Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
April 15, 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, Richard Helzer, Mark Giullian, Craig Stewart, Doug Cairns, Ken Bowers, Gretchen McNeely, Allison Spain, Becky Ward (College of Graduate Studies) and Donna Negaard (College of Graduate Studies)



Graduate Council Items:

Item 1:Discussion about Graduate Assistantships.

The College of Graduate Studies is re-reviewing the possibility of eliminating the Graduate Summer Assistantship (GSA). New processes have been approved from the Payroll and Personnel Office that will provide greater flexibility in employment categories. Bowers said he would now have to appoint all of his summer teaching assistants as adjunct professors for the summer. This creates more paperwork but could be done. There was some discussion about continuous enrollment and its impact on this policy and whether this would cause any conflicts. Ward will check with Affirmative Action to make sure that this will not impact anyone in a negative way before the next meeting.


Issue tabled for further discussion.

Item 2: Review draft policy for Non-degree student admission requirements for research associates/fellowships etc. wanting to enroll in MSU course work. (Can we provide the means for a non-degree seeking international individual to enroll in a class without taking the TOEFL?)

CGS current non-degree international students are required to provide:

1. A MSU non-degree application

2. $30 application fee 

3. Completed and signed financial certificate 

4. Official TOEFL exam scores 

5. Letter of eligibility from MSU academic advisor 

6. Statement of goals and statement of duration of non-degree graduate status (maximum of 1 year attendance as non-degree student)                                                     

CGS recommendation:  “individuals who do not need CGS/OIP issued I-20’s to attend as a non-degree student must submit the following materials to be admitted as an international non-degree student:

1. A MSU non-degree application

2. $30 application fee

3. Signed statement from the applicant and Principle Investigator, Center Director or Department Head, acknowledging that non-degree course work will not be used toward eventual graduate degree requirements from MSU.



Discussion regarding eliminating financial statement and TOEFL for classes that will not be used toward degree. If a student changes their mind, it can be processed as an appeal.



MOTION:  Change the requirements for an international student who is here at Montana State University for research purposes to be able to take a class with the following requirements:  1) A MSU non-degree application 2)  $30 application fee and 3) Signed statement from the applicant and Principle Investigator, Center Director or Department Head, acknowledging that non-degree course work will not be used toward eventual graduate degree requirements from MSU. The motion was brought by Helzer and seconded by McNeely. 



VOTE:  Unanimously approved.

Item 3: Discussion of research faculty as sole chairs of master’s and doctoral committees. Current CGS policy does not allow research faculty to be sole committee chairs but allows co-chairing with an instructional faculty member.

The Graduate Council discussed problems associated in having research faculty sole chair master’s and doctoral committees. There was concern regarding the student’s best interest and adequate academic advising. Tenure-faculty is more involved with student deadlines and program requirements. There has been some concern that the policy may be a deterrent for recruiting potential research faculty to MSU. The Graduate Council felt the possibility to be remote. Cairns suggested a possible statement to protect students. The concern for accountability and the student’s welfare was a stronger concern.  

MOTION:  Craig motioned to keep the current CGS policy of not allowing research faculty as sole chair for a student’s committee. McNeely seconded.

VOTE:  Passed unanimously.



Item 4: Agreements with international schools

Background information – Students may go oversees to receive some of the education for their degree. Questions come up when a student wants to transfer credits back to MSU for the degree. The CGS has a standing policy not to transfer more than 9 advanced credits from U.S. institutions into a student’s program. The current CGS policy also states that individual problem courses from other institutions will not be transferred. 

Motion:  Transfer policy will remain as currently written. The school of Architecture as well as any other departments wishing to be a part of any graduate level reciprocal agreement must develop and present a proposal approved by the Graduate Council and the Graduate Dean.


Vote:  Unanimously approved



* The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m in the President's Conference Room (MT Hall 103).