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 Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Graduate Council Meeting Minutes

February 14, 2007

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

Members Present: A. Borgmann, T. Cossitt, M. DeGrandpre, D. Erickson, N. Hassanein, L. Hayes, T. Herron, R. Malecki M. McClintock, J. McNulty, N. Moisey

Members Absent/Excused: C. Fiore, T. Thibeau, G. Stanley, Arlene Walker-Andrews


Ex-officio members Present: Dean Strobel

Guests: David Patterson - Mathematics, Alden Wright, Changwon Yoo, and Jesse Johnson from Computer Science

Professor Hayes called the meeting to order at 12:10p.m

Approval of the 2/7/07 minutes was postponed.     


The following resolution was unanimously approved at the Faculty Senate.  
The Senate recommends that the 3 credit continuous registration policy be suspended until adequate discussion can take place.  ECOS will be meeting with the President this week. .

Unfinished Business:
Curriculum follow-up:  Sciences - Computational science

Professor Wright indicated that a computational science PhD has been discussed for a number of years.  It is designed with the long term goal of facilitating computational research on campus. It will not just service IGERT students, although it would increase their options.   Interdisciplinary research in the area is expanding and the program would put UM in a position to take advantage of this.  Other institutions are creating programs and more and more journals are embracing the interface of disciplines. It is important for Computer Science to be able to recruit new faculty.

Dean Strobel remarked that the IIP program is available to try new interdisciplinary programs, but once the program is working, a more permanent structure can be established.

An advertised computational science program is likely to attract more students than an IIP, where the student would have to develop a course of study with their committee. 

The revised program still has a heavy course load.  If a student ad all the pre-requisites the course work could be completed in one year. Students need to develop the expertise in math and computer science to look at problems in the cognate discipline from a different perspective.  The student would only have to be an expert in an aspect of the cognate discipline not the full breadth.  Students would be evaluated in the cognate discipline through a comprehensive exam created by the committee members from the cognate discipline.

The expectation of significant contributions to both fields seems somewhat unrealistic.  The student wouldn't be required to publish a new mathematical or computational model, but rather apply an existing model to the cognate discipline in an innovative way.

There is currently a joint Math and Computer Science PhD that does not have any students and the Math program is already short on teaching assistants. The proposal does not identify where support for teaching assistants will come from.  There is no commitment from the administration at this point.

The hope is to attract top students. There are currently three interested in the program.

The discussion was cut short so that the Council could consider new business.

Graduate program data analysis

A workgroup was established to analyze the graduate school data related to the 3 credit continuous enrollment policy.  Professor Borgmann, Fiore, and Hassanein agreed to serve.   

New Business:

The Council considered revised language for Board of Regents policy 301.3.  The current policy was approved in 1977 and mandates that all programs require the GRE for admission.  There are some instances when the exam is not necessary, but the individual campuses do not have the authority to waive the requirement.  Dean Strobel has been in contact with the Associate Commissioner of Higher Education, Roger Barber and he suggests the following revised language.  "All graduate programs in the Montana University System shall establish admission and selection standards that are appropriate to the program of study."   Currently there is a candidate for the EED program that has 3 graduate degrees and a PhD. His retaking the GRE should not be necessary.   Also, flexibility will be needed after the implementation of the new exam. 

Dean Strobel would like to take the language to the Chief Academic Officers meeting on 2/28 for consideration.  The Council supported the recommended wording.  Chair Hayes will take the language to ECOS for consideration. 

Good and Welfare:

Dean Strobel distributed a letter to the Editor related to a misquote in a Kaimin article.

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

Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812