Graduate Studies

January 28, 2008 Minutes

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

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


GUESTS: Rick Anderson, Tracy Cruise, Richard Gee, Evelyn Hoing, Sean Jenkins, Tracy Knight, Milly MacDonell, Sue Martinelli-Fernandez, Ken McCravy, Kim McDaniel, Patrick McGinty, John Wozniak, Darlene Young

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


Dr. Cody announced the following curriculum approvals:

A. History – added graduate credit to HIST 482 and HIST 488


A. Biology

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

a. BOT 455, Fire/Disturbance Ecology, 3 s.h.

Dr. Anderson shared survey results generated by the Biological Sciences department. This survey compared WIU’s biology graduate program content to that of Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois to determine the number of graduate courses offered and of that, what percentage of courses are at the 400G or equivalent level. Additionally, information was obtained about the special requirements added to undergraduate courses to earn graduate credit. Most institutions required an additional paper and laboratory reports, and exams demonstrating a higher level of basic knowledge. Results indicated that WIU’s biology program is in the middle range of those schools offering 400G courses. Dr. Anderson responded to questions. It was noted the department must submit the request on the correct form. Motion: To approve the request to add graduate credit to BOT 455. (Romano/Hassan). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB

b. ZOOL 415, Invertebrate Zoology, 3 s.h.

Motion: To approve the request to add graduate credit to ZOOL 415. (Locke/Mossman). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

B. Psychology

1. Request to change graduate program requirements

a. Clinical/Community Mental Health Option

Dr. Knight presented the request stating that the department wishes to add three counseling courses (CN 540, 541, and 551) and remove three psychology courses (PSY 451G, PSY 595, PSY 596). It was noted that the department had already decreased the credit hours for PSY 587, 588, 589, and 600. The total program hours will remain the same. Motion: To approve the request to change graduate program requirements in Psychology. (Romano/Hassan). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

C. Sociology

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

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

Dr. Wozniak presented the course request. This is a course that has been removed from the “deep freeze.” Graduate credit had previously been dropped from this course. Dr. McGinty, instructor of the course, responded to questions from the Council. It was noted by Dr. Baily that the catalog description on the request does not match the undergraduate catalog wording. The department will correct the form and resubmit. Motion: To approve the request to add graduate credit to SOC 461. (Romano/Pawelko). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


The agenda was reordered.

A. Study Abroad Programs and Non-degree Graduate Students

Ms. McDaniel provided a copy of a proposed wording change to the Study Abroad program eligibility requirements to include non-degree students. The current wording indicates a graduate student must be accepted into a degree program and submit a letter of support from an academic adviser and department chair. She noted graduate students typically enroll in the faculty-led short-term programs and nearly 25% of those graduate student participants in the past few years were non-degree seeking students. Ms. McDaniel responded to various questions from the Council members. Motion: To approve the change in wording to the Study Abroad program eligibility requirements to include non-degree graduate students. (Maskarinec/Locke). MOTION APPROVED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

Dr. Baily asked Ms. McDaniel to supply the Graduate School with a final copy of the updated policy.

B. Meeting Schedule 2008-2009

Dr. Baily proposed adding a meeting to be held the second Monday of each semester with the intention of hearing student appeals. This would be a special meeting and only would be held if student appeals were received. No other Graduate Council business would be discussed at this meeting. This schedule would allow students to know their appeal outcomes prior to the 10 th day of the semester.

A vote was not taken, however, all members were in agreement that this would be in the best interest of the students. Beginning Fall 2008, this special meeting will be placed on the calendar.

C. Electronic Thesis Submission Demo

Dr. Baily announced that a representative from UMI Dissertation Publishing/ProQuest CSA will be on the Macomb campus to demonstrate the process and answer questions about everything from copyright to embargoes. The first group of WIU doctoral students will be preparing digital dissertation in Summer 2008. Meeting times will be Thursday, January 31, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Fox Room of the University Union, and Friday, February 1, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the Capitol Rooms of the University Union.


