The University of Alabama
November 17, 2009

The regular meeting of the Graduate Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 in 110 AIME Building. 



Dr. Catherine E. Davies, Dr. Lisa Dorr,
Dr. Nirmala Erevelles, Dr. Robert H. Findlay,
Dr. Marysia Galbraith, Dr. Yuebin Guo,
Dr. Diane Johnson, Dr. Stevan Marcus,
Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, Dr. John Petrovic,
Dr. Nancy J. Rubin, Dr. Jamie Satcher,
Dr. Edward Schnee, Dr. Roy Ann Sherrod,
Dr. Lori Turner, Dr. Derek Williamson,
Dr. Vivian H. Wright, Dr. Shuhua Zhou
Dr. Carol B. Mills, Dr. Wendy M. Rawlings



Dr. Martin Bakker, Dr. Kim Caldwell,
Dr. Rebecca Allen, Dr. Todd DeZoort,
Dr. Ida M. Johnson, Dr. Louis A. Pitschmann,
Dr. Kristy E. Reynolds, Dr. Samit Roy,
Dr. Wayne J. Urban, Dr. Keith A. Woodbury


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT:       Dean David Francko



Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean

Dr. Natalie Adams, Assistant Dean

Beth Yarbrough, Registrar





Dr. Joe Smith
Dr. Harold Stowell, ex-officio


Dean Francko welcomed everyone, made introductions and asked if there were corrections to the September 22, 2009 minutes. One correction was noted, and the minutes were accepted.
The question arose regarding a quorum for the Graduate Council. There are 34 members and 17 were present. A quorum is 50%, which Dean Francko will confirm. If a member of the Graduate Council misses more than one (1) meeting, he or she is encouraged to send a proxy.
Dean Francko announced that Marsha Houston (retired), Ken Wright and Lynn Snow have all agreed to serve on the committee that represents the Council in program merger or discontinuation.
An article recently published described Auburn University’s new joint undergraduate/graduate program(s) and stated that AU is the first school in the state to have a program such as this. The Provost wanted information gathered regarding any UA program(s) that are similar to AU’s new program(s). At The University of Alabama, the University Scholars Program is similar, has been in existence for a number of years, and has 24 programs already. (Handout #1) The University Scholars programs allow a specific number of graduate hours (typically 9-12) to dual count for both the undergraduate and graduate degree. This program is good for Honors students and for undergraduate students who have taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and it allows them to work on a baccalaureate and master’s degree simultaneously. Caution was expressed by some members of the Graduate Council that it is not necessarily good to receive both degrees at once, and thus, each department makes its own decision about whether or not to participate in University Scholars.
In general, the Graduate School would like to see more programs participate in University Scholars. The undergraduate admission officers are helping to promote these programs during recruitment. More information on University Scholars is in the “U” section of the A-Z site index at the Graduate School’s homepage.
There also are 10 dual degree programs at the graduate level. For example, Social Work has a dual degree program with UAB, the MSW-MPH. Along with that program, they have an MSW-PhD track to move the master’s students straight into the doctoral program.



I. Reports from Graduate Council Committees
Committee on Program & Degree Requirements – Dr. Carol Mills, on behalf of both the Program & Degree Requirements Committee and the Research & New Programs Committee, presented a proposal for an eight (8) year doctoral time limit in Political Science, but only for those PSC students entering doctoral study directly from the undergraduate degree. (Handout #2)
Dean Francko expressed some concern, because Graduate Schools in the U.S. are moving to a shorter rather than longer time frame due to funding problems and the desire to help students move efficiently through their degree programs. A motion for approval of the PSC proposal was made and seconded. All were in favor and none opposed.

II. Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs
Dr. Natalie Adams reported on the recruiting seminar this Thursday with Don Boucher. The seminar is titled, “Recruiting Graduate Students Using the GRE Search Service and the McNair Scholars Directory.” Currently there are a few spaces remaining, so Council members were encouraged to email Carl Williams to register. The seminars are 8:30–11:00 a.m. and 1:00–3:30 p.m. (Handout #3)

III. Reports from Standing University Committees
There were no standing committee reports.

IV. Old Business
Dr. Catherine Davies and Dr. Tom Fox were financed by Dean Olin to go to China for recruitment. They met with Ocean University faculty and students. Currently, Dr. Davies and Dr. Fox are working on a program for a student to work on a PhD in English and teach Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at UA. China is finally ready to fund some students to come to the US to study. Therefore, these graduate students will have access to various funds, including grants and scholarships from their government.

Dean Francko traveled two years ago to Ocean University and stated that these are excellent students. A few Council members wondered whether or not there is a real benefit to this arrangement, but Dean Francko stated that it definitely strengthens UA’s relationship with China and Ocean University, brings additional doctoral students here for study, and provides instructors of Chinese to assist the MLC department.
Dr. Lori Turner began a discussion regarding failing comps in a program. Each department determines the time that students are given for comps, and periodically a student receives ODS certification for special accommodations in the administration of the exam. Once a student has failed the comps a second time, the student is dismissed from the program.
Several problems have emerged regarding International students and the ELI program. Can a student take the ELI course only once, or are there times when a student might be permitted to take it a second time? Can a student take the test only once a year? Can we get more ELI help for International students? If an International student does not pass the exam, this sometimes causes a problem for certain departments that are looking to hire that student as a Teaching Assistant. Natalie Adams stated that she would invite Dr. Bill Wallace, Director of the Eli office, to speak at a Graduate Council meeting.

V. New Business
There being no new business, Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.


Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.