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Graduate Council Minutes for January 23, 2012

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

Guests Present: Jack Elfrink, Win Phippen, Jason Ruehle, Dan Yoder

Ex-officio: N. Parsons

Others Present: G. Sullivan


A. Requests to hold an assistantship with less than a 3.0 graduate GPA

1. Accountancy

The student and Dr. Elfrink were present to respond to questions from Council members. The student indicated as Fall 2011 was her first graduate semester in the United States of America, her expectations of classwork didn’t match that of her instructors. She noted that she plans to take advantage of university services in the future such as the Writing Center and the Counseling Center to help with time management skills. Dr. Elfrink stated that speaking in public is difficult for her and, thus, her class participation portion of her grade suffered. Additionally, he noted that one of her classes had an unusual situation in which the instructor was ill the majority of the semester and the class load was shared between that individual and a second person.

In responding to the questions, the student indicated she now felt confident with the expectations of graduate work and also comfortable with seeking help as needed.

Motion: To approve the request. (Bauerly/Polley)


2. Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration

a. Student A

The student and Dr. Yoder were present to respond to questions from Council members. Dr. Yoder indicated the nature of her assistantship position involves assisting faculty with projects and research, and overseeing individual student tests as needed. The Council asked if 10 s.h. course load she is currently registered for is too much, to which Dr. Yoder and the student agreed that she has dropped down from 12 s.h. last semester and this seems to be a manageable load.

Motion: To approve the request. (Bean/Bauerly)


 b. Student B

The student and Dr. Yoder were present to respond to questions from the Council. The student indicated Fall 2011 was her first semester following a twenty-five year break and she struggled to achieve the correct family/job/school balance. She indicated one of the courses in which she received a grade of “C” was currently going through the grade appeal process at the departmental level.

In responding to questions, the student explained that she has chosen to go to graduate school as a master’s degree is needed for advancement in the administrative levels of her current employer. She also indicated if the appeal was approved, she would enroll in additional hours to meet the 9 s.h. enrollment requirement of the assistantship.

Motion: To approve the request. (Bean/Locke)


c. Student C

The student, Dr. Yoder, and Mr. Ruehle (assistantship supervisor) were present to respond to questions from the Council. He indicated he felt that he focused too much on his assistantship duties and his grades suffered because of it. He has realized that graduate school requires more time commitment as there is a significant amount of reading involved in his studies.

Dr. Yoder noted he supports allowing the student to hold a 2/3 assistantship rather than a full-time. Mr. Ruehle indicated assured the Council that the student’s assistantship duties would not interfere with his academic work in the future.

Motion: To approve the request. (Bauerly/Polley)


B. Request to waive the 6-hour “C” rule

1. Business Administration

The student was present to respond to questions from the Council. He indicated he felt that his academic performance from Fall 2011 was subpar due to being a commuter student and having an outside job. He was unable to successfully balance work and school responsibilities. Additionally, he suffered a death in the family just prior to finals week.

The student was asked why he didn’t consider taking an incomplete or withdrawing before the deadline. He indicated he knew he was on a B/C threshold up to finals and hoped the outcome would be a B rather than C. Dr. McClure asked if he had made faculty or peer connections in his courses, however, he noted as a commuter student he was always rushed to get back to work or study time and the social aspect of Graduate School was not a possibility for him. She further asked if perhaps his actions were more of a reactive nature and suggested he be more proactive in his courses in the future. Dr. Parsons asked for clarification of the appeal as a clear request was lacking on the petition form. The student explained he was requesting a waiver of the 6-hour “C” rule.

Dr. Bean asked why the student is enrolled in 9 s.h. this semester when his department has recommended he only take 6 s.h. to which the student commented that he was unaware of this recommendation and would drop a course if needed.

Motion: To approve the request with the stipulation that he may only enroll in 6 s.h. for Spring 2012. (Bean/Locke)


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

1. Economics

The student, Dr. Polley, and Dr. Phippen (grant administrator) were present to address the Council concerning the appeal. The student indicated she has a background in business, not economics, so the first semester courses were difficult for her. In addition, she struggled with the language barrier as an international student. When asked how her approach to coursework will differ in the future, she indicated she now has a study group which will help tremendously.

Dr. Phippen explained that the USAID grant-funded assistantship requires participating students to complete a degree in one year in residence (requiring 12 or more s.h. per semester) and then they return to their home countries to complete a six month internship to finish the degree. He noted there was no indication that she wouldn’t be able to successfully complete the course load as she came highly recommended from her home school.

Dr. Polley indicated a grade of “F” on the student’s transcript reflects a course in which she thought she had withdrawn from the course by emailing the instructor, however, she didn’t realize she had to do it herself by a certain deadline. When asked by Council how many economics students can successfully complete 12 s.h. in a semester, he indicated only one-third to one-half of their students could accomplish that.

Council members expressed a concern with allowing economics graduate students to participate in the USAID grant assistantship in the future since only 50% of the students can successfully complete such a heavy course load. They requested that Dr. Parsons relay their concern to Dr. Phippen and ask that the program reconsider allowing economics students into the program.

Motion: To approve the request. (Bean/Myers)


Meeting Adjourned: 4:45 p.m.