Graduate Council Minutes

Friday March 14, 2008

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present: VJ Agarwal, Rob Dixon, Tim Donahue, Jonathan Majak, Ashley Olson, Kasi Periyasamy, S.N. Rajagopal, David Reineke, Michele Thorman


Members Excused: Ashley Burrows, Gary Gilmore, Tom Kuffel, Bill Schwan


Consultants Present: Ray Abhold, Chris Bakkum, Lise Graham, Charles Martin-Stanley


Guests: Mike Kennedy, Mai Jong


Meeting called to order at 10:00 am by VJ Agarwal.

  1. Minutes
    1. Motion (Majek/Donahue) to approve the minutes of February 15, 2008. Charles Martin-Stanley indicated that he was at the meeting instead of excused. Motion passed on voice vote.
    2. Motion (Reineke/Donahue) to approve the minutes of February 26, 2008. Passed on voice vote with two abstentions.
    3. Motion (Reineke/Donahue) to approve the minutes of February 29, 2008. Passed on voice vote.
  2. Announcements
    1. VJ Agarwal announced that Sharon Radtke has provided updated numbers on the differential tuition dollars paid by graduate students. It is approximately $62,000 without matching funds as compared to $471,000 for undergraduate students. Graduate students have never received the amount that they put in. However, some of the fees go towards university-wide activities that support graduate and undergraduate students, such as the library. The final dispersal of dollars for graduate students has not been decided.
    2. VJ Agarwal announced that the Apportionment Committee met and is providing $6,000 for next year’s travel fund, which is up from last year’s $4,500. In addition, $720 was allocated for the Graduate Student Orientation and networking events. Graduate Studies will contribute $4,500 toward travel grants.
    3. VJ Agarwal announced that the Faculty Senate approved the changes to graduate faculty status and the new repeat policy. Both are now going to Chancellor Gow for his approval.
  3. Resolution
    1. Motion (Thorman/Rajagopal) to approve the resolution, Graduate Education: A Priority for a High Quality University. Two changes made before the vote

                                                              i.      Point #4: Whereas the notable graduate programs at UW-La Crosse are critical to the recruitment of the best undergraduate students as well as high quality faculty;

                                                           ii.      Point #8: Whereas UW-La Crosse graduate students are required to engage in more in depth substantive research/scholarship leading to culminating academic project reports or theses;

    1. Passed on voice vote
  1. Comparative data from peer institutions was discussed. Seven responded to the survey. Some schools do better than UW-La Crosse at offering incentives to attract students (St. Cloud State was identified as a good example). UW-La Crosse does well with travel and research grant opportunities. Qualitatively, we seem to rank in the middle of our peer institutions. It was noted that if tuition were to rise, then we would lose any competitive edge we now have. Need to determine what to do with this data? Suggested that it can be shared at faculty senate.
    1. Questions about timing of graduate assistantships and tuition waivers were raised. Program directors need to know as early as possible the availability of financial incentives to prospective students to attract the best candidates to the programs. Consensus of the Council was that this information needs to be communicated to Program Directors before the end of March.
  2. RSEL Grants
    1. Three proposals were received. The committee unanimously recommended to fully fund all three. The three grants were briefly reviewed. Graduate Council approved the committee recommendation on a voice vote.
    2. There is some RSEL money left over and the Graduate Council determined that there would be a second call put out to the students. Motion (Donahue/Rajagopal) to have a second RSEL Grant Call of Proposals with a deadline of April 18, 2008. Passed on voice vote.
  3. Michelle Thorman distributed an article about a student graduating from the Physical Therapy program. Motion (Thorman/Rajagopal) for the Graduate Council to endorse Jen Berg as speaker for the Spring Convocation for Graduate Students. Passed on a voice vote.
    1. Noted that graduate students and the Graduate Council do not have a system in place for identifying speakers and this all goes through the Student Senate for approval. It is hoped that this resolution will be positively viewed by Student Senate. In addition, a note on this endorsement by the Graduate Council should be sent to Paula Knutson, Dean of Students.
  4. Incomplete Grades – this followed the Draft of Incomplete Grade/Grade Change Policy Changes
    1. Point #1: PR Grade

                                                              i.      Motion (Dixon/Donahue) to create a “PR” grade (for progress) to be used for seminar papers, theses, and terminal or culminating projects. Passed on voice vote.

                                                           ii.      Motion (Donahue/Rajagopal) that the PR grade would be subject to the seven-year period for degree completion. If the PR grade is not changed after the seven-year period, the PR grade will either default to an “F” or the grade that was assigned by the instructor when completing the form. Passed on voice vote.

    1. Point #2: Incomplete Grades

                                                              i.      Motion (Rajagopal/Donahue) to endorse as written. Discussion on the length of time that a student can make up the grade. The thought is that one calendar year should give them ample time to access faculty. Leaving it open to enrollment can cause problems if faculty choose to leave the institution. Passed on voice vote with no changes.

    1. Point #3: Appeal of Final Grade. No action
    2. Point #4: Change of Grade

                                                              i.      Motion (Reineke) to endorse as written.

1.      Changed to read, “…change a final letter grade…”

                                                           ii.      Motion passed (7-1-0)

    1. Point #5: Appeal of Change of Grade by an Instructor

                                                              i.      Motion (Donahue/Olson) to endorse as written. Motion passed (7-0-1)

  1. Meeting Adjourned 11:40 am.


Respectfully Submitted,

Rob Dixon


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