2005-2006 Graduate Studies Report

(prepared by Vijendra Agarwal on behalf of the Graduate Council)

Background: On September 2, 2005 a group of graduate program directors, faculty, staff, administrators, and students met for the first Graduate Studies “Retreat”. Many participants represented the current or past membership on the University Graduate Council. At the end of the day, the following Action Steps were identified as our immediate priority:

Priority #1 -Secure long term allocation of existing Academic Initiative revenue for graduate studies;

Priority #2 -Develop a consistent web presence for UW-L graduate programs; and

Priority #3 -Develop a public relations structure for UW- L graduate studies.


During the academic year, the graduate council met biweekly. The accomplishments and the major issues discussed and acted upon by the Graduate council include the following:


1.  Academic Initiative Funds: A proposal was submitted on behalf of the Graduate Council to the Academic Initiative Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee has recommended an increase of $35,000 in 2006-07 and $45,000 in 2007-08.

The Oversight Committee has also allocated an additional $1,500 to offer grant writing workshops for both undergraduate and graduate students.

2. Segregated Fee Allocation: The Graduate Council is pleased to accept the allocation of $2,840 on behalf of the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) to partially fund the Professional Travel Grant program for graduate students in 2006-07.

3. UW-L Foundation Grant: The Council is also pleased that the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a recipient of the Foundation grant of $800. This grant is primarily intended to host a Graduate Student Orientation in August 2006.

4. A Gift: The Graduate Council applauded the generosity of Dr. Tom Kuffel, Professor of Management and a member of the Graduate Council, and his wife Mary Kuffel, M.D., alumnae of UW-L, who have pledged an annual gift of $1,000 for five years starting in 2006-07. This will be the first ever cash award for a graduate student who will receive the UW-L Graduate Thesis Award in the future.

5. New Thesis Guidelines: The Graduate council reviewed 6 different sets of programmatic guidelines and approved university wide guidelines to provide consistency across all graduate programs.  The new guidelines include uniform requirements for things such as the spacing, page numbers, tables and figures, thesis cover page and signature page etc.

It was recognized that a thesis written in a manuscript format for a targeted journal will still supersede the university guidelines. An additional change approved by the Council is that if any culminating project reports other than thesis are desired to be archived in the Murphy Library, the student must follow all of the thesis guidelines. These guidelines are to be implemented beginning fall 2006.

6. Grant Guidelines Revised:  The Graduate Council expanded the grant guidelines to include Research, Service, and Educational Leadership to be more inclusive and welcoming of the needs of ME-PD Learning Community as well as School Psychology students. The Council also revised the guidelines to make them more transparent and user friendly. In addition, the Council approved that the total grant amount to any individual student would not exceed $1,600 during one’s tenure as a graduate student at UW-L. This upper limit includes both the Professional Travel grant and Research, Service ad Educational Leadership grant. The guidelines for the Professional Travel Grant Program were also revised and approved to make them consistent with the new grant guidelines. The new guidelines will be effective beginning fall 2006.

7. Grants Awards: The Council reviewed and awarded a total of 52 Graduate Research, Service and Educational grants to students in the Colleges of Liberal Studies, and Science and Health. There were no applicants from the College of Business this year. The total amount awarded is about $51,000 in these grants which ranged from $200-1600 across a broad range of graduate programs including the ME-PD Learning Communities students for the first time. In addition, the Professional Travel grants worth over $10,000 were awarded.

8. Research Celebration Day: The Council sponsored 22 graduate student scholars who were the proud presenters of their research accomplishments in the Ninth Annual Celebration of Research and Creativity at UW-L. This was the second consecutive year in which graduate students participated in the Celebration Day.

9. Graduate Thesis Awards and Achievement Awards: The Council approved that the nominations for the Graduate Thesis Award will be reviewed by its subcommittee and approved by the Council. This change was approved to elevate the status of the Thesis Award. In future, one of these awards will carry a $1,000 cash award (see item 4 above).

The Council further approved that the Achievement Awards will continue to be reviewed at the College level and the Council will approve the recommendations made by the college committees.

10. Status of Priority Action Steps:  Following the retreat, two separate groups were formed to make recommendations on priorities 2 and 3 listed above. The Web Development Group led by Rick Mikat and the Public Relation Group led by Bruce May have submitted their recommendations to the Office of Graduate Studies which will be further discussed by the 2006-07 Graduate Council.

Other Items for the Future Council:  2005-06 Council had several discussions about the need to review various Graduate Council policies, practices and procedures but there was no time. Such policies/practices to be discussed next year include:

(a)    GRC 799 fee policy

(b)    Time extension policy

(c)    Academic Appeal policy