Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
August 20, 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; Alison Spain, 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, Jennifer Miller (College of Graduate Studies), Donna Negaard (College of Graduate Studies)

Graduate Council Items:


Item 1: Approval of July minutes

The minutes will be e-mailed out and a response for approval is requested via e-mail response.


Item 2:  PhD in Earth Sciences proposal

McLeod explained that he had moved the proposal forward per Dooley’s request.  The Board of Regents needed to have information submitted before the Graduate Council would be able to meet and forward the proposal on.  McLeod indicated he thought it was a good proposal and would be an asset to Montana State University.

McLeod asked if there were any comments from the Graduate Council.  There were no comments.


Item 3:  Name change request of existing Options in the Master of Science Degree in Health and Human Development options (Level I Board of Regents change)

The College of Health and Human Development has requested to change the option names of their Graduate Degree to make them more current.  The names currently being used are no longer being used in most other institutions.  Using the new option names would also make it more marketable when students are searching for similar options at other institutions.  The request is  to change the existing Options in the Master of Science Degree in Health and Human Development: from Option in Food and Nutrition to Option in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences; and from Option in Health Exercise and Wellness to Option in Health Promotion and Education.

Motion: Bowman motioned to approve the name change for the College of Health and Human Development’s graduate programs options and forward to the Board of Regents.  Helzer seconded.

Vote:  Unanimously passed.



Item 4: Professional Paper – 575 Credits

The CGS office does not view Professional Paper (XXX 575) credits as being similar to thesis credits.  CGS has had a number of cases recently in which faculty have indicated that 575 credits should be treated like thesis credits and thesis projects.  This agenda item is included to initiate a general discussion on professional paper credits.

Currently the CGS has been following these guidelines:

a)    students register in 575 credits one semester only (continual registration until completion of the document does not happen)

b)    students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of 575 for program of study use

c)    a maximum registration per semester of 1-4 credits for one project or profession paper throughout all degree programs is allowed

d)    575 credits should be letter graded (CGS does not encourage pass/fail graded)

e)    The department might require a defense of the professional paper.  This exam is not considered to be the student’s comprehensive exam or any portion of the comprehensive exam, as a defense of the thesis may be considered the comprehensive for thesis plan students.

f)     It is not required that the professional paper is reviewed by the CGS office and is not bound and placed in library.  This is required of all thesis and dissertations.

Some departments list a professional paper or “B plan” as an option in the catalog but would prefer not to offer it.  McLeod asked each department to review their catalog and make sure it was only listed as an option if it is acceptable and supported by faculty or to get it out of the catalog if it is no longer acceptable.

There was also the question of a student starting with a professional paper and wanting to turn it into a thesis paper.  The CGS office has not supported the transfer of professional paper credits to thesis credits.  The council members agreed with this request.  The Graduate Council suggested that if a student had a possibility of doing a thesis, then the student should enroll in thesis credits and then could change them to professional paper credits (maximum of six) if they do not follow through with the thesis but not the other way around.

Motion: Support student changing from Thesis Credits to Professional Paper Credits but do not support student from changing form Professional Paper credits to Thesis credits.

Vote:  Passed unanimously


Item 5:  Re-address the use of 3xx level courses toward graduate degree requirements

In the Graduate Council meeting of July 15th, the Graduate Council voted not to allow 3xx level classes anywhere on student programs.  Many students already have 3xx level classes listed on their programs.  McLeod asked for a plan on phasing out the 3xx level classes.

Motion: Giullian moved to grandfather any 3xx level classes that have already been approved on a program of study through September 2, 2002.  Starting September 3, 2002 (first day of Fall 2002) 3xx level classes will not be allowed on a new program of study.  Helzer seconded.

Vote:  Passed unanimously


Item 6:  Review the wording on the program of study to no longer include “minor or supporting area of study.&rdquo

Miller requested to remove the wording of “minor or supporting area of study” from the graduate Program of Study.  This terminology is used primarily on undergraduate transcripts and is not used on graduate student transcripts to show work outside a “major” area.  If a graduate student is taking classes in a supporting area the transcript will only show the particular classes for the supporting area as they were taken each semester.

Motion: Giullian moved to delete the wording of minor area on the program of study.  Helzer seconded.

Vote: Unanimously passed


The next Graduate Council meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m., September 20th in the President's Conference Room (MT Hall 103).