Graduate Studies

February 25, 2008 Minutes

University Union Board Room, 3:00 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: T. Cody (Chair), B. Cupples, e. Hassan, B. Locke, M. Maskarinec (Vice Chair), M. Mossman, K. Pawelko, M. Romano

GUESTS: Jane Brown, Jack Elfrink, Tej Kaul, Sue Martinelli-Fernandez, Maureen Marx, George Peek, Lance Ternasky, Pengqian Wang

OTHERS: B. Baily (ex-officio), G. Sullivan


Dr. Cody announced the following curriculum approvals:

A. Biology

1. Requests to add graduate credit to 400-level courses

a. BOT 455, Fire/Disturbance Ecology, 3 s.h.
b. ZOOL 415, Invertebrate Zoology, 3 s.h.

B. Psychology

1. Request to change graduate program requirements

a. Clinical/Community/Mental Health Option

C. Sociology

1. Request to add graduate credit to a 400-level course

a. SOC 461, Educational Sociology, 3 s.h.


A. Accountancy

1. Request to add graduate credit to a 400-level course

a. ACCT 442, Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, 3 s.h.

Dr. Peek presented the course request noting there is currently no in-depth work in the governmental topics in accountancy at the graduate level. He responded to questions from the Council. Motion: To approve the request to add graduate credit to ACCT 442. (Cupples/Hassan). MOTION APPROVED 6 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB

2. Requests to change graduate program requirements

a. Master’s degree program
b. Integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program

Dr. Peek indicated the proposed changes to the degree programs will improve the student exposure to material included in the learning outcomes for the degree and facilitate the achievement of those goals. Additionally, these changes meet AACSB expectations for graduate programs in Accounting. Motion: To approve the request to change the master’s degree graduate program requirements. (Locke/Mossman). MOTION APPROVED 6 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB

Motion: To approve the request to change the integrated bachelor’s and master’s degree program requirements resulting from changes made to the master’s degree program. (Cupples/Romano). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

B. Information Systems and Decision Sciences

1. Request for a new graduate course

a. IS 574, International Issues in Information Technology Management, 3 s.h.

Dr. Kaul presented the request indicating that this course is needed as more and more business organizations are globalizing and the demand for competent global informational technology professionals is increasing. He noted the course will broaden the students’ knowledge of global IT by complementing the existing graduate level IS courses without content overlap. Motion: To approve the request for a new graduate course, IS 574. (Pawelko/Romano). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


A. Merrill Cole, Assistant Professor, English and Journalism
B. Daniel Malachuk, Assistant Professor, English and Journalism
C. Pengqian Wang, Assistant Professor, Physics

Motion: To approve the three requests for full membership to the graduate faculty. (Romano/Locke). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


A. Graduate Assistantship Stipends

B. Medical Leave for Graduate Assistants

Dr. Baily presented telephone survey results which compared WIU’s assistantship program to that of 27 other comparable public comprehensive institutions based on enrollment and that are predominantly master’s degree institutions. The Council reviewed and discussed the findings. Among those surveyed, WIU is in the mid-range on stipends and offers an excellent tuition waiver benefit as compared to others. WIU is among the majority of schools surveyed not offering additional benefits such as health insurance, vacation/sick leave, etc. Dr. Mossman, who initiated the request for information on assistantships, stated that he was satisfied with the document and requested no further action. Dr. Ternasky questioned the reliability of the information gathered and Dr. Baily responded by stating the Graduate School contacted the Graduate Schools or appropriate governing body of each school as directed to acquire the information. In some instances, information was retrieved from the internet, but primarily verbal contact was made.

C. Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies/Composition of the Graduate Council

This item has been tabled since Spring 2007. Dr. Ruth Kelly, a member of the Graduate Council at that time, submitted a proposal suggesting the Graduate Council reconsider the number of Council members and proposed allowing three members from the College of Arts and Sciences – one from each of the three divisions in the college (Natural Sciences/Math, Social Sciences, and Humanities).

The Council reviewed Dr. Kelly’s proposal as well as viewed the graduate faculty numbers by college. It was noted that while the majority felt the college should have representation from more than one department, it was not the Council’s duty to determine such policy and it should remain an academic departmental decision. Based on experience, several members indicated having a smaller Council allows for more productivity and efficiency as opposed to a larger membership.

