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.
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
Dean David Francko
Dr. John Schmitt,
Dr. Natalie Adams,
REPRESENTATIVE ABSENT: Reginald
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
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.
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
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
Dean Francko adjourned
the meeting at 4:15 p.m.