Graduate Studies

Graduate Council Minutes - April 2, 2012

3:00 p.m., Horrabin  Hall 60/QC Campus 114

Members Present: R. Bauerly, M. Bean, L.  Kilmer, B. Locke (Vice Chair), A. Mossman, J. Myers, W. Polley

Members Absent: K. McClure (Chair), N. Parsons (Ex-officio)

Guests Present: Dennis DeVolder, Mary Maskarinec, Russ Morgan, Lance Ternasky

Others Present: G. Sullivan


A. Graduate Council Election Procedure

Ms. Sullivan reported that nominations for the election of Graduate Council members from the Colleges of Business and Technology, and Fine Arts and Communication were due on March 30; however, none had been received to date.  At least one nomination from each college is needed to replace retiring members.

B. Proposed Language Change to the Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies

Ms. Sullivan reported that the graduate faculty had voted to approve the changaes to the graduate faculty language in the Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies.  The application form and the information have been updated on the Graduate School website (

C. Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Award Update

Ms. Sullivan announced that 15 spring/summer applications were awarded funds totaling $6,090 from the Graduate School's Graduate Student Research and Professional Development award program.  She indicated that the list of award recipients may be found online at


A. Computer Science

1. Request for a new graduate course

a. CS 500, Intensive Programming Review, 3 s.h.

Dr. Maskarinec presented the course request indicating it is focused on those students who may not have a strong computer science background.  Students may be able to test out of this course at the initial class meeting which will require them to substitute a course for CS 500. A prerequisite of this course is completion of CS 350 at WIU.  He responded to questions from the Council and approved a suggested change to hyphenate "hands-on" in the course description.

Motion: To approve the request. (Polley/Myers). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES - 0 NO - 0 AB


A. Update Report: Retaking Failed Courses

Dr. Locke reviewed the options surrounding the Council's February 2012 approval of the policy to allow "D" grades to be inclusive in the retaking failed courses policy for graduate students.  The Council could (1) proceed with the policy approval process by submitting the request to the Provost for consideration, (2) allow Dr. Bean to rescind the motion to the proposed policy change, or (3) consider a policy that removes "D" grades in graduate level courses.

Motion: To rescind the motion made on February 6, 2012 to approve the proposed policy. (Bean/Bauerly). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES - 0 NO - 0 AB

B. Sub-committee Report: Graduate Assistant Personnel Issues

Dr. Locke, chair of the sub-committee, presented the committee's response to its several charges. A guiding statement for the assistantship award program, which emphasizes the spirit with which assistantships should be utilized, was shared witih the Council.  This statement will be used in the graduate catalog and in the online informaiton pertaining to assistantships.

Dr. Locke noted the evaluation issue may already be handled via the sample Graduate Assistant Evaluation which the Graduate Council developed several years ago.  This form may be found online at and is not mandatory. A discussion ensued concerning the ability to ask advisors or assistantship supervisors to complete the form as a tool to address early warning concerns. Most Council members agreed it is not practical to mandate a performance evaluation.

The Council reviewed a proposed Assistantship Personnel Incident Report form which may be used by hiring departments to record inappropriate behavior or performance incidences as they occur.  Dr. Bean suggested wording be added to the employee's response line which indicates they may continue on a separate piece of paper as needed.

Additionally, the sub-committee presented time recording language that is flexible to departments and organizations with assistantships, but is also fair to graduate assistants.  This language will be used in the graduate catalog and online resources.

Motion: To approve the guiding principle statement for assistantships, the draft of the Incident Report, and the time reporting language. (Bean/Bauerly). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES 0 NO - 0 AB

C. Sub-committee Report: Graduate Research Day

Dr. Mossman, Chair of the sub-committee, shared a draft of a survey the sub-committee would like to email to graduate program coordinators and department chairperson.  It is the hope that responses to the survey will provide a broader understanding of the interest in a graduate research day as well as indentify what departments and colleges may already be doing for their students. Dr. Locke noted that he would like to see the graduate students polled in addition to the departments.  Dr. Kilmer indicated the College of Education and Human Services at both the Quad Cities and Macomb campuses had hosted similar events in the past, however, there was typically a lack of audience during the presentations.  Dr. Bean noted there may be less appeal for students to present at an event at their own institution.  Dr.  Morgan stated that when the idea was presented to the College of Arts and Science sfaculty there was strong support for the development of such an event. He added that other similar events have used travel awards as an incentive for participation.

The Council approved the survey draft and looks forward to reviewing the responses.

D. Graduate Coordinator Qualifications

Dr. Locke shared a proposed statement which could be added to the Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies. It read, "Departments should select graduate coordinators from their list of faculty with full graduate faculty status. Departments that are unable to do so should present documentation of extenuating circumstances to the School of Graduate Studies." He noted a concern discussed previously at Council in which associate graduate faculty members are appointed as graduate committee chairpersons or coordinators.

Motion: To table the discussion. (Bauerly/Polley). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES - 0 NO - 0 AB


A. Summer School Committee

Ms. Sullivan shared an email correspondence which indicated the Graduate Council has not had a representative present at the Summer School Committee meetings this semester. The Council would  like to appoint a member to this committee at the next meeting.

Motion: To table the request. (Polley/Myers). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES - 0 NO - 0 AB


A. Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Award Issues for Consideration

The sub-committee who selected the recent award recipients noted concern with a few areas. Dr. Locke indicated the sub-committee felt it necessary to include a statement requiring applicants doing research with human subjects to include documentation with IRB approval. Additionally, anyone who requests funds to assist with internships or prestigious workshop/training events must include proof of acceptance or application to those activities.

A further issue of concern for the sub-committee was the lack of a clear statement which identifies the value of the research to the discipline, department, or university as a whole. Dr. Polley suggested the application include a one-page letter of support form the faculty sponsor.

Motion: To table this discussion (Polley/Myers). MOTION CARRIED 5 YES - 0 NO - 0 AB

Meeting adjourned: 5:00 p.m.