Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
March 25, 2002


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

Alison 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, Alison Spain, Craig Stewart, Rebecca Ward (College of Graduate Studies) and Donna Negaard (College of Graduate Studies).


Graduate Council Items:

Item 1:Approval of the February 18, 2002 meeting minutes.


The minutes were amended for a spelling error. 


MOTION:  Helzer made a motion to accept the amended minutes and the motion was seconded by Bowman.


VOTE:  The Graduate Council voted unanimously to accept the amended February 18th, 2002 meeting minutes. 


Item 2:  Complex Biological Systems certificate proposal.

Anneke Metz and Gwen Jacobs presented the new Complex Biological Systems Certificate. The program is an innovative, multidisciplinary graduate education program. The certificate will be awarded in conjunction with a PhD. This program is funded by the NSF-IGERT grant through August 2005 and other funds and institutional commitments. 

MOTION:  Bowman moved to accept the Complex Biological Systems certification proposal. Bowers seconded the motion.

VOTE:  Unanimously passed.

Item 3: Non-degree student admission requirements versus admission requirements for research associates/fellows etc. wanting to enroll in MSU course work. (Can we provide the means for an international individual to enroll in a class without taking the TOEFL?)

Non-U.S. researchers sometimes wish to enroll and take classes of interest. At this time, the student would be required take the TOEFL.The question before the council is whether or not the TOEFL should be necessary for international students who will not apply to degree programs.Problems arise for professors and students if the student doesn’t understand English well enough to understand the course lessons and requirements. The other problem is that the student may change his/her mind later and want to use that class toward an advanced degree. That is viewed as a different process and one in which the student should take the TOEFL.


Bowman suggested not requiring the TOEFL for non-degree international students. If the student later applied for an advanced program, the TOEFL would be required. A suggestion was also made to have a different ‘classification’ for students taking a class for information only. The class would not be a part of an eventual degree program and the student would not be required to provide a financial statement, a statement of intent or TOEFL score.


Other problems:  Employee tuition waivers should be paid by the grant, not state waiver money. The I-20 requires TOEFL.


Issue is tabled for further discussion. 


* The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., April 15th in the President's Conference Room (MT Hall 103).