Minutes of University Graduate Council
October 11, 2007


Present: Michele Hardy (AG), John Brittingham (A & A), Priscilla Wisner (BUS), Robert Maher (ENGR), Carl Fox (DGE), Robert Rydell (L&S-Letters), Yves Idzerda (L&S-Science), Rita Cheek (NURS), Ed Dea (STUDENT), Seth Humphries (STUDENT), David Weaver (FC).
          Also attending were MaryKay West (DGE), Jen Jencso (DGE), Donna Negaard (DGE), Kristin Gill (DGE), Laura Collins (DGE), Kaylee Ranck (DGE), and
Cathy Whitlock (Earth Sci), Brian Rossmann (Lib), Mark Pernarowski (Math), Melody Zajdel (L & S, Assoc Dean), Jennifer Smith (Chem & BC), Kevin O’Neill (LRES), Valerie Copie (Chem & BC), Ronald Tobias (A & A).

Meeting commenced at 1:05 p.m. in Bradley Conference Room (2-257 Wilson).



Priscilla Wisner sat in as Acting Chair for Mark Nelson
Members of the Division of Graduate Education introduced themselves, followed by the Council members, and eight other visitors.


Website – Laura Collins

  • Laura is improving the DGE website, making it more user friendly
  • A “for staff only” section will be added
  • Weekly seminars will be gradually available online
  • Send any comments or suggestion to Laura--[email protected].


Graduate Recruiting – Kristin Gill

  • Just finished printing 1500 new brochures for DGE – departments can contact DGE for copies
  • DGE is greatly increasing attendance at Career Fairs—New Mexico, MSU, Carroll College, tribal colleges
  • Stephanie Cunningham of Molecular Biosciences takes DGE information to conferences she attends
  • MSU faculty is invited to join DGE at Career Fairs—DGE will put out a schedule of Fairs
  • Contact DGE with any ideas involving recruiting.


DGE Policies and Procedures Review – Kristin Gill

  • During the summer, DGE worked on updating DGE Policies and Procedures
  • After handing out very rough draft copies of the revised P & Ps, Kristin asked members of the Council to review them.


DGE in MSU Catalog – Kaylee Ranck

  • Kaylee is a brand new DGE staff member—which is why the revision of the grad section of the MSU catalog is possible
  • The current MSU catalog has only 2 pages specific for graduate education
  • Due to the current short deadline (catalog changes are to go to Jeff Adams by November 15), the 1999 format will be used (1999 was last year there was a substantial graduate section)
  • Concern for the short review time was raised--As the catalog is used as a contract, the information in the graduate section must be as definite as possible so that students and departments cannot misinterpret policies
  • Kaylee will contact each department for their degree requirements—which in turn will help with Program of Study audits
  • DGE plans to change the on-line catalog only once a year
  • Concern about going backwards (from an electronic catalog which is current back to a paper catalog which may be out of date) was raised.


Approval of Minutes of May 10, 2007

Motion:  Rob motioned to accept minutes as written; Michelle seconded; approved by unanimous vote.


Chair Position for UGC for 2007-08 – Acting Chair

  • UGC elections will be held in spring – for 1, 2, and 3 year terms
  • Governance subcommittee will work on election policies and procedures


Motion:  Rob Maher motioned that Mark Nelson remain as Chair of the UGC until the spring elections; Yves seconded; approved by unanimous vote.


Communications with Campus – Carl Fox

  • DGE is striving for improvement of communications with MSU campus, so that everyone will know what is going on with graduate education
  • Emails with information about graduate education will now be sent to deans, assistant deans, department heads, graduate coordinators, department admins, and the secretary of Faculty Senate
  • A discussion followed as how to accommodate input from visitors to UGC meetings:
  • Time is limited, as UGC rarely is able to cover all agenda items during a meeting
  • Visitors to UGC meetings in the past have attended to be part of a specific presentation before the UGC
  • When faculty members have comments or suggestions, they should present them to their college representative on the UGC—to possibly have a further discussion put on an upcoming Agenda
  • A second choice would be to email comments to Carl in DGE
  • UGC governance committee will work on a policy for visitors
  • It was suggested that for now, there will be an open public forum, for a total of 5 minutes, at the beginning of each UGC meeting
  • UGC governance committee will also work on a policy for the timing of VOTING on changes – a suggestion was to discuss an item and then hold the vote until the following meeting, which would allow time for comments from faculty to be sent to their college representative or to Carl.


Proposal from Veterinary Molecular Biology – Michele Hardy

  • VMB was processing Programs of Study for PhDs with 30 credits; then upon UGC’s recommendation, MSU changed minimum to 60 credits for PhD
  • VMB rarely has Masters degree—students often go from a bachelor’s degree to a doctoral degree
  • If the student comes in with a Masters, there are required courses to be taken
  • VMB does not have enough courses to meet the 60 credit requirement (with only 18 credits allowed to be dissertation)
  • VMB is asking to increase the number of dissertation credits from 18 to 35
  • VMB labs are for only 10 weeks, therefore they are only 2 credits each
  • Michele will bring to the November UGC meeting information from other universities for comparison.


Tuition Waiver Proposal – Carl Fox

  • Provost wants better use of tuition waivers – more strategic allocation among colleges
  • By Board policy, the university is limited in the number of tuition waivers—based on 2% of the total fall full time equivalents (for graduates, 12 credits per semester)
  • Carl asked members to review the two proposals and send any ideas, comments, or suggestions to him prior to the November meeting.


Final Decision on Non-Tenure as Chair – Carl Fox

  • Rita reviewed the issue—Nursing is asking for non-tenure faculty to be able to chair Plan B committees, due to lack of tenured faculty in nursing (13 assistant/associate professors and 2 full professors)
  • In May, Rita was asked by UGC to propose to nursing the co-chair option;  the opinion from nursing was that that would not relieve their pressure
  • Priscilla stated that the College of Business has “participating and supporting faculty” as advisors and participants on committees
  • Nursing has long term (3 year) contracts for adjuncts (has 53 adjuncts)
  • Jen reviewed 9 universities and found that some allowed non tenured to Chair Plan B (with no thesis)
  • Carl asked Rita to take the following proposal to nursing:  that at least one member of the 3 person committee be tenured or tenure-track; that person does not have to be the Chair
  • Rita asked that Priscilla send her the definition and duties of the “participating faculty” so that she could also present this to nursing
  • At this time UGC is reviewing this possible change for nursing ONLY.


Meeting Time for Spring Semester – Carl Fox

  • Council members were asked to send their spring teaching schedules to Mary Kay
  • The meeting time will be decided at the November meeting.


UGC Committees – Carl Fox

  • Carl asked that all 3 committees continue with its current membership
  • Carl suggested that chairs convene meeting(s) between each council meeting.


Annual Report and Graduate Coordinators Meeting – Carl Fox

  • Carl will present the DGE annual report to the UGC, graduate coordinators, and the whole MSU campus
  • Hopefully, it will take place within the coming month.


Common Syllabus Format – Carl Fox

  • Will be given to the UGC curriculum committee for review.


Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.


NEXT UGC MEETING:  Thursday, November 15, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
                                 114 Sherrick Hall


Please send any corrections, comments, or suggestions concerning the above items to MaryKay at [email protected] by Friday, November 9, 2007.
If you wish to add an item to the next Agenda, please contact the representative from your college or send it to MaryKay by November 9.

Respectfully submitted
MaryKay West