Graduate Studies

Graduate Council Minutes - November 14, 2011

3:00 p.m., Horrabin Hall 60

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

Member Absent: L. Kilmer

Guests Present: Christopher Carpenter, Richard Gee, Hyeyoung Lim, Russ Morgan, Terry Mors, Mark Mossman, Dan Yoder

Ex-officio: N. Parsons

Others Present: G. Sullivan

I. CURRICULUM

 A. English

1. Requests for Multiple-Title Approval

a. ENG 549, Issues in Literary Studies, 3 s.h.
b. ENG 559, Issues in Disciplinary Studies, 3 s.h.
c. ENG 589, Issues in Writing Studies, 3 s.h.

Motion: To hear all requests together. (Polley/Locke). MOTION CARRIED 5 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB. Motion: To approve all requests. (Polley/Bauerly). MOTION CARRIED 6 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

II. GRADUATE FACULTY – FULL MEMBERSHIP

A. Christopher Carpenter, Assistant Professor, Communication

Motion: To approve request. (Locke/Polley). MOTION CARRIED 6 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

B. Hyeyoung Lim, Assistant Professor, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Motion: To approve request. (Polley/Mossman). MOTION CARRIED 6 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

C. Seung Won Yoon, Associate Professor, Instructional Design and Technology

Motion: To approve request. (Locke/Polley). MOTION CARRIED 6 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

III. OLD BUSINESS

A. Continuous Enrollment for Graduate Students

Dr. McClure distributed a revised copy of the proposed policy which was prepared by Dr. Amy Mossman. It included minor wording changes with no alterations to the intent of the proposed policy. Council discussions elicited several minor corrections to the revised copy which will be incorporated to the final proposal. Additional discussion indicated the Council would anticipate a Fall 2012 implementation date provided computer programming was in place by that time. Members noted there would be no grandfathering in of past semesters; the policy would affect students from date of implementation forward.

Motion: To approve the language in the revised policy proposal with suggested wording changes. (Bauerly/Locke). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

B. Sub-committee Report: Graduate Assistantship Personnel Issues

Drs. Locke and Polley indicated the sub-committee had met once over the past month and were considering preparing a survey to be sent to fiscal agents to inquire about assistantship issues. Ms. Sullivan noted she had shared a sample incident report with the sub-committee and provided other institutions’ definitions/classifications of assistantship positions. It was indicated a full report from the sub-committee should be expected in early spring.

IV. NEW BUSINESS

A. Review of Criteria for Full Membership in the Graduate Faculty

Dr. McClure reviewed the outline of her proposal to revise the criterion for granting full graduate faculty status. She proposed changing the requirement of showing evidence of scholarly/creative activity appropriate to the field to include that it should coincide with the academic department’s expectations for scholarly/creative activity for retention and tenure. Further elaboration of evidence would include the following: (1) A faculty member’s record of teaching, publications, conference presentations, professional and academic service, grants and special awards, and professional memberships/affiliations indicating that an applicant can facilitate, encourage, support, and coordinate excellence in graduate education at Western Illinois University, (2) A letter of support/recommendation signed by both the Department and Graduate Committee Chairs explaining how the applicant’s scholarly/creative activity warrants full membership in the graduate faculty as it coincides with the academic department’s expectations for retention and tenure in his/her discipline, and (3) Evaluation involves deliberation of the evidence provided to the Graduate Council in relation to the primary goal of the School of Graduate Studies. Does the applicant provide evidence that he or she can facilitate, encourage, support, and coordinate excellence in graduate education at Western Illinois University? A simple “yes” majority of voting Graduate Council members is needed for full membership in the graduate faculty. 

Dr. Locke noted an addition of “juried, creative activities” to the list in item 1. to include those disciplines such as music and theatre. 

Dr. Parsons suggested creating an avenue for newly hired Unit B faculty to co-chair theses committees with a full member of graduate faculty. She explained this would not only allow such experience for the Unit B person but would foster a mentorship between the faculty members. Dr. Gee noted such a need in his department and questioned if the full membership application process was pro forma. Dr. McClure provided Graduate Council records from December 2007 to October 2011 which indicated the Council had reviewed 87 full membership applications of which 82 were approved unanimously and 5 were denied. She noted a concern that by allowing newly hired Unit B faculty to be included as chairs of theses committees, it may be pushing them too soon as they try to acclimate to the faculty environment and maintain publications and presentations while preparing instructional materials for their classes. 

