Friday, October 19, 2007-10:00 a.m.

327 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:        Vijendra Agarwal, Ashley Burrowes, Tim Donahue, Gary Gilmore, Tom Kuffel, Jonathan Majak, Kasi Periyasamy, S.N. Rajagopal, David Reineke, Bill Schwan, Michele Thorman


Members Excused:      Rob Dixon, Ashley Olson


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


Consultants Excused: Lise Graham



1.  The meeting was called to order at 10:02 am. by Bill Schwan.


2.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes for the September 21, 2007 meeting.  (9 yes, 0 no, 1 abstention)


Motion carried.


3.  Announcements


  • RSEL grant funding: $4,000 has been pledged by Jay Lokken (Office of International Education) to fund RSEL grants with international components.
  • The Faculty Senate and Joe Gow have reviewed and approved the changes to the Graduate Faculty membership policy and criteria.


4.  First and second readings


·         A draft proposal regarding first and second readings was discussed by the Graduate Council.

·         First and second readings are part of Robert’s Rules, which are mandated by the Wisconsin open meeting statute.  Graduate Council meetings must adhere to that statute.

·         Concern was expressed over what this rule would mean for academic appeals. 

o        Students will have to be more rigorous in their preparation of appeal materials.

o        Faculty member explaining the process will need to be more vigilant as they advise/assist students who are moving through the appeals process.

o        The Graduate Studies Office will create an appeals packet checklist.

·         At this time, no action will be taken regarding first and second readings.  Bill Schwan noted that it was the responsibility of the Chair to periodically remind the Council that Robert’s Rules are the meeting rules in place.

·         A motion was made and seconded to charge the Graduate Council Advisory Committee with drafting a policy to create a first and second reading exception for academic appeals.  (6 yes, 3 no, 2 abstentions)


Motion carried.


5.  Graduate Studies resources (draft resolution)


  • Gary Gilmore provided a context for the resolution and indicated the primary reason for the concern is the loss of quality graduate school candidates to other institutions that are able to offer better financial incentive packages.
  • Wording changes were suggested and discussed. 
  • Suggestions for making a stronger case:
    • Compare our student support with that of other institutions
    • Ask for specific dollar or percentage amount of increase in support
    • Change last paragraph to focus on financial support rather than graduate studies in general.
  • This year, VJ Agarwal got the tuition remission and graduate assistantship allocations in January and distributed them to the Deans to assist programs in making offers to students.
  • The distribution of Academic Initiative dollars ($60,000 + matching funds) that are collected from Graduate Students is currently controlled by the Undergraduate dominated Student Senate.  Part of the discussion centered on whether the distribution of those dollars should be controlled by the Graduate Students.
  • The Graduate Council Advisory Committee will work on incorporating the suggestions into a resolution to be discussed at a future meeting.


6.  Graduate Faculty membership policy and criteria changes


  • Possible changes to Graduate Faculty membership were discussed.
  • The primary focus of the discussion was putting the onus of vetting candidates on the individual departments.
  • Another concern was that the policy be flexible enough to address the faculty needs of the various programs/departments.
  • With a consensus that a change is warranted, the Graduate Council Advisory Committee will review the current process and bring a recommendation back to the full Council.


7.  Commencement speakers.


  • VJ Agarwal discussed the need for a process to select/recommend student and guest speakers at the Commencement now that Graduate Studies will have its own ceremony.
  • Graduate Council members were encouraged to forward the names of possible speakers


Meeting adjourned:  11:38 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Chandra Hawkins