Graduate Studies

Graduate Council Minutes - March 3, 2014

3:00 p.m., Horrabin Hall 60/QC Campus 114

Members Present: J. Averbeck, V. Diehl, J. McQuillan, A. Mossman (Chair), J. Myers, M. Stinnett, T. Walker

Members Absent: W. Polley (Vice Chair)

Guests Present: Dinesh Ekanayake, Russ Morgan

Ex-Officio Present: N. Parsons

Others Present: A. Schulz


Academic Integrity Incident Reports Filed in the School of Graduate Studies, January 2014 (2)

1. Resolved at instructor level (2)

B. Graduate Research Conference

Dr. Mossman announced that 65 students presented at the conference. All sessions were well attended with over 80 people attending the poster session, not counting the presenters. Over 60 people attended the keynote speaker. The conference has received good feedback and the committee will meet at least one more time this semester to begin planning for next year. The next conference will be held on March 6, 2015.

C. Graduate Committee Chairs Meeting

Dr. Parsons provided a brief recap of topics discussed at the meeting held on February 26, 2014. Jacqueline Reid, Compliance Specialist, provided IRB updates to the group. Degree plan submissions were also discussed at the meeting. It was decided to change the submission timeline. Instead of submitting them between the completion of 9 and 15 semester hours, they should be submitted prior to the completion of 21 hours. The catalog will be updated to reflect this change. Dr. Morgan questioned the reasoning for the change. Dr. Parsons answered that changes in financial aid are part of the reason as well as registration verifications for assistantship contracts. Dr. Parsons also discussed recruitment trips that she has been making and provided a list of locations that have been visited. Integrated programs with other institutions are being explored. Dr. Ekanayake asked for an explanation regarding senior level courses taken at the other institution. Dr. Parsons explained that they would be the equivalent to our bridge courses, only taken at the other institution. There would be an approval process for the other institution’s faculty, projects, etc. Dr. Parsons also noted that assistantship contract requests were discussed at the meeting, specifically classifying assistants correctly and making sure time cards are confirmed.

D. Graduate Council Nomination and Election Procedures

Ms. Schulz announced that petitions would be mailed to full members of the graduate faculty late next week. Vacant seats will be from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Technology, and College of Education and Human Services. New members will be invited to the April 21, 2014 meeting. Dr. Walker announced that she will be on sabbatical during the Fall 2014 semester. Ms. Schulz noted that a replacement will be needed for that semester only.

E. Sub-committee to Select Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Award Recipients.

Ms. Schulz reported that 23 applications had been received. The sub-committee is working to schedule a meeting time. Recipients should be notified by the end of March.


A. Liberal Arts and Sciences

1. Request to Change Graduate Program Requirements


Dr. Mossman explained the changes in the core courses and electives.

Motion: To approve the request. (Diehl/Myers) MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

B. Mathematics

1. Request for Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program

a. B.S./M.S. in Mathematics

Dr. Ekanayake was present to answer questions. He stated that the program would allow some undergraduate students to avoid taking some open electives and take directed electives instead.

Motion: To approve the request with Option A and, pending CCPI approval, Option C. (McQuillan/Walker) MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB


A. Petition Form for a Non-Graduate Faculty Member to Serve as a Reader on an Exit Option Committee

Dr. Mossman explained the changes made to the petition form. The term “petitioner” was changed to “applicant” and it was clarified that this form was for WIU employees only. Dr. McQuillan asked if it applied to retired faculty. Dr. Parsons stated that it could but currently retired faculty retain their graduate faculty status so this may not apply to them. Professor Myers stated that requiring an application for each student committee was putting a burden on the instructors especially as the University shifts towards more adjunct and Unit B hires. Dr. Parsons stated that this is strictly a volunteer basis. Dr. Mossman clarified that this is meant as an exception and not as a means to solve personnel issues. It is also meant to protect the instructors from exploitation and give the Graduate School a way to track the number of faculty being utilized in this manner. Dr. Stinnett questioned if PAA points could be earned for this. Dr. Parsons stated that the person would have to be eligible to receive PAA points to begin with but yes, it potentially could. Dr. Parsons stated that the purpose is to ensure that qualified persons who are willing are given the option to serve as readers on committees. The application would be available on the Graduate School website if approved.

Motion: To approve the application. (Walker/Diehl) MOTION CARRIED 6 YES – 1 NO – 0 AB


A. Developing an Academic Workload Statement for the Graduate Catalog

Dr. Mossman provided a draft copy of the statement and explained that, if approved, this would be added to the graduate catalog. She stated that she had looked at statements from other universities to draft the statement. She also noted that several recent petitions have indicated that the students did not realize how much work would be involved with graduate school. Professor Myers noted that this was a good idea and would like to see a statement added that mentions graduate assistants so that they know it pertains to them as well. Dr. Diehl questioned the sentence regarding “average grade.” Dr. Mossman clarified that “average” could have different meanings. Discussion was held in regards to using the term “average.”

Motion: To approve the statement with amendments. (McQuillan/Walker) MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

B. Application of Criteria for Full Graduate Faculty Status

Dr. Mossman stated that there have been some questions regarding the criteria for full graduate faculty status and asked if there is anything the Council can do to clarify the expectations of the applicants. Dr. Stinnett questioned if there were discrepancies. Dr. Mossman responded that sometimes the Council minutes seem to convey that publications are important but that doesn’t necessarily follow the Operating Paper. Professor Myers stated that she looks for a record of publications and teaching graduate level coursework. Dr. Walker posed the question: wouldn’t every faculty member meet the criteria based on the wording of the Operating Paper? Dr. Parsons reminded the Council of the difference between associate graduate faculty and full graduate faculty. She does not want to see the Council act in a manner similar to Department Personnel Committees. Dr. Morgan added that the Council used to informally operate with a minimum of two publications but the last few years have been more ambiguous. Dr. Parsons stated that the purpose of this is not to get into contractual issues. Full graduate faculty should have at least done research but with each department having different research expectations and practices, it is creating some confusion. Discussion was held.

Dr. Mossman asked the Council what they each looked for when evaluating applications. Dr. Diehl stated that she looks for evidence of independent research as well as teaching graduate level courses. Dr. Walker suggested adding to the criteria a sentence regarding ability to direct research. Dr. Parsons noted that associate graduate faculty can serve on committees and that record of such service may be something to consider adding to the criteria. Dr. Stinnett added that as a newcomer to Council, clearer guidelines would be helpful for both the applicant and the Council. Dr. Averbeck stated that if the criteria changes, the Council should consider if the guidelines will be flexible or rigid. Ms. Schulz reminded the Council that any change to criteria would be a change in the Operating Paper and would require a vote of the full graduate faculty. Dr. Mossman suggested that a sub-committee could review the current criteria.

Motion: To form a sub-committee to review the criteria. (Mossman/Averbeck) MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB

Drs. Averbeck, Mossman, Polley, and Walker volunteered to be on the sub-committee.


No other business reported.


Meeting adjourned: 4:25 p.m.