March 18, 2009

Graduate Council Meeting Minutes

March 18, 2009

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

Members Present: R. Bolton, L. Frey, T. Herron, J. Hirstein, D. McNamer, N. Moisey, M. Moore, G. Quintero, C. VonReichert, C. Watson, C. Winkler

Members Absent/Excused: C. Anderson, M. McGuirl, G. Stanley

Ex-officio members Present: Associate Provost Brown

The meeting was called to order at 12:14 p.m.

The 3/11/09 minutes were amended and approved.


  • Members were reminded to review the Bertha Morton applications by Monday, March 23rd. Each application should receive a score from 1-5. Then, the subcommittee should rank them as a group. The scores will be tabulated to determine the top, middle and bottom candidates. The middle candidates will then be re-reviewed by the Council and scored 1-5. This process should identify the candidates in the middle group that will receive the award. If there are ties, the Council can discuss the merits of the applications as a whole to make a decision.

Business Items:

  • The revised continuous registration policy was reviewed and approved with a slight amendment (document appended below). The policy will be sent to department chairs, graduate directors, and administrative assistance. It will also be posted on the Graduate School's web page and will be communicated by Chair Moisey at the Faculty Senate on April 9th. The policy will be effective July 1st and will apply to students enrolled next fall.
  • The Dual Listing Workgroup is reviewing the enrollment data from 300 UG courses. A handout was provided to the Council. Departments with a fair number of graduate students taking 300 UG courses or a lot of 300 UG courses on the books will be contacted by a member of the Workgroup and asked a series of questions - such as the role of 300 UG courses in their program.

    The Workgroup is considering establishing a 500 level course similar to an independent study that would provide programs with an alternative to 300 UG course. The course would have a separate syllabus that is clearly graduate level with more in-depth curriculum. The course would be an exception for programs that demonstrate a need. It would be limited to 6 credits and will be monitored. The oversight mechanism and procedure for approval will need to be discussed by the Council.
    The goal of the Workgroup is to increase the quality of graduate programs, discourage the use of 300 level courses, and project an image of quality. Departments will need to review their courses offered for graduate credit and either eliminate the UG status on 300 level courses, transition the courses to 400 level or apply for the special 500 level course exception.
  • The strategic planning poll summary (appended) will be sent to the Strategic Planning Committee for consideration. The Graduate Student Association also created a summarized response to the poll.
  • ASCRC is considering establishing a policy to govern appeals. It was suggested that once a proposal is rejected, the program must wait to resubmit during the next regular curriculum review in the following fall. It was also suggested that requesters be given two weeks to respond to requests for additional information. If they do not respond then the proposal is rejected and the requester must wait until the next regular curriculum review process to resubmit. Many members of the Council disagreed with making programs wait a year to resubmit. It should work with ASCRC to create a policy that is acceptable. Policies governing curriculum review should be vetted by both curriculum committees.

    According to the ASCRC Chair, Dean Comer is requesting that an internal faculty review of curricular items occur in the College of Arts and Sciences before proposals come to him for signature. He suggests proposals be available for a month in the College to allow all affected programs to review the proposals. This structure would not add an additional layer, but rather the review would take place in reverse order so that curricular items are vetted by faculty before the dean signs the form. This is the intention of the current signature process. It is uncertain whether the change will resolve the breakdown of communication and consultation that occurs across campus. The ASCRC Chair recommends that a proposal be submitted to ECOS for consideration. Graduate Council will want to make sure it is involved with the discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 12.58 p.m.

New Policy

Policy Name: Continuous Registration-Graduate Students

Date Proposed for Adoption: 07/01/2009

Policy Narrative:

To ensure that costs for services are covered for continuing graduate students, a continuous registration requirement of three credits per semester is mandatory, except in documented and approved instances such as the following and for which registration of at least one credit is required.  This policy applies to the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters) and to those students whose academic year may be an exception such as spring-summer or summer-fall).  It also does not apply to on-line, off-campus only programs.

