MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL ON GRADUATE STUDIES

November 3, 1998

The Council on Graduate Studies met at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 1998, in the Arcola/Tuscola Room of the MLK Union.

Members present: Dr. Augustine, Dr. Benedict, Dr. Carson, Dr. C. Helsel, Dr. Kayser, Dr. Lenihan, Dr. Liu, Mr. Paglia, Dr. Raybin, Dr. Reven, Dr. L. Simpson.

Staff present: Ms. Dolson, Ms. Herrington-Perry, Academic Affairs.

I.Minutes.

The Minutes of October 20,1998, were approved as published.

II.Communications.

    1. CAA Minutes of 10/08/98.
    2. COS Curriculum Committee Minutes of 10/9/98 and 10/15/98.
    3. CEPS Curriculum Committee Minutes of 10/12/98.
    4. Faculty Senate Minutes of 10/20/98.
    5. COTE Minutes of 10/13/98.
    6. Executive Action (10-29-98) from the College of Sciences.

III.Committee Reports.

    1. Dr. Benedict reported that the Honorary Degree subcommittee has forwarded its recommendations to the President for his consideration. The Committee would like to encourage more candidates to apply.
    2. Dean Augustine thanked the Awards subcommittee for its work in reviewing the masters' theses. The winning thesis will be announced at the Graduate Forum during the Spring Semester and forwarded to the national competition.
    3. Dean Augustine reported that the Policies/Catalog subcommittee has been meeting weekly. The subcommittee will continue to review policies through Fall Semester. A proposal including the subcommittee's recommendations will be submitted during the spring semester.
    4. Dr. Liu reported that the Thesis Guidelines subcommittee will meet again next week to review the revisions. The subcommittee is considering having the guidelines in hypertext format. A proposal should be forwarded to the Council for consideration in the near future.
    5. Dr. Lenihan reported on the Textbook Rental Advisory Committee. She asked the Committee to consider exempting graduate students from the rental policy and allowing them to purchase their textbooks. Several problems were mentioned: that graduate students sometimes take comprehensive exams in January and do not have access to the resources from the textbooks used previously; that students do not have the opportunity to keep textbooks during the Christmas break; and that the latest edition of a textbook isn't always cost effective for the rental system. The Committee will review the financial aspects of this proposal.

IV.Put on the Agenda.

    1. PLS 5273, Presidential Politics, Revised Course.
    2. BIO 4800, Research Techniques, New Course.
    3. BIO 4818, Environmental Microbiology, Revised Course.
    4. BIO 4836, Pathogenic Microbiology, New Course.
    5. BIO 5206, Advanced Limnology, Revised Course.
    6. Policy on Incomplete Grades.

Dr. Raybin moved and Dr. L. Simpson seconded the motion to put these items on the agenda. Voting will take place later.

V.98-54 Policy on Incomplete Grades.

Dr. Raybin moved and Dr. L. Simpson seconded the motion to suspend the rules and discuss 98-54, Policy on Incomplete Grades, at this meeting. The motion to suspend the rules passed unanimously.

The Records Office contacted Dean Augustine to bring to his attention the new incomplete policy that CAA passed for undergraduate students. Dean Augustine asked that the Council review the new policy along with the current incomplete policy for graduate students. He mentioned that at two other peer institutions there is a policy for default grades and a policy that lists an "IN" on the transcript as a permanent incomplete. Some comments were made during this discussion: the "I" (incomplete) is necessary in courses such as thesis to allow students the time needed to complete the required work; an "I" is more accurate than a default grade; a default grade would most likely be at least a "B or below" due to the fact that the requirements for the course were not completed. Members emphasized that students can retake a class in which they received an "I".

The Council decided by consensus that the current policy for graduate students is acceptable. Therefore no action was taken on this item. Please note that the current policy states that "the grade of 'I' for graduate students is given only when, because of illness or some other valid reason, a student's progress in a course is delayed so that not all requirements for the course are fulfilled by the official closing date of the term."

VI.Executive Director's Report.

    1. Report on the Illinois Association of Graduate Schools Meetings. Dean Augustine gave a brief report on the conference. The speakers touched on several interesting areas, including the hallmarks of quality graduate education from the students' perspective, and the "engagement theory," a multi-level theory that assesses the quality of graduate education. Dr. Augustine also noted the best design in distance learning is one that allows for face-to-face interaction.
    2. Dr. Reven exited at this point.

    3. Dean Augustine asked for items that the Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) should consider.
    4. Dean Augustine asked Council members for their input on the strategic plan for the Graduate School, International Programs and Research. Some of their concerns were to: increase stipends, number of assistantships, and extramural resources; conduct a more in depth orientation for graduate assistants that would include specific duties for GA's and professional/ethical issues, etc.; review graduate faculty approval practices; develop and enhance opportunities for graduate student scholarships; update technology and policies; and internationalize the graduate programs.

Dr. Helsel exited at this point.

The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m. Sally Dolson, Recording Secretary.

Please note: All Council Minutes and Agenda are available on the Web at http://www.eiu.edu/~eiucgs.

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

Tuesday, November 17, 1998, 2:00 p.m.

Arcola/Tuscola Room, MLK Union

Agenda:

98-49 PLS 5273, Presidential Politics, Revised Course.

98-50 BIO 4800, Research Techniques, New Course.

98-51 BIO 4818, Environmental Microbiology, Revised Course.

98-52 BIO 4836, Pathogenic Microbiology, New Course.

98-53 BIO 5206, Advanced Limnology, Revised Course.