the authorizing agency for teacher certification in Montana. 


This proposal would meet the needs of a second career teacher, who has a degree, but no teaching experience, which is a current requirement for the master’s program in Curriculum & Instruction.  Students would be required to complete all certification courses plus master’s degree requirements.  A match would be done according to the subject they wish to teach.


Bruce McLeod questioned whether the Board of Regents would need to approve this proposal, as it appears to be an option change within the Education Department.  Dr. McLeod will pursue the matter and update the committee at its next meeting. 


Item 2: Addition of new PhD program in Animal and Range Sciences

An  Intent was distributed to all committee members regarding the approval of a new PhD program in Animal and Range Sciences.  The question was raised as to why the PhD program would combine both animal and range sciences, instead of making the programs separate.  Apparently, other western schools offer PhD programs in animal or range science, but MSU would have a unique program by offering the degree in both. 

The question was raised as to the available pool of potential PhD students for this program. Currently, many MSU students are forced to get their PhD from other institutions because such a program is not available.  Master’s students from other institutions would be attracted to an MSU PhD program in Animal and Range Sciences.  There is no minimum number of PhD students needed, but the department currently has 3 graduate students that would be qualified and interested in the program.

A vote to approve the Intent was taken.  There were 8 votes to approve, and 1 abstention.  The proposal will be prepared for Board of Regents approval in May.

Item 3: Discussion of wording “Academic Dismissal” on student transcripts

The Graduate Appeals Board met in October and discussed changing the wording from “Academic Dismissal” to “Degree Requirements Not Completed” on transcripts for students who failed their comprehensive exams.  The board was not able to reach a decision, so the topic was brought to the Graduate Council for review and vote.

Many council members expressed their concern with the “Degree Requirements Not Completed” wording, stating that it could be interpreted as the student deciding not to complete the degree.  Whatever is posted on the student transcript needs to imply that the university, not the student, made the decision to terminate the student’s program.

 A vote was taken to uphold the current wording of “Academic Dismissal”.  The results were: 6 “for”, 1 “against”, and 1 abstaining,

Additional agenda items that were not discussed will be included in the next Graduate Council meeting.


* The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., November 16th inWilson(Math) 2-244.

Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes October 26, 2001