1.      International assignment with an NGO, Peace Corps, etc. as a program requirement (program registration documentation)

2.      Parental leave or major illness (documented by physician, psychologist, etc.)

3.      Extended family-leave due to illness (documented by physician, psychologist, etc.)

4.      Significant off-campus field assignment (documented by department chair and dean).

5.      Post-defense periods in which there is thesis, dissertation, or professional paper clean up only (no registration is required)

Policy procedures:

Application for exception to the three credit mandatory continuous registration policy should occur using the following procedures:

1.      All exceptions must be approved by the Associate Provost for Graduate Education.

2.      All requests for exception should be submitted to the Associate Provost before the first day of classes for the semester for which an exception is requested.

3.      Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, except for programmatic exceptions (e.g. ICD program in Resource Conservation, IYFD program in Education) which can be requested by a programmatic memorandum from the program director to the Associate Provost.  The memorandum from the program director will constitute suitable documentation.

4.      Maternity or major illness and extended family leave exception requests should be in the form of a memorandum from the major professor (adviser) to the Associate Provost, and suitable documentation (from physician, psychologist, other medical professional, etc.) should be included as an attachment.

5.      Significant off-campus field assignment (domestic or foreign) exception requests for each student should be in the form of a memorandum to the Associate Provost from the major professor (adviser) and endorsed by the department chair and dean.  This memorandum will constitute suitable documentation.

6.      Exception request memoranda need not be lengthy, but should include the specific request including the student's name and student identification number, the reason for the request, and any supporting documentation.

Additional Note (not part of the continuous registration policy):

In addition to this continuous registration policy, the Graduate School allows a one-semester leave of absence with no penalty, with approval by the Associate Provost for Graduate Education.  The form for requesting a leave of absence is available on the Graduate School web site.  Since a leave of absence presumes the student is off-campus and not engaged in university activities, no university resources (except those available to the general public) are available during the leave of absence. 


Graduate Council Highest and Lowest Priority of Strategic Issues



Strategic Issues



i. Cultivate Graduate Programs - attract excellent students and prepare them to make scholarly and creative contributions in their field - Curriculum and research opportunities matched to our current reputation, student demand, capitalizing on our location; stipends and in-state status.



f. A Coherent Vision for Research, Creativity, and Scholarship - where and how do we want to cultivate distinction for discovery, innovation and leadership; a climate for interdisciplinary; connection to the Montana economy.



a. The Undergraduate Experience (creating a world class curriculum; mindfully connecting teaching and learning to best deliver this curriculum) - who are we preparing, what are we preparing them to do, and how best to retain them and prepare them to be successful?



h. The Workplace Conditions - allow staff and faculty to meet their potentials, and that allow them to collaborate more effectively in service of teaching, scholarship and service.



c. Articulation Between K-12 and Higher Education in Montana- including dual enrollment, teacher certification and in-service professional development, addressing deficiencies in preparation, and consistent outreach from UM to K-12 schools in Montana.



d. Enabling Technology for Teaching and Scholarship - how technology is funded and managed, looking toward the future of devices and web 2.0; paying attention to training, nimbleness.



k. The Changing World Around Us - international programs and exchanges, research, key languages sustainability, interdisciplinary, demographics, globalization, economies, and so on.



j. Diversity - cultivating a climate and curriculum to values diversity and recognizes the value of a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.



e. Perceptions and Reality of the Cost of Education versus the Value of Education at UM - who has access, addressing affordability; better branding and communication with stakeholders (in MT and beyond) of our scholarship and community service.



g. Strengthening Communication and Transparency - in line with our value and tradition of shared governance; better communication with stakeholders.



b. Development of COT/Community Colleges in Montana - better articulation and synergy.



 l. Achieving Optimal Enrollment - what is optimal for UM and for the educational experience we value.