Graduate Studies

February 2, 2009 Minutes

MEMBERS PRESENT: R. Bauerly, e. Hassan (Vice Chair), B. Locke, J. McNabb, J. McQuillan, G. Montalvo, M. Mossman (Chair), K. Pawelko

GUESTS: Dawn Casteel, Jess House, Sue Martinelli-Fernandez, Miriam Satern, Lance Ternasky, Kevin Timlin, Jeanette Zotz

EX-OFFICIO: J. Dallinger

OTHER: G. Sullivan

The agenda was reordered to hear a student appeal first as the Council decision would determine if the student needed to totally withdraw from the university by 4:30 p.m. to meet the 10th day registration deadline.


A. Request to remove graduate credit from a Fall 2008 course

1. Chemistry

The student gave a brief statement indicating she suffered a health crisis during the Fall 2008 semester and was unable to attend many classes due to this condition. She provided medical documentation and responded to questions from the Council. The department supported her request.

The Council members asked Chairperson Mossman to send a reminder to all department chairs and graduate committee chairs concerning the need for departmental support in regard to student petitions. In the recent past, petitions have been submitted with little supporting documentation from the department.

Motion: To approve the request to remove graduate credit from a Fall 2008 course. (Bauerly/Pawelko) MOTION APPROVED: 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


A. Okseon, Lee, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology

Dr. Satern was present to respond to questions from the Council. She stated her full support of this request

Motion: To approve the request for full membership in the Graduate Faculty. (Montalvo/Hassan) MOTION APPROVED: 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


A. Standards for Doctoral Programs

1. Review draft of changes to ‘Request for a New Graduate Program’ form

The Council reviewed the additions to the form which were suggested last fall. This included adding three additional items (#14, #15, and #16) to the requirements of the supporting documentation to accompany the request form. Council proposed wording changes to the front of the form to indicate that a feasibility study must be completed and the new degree program development process must be followed prior to the submission of the new graduate program request to the Council. It was also suggested that the form note that the supporting documentation must include an indication that the Provost has approved the feasibility study for the new program.

Motion: To approve the changes (addition of items 14, 15, and 16) and the amendments suggested by Council to clarify that new program requests must include indication of Provost approval. MOTION APPROVED: 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

Graduate School staff will update the online form.

B. Composition of Thesis/Dissertation Committees

1. Review draft of changes to committee policies

2. Retired faculty on committees

The Graduate Council reviewed their previous draft of the policy on dissertation committees:

The dissertation committee shall be comprised of a minimum of five members with at least three members being full or associate WIU graduate faculty and at least one member being external to the department. The chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty. Additional faculty can be added to the committee per department policy.

Dr. Jess House was present to share how this committee policy would impact the Department of Educational Leadership’s doctoral program. He noted the department currently has limited faculty to participate on committees and the need for additional members may cause a heavy load for some faculty members. Dr. Montalvo has served on dissertation committees in the EDL doctoral program and he reiterated with the size of the department and the size of the student population, it is difficult for faculty to effectively participate on dissertation committees while maintaining their teaching responsibilities and pursuing other scholarly research/activities. Dr. House mentioned the EDL program has allowed three members on dissertation committees in the past, however, he suggested that the typical committee in an EDL doctoral program is four members. Dr. Ternasky questioned the Council to see if contract and P.A.A. issues had been considered with this draft. Dr. Mossman suggested that the Council can write policy to allow flexibility for different programs. He recommended tabling the issue due to lack of time.

Motion: To table the discussion on the composition of thesis/dissertation committees. (Bauerly/Pawelko) MOTION APPROVED: 7 YES – 1 NO – 0 AB


A. Open discussion with staff members from the Center for International Studies

Staff members from the Center for International Studies were present to discuss various services they offer to new international students. Jeanette Zotz briefly explained the new international student admission process. Kevin Timlin shared the orientation program content which includes a week-long comprehensive orientation. He noted that 75% of the international student population are graduate students. Dr. Mossman questioned how many students participate in the orientation session and Mr. Timlin indicated a 75% participation rate. Dr. Mossman suggested the Center for International Studies might consider offering a workshop two weeks into the semester for graduate advisers in regard to dealing with international student issues. He indicated that the Council has heard several appeals concerning international students in recent months and providing a workshop would be highly beneficial. Another suggestion from the Council is to add adviser information to the admission letter sent by the Center for International Studies. This would allow the student and graduate adviser to begin communicating earlier rather than once the student arrives to campus. Mr. Timlin offered dividing the graduate and undergraduates in one of the sessions already in place to allow for specific information pertaining to graduate students to be shared.

The Council thanked the staff members for their time and information.

B. Incomplete Grade Policy clarification

Dr. Dallinger provided clarification of the language and intent of the last statement of the Incomplete Grade Policy which states:

Completion of a graduate degree will not be allowed with incomplete grades posted Fall 2006 or after on the transcript.

When a graduate student applies for graduation, the Graduate School staff verifies that there are no incomplete grades for any undergraduate coursework that appears on the student’s degree plan, and all graduate coursework. If a student graduates with an incomplete in an undergraduate course that is not listed on the degree plan, the grade for the class will be converted to an “F” after one year, if the “I” has not been converted to a grade. This should happen very rarely.

C. Online thesis/dissertation process

Dr. Mossman indicated a concern from the Department of English and Journalism regarding the number of thesis/dissertation copies provided from ProQuest. At the student’s expense, one copy is currently required to be submitted to the Malpass Library, however, the department would like to require a copy to be sent to the academic departments as well. Some Council members questioned the need for hard copy to be received in the department when it will now be available online. This item was tabled for further discussion.


The Council voted to hear an additional student appeal which was submitted after the agenda was prepared.

A. Request to late withdraw from Fall Semester 2008

1. Mathematics

The student, who was not present at the meeting, however, had recently appeared in front of the Council and they were familiar with her family emergency situation. The petition included letters of support from each of the instructors of the courses in question and was supported by the department chair.

Motion: To approve the request to totally withdraw from the Fall Semester 2008. (Montalvo/Bauerly) MOTION APPROVED: 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

Meeting adjourned: 5:00 p.m.