Graduate Council Meeting Minutes

January 31, 2007

GBB 202, 12:10-1:00 p.m.

Members Present: A. Borgmann, T. Cossitt, M. DeGrandpre, D. Erickson, C. Fiore, N. Hassanein, L. Hayes, T. Herron, , M. McClintock, J. McNulty, N. Moisey T. Thibeau, G. Stanley

Members Absent/Excused: R. Malecki.


Ex-officio members Present: Dean Strobel, Arlene Walker-Andrews
Professor Hayes called the meeting to order at 12:10p.m

The minutes from 12/6/06 and 1/24/07 were approved as amended.  



  • The following message was sent to the acting Provost last Friday, but he has yet to respond.

At its regular meeting January 24, Graduate Council discussed the policy of continuous enrollment of at least 3 credits, instead of the current 1 credit.  The discussion identified three issues in graduate education: possible loss of revenue, the high percentage of students dropping out of programs, and failure to complete programs by not finishing theses, dissertations or professional papers.  It is not clear how this new policy affects these issues.  It may exacerbate the problem or even create new difficulties.  The Council requests that the implementation of the policy be delayed until these issues can be investigated.  Dean Strobel has agreed to supply data and the Council will look at strategies to improve the situation.

The acting Provost has not granted waivers requested by Dean Strobel.  He remains open to recommendations but is not in favor of postponing policy implementation.

The Council does not understand the argument that students taking 1 thesis credit to maintain active status are taking up space/time that a full-time student could occupy. These students are not on campus and are still paying, so why does this show as a loss of revenue? The 3 credit continuous enrollment policy assumes that these students would be replaced by students taking 12 credits. Many departments accept the same number of students each year regardless of how many remain active with 1 credit.

The motion to invite the acting Provost to next week's meeting to explain his position and listen to the Council's concerns was unanimously approved.

Unfinished Business:


  • Professor Erikson agreed to serve as Chair-elect.
  • Professor Moisey explained the difficulty with Journalism's program review. It is not clear that the department is interested in supporting the program. The Graduate Director is on leave, so the position is temporarily held by a visiting faculty member, who has applied for the tenure-track position. The faculty chose not to apply for re-accreditation last year, the external reviewer reported student dissatisfaction, and courses are dual listed at the 300 and 600 level. The report will indicate that the faculty and the new dean need to decide whether or not they are willing to commit to offering a quality graduate program, otherwise it should be discontinued. If the program is to continue some serious effort is required and a review of the department's plan should take place. The draft document will be available next week
  • The program review draft documents for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Science and GeoSciences have been circulated among the science subcommittee members and should be ready for the full committee soon.

Committee Reports:

  • Professor Stanley provided a written report (appended to the minutes) on the latest meeting of the MIS workgroup. The Council expressed concern that the collaborative nature of the program would not have a sufficient structure or driving force to keep students on track. It should be clear that the chair of the student's committee has administrative responsibility and that the committee will need to set clear expectations in terms of knowledge required of the student relatively early. There needs to be a specific mechanism built into the program so students don't float. The Council was in support of the workgroups next step.

New Business:


  • UG NAS 400 cross listing with PSC 475 was approved. The form went to ASCRC in the fall, but missed Graduate Council.
  • Late proposals for UG courses in DBS associated with a new undergraduate option in Field Ecology are available for review by the subcommittee. The courses will be offered this summer and the proposal is scheduled to go to the Board of Regents in May if approved by ASCRC. The review should be completed in time for the courses to go to the April Faculty Senate meeting.
  • The following were assigned as primary reviewers for the 2006-2007 program reviews. The materials should be reviewed and any questions formulated prior to the external review date.


Primary reviewer

External review date

Communication Studies

Chris Fiore



Louis Hayes



Mike McClintock

Late March


George Stanley


Political Science

Neva Hassanein


The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.


January 30, 2007 our MIS group met and discussed the MIS program in more depth

This consists of the following members:

George Stanley, Chair

Jose Garcia, MIS Graduate Student (Art & Geosciences)

Jeff Greene, Political Science

Ulrich Kamp, Geography

Dave Strobel, Dean, Graduate School

 The following issues were discussed on revamping the present MIS program:

  • We want to create an entirely new graduate program fostering interdisciplinary and integrative learning (the new trend) to become a premier UM program.
  • Train successful students on integrative approaches and how to develop successful interdisciplinary projects and how to obtain meaningful and stimulating employment
  • Move away from present passive-rigid to an active-fluid  program that serves the students and "evolves" to meet the changing demands of interdisciplinary learning
  • Start at the undergrad level (DHC) to create a "pipeline" toward interdisciplinary study
  • Goals, skills, and requirements and competency will be worked out
  • Formation of a faculty "advisory group" to be comprised of top UM professors
  • "Integrative seminar" offered each year. MIS students come together to decide what will be presented.   Perhaps also bring in prospective employers to speak.
  • Faculty "advisory group" needs to be formed for advice and assessment
  • Develop a "collaborative" committee for each student--NOT the traditional model of major professor Chair directing the project

Problems to look into

  • Need for Institutional/Administrator recognition and commitment
  • Funding of $$ (Director and staff)
  • Issues of compensation and workload
  • Assurances of quality assessment
  • Advertising and recruitment

The MIS working group next will move forward with the following items:

  • Prepare a preliminary General Organizational Statement encapsulating our ideas and plans
  • Investigate programs at U of Arizona, UW Seattle, and Stanford, Long Beach CAL institutions who have programs
  • Flesh out the skeleton of the program with guidance from the Grad Council and others