Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Council in Attendance:
Mike Wittie (Engineering)
Christopher Livingston (Architecture)                       
Scott Creel (Letters & Science)
Tricia Seifert (Education)
Michael Brody (Faculty Senate)
Marc Giullian (Business)
Jane Mangold (Agriculture)
Wade Hill (Nursing)
Catherine Dunlop (Letters & Science)
Dennis Aig (Arts)
Hannah McKelvey (Library)
Dawn Tarabochia (Health & Human Development)
Craig Ogilvie (Dean of The Graduate School)

Also in Attendance:             
Lauren Cerretti (Graduate School)
Emily Peters (Graduate School)

Maureen Kessler (Student Representative)

Meeting started at 11:01 am on WebEx

August 31, 2021 minutes

  • Motion to approve by Wade, 2nd by Tarabochia, unanimous approval


  • Update from the Dean
    • 15th day census tomorrow
    • 20-25 international students didn’t receive first stipend payment
      • Staff worked hard to get payments out 48 hours later
      • Complex process: looking at ways to improve
    • Figuring out more support for postdocs through VP for research


  • Faculty Senate update (Brody)
    • Programs previously approved by UGC will be reviewed at Senate tomorrow
      • Programs are listed on Faculty Senate website – can check what’s moving ahead
    • Last week met with Brock Tessman/OCHE to discuss covid vaccines and masks across MUS. All faculty leadership believe BOR has constitutional authority to mandate safety measures.
      • Also advocated for cost of living and salary inequities
    • BOR meets tomorrow – faculty leadership will again advocate for authority to mandate safety measures
      • Faculty can provide public comment
    • Faculty Senate meets tomorrow afternoon

Old Business

  • Video Conferencing Policy
    • Review policy background: Waived in person requirement at beginning of covid pandemic. Last spring reviewed the policy: agreement to allow virtual defenses and examinations going forward but with some safeguards put in place.
    • Comments/Questions on most recent draft:
      • Second bullet under lost connection seems redundant
      • Is it assumed that there will be a pre-defense discussion about the format?
        • Yes, under suggested best practices: “at the discretion of the committee”
        • Videoconference is just an option; if it is used, these are the guidelines
      • Suggest adding clarification that video is not required when screensharing—helpful for the connection if others turn off their video
      • In the best practice section, suggest adding that someone other than the student is responsible for the logistics of running the video conference
        • Revise policy and send updated draft

New Business

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion subcommittee for UGC
    • Next action step: ask governance committee to review if this is a worthwhile committee to add
    • Charge of UGC is to promote grad education and success of graduate students
    • Reviewing systemic improvements (e.g. GRE)
      • Inclusive and supportive in all areas of scholarship
      • Individuals with different backgrounds and perspective leads to richer discussions
      • Graduation rates currently lower for minority students
    • Faculty know your programs best and what changes might work (e.g. comp exams)
    • Also identify existing initiatives and make sure graduate education is a partner
    • Comments/Questions:
      • Does UGC have a representative on the Diversity Council?
        • There is a graduate student representative on Diversity Council
        • There is not a grad rep on Academic Diversity Partners
          • Academic Diversity Partners primary focuses on UG
          • Similarities between UG and GR, but there are also some unique issues  to address at the graduate level: GRE, intensity level, finances, family housing, etc.
      • It would be valuable to have Ariel Donohue attend a UGC meeting
        • What came out of the year of diversity and what is still needed?
      • Dean Ogilvie will invite Ariel to attend a UGC meeting to get a better sense of how the committee can work within the university system and what’s already being done

  • CSAI-CERT, Artificial Intelligence, Level I Proposal
    • Anticipated demand: estimated 2 students based on informal inquiries
      • Estimates seem low—expect there will be more demand
    • Capacity of classes (e.g., STAT 511)
      • Certificate wraps up what students are already doing, already take STAT 511
    • Q: Doesn’t exist as a bachelor’s level degree?
      • Correct, a way to get a graduate certificate in a specialization that can lead to a master’s
    • Q: Should there be an ethics class?
      • Good question: Social and ethical issues in CS is a 2xx level course, assumption that they already took this or a similar undergraduate class
    • No required courses? Can just pick 12 credits within the limitations (e.g., could take 4 courses from the 2nd block and none from the other blocks)?
      • CSCI 446 seems like it should be required – ethical issues might be embedded in that course?
      • Ask proposers to clarify the blocks
    • Is there advising on the types of courses within computer science to make the right choices for what they’re doing
      • Who will be advising?
        • Faculty can advise on areas, but need more administrative help in terms of paperwork
      • Overall proposal looks good
      • Send questions back to proposer

  • PMHC-CERT, Psychiatric Mental Health, Level I Proposal
    • Designed for advanced practice registered nurses
    • Has already been to BOR because of credit load (31 credits)
      • Positive feedback from BOR – helpful for our communities
    • Questions/Comments
      • Well-designed program that addresses a need
      • List of courses is the minimum to sit for certification
      • CON fields many questions about this certification. Insurances will not cover FNPs, even if they develop the competencies to cover these areas, they need to be certified
    • Wittie motions to approve the proposal, Seifert seconds
      • 9 approve, unanimous pass


  • Provisional Admission
    • Currently 3 admissions options: fully admitted; conditional (when something in the application hasn’t been verified), or provisional
    • This policy proposes removing provisional admission and replacing it with our existing processes of probation and suspension
    • Currently provisional admission is used when either:
      • 1) The department considers some significant background missing and lists courses that the student must take
      • 2) GPA is below 3.0: the department writes a letter of support
    • Propose removing the provisional admission option. The provisional admission letter isn’t very inviting to students. Instead, a student is fully admitted and becomes a part of the regular probation and suspension system.
      • If there are courses listed in the offer letter, proposed idea, if student doesn’t pass those courses, they fall into probation/suspension (biggest difference is a second attempt – instead of immediately suspended)
    • Questions/Comments
      • Appreciate the consideration of the offer letter and fairness to the student
      • Advising resources to track these provisional courses?
        • Suggest provisional courses on program of study and built in DegreeWorks
          • Courses in DegreeWorks are currently only those required for a graduate degree
          • Changing this may have an impact on accreditation or audits
        • Accounting and Architecture admit with different codes when there are a large number of leveling courses—this could be a potential solution
          • Accounting example: if starting with a non-business background, coded as a non-degree student. Outline a list of courses that they need to take. Are required courses but don’t count toward graduate degree.
        • Sometimes students take a provisional course in the 2nd a semester of a 2-semester program. Would that create a problem?
      • Finding an efficient way to manage the provisional course list would be helpful
        • Council members will gather feedback on the proposal

Adjourned at 12:32 pm

Next scheduled meeting – September 28, 2021 WEBEX