Dr. Mossman indicated she had reviewed peer institution’s policies concerning full graduate faculty membership and found that they commonly require their respective graduate governing bodies to approve such requests with some being more stringent than others. She noted some schools provided thorough examples of documents to include with the applications. Additionally, she found that some institutions review full members of graduate faculty every five years for reappointment. 

Ms. Myers questioned the status of retired faculty. Do emeritus status faculty who retire and return to teach retain their full membership status? Dr. McClure indicated she was unsure and would follow-up with a response to this question.

Dr. McClure responded to questions on the policy change as, per the Operating Paper of the School of Graduate Studies, such a change will require full graduate faculty approval. She indicated if this proposal is approved by the Council to go forward to the full graduate faculty, it would be retained until other issues requiring the same approval may be proposed at upcoming meetings. It is anticipated that the proposal (and any other future proposals) will be presented to full graduate faculty in the spring.

Motion: To approve the proposed policy change to the criteria for full membership in the graduate faculty. (Locke/Bauerly). MOTION CARRIED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

B. Recruitment Plans for Graduate Students 

Dr. Parsons reported that she and the Assistant Director of the School of Graduate Studies, Evelyn Hoing, have been meeting with department chairs and representatives from each graduate program to discuss recommendations made by Noel Levitz consulting firm in regard to recruitment efforts and increasing enrollment numbers. She indicated the Graduate School has begun purchasing GRE names in various disciplines and will mail or email information to those individuals. Also, the Graduate School has begun following-up with individuals who submit GRE scores to WIU but haven’t yet applied to WIU Graduate School. She noted they are investigating the possibility of purchasing names through other institutions via the Freedom of Information Act. Other recruitment efforts have included hiring a graduate assistant to assist with the processing of prospective materials, and assisting academic departments with their communication plans for prospective students. Graduate School staff members are working to reorganize various Graduate School web pages. 

C. Graduate Research Day 

Dr. Parsons suggested the Graduate Council consider implementing a graduate research day as a University-wide day at the graduate level is not currently held. Council members were agreeable to the suggestion and discussed considerations such as having the event require presentations in addition to posters, requiring a review process making it a competitive event, and requiring recipients of the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development award to participate. It was suggested that academic departments be surveyed to identify their individual conferences or presentation days to avoid scheduling conflicts. Ms. Myers noted that an excellent example of a school hosting a successful graduate research day is Augustana College. 

Dr. McClure requested volunteers to form a sub-committee to investigate the possibility of hosting a University-wide graduate research day. This sub-committee will begin meeting in early Spring 2012 with an anticipated implementation date for next academic year. Members volunteering for the sub-committee are Drs. Bean and Mossman, and Ms. Myers. 

V. ANNOUNCEMENTS

A. Center for International Studies 3-Year Bachelor’s Policy Change 

Dr. McClure informed the Council that the Center for International Studies had shared their policy change for 3-year bachelor’s degree from countries who participate in the Bologna Process as discussed previously in September 2011. One minor suggestion from the Council included change “who” to “that” when referring to a country in the first paragraph of the policy. Ms. Sullivan will share this suggestion with CIS. 

B. Taxation on Tuition Waivers for Graduate Assistants 

Dr. Parsons updated the Council concerning the upcoming implementation of a federal tax law which requires graduate assistants to be taxed on the amount of tuition waivers exceeding $5,250 in a calendar year. She indicated a proposal will be sent forward to the President’s Cabinet requesting that all graduate assistants be assessed tuition at the in-state rate, thus, alleviating some of the burden of this taxation for graduate assistants. Regardless of the outcome of that proposal, a University task force is working toward an implementation date of January 2013. 

VI. STUDENT APPEAL

A. Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration

1. Request to hold a Spring 2012 graduate assistantship as a probationary student

The student presented her request to hold an assistantship as a probationary student. Dr. Yoder was present to offer his support of the student’s request. The student indicated she is currently taking WESL courses in order to improve her English speaking skills. In addition, she has part-time employment to assist with the expense of her schooling. She is very active in her academic department and other areas on campus. She noted that she has completed three degrees in her home country, however, the United States calculates her GPA differently so it is perceived as a lower GPA and, therefore, she is considered a probationary student for the first semester until she achieves a 3.0 or higher graduate GPA. She indicated grade inflation is not a part of her culture and students sometimes take their final course up to six times to pass it. This grade is repeatedly counted in the U.S. GPA calculation.

Motion: To allow the student to hold a Spring 2012 assistantship as a probationary student. (Bauerly/Bean). MOTION CARRED 7 YES – 0 NO – 0 AB.

Meeting adjourned: 4:35 p.m.