The regular meeting of the Graduate
Council was held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in 110 AIME
Dr. Rebecca Allen, Dr. Kim Bissell,
Dr. Mary Curtner-Smith,
Dr. Chuck Schmidt for Dr. F. Todd DeZoort,
Dr. Lisa Dorr, Dr. Marysia Galbraith,
Dr. Susan Gaskins, Dr. Yuebin Guo,
Dr. Diane Johnson,
Dr. Margo Lamme, Dr. Stevan Marcus,
Dr. Gordon MacNeil for Debra Nelson-Gardell,
Dr. Michael Picone, Dr. Kristy Reynolds,
Dr. Leslie Rissler, Dr. Nancy J. Rubin,
Dr. Jamie Satcher, Dr. Edward Schnee,
Dr. Lori Turner, Dr. Wayne J. Urban,
Dr. Derek Williamson, Dr. Vivian Wright
Dr. Marsha Adams, Dr. Martin Bakker,
Dr. Kim Caldwell,
Dr. Timothy Haskew,
Dr. John Petrovic,
Dr. Wendy Rawlings,
Dr. Steve Thoma
Prof. Steve Miller
Dr. Harold Stowell
Dr. Louis A. Pitschmann
GRADUATE SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT:
Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Dean
Dr. Natalie Adams, Assistant Dean
Beth Yarbrough, Registrar
Ms. Anita Mixon, Mr. Robert Harris
Dr. Rob Morgan, Dr. Angela Benson
Dr. Bill Wallace, Mr. Bill Merriman
Dean Francko welcomed everyone and introductions were made.
Dr. Francko asked if there were corrections to the February 22, 2011
minutes. A motion was made to accept the minutes as written. The motion
was seconded and all were in favor. The minutes were accepted.
II. Special Report from Bill Wallace and Bill Merriman – ELI
The English Language Institute (ELI) was established in 1982 after
problems arose with students understanding Graduate Teaching Assistants
and from a desire to place qualified, intelligible GTAs in
undergraduate classrooms. Approximately 200 students are registered in
the ELI for two main reasons: 50-60% take the ELI for Academic Reasons
and 40-50% take the ELI for Personal Reasons. (Attachment
The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) is used to evaluate
and train non-English speaking students to determine their readiness to
teach. There are also 4-6 outside programs completed with embassies,
corporations, and other outside companies or groups.
The Program uses the “Speak Test” with questions and responses. The
scoring is 20-60 points, and a rubric is used along with videotapes.
There are three scores possible, and placement occurs as follows:
Pass – Teach Class and/or Lab
Conditional Pass – Teach Lab
Fail – None
A proper TOEFL score can be used, but a student must also take the
placement test. Bill Merriman will create a flow chart to explain this
entire process, will provide score guidelines, and will list the
most-effective remediation steps.
In order for a student to move from a
Conditional Pass to Pass, there are several options available: Retake
the ITAP Proficiency Exam, enroll in spoken English course, and/or
enroll in an English writing course. The ITAP testing is held twice a
year and the student would need to take the test again to change the
score from a Conditional Pass to a Pass. The flowchart will help with
the understanding of this process. If a student must retake the ITAP,
there is a priority list. Currently, the Office of Academic Affairs
funds around 60 spots for repeats.
After a student passes the ITAP, he must take the teaching training
course in order to be able to teach. The only exemption allowed is if a
student taught at another college or university. If placed in a
classroom, the ELI monitors 1-2 times each semester in addition to the
monitoring that the department handles.
A “Trial Pass” may be used. In this case, the student will be observed
in the classroom, and notes will be taken and communicated to the
student. At the second observation, notes will be taken regarding the
student’s improvement. Several Council members expressed a concern about
International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) not improving and being pulled
from the class in the middle of a semester. However, the student is
usually allowed to complete the semester but may not teach the following
In the Speak portion of the ITAP Exam, the UA sets our own scoring.
Rounding is not used, and as a result, the UA average is a little lower
than the national average. Departments can also have their own rankings.
It was suggested to add website links to give International Students
practice sites to work on their English.
III. Reports from Graduate Council Committees
A. Financial Aid Committee – Diane Johnson reported that to date,
88 Graduate Council Fellowship Offers have been sent out. To date, 68
have accepted and 14 have declined the offer. Currently, the Graduate
School is waiting for a response from 15 offers made from the final
round. The Goal is 80 maximum, and so far, 23 of these have been
enhanced by the Fellowship Enhancement Program. In total, Graduate
Council Fellowships have been offered to 47 departments.
B. Program and Degree Committee and Research and New Programs
(combined) – Derek Williamson presented two new proposals that were
presented to the committee.
1. A STEM-MBA pre-admission program proposal was presented (Attachment
#2). This program would recruit STEM students beginning their
freshman year to be slowly admitted into the MBA program by the end of
their senior year. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded
to accept the new proposal. All were in favor and none opposed – motion
2. An Alternative Doctoral Residency proposal was presented (Attachment
#3). This proposal applies only to students in the Instructional
Technology concentration within the Instructional Leadership, Ph.D.
program. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded to accept
the proposal. All were in favor and none opposed – motion passed.
C. Admissions and Recruitment Committee – Ed Schnee presented a
report on the admission waivers that were up for review. (All admission
waivers are reviewed every four (4) years).
1. The School of Music submitted the four (4) year progress report and
was approved for an additional 4 years.
2. The Modern Languages department sent in a unique request. The French
and Spanish areas did not want to extend the GRE test waiver, but the
German area wanted the waiver extended. The waiver was approved for the
German area of Modern Languages and Classics for another four (4) years.
This request was treated as a review extension, rather than a new
request. There was a motion made to consider this as a report, not a new
waiver request. The motion was seconded and 11 approved, 1 – opposed,
and 1 abstained. Motion passed.
IV. Reports from the Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs
Associate Dean John Schmitt reported on the recently updated and
submitted SACS Fifth Year Report. He thanked all of the members that
worked diligently over the last several months to finalize the report.
Sometime in July, SACS will provide the University with its response.
John Schmitt reminded everyone that the start of fall classes was moved
a week later than previously scheduled and is August 24th. Therefore,
the dates of the 25th Annual Workshop for New Graduate Teaching
Assistants also had to be changed. The Workshop will be at the Bryant
Conference Center on Thursday and Friday, August 18-19, 2011.
Dean David Francko reported on the Research/Travel Grants fund (Attachment
#4). Research/Travel Grants continue to grow and the number granted
has exceeded our goal in five years. Hopefully we will have 1000+
students to fund in the future. Several times a year, students may apply
for a Research/Travel grant. Monetary support comes primarily from
application fees and from departmental matching.
Dean Francko reported on a report concerning the time from graduate
application to decision. Processing time is down significantly, and
there will be a follow-up report in a few weeks. These are three-year
data, and next year, the Graduate School will be working with
departments on their response time. (Attachment
Assistant Dean Natalie Adams reminded everyone that the nominations for
Tide Together Peer & Faculty Groups will be sent out soon. Nominations
are for students in an underrepresented group, a female in a STEM
program, or a 1st generation college student.
III. Reports from Standing University Committees
There were no standing committee reports.
IV. Old Business
There was no old business.
V. New Business
There was no new business.
Dean Francko adjourned the meeting at 4:35 p.m.