Friday, November 5, 2004-9:55 a.m.

 325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:                R. Rada, Chair, T. Blumentritt, R. Dixon, D. Reineke, A. Rotar (Student Rep.), W. Schwan, D. Sutherland, and I. Wilson (Student Rep.)


Members Excused:              C. Angell, B. Erickson (Student Rep.), T. Krueger, S. Simpson,

                                                T. Staloch, and M. Thorman


Consultants Present:            G. Arimond, B. May, C. Martin-Stanley and K. Mc Lean


Consultants Excused:           D. Schumacher


Others Present:                     L. Ringgenberg (Student Activities) and Doug Swanson (Advising



The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m. by Ron Rada, Chair.


1.         Approval of the minutes of October 15, 2004. M/S/P to approve the minutes of October 15, 2004.  (5 yes, 0 no)


2.         Introduction of Adam Rotar and Ian Wilson (graduate student representatives on the Graduate Council).


3.         The Academic Initiative (differential tuition) was discussed; Ron explained that each student pays $20.00 into this fund per semester, which is matched by UW-La Crosse.  The money of the Academic Initiative is allocated to four areas:  Academy Advising, Diversity, International Education, and Research.  Adam Rotar mentioned that he did not think most students paid close attention to the statements sent to the students with the breakdown of fees.


There was a discussion of how to set up and conduct focus groups of graduate students to assess the needs of the graduate students.  Doug Swanson (who will facilitate the focus groups) distributed handouts on AAC focus groups/graduate students.  The handout included ideas on implementation of the focus groups, times for the focus groups, and some possible questions for the focus groups.


Rob Dixon, Doug Swanson, and George Arimond will meet and discuss how to frame the issues to be addressed by the focus groups.  For example, there might be an introduction to the Academic Initiative (including areas of the initiative and the amount/percentage of money allocated to each area).  They will report back to the Grad Council on November 19.


There will be 3 focus groups, each with 8-10 students.  The Grad Council will attempt to have several different graduate programs represented in each focus group.  The following individuals were appointed to recruit students for the focus groups.

Bruce May—CBA

George Arimond and Adam Rotar—EESHR

                        Bill Schwan—CSAH (basic sciences:  Biology, Microbiology, and MSE)

                        Karen Mc Lean—CSAH (Health Professions)

                        Rob Dixon—CLS (School Psychology)


Each individual is to recruit as many interested students as possible, asking each student if they would be willing to be part of a focus group if selected.  Recruitment must be done as soon as possible (at least before the November 19 Grad Council meeting.  This will assure that the focus groups can be assembled well in advance of the times scheduled for the focus groups—the first being on November 29.


The goal is to use the focus groups as the initial step in the assessment of needs of graduate students (i.e., needs to which money from the Academic Initiative might best be allocated to support graduate students).  After the focus groups are conducted, a decision will be made by the Graduate Council as to whether (1) the focus groups are sufficient to assess the needs of graduate students, or (2) an online survey (administered to all graduate students) is needed to better assess the needs of graduate students—using the results of the focus group to frame the questions of the survey.


7.         Ron informed the Graduate Council that we have received 27 Graduate Student Research Grant applications.  After the meeting, Ron appointed David Reineke (CSAH), Steven Simpson (EESHR), and Tracie Blumentritt (CLS) to serve as reviewers.


8.         Because of the time element, the review of GRC799, Graduate Student

            Recruitment, Restrictions/flexibility of the use of fee waivers, and Graduate

            program targets were not discussed.  These items will be on a future agenda.



Meeting Adjourned:     11:15 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Fran Temp



c:         Graduate Council Members

            Department Chairs

            Graduate Council File