Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Graduate Council Minutes - November 12, 2012
3:00 p.m., Horrabin Hall 60/QC Campus 114
Members Present: L. Kilmer, B. Locke (Chair), K. McClure, J. McQuillan, A. Mossman (Vice Chair), J. Myers, W. Polley, T. Walker
Guests Present: Kishor Kapale, Russ Morgan
Ex-officio: N. Parsons
Others Present: A. Schulz
A. Academic Integrity Incident Reports Filed in the School of Graduate Studies, October 2012
Dr. Parsons reported that there were no academic integrity incident reports filed in October.
B. Graduate Committee Chair Fall Semester Meeting held September 26, 2012 Review
Dr. Parsons gave a brief update regarding topics covered at the meeting in September. She also announced to the Council that approval from the Provost had just been received via email for online recommendations through ApplyYourself. This will take approximately one to two months to get into place but once active, students and faculty will be able to submit letters of recommendation through the online system. Dr. Parsons noted that the next graduate committee chair meeting will be held on the sixth Wednesday of the spring semester at 3:00pm in the Capitol Rooms. Dr. Locke asked about access to the imaging system. Dr. Parsons stated that there were a lot of factors to consider with the biggest ones being the cost of adding additional users to the system and the need to limit access due to confidentiality issues. There is currently no way to limit access to only students within a certain department. The best option for faculty is to call or email the Graduate School requesting the information needed.
C. Graduate Program Expo
Ms. Schulz announced that approximately twenty programs participated in the Graduate Program Expo held in conjunction with the Career Fair on October 30, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom. The set-up required all students attending the career fair to walk through the graduate program tables before entering the Grand Ballroom. The set-up was well received and will be used at the Spring Graduate Program Expo on February 5, 2013. Information will be sent to all departments via email in December by Ms. Gretchen Sullivan.
Dr. Parsons reported that the School of Graduate Studies is working on two new initiatives for the spring. A Graduate School Open House is scheduled for Friday, April 5, 2013 and will provide information to prospective graduate students visiting campus. General information sessions, meetings with department advisors, and a campus tour are all planned. Prospective students will receive a postcard with the open house information in the packet they receive from the Graduate School.
Ms. Schulz announced that a series of workshops is being planned to educate current WIU undergraduate students about graduate school. The first workshop is scheduled for January 30, 2013 and will focus on the admissions process plus give general information on the benefits of graduate school. Additional dates for the workshops are February 6, 13, and 27. Topics will include financing graduate school; considering and surviving graduate school; and tips for writing personal goal statements, resumes, and obtaining letters of recommendation. More information will be sent out via email to students.
D. Graduate Research Day Ad Hoc Committee: Dr. Amy Patrick Mossman
Dr. Mossman reported that the ad hoc committee has met and is very enthusiastic about moving forward. The committee would like to plan a graduate research week culminating in a graduate research day. Several recruitment activities would take place during the week. The committee plans to begin to ask for funding for the event by speaking with the College Deans and the Graduate School. The committee is meeting again on December 3 with plans for the first event to take place in Spring 2014. Dr. McClure suggested asking a WIU graduate program alum to be the keynote speaker at the event. Dr. Mossman added that they could tie in the speaker with the University’s theme. Dr. Parsons noted that the theme for 2013-2014 is “Food and Drink.” The question was raised as to whether or not both campuses were represented. Dr. Kilmer stated that it was tried a couple of years ago by COEHS but the logistics were too challenging. Dr. Mossman will send out a request for a Quad Cities representative to join the committee to determine if holding the event at both campuses is feasible.
II. GRADUATE CURRICULUM
1. Request for a New Graduate (500 or 600-Level) Course
Dr. Kapale was present to respond to questions from Council members.
a. PHYS 535, Quantum Information Science, 3 s.h.
Dr. McQuillan asked if there needed to be a prerequisite for this course. Dr. Kapale responded that the course will require permission to enroll.
Motion: To approve the request. (Polley/McQuillan) MOTION CARRIED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB
b. PHYS 563, Observational Radio Astronomy, 3 s.h.
Dr. Locke asked for clarification regarding the proposed frequency of offering. This course is the last in a group of four courses being offered in this area in a two year rotation. None of the courses are listed as a prerequisite for another. Dr. Kapale responded that this is correct.
Motion: To approve the request. (McClure/Polley) MOTION CARRIED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. GPA Calculation for Integrated Programs
Dr. Locke restated the issue at hand which entails the way GPAs are calculated for the integrated programs and can a department be provided with both GPA calculations on the transmittal. Dr. Parsons added that the request originated from the MBA program because the Graduate School calculates the transmittal GPA without the +/- system and retakes. Dr. Polley stated that in most cases where the department criteria are more stringent than the general Graduate School criteria, the department has the option of waiving their own criteria to accept a student. Dr. McClure noted that this decision should continue to stay at the departmental level as long as the student meets the minimum Graduate School criteria. Dr. Parsons clarified that all applications are sent to the appropriate departments regardless of the calculated GPA so that the department can decide if they want to accept the student on a probationary status. Dr. Polley stated that students in the integrated programs receive credit towards their undergraduate and graduate degrees for up to nine semester hours. If a student left the integrated program, those nine hours would still count towards the undergraduate degree but could not be used towards a graduate degree. This could potentially be an issue if a student is accepted as probationary. Dr. Mossman pointed out that the original request concerned potential MBA students that might not have the required 3.4 GPA based on the method of calculation by the Graduate School but that do have it based on their WIU transcript GPA. Dr. Locke asked if the Council was talking about probationary status being given to students that have the required GPA on their WIU transcript but not as calculated by the Graduate School. Dr. Parsons clarified that in regular graduate programs the Graduate School sends every application regardless of the GPA to the appropriate department where the student is either accepted, denied, or accepted on probationary status. The integrated programs do not have this option in place. Dr. Mossman suggested that the GPA in upper level courses could be used for integrated programs in the same manner that the GPA for the last two years of undergraduate coursework is used in the regular graduate programs. Dr. McClure stated that the intention of the integrated programs is to allow exceptional students to complete their graduate degree at an accelerated pace. These students cannot have probationary status. They are students that have shown they are capable of handling the intense rigor of graduate level courses. Dr. McQuillan suggested that the integrated programs be allowed to use both the WIU transcript GPA as well as the GPA calculated by the Graduate School when making their decisions. Dr. Parsons noted that she would like to get the input from individuals that created the integrated programs to see how the procedures were put in place.
Motion: To postpone. (McClure/Mossman) MOTION CARRIED 8 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB
IV. OTHER BUSINESS
V. STUDENT APPEALS
A. Computer Science
1. Request to waive the 6-hour “C” Rule
The student was present to respond to questions from the Council. He presented his case indicating that health issues before finals contributed to his low grades in the spring semester. The student stated that prior to finals, all assignments and projects had been completed successfully. He then explained that he experienced severe headaches and nasal bleeding three days before finals and those contributed to his low scores on the final exams. The Council asked if there was any documentation from a doctor regarding these health issues. The student replied that no, he did not seek medical treatment and therefore does not have any documentation. The student also explained the low grade received in the previous fall semester was due to his own lack of attention to the coursework and that he had used that as a lesson. The student stated that he is currently enrolled at a different university where he is doing well but would rather finish at WIU. The student would like to continue working on projects that were already started and would like to take advantage of the courses offered here. The student responded to numerous questions from the Council. Further discussion was held by the Council regarding the “C” rule and the documentation provided.
Motion: To deny the request. (Kilmer/Polley) MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 1 AB
Meeting adjourned: 4:23 p.m.