The University of Alabama
November 28, 2006

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 in Room 110 of the AIME Building.


Dr. Elizabeth S. Aversa, Dr. John Baker,
Prof. Robin K. Behn, Dr. Silas C. Blackstock,
Dr. Todd DeZoort, Dr. Martyn R. Dixon,
Dr. Kari Frederickson, Dr. Janice “Dee” Goldston,
Dr. Matthew Green, Dr. Marsha L. Houston,
Dr. Richard Houston, Dr. Mark R. Klinger,
Dr. Elaine A. Martin, Dr. Janis O’Donnell,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Edward J. Schnee,
Dr. Roy Ann Sherrod, Dr. Charles R. Sox,
Dr. Robert P. Taylor, Dr. John M. Wiest,
Dr. Ken Wright, Dr. Vivian H. Wright


Dr. Natalie Adams, Dr. Allan V. Kaufman,
Dr. Bruce Kim, Dr. Michael Murphy,
David Roskos-Ewoldsen, Dr. Shuhua Zhou





Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Beth Yarbrough, Registrar – Graduate School

Dean David Francko welcomed everyone and asked all members to introduce themselves.  The September 14, 2006 minutes were read and then approved with a minor correction.

I. Dean’s Welcome to the Graduate Council
Dean Francko began the meeting with the Program and Degree Requirements Committee.  Recommendations were made by Dr. Elizabeth Aversa filling in for Dr. Natalie Adams.

The first recommendation would require that the Plan of Study for Doctoral Students be filed on or before the time when 30 hours of coursework have been completed.  Discussion ensued regarding changes to the courses on the Plan of Study.   The original recommendation was to file a change form when three changes were made to the Plan of Study.  It was suggested that students file the original Plan of Study and then an amended Plan of Study (if needed) at the time of filing an application for candidacy to the doctoral program or when the student applies to graduate.

During the discussion, Dr. Aversa mentioned that a doctoral student is already required to file a Plan of Study.  However, the current problem is that students usually wait until graduation to file their POS.   At that time it is too late to correct any problems that are found.  Hence, the Graduate School is often reacting at the last minute to approve an exception on the student’s behalf and not hinder the student from graduation.  Many problems could have been corrected several semesters ago, if the POS had been filed earlier.  Several recurring problems are as follows:  Student has not met the residency requirement, student wants to use out of date transfer or UA work, or a student takes a course that was not part of the original POS, and so forth.

Dean Francko reiterated that while this proposal is in the best interest of the student, it would increase the communication between the departments and the Graduate School.  A vote was taken and 22 approved and 2 opposed.  Motion carried.

The second recommendation revolved around the “I” and “IP” grades.  The “IP” grade is not longer available, and the Graduate School will be taking that paragraph out of the Catalog.  The idea by some faculty was that the “IP” grade was a kinder, gentler “I”.  However, that grade will not longer be available in Banner.   Also, the Council voted to increase from two (2) to four (4) weeks the time a student has in the next semester to remove an “I.”

Several informational items were mentioned as follows:

  1. Audit Policy - The question came up regarding when a student must declare his/her intention to take a course for audit or to change from credit to an audit basis.  This issue is not addressed anywhere in writing, including both the undergraduate and graduate catalog.  Common practice in Higher Education has been to have the deadline be the last date to register for Pass/Fail and/or the last day to add a course.  These two dates are the same for The University of Alabama.  Therefore, this date will apply for both undergraduate and graduate students. 
  2. Minimum Hours for Dissertation Research - The long standing policy has been that a doctoral student must register for a minimum of 3 hours per semester for the fall and spring of the academic year once advanced to candidacy.  However, in Banner, the courses are set up as variable, beginning with one (1) hour.  Many students fail to go back into the system and increase their hours to the minimum required three (3).  This is causing more paperwork for students and departments, along with the fact that students have to register retroactively and pay for these additional hours.   Beginning next fall, Banner will be set up with 699 being a variable course, but the minimum will be three (3) hours to register.  All dissertation research registrations for fewer than three (3) hours must be approved by the Graduate Registrar.
  3. New Program – MSN/EdD – This program encompasses an EdD degree with a Nurse Educator Specialization.  The shortage of Nursing Educators has caused the demand this degree.
II. Reports from Graduate Council Committees
There were no reports from the Council’s committees.

III. Reports from the Dean’s Office

Graduate Catalog Copy - Most universities have gone to a completely online catalog, with just a few printed copies for local use.  Concerns have been expressed regarding not having any hard copies available.  The Dean proposed launching a PDF online catalog which would allow for printing a limited number of copies for departmental, office, and archival review/use, electronic edits, and for approved changes to be updated and inserted into the locked edition of the catalog. Dean Francko talked to Dr. Bonner concerning the adoption of a hybrid Catalog copy similar to other colleges and universities.  Dean Francko thinks that we could have the online catalog along with office copies for the campus.  All present were in favor of a hybrid version of the catalog.

GoArmyEd - The need to increase enrollment has been emphasized, and one way we are tying to utilize is the U.S. Government.  The U.S. Government will be providing financial assistance for students enrolled under the GoArmyEd program while the armed forces expand the program.  The Graduate School is working closely with CCS on this.

Application fee update - The Provost approved the plan to increase both online and hard-copy application fees for Graduate School to $30.00 for online applications and $35.00 for paper applications. This application fee increase will take effect in July 2007. The additional revenues from this increase are estimated to be from roughly $20,000/yr. to roughly $130,000/yr., given current enrollment projections. The Assistant Dean will be working on enhancing recruitment at the departmental level in addition to addressing the need for new fellowships. The question of increasing the non-degree application fee was raised, but that will not change at this time.

Other Items were:

  • Diane Johnson has agreed to represent the Council on the Program Discontinuance and Merger Committee.
  • The University is preparing a binder of materials to distribute to all state elected officials. The Graduate School will be represented in this publication.
  • John Schmitt announced that the nominations for Outstanding Teaching, Research, and Service Awards will be due by January 8th, 2007. Already under way are the evaluations of the outstanding thesis and outstanding dissertation nominations.

IV. Reports from Standing University Committees
No other reports from the standing University Committees.

V. Old Business
There was no old business.

VI. New Business
There was no new business.

Dr. David A. Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m.