Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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


Also in Attendance:             
Lauren Cerretti (Graduate School)
Emily Peters (Graduate School)
Steve Swinford (Vice Provost/ALO)
Martha Peters (Assistant Provost)

Maureen Kessler (Student Representative)

Meeting started at 11:01 am on WebEx

November 9, 2021 minutes

  • Motion to approve by Wittie, 2nd by Mangold, motion passes: 5 approve, 0 oppose, 3 abstention


  • Update from the Dean
    • In honor of Veteran’s Day, Dean Ogilvie contacted students who are veterans, active duty, or serving in the National Guard to thank them for their service (over 140 students)
    • Progress on graduate student housing:
      • Residence Life will start keeping 2 separate waitlists for jr/sr students and graduate students. Should give graduate students, that apply later than UGs, more opportunities for campus housing.
      • Likely to start a new office inside of ASMSU to focus on helping students find off campus living
  • Faculty Senate update (Brody)
    • The CHEM and BCHM ACCL programs are being sent back for revisions
    • Meeting tomorrow: how faculty can contribute to a more robust curriculum around sustainability, discussing interdisciplinary work
    • BOR meets next week: faculty senate leadership across MUS will again address vaccinations and cost of living/faculty salaries

Old Business

Office of the Provost: Steve Swinford and Martha Peters

  • Overview from Provost’s Office on approval process for degrees and certificate programs
    • Internal process: departmental level – college level – UGC – faculty senate – then BOR prep
      • BOR prep is the first time the Provost’s Office reviews the whole proposal.
      • Goal of this discussion is to ask Grad Council to catch issues earlier and avoid having to send proposals back at the BOR prep stage.
    • Things to look for:
      • Duplications: degrees or courses on this campus; proposers should also look for duplications in the MUS system. If there is duplication in MUS, proposals should be very clear about the distinction and pathways.
      • Guidelines for new graduate certificates:
        • Rely on existing coursework. Any exceptions to this should be clearly articulated.
        • Based on expertise of TT faculty
        • Clearly articulate pathway to a graduate degree program, e.g. existing masters
        • Address workforce demand, including Montana specific information
      • For all programs, addressing student demand is key, and this is especially important for graduate certificates
        • Proposals should justify demand and that the demand is sustained
        • Looking for e.g. survey data, not just anecdotal
      • The funding for all programs must come from existing funding at the college level. Deans make a commitment when they sign off on the program to cover the funding and offer those courses.
      • BOR approve fees every 2 years. Try to avoid hidden costs associated with attending specific campuses. BOR is hesitant to approve program, lab, online, etc. fees increases.
      • New certificates are generally not financial aid eligible. Acknowledge and consider financial aid concerns for certificate programs.
      • 4+1 programs: financial aid eligibility is based on enrollment in undergraduate courses
        • This can be addressed through curricular design or through advising
      • Comments/Questions
        • Examples shared of current programs who indeed have an advising conversation regarding financial aid every time a student reserves a course
        • Question on reviewing funding: The College Dean reviews the proposal before it gets to UGC, so the funding should have been approved by the College Dean by the time it gets to UGC. UGC members may not have the knowledge to review this.
          • Yes, the Deans should know. Everyone involved in the proposal process should just be clear on the budget process.
          • If a proposal comes to UGC, it isn’t the Council’s responsibility to review the budget, but the Graduate Dean can discuss the budget with the College Dean and convey this to UGC.
        • How would a department think strategically about growing or expanding graduate programs? Departments are encouraged to have TT faculty directing programs, but in the current state, esp. with increased UG numbers and the hiring freeze, we are stretched beyond capacity. As departments strategize, how should they think about TT and staff hiring around expansion? Is the Provost’s Office interested in making investments in graduate education?
          • Currently searching 45 new TT lines
          • For new opportunities in graduate education, would think about this in terms of proposals to the College Dean
          • Tie to increased research productivity
        • The difficulty is delivering the programs we have. Remarkable period of student growth that has not been matched with TT faculty. Unrealistic to think the quality of graduate programs will stay where it is without adding more TT faculty.



CSAI-CERT, Artificial Intelligence, Level I Proposal

  • Proposal updated since the proposers attended last meeting
  • Comments:
    • Dean Ogilvie will send memo from Provost’s office on certificate requirements to proposers. Meets all but 2 of the requirements: 1) Industry needs analysis needs to address Montana 2) Student demand needs to be further documented
    • Changes to the proposal seemed to address the curriculum concerns raised by council
    • Current number in proposal is 2 students – proposers often hesitant to overestimate, but may need to increase this to match the industry demand
    • UGC could approve based on academic validity of the program
  • Dean Ogilvie can work with proposers to make these additional changes and update Council on the outcome and how this will impact future proposals
  • Wittie motions to approve, Mangold seconds
    • Proposal approved: 10 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstention


Graduate Certificate in Science Teaching in STEM, Level I Proposal

  • Pending response from proposers


Graduate Certificate in Applied Economic Analysis, Level I Proposal

  • Pending response from proposers


Associate Graduate Faculty, Revised Policy Proposal

  • Tabled


Co-convening Policy, Revised Policy Proposal

  • Review the policy and most recent updates: 4xx and 5xx level learning outcomes and grading criteria must be listed separately, graduate student experience revised to “course experience” and clarified assessment is through the learning outcomes, academic units should review courses – leave this up to departments
    • Comments/questions
      • The policy is helpful – has been difficult in the past to assess how a co-convened course would be run
      • The statement that course updates must provide revised syllabi is helpful for the review process
      • Provides great information in terms of how the courses will be run. The syllabus is the contract with the student, so they know what the expectations are.
      • “All co-convened courses” in point number 3, is the intent that is both the 4xx and 5xx level course?
        • Edited the proposal to clarify that just the 5xx level courses must be approved by graduate council
      • Still reads as there must be a different experience for graduate and undergraduate students. There can be some benefit of co-convened courses as a transitional course for new graduate students.
      • Currently no policy on co-convened courses—pointed out during accreditation. This policy provides some guidance but doesn’t proactively constrain any current courses.
      • Goal isn’t to penalize any existing courses that are working well
      • Thank you to policy committee for their work revising this policy
    • Policy approved: 9 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention


Adjourned at 12:34 pm

Next scheduled meeting – December 7, 2021 WEBEX