Wednesday, April, 2021

Council in Attendance:
Mike Wittie (Engineering)
Christopher Livingston (Architecture)
Lisa Davis (Letters & Science)
Tricia Seifert (Education)
Bradford Watson (Faculty Senate)
Marc Giullian (Business)
Brock Smith (Agriculture)
Wade Hill (Nursing)
Catherine Dunlop (Letters & Science)
Que Vo (International Programs)
Sara Mannheimer (Library)
Dennis Aig (Arts)
Dawn Tarabochia (Health & Human Development)
Craig Ogilvie (Dean of The Graduate School)
Maureen Kessler (Student Representative)

Also in Attendance:

Lauren Cerretti (Graduate School)
Michael Brody (Faculty Senate)

Meeting started at 9:03 am on WebEx

April 14, 2021 minutes

  • Motion to approve by Wittie, 2nd by Seifert, 8 approval, 1 abstention


  • Update from the Dean
    • Thank you for your service this year; recognize Graduate School staff’s contribution to this year.
    • Commencement Saturday and a few driveway hoodings for students who could not make the ceremony

  • Faculty Senate update (Watson)
    • Michael Brody elected to chair-elect position and will be new UGC rep for fall 2021
    • Final reading of performance review post-tenure and annual review of faculty handbook
    • Senate leadership across MUS continues discussions around firearms on campus and issues of legislature dictating campus procedures—overstepping the BoR
      • Looking at what actions Senate can take
      • Encourage public comment on House Bill 102 prior to May 17th

Old Business

  • MS-Sustainable Food Systems Online Option
    • Pending updates from department/proposers re: letter from Math about capacity of statistics course needed for their program
  • MS Interdisciplinary Studies, Level II program proposal
    • Added language re: workload acknowledgement for faculty chairing thesis masters within their department as discussed at previous meeting
    • Q: Proposal states TT faculty financial support available—can you explain that?
      • Professional development/travel funds available. Worked with Budget Office to add this structure but not guaranteed (must be approved by Provost)
    • Call for motion
      • Wittie moves to approve, Giullian second, unanimous pass


  • Certificate in Regulatory Science, Level I Proposal
    • Responses to UGC questions added to proposal
      • Courses would be offered more frequently depending on popularity of program
      • Faculty would be hired through with Chemical/BioEng dept or NACOE
      • Added letter of support from Center of Biofilm Engr
    • Q: NTT will be hired but then a different person will be hired for program oversight?
      • Yes, a current employee on grant money in Center for Biofilm Engr would become a permanent employee overseeing the program
    • Q: “Need” section doesn’t seem to include consultations with students re interest/demand
      • Working more with employers that would need these skills rather than people who would become mid-career students
    • Q: Proposal states if aren’t enough students, program wouldn’t be offered certain years… how are certificate programs assessed after several years? Is there a sunsetting process?
      • There is an official process through the Provost Office
      • Important to allow students enrolled to finish the program
      • Very hard to gage student interest
    • Call for motion
      • Seifert moves to approve, Aig second, unanimous pass


  • Associate Graduate Faculty
    • Essence of the idea is that there are a small number of research scientists/engineers and NTT that have expertise that could really benefit a graduate student. Current policy allows research scientists/engineers/NTT to co-chair a graduate committee. Proposal to develop a process to allow research scientists/engineers/NTT to chair a committee. Oversight needed by department (they would review credentials and decide if they would allow a certain research scientists/engineers/NTT to mentor a graduate student).
    • Research scientists/engineers/NTTs have a lot to offer in expertise, mentorship, and sometimes grant funding to fund GRAs
    • Language added to make sure student knew what the time appointment was (5 years) for the research scientists/engineers/NTT in assoc graduate faculty status
      • If it wasn’t working out, there would be a process to remove the person from assoc grad faculty status
    • Comment: in support but won’t match revisions to committee policy (below) that ensure the faculty has the degree they are chairing for (e.g. hold a master’s to chair a master’s committee, hold a PhD to chair a PhD committee)
      • Agree consistency is needed
      • Leave decision about credentials up to departments/colleges?
      • Probably a small amount of research scientists/engineers/NTTs who would want to chair a committee and likely most have the degree needed
      • Chair is more than subject expertise and don’t want to overlook value of a graduate degree; it is a different level of expectation from MSU, pedagogy, preparation, etc
    • Q: NTT compensation to chair committee?
      • Dean Ogilvie met with NTT union chair and agreed this work would be part of workload/compensation
    • Q: If research scientists/engineers/NTT chair leaves MSU, proposal states student can add co-chair, but must, correct?
      • Yes, will change to must
    • Remove Appendix A (equivalent experience)
    • Remove middle paragraph about individuals not holding the defined degree
    • Dean Ogilvie will revise and bring proposal to first meeting in fall 2021

  • Graduate Committee Policy revision
    • Division of research degree requirements and professional (or coursework) degrees
    • Research doctorates require 4 members, professional doctorates 1 chair/advisor upon admission
    • Masters research (thesis) 3 members, professional master’s 1 chair/advisor
    • Added expected roles of committee members
    • Added graduate representative information
      • Might require changes to grad rep policy already in practice on GS website/policy pages
    • Call for motion
      • Wittie moves, Aig second, unanimous pass

  • Good byes and thank you to Lisa Davis, Brock Smith, Sara Mannheimer, and Bradford Watson
  • Co-Convening Policy
    • Tabled to fall
  • Video Conferencing Policy
    • Tabled to fall

New Business

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee for UGC
    • Tabled to fall


Adjourned at 10:36 am

Next scheduled meeting – Fall schedule TBD