University Council on Graduate Study
October 15, 2002
3:00-5:00 p.m.
817 Cathedral of Learning

Attending: Elizabeth Baranger (Chair), Jacob Birnberg (KGSB), Ray Burdett (SHRS), Judith Erlen (Nursing), Steven Husted (FAS), Livia Langton (GPSA), James McGuire (FAS), David Miller (GSPIA), Cindy Persinger (GPSA), Louis Pingel (EDUC), Mark Roberts (MED), Esther Sales (SW), Mitchell Seligson (FAS), Roslyn Stone (GSPH); Barbara Repasi Heron (Registrarís Office), Carrie Sparks (Provostís Office)

Guests:  Dr. Kurt Summersgill (DEN), Tony Walters (FAS)

I. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the June 25, 2002 meeting were approved as written.

II. Role of UCGS
Vice Provost Baranger discussed the role of UCGS in the governance of graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh.  The document Regulations Governing Graduate Study was distributed to Council and was briefly discussed.

III. Activities of Council in 2001-2002
Vice Provost Baranger discussed the activities of UCGS during 2001-2002 and those activities that will continue into 2002-2003.  A draft of the Annual Report for 2001-2002 was distributed to Council for review and discussion. Vice Provost Baranger additionally noted that more information could be found on the revised UCGS web site (

IV.  Proposal to Establish a Certificate Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Council heard a presentation by Dr. Kurt Summersgill on the proposal for a certificate program in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology submitted by Dean Thomas Braun and supported and approved by Senior Vice Chancellor Levine.  The certificate will provide an enhanced training opportunity for postdoctoral residents to gain knowledge and expertise in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. The certificate program is similar to the other certificates offered to postdoctoral dental residents based at the School of Dental Medicine. This is an advanced Post-Professional Certificate.

After the presentation, Council members asked many questions.
A member of Council asked what the reason would be for getting this certificate if one was already in a residency program.  Dr. Summersgill answered that it is a valid program and it is an appropriate way to make it official.  He also added that they do not offer a masterís so they want to be able to offer this certificate instead.

A member of Council asked if this certificate would mean that students would have to pay money to do work in the residency program.  Dr. Summersgill responded that in-state residents would end up not paying any money while out-of-state residents would pay about ten thousand a year.

A member of Council asked why any students would come to this program.
Dr. Summersgill replied that they had very good faculty.

A member of Council asked if residents at other dental schools pay tuition.
Dr. Summersgill said that it was variable.

A member of Council asked how different the training is between a masterís and a residency. Dr. Summersgill responded that in order to make it a masterís program they would need to add a thesis requirement and scholarly focused electives.

A member of Council asked what the advantage was to getting a certificate instead of just doing a residency.  Dr. Summersgill said there was not a significant difference.

The guest was excused.

Some members of Council did not see the need for a certificate program.  Other members of Council pointed out that this certificate fits with the way Dental Medicine operates.  It is very similar to other certificate programs in Dental Medicine.  It improves the chances of getting accreditation and it is in line with what the ADA wants.

There was a motion to approve the proposal.
The motion was seconded.
Ten members of Council voted in favor of the motion.
Three members abstained.
The motion was approved.

A member of Council asked if this presents a new type of certificate.  Vice Provost Baranger said that Council will keep it in mind and she will look into the number of credits for each certificate.

V. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as Alternative to the TOEFL
In its April 17, 2001 meeting, UCGS considered a proposal from Timothy Thompson of the Office of International Services recommending that UCGS accept the IELTS as an alternative to TOEFL, but postponed action until more information could be presented.  The issue was raised again by FAS. Tony Walters came to Council to answer questions.

Vice Provost Baranger suggested that, as an exception to our current policy requiring the TOEFL, students be admitted who have scores of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS examination. She explained that it would not be a lowering of standards.  Alan Juffs Chair of Linguistics supports the change and believes we will lose good students if we do not. It is used extensively throughout the British Commonwealth.

Tony Walters attended the NAGAP meeting and was impressed with the description of the IELTS.  He said that the IELTS is becoming more widely used.  He explained that he saw no reason not to accept the IELTS examination.

A motion was made to accept a 6.5 on the IELTS examination.
The motion was seconded.
Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

VI. Future Activities of UCGS for 2002-2003
Vice Provost Baranger discussed the existing UCGS subcommittees that would continue this year.  She asked if Council had any ideas about new initiatives or issues that needed to be addressed.  One member suggested that Council look into the issue of computer based GREs in China.   Vice Provost Baranger said that this would be discussed later and, in addition, Council will also discuss academic integrity issues in general.

The meeting was adjourned.  The next meeting of UCGS will be on November 19, 2002.