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Graduate Council Minutes for August 27, 2012

3:00-5:00 p.m., Horrabin Hall 60/QC 60th Street Campus, Room 114

Members present: L. Kilmer, B. Locke (Chair), K. McClure, J. McQuillan, A. Mossman (Vice Chair), J. Myers, B. Polley, T. Walker

Guests present: J. Drea, H. Hemphill

Ex-Officio present: N. Parsons

Others present: G. Sullivan

Dr. Locke welcomed the Council members to the 2012-2013 academic year and members introduced themselves with Drs. McQuillan and Walker being new members. Additionally, Dr. Locke provided an overview of the student appeal process.

I. Student Appeals

 A. Requests to waive the 6-hour “C” Rule

1. Communication Sciences and Disorders

The student was present to respond to questions from the Council. She presented her degree plan which indicated her total program hours to be 54 semester hours. She indicated her summer course grade suffered due to not having taken a pre-requisite course and having the background knowledge to successfully complete the report component. Additionally, she experienced severe symptoms of depression and had to have her medications adjusted but came to this conclusion late in the semester. The student responded to several questions from Council members.

Dr. Parsons indicated the request should not have made it to the Council as according to the student’s degree plan her program of study is that of a longer program (i.e. 47 s.h. or more) and she should be allowed 9 s.h. of C or lower. On behalf of the School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Parsons requested to withdraw the petition. The student will be placed back into the degree program.

Motion: To withdraw the petition as the student has not exceeded the 9 s.h. limit for the longer program.  MOTION CARRIED

2. Computer Science

The student was present and responded to questions from the Council. He indicated health concerns (significant sinus issues and related surgery) in the spring semester resulted in 9 s.h. of grades of “C” which forced him out of the degree program. He indicated a second surgery is scheduled for the end of fall following a proposed practical training period should he be allowed to waive the 6-hour C rule. He plans to return to India for the final surgery. Also, he noted his GPA is 3.181. The Council clarified that should they vote to approve the student’s request, he will then be eligible for degree completion as he has taken all of his coursework.

Motion: To approve the request to waive the 6-hour “C” rule. (McClure/Kilmer).   MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB

B. Request to graduate with less than a 3.0 GPA

1. Business Administration

The student presented his request indicating that a low grade earned in Fall 2010 greatly impacted his GPA and he is now ineligible to receive the master’s degree as his GPA does not meet the 3.0 requirement. He explained that during that semester his wife and child had traveled without him to Europe and his daughter contracted a local disease which required hospitalization and they were then not allowed to leave the country for six weeks. He joined them in Europe during that time. Per the student, he communicated with his advisor that he would like to withdraw from the course given the significant amount of time he would be gone from WIU.

Dr. Drea was present and indicated that while he is sympathetic to the student he does not favor setting a precedent of allowing MBA students to complete a degree with less than a 3.0 GPA. He suggested a late withdrawal of the course may be an option for the student.

The student responded to numerous questions from the Council which included an indication that he was aware of his GPA not meeting the requirement as he had access to view his transcript via STARS.

Dr. Mossman suggested he late withdraw from the semester in question. Dr. Locke provided a thorough explanation to the student as to the documentation required for such an appeal. The student will need to submit a petition form along with support to withdraw from the instructor and the department chairperson. Additional documentation that indicates he requested to withdraw during the Fall 2010 semester would be beneficial.

Motion: To deny the request. (Polley/Myers).  MOTION CARRIED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

C. Request to hold an assistantship with less than a 3.0 GPA

1. Instructional Design and Technology

The student and Dr. Hemphill were present. The student indicated she had family issues during Spring 2012 which required her to take care of a parent during an illness. This caused her to earn 6 s.h. of grades of “C” or lower and a 2.571 graduate GPA. She indicated the parent is now much better and the student is focused fully on her coursework. She plans to work with her instructors this semester to stay on track in her courses.

Dr. Hemphill noted she was a past departmental scholar as an undergraduate and they are hoping to hire her as a teaching assistant this fall. Last semester she held a two-thirds graduate assistant position. The student indicated she struggled with three online courses last semester and only has one online course with two weekend courses this semester. She feels confident she can manage the course load with the teaching responsibility and indicated she has blocked time out each week to focus on specific coursework as well as time for the teaching duties.

The Council felt uneasy about the student taking 9 s.h. when a teaching assistant is only required to take 6 s.h. Additionally, there were concerns with setting a precedent of allowing a student to hold an assistantship with a 2.5 GPA. Dr. Polley moved to approve with the stipulation that she may only enroll in 6 s.h. This motion was later withdrawn after further discussion.

Motion: To deny the request. (McClure/Polley).  MOTION CARRIED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

The Council asked the Graduate School to include an alternative option the student may consider which is to submit a petition to late withdrawal from the entire semester. This would remove all graduate hours from her record and she would then be eligible for the assistantship position.

Meeting adjourned: 5:03 p.m.