September 3, 2008

Graduate Council Meeting Minutes

September  3, 2008

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

Members Present: L. Ametsbichler, R. Baker, R. Bolton, T. Herron, J. Hirstein, M. McGuirl, N. Moisey, G. Quintero, C. VonReichert, C. Watson, C. Winkler

Members Absent/Excused: G. Stanley

Ex-officio members Present: Associate Provost Brown

The meeting was called to order at 12:10 p.m.

The 4/30/08 minutes were amended and approved.


  • Members introduced themselves.
  • The committee was reminded that the curriculum deadline is 9/26/08. Therefore, the review of proposals will start in October.
  • The program reviews scheduled for this year are predominately in the professional schools. The Council has concerns about the timeline and would like to clarify the procedure with Associate Provost Walker-Andrews. She will be invited to next week's meeting.
  • Associate Provost Brown provided the Council with information regarding the vision of graduate education described in the President's State of the University address.

    The primary purposes of increasing graduate programs are economic development and achieving doctoral extensive status. The goal is to double the number of graduate students over the next 8-10 years, from 13% to 25-30%. It will take a lot of work to create energetic, vibrant and creative programs. New programs will need to be developed and could include masters and PhD programs, certificates, graduate non-degree training programs, and creative programs that are integrated with Undergraduate programs. He is starting to meet with academic deans to discuss possibilities.

    Several internal changes will need to take place to put the Graduate School on the trajectory for increased programs. Internal policies will need to change to removed bottlenecks. Deans will have to get involved and be more aggressive in working with the foundation to increase resources. Recruiting and retention will need to be improved; time to degree can be improved; and the web page will be updated as well.

    Discussions need to take place with potential employers in order to increase the number of PhD and graduate students that stay in Montana.

    Legislative initiatives will be needed over the next five legislative sessions. The first initiative is a joint request with MSU focused on doctoral education and includes the following:

1.      Increase the number of teaching and research assistants

2.      Raise the stipend levels by approximately $8,000 for doctoral students

3.      Convert RAs and TAs to resident status for tuition

4.      The formula for a full load should be 9 credits rather than 12.     

Legislators will need to be cultivated to understand the value of investment.

The budget negotiations with the Governor started with a request of $11.5 million.  This was too high.  Further negotiation will determine an acceptable figure.

Council members questioned why the procedure used at MSU allowing students to take 6 credits for the first year and then apply for resident status is not viable at UM.  If the legislative initiative is not successful the Council would like to investigate the issue.  It would like to see the data that supports the revenue problem argument.   


  • Professor Ross is helping in the Graduate School.

Business Items:

  • Professor Moisey agreed to serve as chair of the committee.
  • There were no volunteers to chair the IIP Oversight Committee. Professor Erickson, last year's Graduate Council Chair, volunteered to serve on the IIP Admissions Committee. He chaired the IIP Oversight Committee in 2006-2007, so has the necessary background. The Council agreed that he would be a good candidate. Camie will inquire whether he is willing to serve.

    IIP Oversight members were identified as:

George Stanley

Jim Hirstein
Michele McGuirl

Neil Mosey
Gilbert Quintero

Linda Frey (new)

  • Members were provided with current policies and procedures for review. The Faculty Senate bylaws call for a review of committee's statements of procedures and guidelines at the first meeting each academic year. One discrepancy was noted in ASCRC relating to the special topics policy. It will clarify whether special topics / experimental courses can be offered 2 or 3 times prior to review for permanent status.
  • The admission standard proposals for Art and Math will be presented by the subcommittees next week. The programs are eager to have the proposals approved to update their requirements considering admission deadlines are in October.

Good and Welfare:

  • Members were asked to fill out the Academic Strategic Planning Committee's Environmental Scan Survey and return it to Associate Dean Brewer.

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