A. Graduate Assistant Stipends

B. Medical Leave for Graduate Assistants

Dr. Baily shared a list of bench mark schools as defined by Rhonda Kline in Institutional Research and Planning. The members reviewed the list and noted which universities they felt were similar and should be used as a benchmark. The final list included twenty-one schools. Dr. Baily then distributed a draft of the questions to be asked of each university via a telephone survey by Graduate School staff. These questions are mostly assistantship-related such as tuition waivers, stipends/work hours, benefits awarded to assistants, total graduate student population and total graduate assistantship positions awarded. Slight changes were suggested. Survey results will be compiled and available at the next meeting.

C. Academic Calendar Review

Dr. Baily provided a draft of the academic calendars for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Provost Thomas has requested all constituents to review the draft and provide feedback by March 31, 2008. Dr. Baily asked that members discuss possible changes with their respective colleges and bring suggestions to the February meeting.

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

E. Course Revalidation Policy

These items were tabled due to lack of time.


A. Request to waive the GPA requirement for admission to graduate school

1. Biology

A recent applicant to the Biology graduate program has completed her undergraduate degree at New College of Florida, which is a school that does not assign letter grades and she, therefore, does not have a GPA calculation. The student was not present at the meeting. Dr. Anderson spoke in reference to New College of Florida, noting that he has experience with this school through another student. He said the school offers a strong research program. Drs. Romano and Anderson both indicated her standardized test scores are very good. Ms. Hoing and Dr. Baily indicated the Graduate School does not object to the request. Motion: To approve the request to waive the GPA requirement for admission into the biology graduate degree program. (Romano/Hassan). MOTION APPROVED 6 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

B. Requests to late withdraw from a graduate course

1. EIS 500

Student and departmental representatives were not present at the meeting. Student noted in the request that the grade of “F” was assigned in this on-line course due to extenuating circumstances surrounding a medical issue with his fiancée. The Council noted the student was able to earn grades of “B” and “A” in other courses during that same semester. The instructor provided an email account of the correspondence he had with the student throughout the semester. Motion: To deny the request to late withdraw from EIS 500, Fall 2007. (Romano/Hassan). MOTION APPROVED 5 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB

2. ECON 503

The student was present at the meeting; departmental representatives were not. The student explained his situation and indicated based on the first time he withdrew from courses, that the same process would apply. Dr. Jones’ letter stated that he did receive an email message from the student on October 2, however, does not find that it was replied to or action was taken. The student indicated that the academic department has handled all of his course registrations and he is unfamiliar with the STARS system. He stated he was not prepared for the subject matter of ECON 503 and assumed the department had withdrawn him after the email request was sent to Dr. Jones.

The Council engaged in a lengthy discussion. It was noted the student did not enroll in the Fall 2007 courses as outlined in writing by Dr. Baily and Dr. Jones. Still, the Council felt it was an adviser oversight which caused the student not to be withdrawn in a timely fashion. The Council highly encourages the student to learn how to use the STARS system and to now realize after this second instance of a late withdrawal that the student is the responsible party and not the academic department. Motion: To approve the request to late withdraw from ECON 503, Fall 2007. (Pawelko/Romano). MOTION APPROVED 4 YES – 2 NO – 0 AB

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

1. Sport Management

The student, academic adviser and employment supervisor were all in attendance. Student earned a 2.666 graduate GPA following the Fall 2007 semester. She acknowledged that a grade of “C” was earned in a statistics course due to her lack of interest or effort in the course. She gave a statement to the Council explaining what an invaluable educational experience the Campus Recreation assistantship was for her. Dr. Young suggested the lower grades were in part due to the transition from undergraduate to graduate programs and that she now realizes what is required of Graduate School. Ms. MacDonell indicated the student was not exceeding her assigned work hours and felt her lower grades were simply due to the fact of not liking the statistics material.

The student responded to questions from the Council including what her current course registration is. She indicated she was presently enrolled in 12 s.h. of graduate courses.

Ms. Sullivan was asked to provide historical information concerning past requests of this nature.

Motion: To approve the request to hold an assistantship with less than a 3.0 GPA.. (Romano/Pawelko). MOTION APPROVED 5 YES – 1 NO – 0 AB

The Council strongly encourages the student to reconsider her current enrollment of 12 s.h. for Spring 2008. They believe 9 s.h. would be a more appropriate enrollment in light of her situation.

Meeting adjourned: 5:35 p.m.