Motion: To make no changes to the Graduate Council composition as presently stated in the Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies (two representatives from each academic college). (Pawelko/Cupples). MOTION APPROVED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

D. Course Revalidation Policy

Dr. Mossman presented his proposal to limit the number of courses a student may revalidate in a graduate degree program and the length of time between the initial completion of the course and its revalidation. Dr. Baily spoke on the Graduate School process noting that the current procedure is for the academic department to determine the manner in which a course is to be revalidated. After a lengthy discussion, the Council recognized that the current policy allows for departments to maintain flexibility with course revalidation which accommodates departments and programmatic differences. Motion: To make no changes to the present Course Revalidation Policy. (Romano/Cupples). MOTION APPROVED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

E. Academic Calendar Review

Dr. Baily reminded the Graduate Council of her request to discuss the academic calendar with their constituencies and to bring suggestions/recommendations to the table at the next meeting. Provost Jack Thomas has requested their input by the end of March 2008. This item was tabled for further discussion at next meeting.


A. Sub-committee for the selection of the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund award recipients

The following members will comprise the sub-committee: Drs. Cody, Hassan, Maskarinec, and Romano. The meeting will be held on March 17 at 3:30 p.m. Ms. Sullivan will secure a location and notify the sub-committee members as well as send information packets the first week of March.

B. 2006-2007 Annual Assessment Report Summary

The Council members were provided with a memo from Dr. Judi Dallinger which included the annual assessment report summary for graduate education. There were no specific questions for Dr. Dallinger. Dr. Cody asked to note in the minutes that the Council thanks Drs. Dallinger and Baker-Sperry for their efforts and information and look forward to next year’s report.

C. Electronic Thesis Dissertation Demo

Dr. Baily apologized for the cancellation of the ETD demos in late January/early February. New dates and times have been scheduled for viewing the ETD program: March 20, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. and March 21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. in HH78. An electronic message will be sent to all Unit A faculty. Dr. Baily suggested all Graduate Council members plan to attend as they will be considering this requirement in the future.

D. Special Meeting Update

Dr. Baily pointed out that the Council agreed at their last meeting to schedule a special meeting prior to the 10 th day of the semester strictly to review graduate student appeals as needed. It was previously agreed upon to hold the special meeting on the Monday of the second week of school in Fall and Spring. For the Fall, that day will fall on Labor Day so a new day was proposed. Dr. Baily suggested the special meeting be scheduled for the Wednesday of the second week of the Fall semester. All members who will be on the Council next academic year were in agreement to this proposal.

E. Strategic Plan

Dr. Baily briefly discussed the Higher Values in Higher Education 2008-2018: An Action Agenda for Western Illinois University, as Dr. Joe Rives was unable to attend the meeting. She noted the changed format from the previous strategic plan and identified the four main goals of the University and how they tie into the values of the University.

Dr. Baily asked that Council members review the draft, share it with their constituencies, and bring any comments back to the Council. She suggested the item be placed on the March agenda for discussion with any formal recommendations/suggestions due to Dr. Rives by the end of April 2008. The first draft of the document will be presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2008.

This item was tabled for discussion.


A. Request to waive the 9 s.h. “C” rule

1. Communication Sciences and Disorders

The student was present via telephone as she was out of the country. Dr. Marx and Mrs. Brown from the CSD department were in attendance at the meeting. Student referenced experiencing depression during the Fall 2006 semester and was placed on medication. No supporting documentation was presented. She stated that she took two classes concurrently in Fall 2006 and in hind sight she realizes that was a mistake. The department acknowledged knowing she was enrolled concurrently in two courses, however, had advised her against doing so.

Dr. Marx gave a detailed explanation of the history of the student’s grades. The student’s externship site did not give a favorable evaluation and felt there was no progress in her abilities after eight weeks of a twelve week externship, therefore, the student’s externship ended early. She then had to find another site that was willing to allow her to hold a position for four weeks. She found one closer to home but did not receive a favorable evaluation from that agency as well. Dr. Marx noted her practicum experience was sub-par from the department’s expectations.

Dr. Romano questioned the department as to why the student was allowed to enroll in two courses concurrently. Dr. Marx indicated the student was advised not to do this. The Council asked Dr. Marx if registration of 14 s.h. per semester is the norm in the CSD program; she indicated it was.

The department noted that a recent grade change from “I” to “C” had been processed for 1 s.h. of CSD 588 which now places her total grades of “C” or lower at 13 s.h. The student questioned this grade and indicated she was going to speak to her externship supervisor as she had been told the grade would be higher.

After further questions and clarification, the departmental representatives were asked to leave the room and the telephone connection with the student ended so that the Council could deliberate. Motion: To deny the request to waive the 9 s.h. “C” rule. (Romano/Mossman). MOTION APPROVED 6 YES – 2 NO – 0 AB

The Council members requested that a letter be sent to the department chair suggesting it be considered in the future to not allow students to enroll in two courses concurrently. Dr. Cody will draft a letter.

Meeting adjourned: 5:45 p.m.