The University of Alabama
April 23, 2002

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 in the Forum Room of the Ferguson Center.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               

Dr. Bruce E. Barrett, Dr. Carol Cassel,
Dr. Barbara Fischer, Dr. Susan C. Fleming, 
Dr. L. Michael Freeman, Dr. Marsha L. Houston,
Dr. Ida M. Johnson, Dr. Richard G. Lomax,
Dr. Michael D. Murphy, Dr. Yorgo Pasadeous,
Dr. Martha J. Powell, Dr. David R. Roskos-Ewoldsen,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Edward J. Schnee,
Dr. Marietta P. Stanton, Dr. Min Sun,
Dr. Cynthia S. Sunal, Dr. Stephen J. Thoma,
Dr. Joseph S. Thrasher, Dr. Harold J. Weber,
Dr. John M. Wiest


MEMBERS ABSENT:              

Dr. Martin G. Bakker, Dr. Michael T. Dugan,
Dr. D. Jeff Jackson, Dr. Carol L. Tieso,
Dr. S. Allen Wilcoxon


MEMBERS ON  SABBATICAL:                   

Dr. Laura G. Klinger
Dr. Sharon O’Dair
Dr. Paul H. Stuart



MEMBERS PRESENT:                

Dean Ronald Rogers



Ms. Samantha Briggs



Dr. John F. Schmitt, Associate Dean
Ms. Louise Labosier, Admissions Officer

Dean Rogers opened the meeting by asking if there were corrections to the February 26, 2002 Graduate Council minutes. No corrections were noted and the minutes were approved as written.

Dean Rogers called for the reports from various committees.

I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees

A.  Financial Aid 

Dr. David Roskos-Ewoldsen, Chairman of the Committee on Financial Aid, called attention to the report, which highlighted the committee’s activities this spring. The committee reviewed nominations and announced awards for 2002-2003 Graduate Council Thesis and Dissertation Fellowships, Graduate Council Fellowships, and Graduate Council Research Fellowships. Dr. Roskos-Ewoldsen reported that the committee continues to develop a proposal for next year’s committee to increase research fellowships for the humanities. Dean Rogers encouraged Council members to forward suggestions for this proposal to Dr. Roskos-Ewoldsen.

B. Program and Degree Requirement

Dr. Steve Thoma reported that, as requested by Dr. Rogers at the last meeting, the committee and volunteers had studied the graduate student surveys initiated by the Career Center and the Office of Institutional Research. Review of the surveys raised questions for the committee, and the committee determined a more thorough examination of the survey and the data collected was warranted. The review will continue in the fall of 2002.

C. Admissions and Recruitment

 Dr. Edward Schnee reported that the Admissions and Recruitment Committee had met with representatives from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics to review the department’s request to cease requiring the GRE or the MAT for admission to their graduate programs. Dr. Schnee indicated that the committee’s discussion resulted in a request for the Graduate Council to consider removing the university-wide requirement for applicants to submit an acceptable test score and allow each department to determine the best test or other best evidence as admission criteria. Dr. Rogers felt that such a major change in admission standards should be discussed again in September allowing sufficient time for discussion and study. Dr. Schnee indicated that the Admissions and Recruitment Committee made no recommendation on the proposal presented by Modern Languages and Classics. A motion was made and seconded to accept the proposal as presented. Dr. Barbara Fischer presented the department’s concern that they were unable to attract the most qualified applicants due to the test requirement. She indicated that applicants would be required to submit a significant writing sample in the target language, in lieu of the GRE or MAT.  Discussion revolved around test scores as true predictors of success in graduate study, other measures that might be considered appropriate predictors of success, and the importance of maintaining scholastic standards. Dean Rogers called for a vote on the motion to approve the MLC request. The motion passed with 14 votes in favor, 7 votes against and 1 vote in abstention.

II. Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs

Dr. John Schmitt announced that the Workshop for New GTAs would be August 15-16, 2002. He asked that faculty communicate to their new GTAs that the workshop is required. The workshop schedule will soon be on the Graduate School website. The optional Graduate Student Services orientation and departmental orientations should be scheduled so as not to conflict with the GTA workshop.

Dean Rogers announced that graduate enrollment has been maintained at its current level. Over the last five years, admission to doctoral programs has increased by 15%, due in large part to the College of Engineering.

Dean Rogers announced that Dr. David Roskos-Ewoldsen and Dr. Carol Cassel had been promoted to professor and Dr. Barbara Fischer had been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor.

III. Reports from Standing University Committees

Dr. Yorgo Pasadeos, Chairman of the Committee on Committees, reported that positions for graduate student representatives have been added to three standing university committees, Resources & Priorities Committee, Faculty & Staff Benefits Committee, and Student Health Committee.

IV. Old Business

There was no old business discussed.

V. New Business

No new business was introduced.

Dr. Rogers adjourned the meeting at 4:05 p.m.