Minutes of University Graduate Council
November 30, 2006

Present:  John Brittingham (A & A), Priscilla Wisner (BUS), Mark Nelson (EHHD), Robert Maher (ENGR), Carl Fox (DGE), Robert Rydell (L & S--Letters), Yves Idzerda (L & S—Science), Rita Cheek (NURS), Seth Humphries (STUDENT), David Weaver (FACULTY COUNCIL), Warren Jones (FC), Jenny Miller (DGE), Jen Jencso (DGE), MaryKay West (DGE).

Meeting commenced at 8:05 a.m. in 114 Sherrick.

UNIVERSITY GRADUATE COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS: (Numbers refer to item numbers on the Agenda)

I.  Welcome and Introductions

  • Mark opened the meeting with a welcome to new student member Seth Humphries representing the College of Engineering.  Attendees then introduced themselves.


V.  Reports
     A.  Faculty Council and Academic Affairs

  • Carl asked David Weaver and Warren Jones for a review of the role of Faculty Council in Graduate Council.
  • Warren stated that several years ago, the need for a liaison between Faculty Council and Graduate Council was recognized.  David was chosen as an ex-officio member from Faculty Council to Graduate Council; the chair of Graduate Council (Bruce McLeod) would also attend Faculty Council meetings.  Communications between the two groups improved.  Faculty Council would like to maintain a consistent link with University Graduate Council to prevent any surprises when new items come up.
  • Bob Rydell asked if UGC has a voice at FC.  David would like to be a voting member of UGC.  Bob suggested that the membership issue should be studied by the Governance Committee of UGC.  David will be an ex-officio liaison from FC until official UGC bylaws are created to address FC’s representation.
  • In the Fall of 2004, the FC was instructed by Provost Dooley to become involved in reviewing major academic programs (not individual courses), especially those heading to the Board of Regents.  The ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF THE FC was established, with the intent that departments would work with AAC to have their proposed new programs reviewed. (see attached “Committee Charge”).
  • Carl stated that UGC reviews and makes recommendations for new programs and asked how the AAC role would differ.
  • Warren replied that AAC would work independently but parallel with UGC.  The primary objective of the AAC review is to have the FC give input to the Provost on the whole picture of the new program (Who will fund it? Is there space? Enough staff and equipment? Is it in the interest of the university?—using the same questions asked by the Board of Regents).
  • Yves felt that AAC duplicated some of the review process that takes place in UGC and this would likely lead to problems in meeting deadlines.  Warren stated that AAC is aware of the timeliness issues and will work on them.
  • The proposed review process by FC/ACC would be as follows:  The UGC would review a new program and send recommendations to the Provost.  At the same time, the AAC would review the same new program and send their recommendations to the FC to be voted on and then forwarded to the Provost.  The final decision would be with the Provost.
  • Bob Rydell questioned the “substantive review” of the AAC.  Warren stated that the AAC review would include looking for: 1. any duplications; 2. matching recruitment goals; 3. effect on other programs; 4. matching university’s mission; 5. matching fiscal and space resources.
  • Mark stated that UGC is changing and becoming more involved, which could increase duplications of the UGC and AAC review processes.  David stated that FC is still working on the processing details of AAC.


II.  Review and Approval of Minutes of October 19, 2006

  • Rita notified members of a necessary change.  The new option in the Master of Nursing Degree would be in Clinical Nurse Leader.
  • Priscilla motioned and Bob Maher seconded to accept the minutes as modified; unanimous vote.


III.  Organization of Division of Graduate Education

  • Carl reported that at the present time, DGE has 2 open positions:  1. recruiting (the position was created, but then the Asst. Dean and the Dean of College of Graduate Studies left); and 2. Assistant Vice Provost (as recommended by the Provost Task Force).
  • DGE has no money in the budget for these positions.  Carl will discuss with Provost Dooley.


IV.  Updates

  • PhD in Ecology and MN in Nursing Option of Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Both sailed through the Board of Regents, with no comments or questions.
    • For Ecology, MSU worked with University of Montana so there were no duplications.


  • MA in Art History
  • Carl will discuss details with the Dean of Arts and Architecture.

V.  Reports

B.  Graduate Coordinators meeting

  • Carl reported that approximately 50% of the grad coordinators attended and there was positive feedback.  Issues raised will be reviewed by the three UGC committees and reports will be made at the spring Graduate Coordinators meeting.

C. Committees
      a.  Governance – Bob Rydell is looking for any documentation on past GC       
              governing principles.

  • Policies and Procedures – Robert Maher reported that the committee

will start the review of existing DGE policies with the “Prospective Student” section;  Priscilla reported that they will also review department requirements to discover why some differ.  Jenny mentioned that some departments set their requirements higher than DGE.

  • Curriculum – John stated that the committee is looking into streamlining language on forms and reviewing the different program review processes.

Carl expressed his appreciation for all the committees’ efforts and noted that change will take time.

VI.  Issues for Discussion

  • Architecture’s comp exam requirement
    • John stated that at MSU, the architecture program is very structured with few options; the program is studio based
    • Of 30 universities contacted, no other university requires a comp exam for architecture
    • The comp exam is redundant (the studio experience brings together everything learned through the duration of the grad program)
    • Administering the comp exam for 60 students a year poses great problems because of limited faculty time.  Current graduate policy requires a minimum of three committee members to administer a comp exam. 
    • Following extensive discussion, the following motion was made by Priscilla:


DGE will work with John to create a Memorandum of Understanding regarding architecture’s comp exams for both Plan A and Plan B students.

Robert Maher seconded; vote was unanimous.

  • Capital campaign—postponed


C.  UGC meeting dates

  • Future meetings will be on Thursday, starting at 8:00; members will be asked if the 3rd or 4th Thursday will work best.      
  • There will be no meeting in December.


Meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

MaryKay West
Division of Graduate Education