University Council on Graduate Study
February 19, 2002
3:00-5:00 PM
817 Cathedral of Learning

Attending: Elizabeth Baranger (Chair), Jacob Birnberg (KGSB), David Brodbeck (FAS/Music), Luis Chaparro (ENG), Nancy Condee (FAS/Interdisciplinary), Judith Erlen (Nursing), Ken Etzel (Dental Med), Steven Husted (FAS), Rainer Johnsen (FAS/Physics), Wynne Korr (Social Work), Michael Lewis (SIS), David Miller (GSPIA), Steve Phillips (Medicine), Lou Pingel (EDUC), Mark Roberts (Medicine), Mitchell Seligson (FAS /Political Science), Randy Smith (Pharm), Roslyn Stone (GSPH), Curtis Wadsworth (GPSA); Sam Conte (Registrar’s Office), Carrie Sparks (Provost’s Office)

I.  Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the January 15, 2002 meeting were approved as written.

II. Proposal to Establish a Graduate Program in Medical Education

Dr. Roseanne Granieri presented the proposal submitted by Senior Vice Chancellor Levine, to establish a graduate program in Medical Education in the School of Medicine leading to either a Master of Science degree or a Certificate.  The overall educational goals of the program are to train individuals who already have earned an MD or equivalent degrees in other health science fields to become clinician educators.  The structure of the program is modeled on that of the program in Clinical Research, approved by UCGS on May 9, 2001.  This proposed program will be done in cooperation with the School of Education.

It was stated that this proposed program was in response to a frank recognition of a need. A member of Council noted that all programs should include instruction on teaching.

A member of Council asked how secure the financing was.  The response was that there was no doubt that the resources were there.

A member of Council asked if this was a “Masters” or a “Master’s of Science” as it was stated both ways in the proposal.  Steve Phillips said that the wording will be changed to read “Master’s of Science” throughout the document.

There was a motion made to accept the proposal.  All present were in favor.

III. Update Report from the Graduate Student Affairs Committee

Judy Erlen, chair of the subcommittee, made a brief report on the plans for the up coming term.  The two major items of focus for the Graduate Student Affairs Subcommittee will be on issues surrounding retention of graduate students and career services.  Financial planning and time to degree will be part of the discussion as they apply to retention issues.

A member of Council was concerned that it would be difficult to obtain data on graduate student retention.  Curtis Wadsworth explained that a survey would be conducted by the Graduate and Professional Student Association.  It was noted that the Graduate Student Affairs Committee was not at this point attempting to obtain hard factual data on retention, but was more interested in learning about graduate students’ perceptions and experiences with retention issues within their departments.

Discussion regarding TA salaries was also addressed at the Graduate Student Affairs meeting.  The Graduate Affairs Committee recommended that the Recruitment Committee discuss taking on this issue.

IV. Update Report from the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Committee

Dr. Baranger gave a report on the current status of the ETD pilot project.  The ETD Committee would like more students to participate in the pilot project and asked Council for suggestions on how to get more student involvement.  Some members of Council noted that students are interested in the pilot, but some are overwhelmed with their theses or dissertations and do not want to think about creating an ETD.  It was stated that it may be helpful to get the word out to students that ETDs are actually very simple to create.  It was also noted that it would be helpful to get the word out to students before they are heavily involved with writing their theses and dissertations.

Dr. Baranger reported that Ed Fox, the Director of NDLTD, gave a talk about the current status of the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.  He answered questions about ETDs to an audience of graduate student leaders, ETD Committee members and ETD staff and administrators.

V.  Certificate Programs

UCGS has seen an ever-increasing number of new certificate programs. Dr. Baranger discussed the different types of certificates currently in operation at the graduate level.

There was some discussion regarding the distinction between a master’s and a Ph.D. certificate.  The requirements for each are different.

Council concluded that the draft presented by Dr. Baranger on the definition of the degrees offered at the University of Pittsburgh was a useful document.  Council agreed that the document should be re-circulated after the following modifications were made: 1) the statement describing requirements for certificates in Regulations Governing Graduate Study should appear first, 2) the addition of the phrase “A program open to students enrolled in graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh or to students who hold a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh or another accredited institution” should be added to the second paragraph and 3) the master’s and doctoral certificate types should be combined into one type, a Graduate Certificate with distinctions between graduate certificates in some programs described in the text.  This document could be used as a guide for those who are creating new certificate programs.

The meeting was adjourned.