University Council on Graduate Study
October 16, 2001
3:00-5:00 PM
 817 Cathedral of Learning

Attending: Elizabeth Baranger (Chair), Jacob Birnberg (KGSB), Ray Burdett (SHRS), Judith Erlen (Nursing), Stephen Hirtle (SIS), Stephanie Hoogendoorn (GPSA/FAS), Steven Husted (FAS), Rainer Johnsen (FAS/Physics), Mark King (EDUC), Margaret Mahoney (Law), David Miller (GSPIA), Steve Phillips (Medicine), Lou Pingel (EDUC), Mark Roberts (Medicine), Deane Root (FAS/Music), Esther Sales (Social Work), Mitchell Seligson (FAS /Political Science), Roslyn Stone (GSPH), Regis Vollmer (Pharm), Curtis Wadsworth (GPSA) Donald Yandel (GPSA); Barbara Repasi Heron (Registrar’s Office), Carrie Sparks (Provost’s Office)

I.  Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the September 4, 2001 meeting were approved as written.

II. Proposal to Establish a Doctorate in Physical Therapy

Prior to the October 16th meeting, Elizabeth Baranger distributed the revised proposal submitted by the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in response to the comments made by Council at the September 4th UCGS meeting.  Tony Delitto met with his faculty and mapped out changes in the program. Elizabeth Baranger convened three members of UCGS, Louis Pingel, Mark Roberts and Esther Sales, to meet with Tony Delitto.  During this meeting Tony Delitto explained the proposed changes, particularly the expansion of the program to nine terms.

Elizabeth Baranger asked the Council to make comments on the proposal and to ask Tony Delitto any questions.

Tony Delitto discussed the changes that were made to the proposal.  He clearly defined Evidence-Based Practice and pointed out the additional courses that were added to the curriculum.  He defended the point in which students take their comprehensive examinations, pointing out that there needed to be time left for remediation if necessary.

It was suggested that the proposal be updated to refer to realistic starting dates.

David Miller extended his appreciation to Tony Delitto for his contributions and patience while Council worked through the creation of the draft of guidelines for a professional doctorate.  He noted that the guidelines are much stronger due to this process.

Tony Delitto thanked the Council for their assistance.  He commented that the proposal was much stronger now.

Tony Delitto was dismissed so the Council could deliberate.

Steve Phillips made a motion to approve the proposal.
Deane Root seconded.
All in attendance were in favor of approving the proposal.

III.       Revision of Guidelines for a Professional Doctorate

Elizabeth Baranger stated that the Guidelines for a Professional Doctorate document had been used in the review of two programs. The guidelines are still considered a working document and Council should discuss any changes that should be made.

Elizabeth Baranger presented two revisions she proposed Council make to the guidelines. The first revision came about from the comments made by several members of Council that professional doctorate students should be consumers of research, not producers of research.  The guidelines did not reflect this adequately. The second change was motivated by the fact that the two proposals that were reviewed were introducing a program that would be required by their professional accrediting organization and that similar programs were already in place in other very prestigious institutions. Elizabeth Baranger added that Council would not have been receptive to these programs without both of these requirements.  The second addition added to the last paragraph addresses this.

The proposed revisions were:

Add: The student must be given the tools to understand research in the applied field.  It is essential that the student be able to read the applied literature in order to keep current after graduation as the profession changes.

Delete: The student must be given the tools to keep current after graduation as the profession changes.  The student should be required to have a deep understanding of research in the applied field and some understanding of research in the basic underlying field.  It is essential that the student be able to understand the basic and applied literature.

Add: Recognition of the Degree.

A professional doctorate in a particular field should be recognized by the public, by employers, and by faculty at other universities as a degree of high standing.  Graduates will be joining the ranks of a recognized group of professionals.  If the program is an accredited program, the standards of the accrediting body for a professional doctorate must be met.  Evidence of professional doctorates in the field at peer institutions offering the highest quality programs must be presented.

A Council member asked why the first revision was changed to a weaker statement.

Elizabeth Baranger answered that the change was suggested to reflect what the Council thought was too much of a research component in the prior version.

It was noted that there is a distinction between the use of research and the doing of research.

A Council member suggested that more specific language should be used.

It was stated that the ability to evaluate, interpret and apply research together with “critical understanding” is important.

There was consensus that the original paragraph be retained but that it be revised in light of the discussion.

A Council member noted that the document should be an open document to deal with abroad spectrum of programs.

Another Council member stated that the title of the document was confusing in that “professional doctorate is already used to refer to the DPH.  Elizabeth Baranger said she would look into it.

Elizabeth Baranger will create another draft incorporating the changes suggested by Council.  This revision will be sent around to all Council members.

Some members of Council thought that the clinical requirements in the document were too restrictive.  However Council decided not to undertake further revision at this time.

Moving on to the second proposed revision, some members of Council noted that it implied that other universities should take the lead in the creation of new programs.  There was some concern that this revision makes Pitt a follower, not a leader.
 
Elizabeth Baranger answered that we want our students to join the ranks of a well established profession, we do not want to be an innovator and then find out that there are no jobs for the students who graduate with these new degrees.

A Council member suggested that there be some modification made to the last sentence of the guidelines.  It was suggested that there should be a compelling reason for the proposal of a professional doctorate, among those reasons should be that other leading institutions had such a program.

Elizabeth Baranger suggested changing the “must” in the last sentence of the revision to “should” would be sufficient to satisfy these objections.

She asked if the Council was in agreement in making the changes to the working draft document.

Nineteen members were in favor
There was one abstention.

IV.  Off-Campus/Distance Education Programs

This will be discussed at the next meeting.

V.  Activities of Council in 2000-2001

Elizabeth Baranger briefly discussed the activities of UCGS during 2000-2001 and those activities that will continue into 2001-2002.  The draft Report on 2000-2001 Activities will be distributed to all graduate faculty.

VI. Future Activities of UCGS for 2001-2002

Council was asked to share any ideas they had about initiatives UCGS should explore or problems that UCGS should work on solving.

The ETD Working Group will continue its project, but they will not meet again until January. The ETD Assessment Subcommittee will work on assessing how the project is going.

Donald Yandel brought to the Council’s attention that there was no support for returning adult graduate students.  He would like a way to interact with other student’s undergoing similar experiences. He welcomed any other ideas that focused on reintegration issues that would be helpful to this community of graduate students.

Council asked if the GPSA was sensitive to this issue.  Curtis Wadsworth said that they had not discussed this topic yet, but would plan to do so.  Elizabeth Baranger suggested that GPSA look into this.  The UCGS Graduate Student Affairs Committee would be receptive to suggestions.

Elizabeth Baranger stated that recruitment of graduate students had been suggested as a topic.  She explained some of the things that were already being done.  She stated that the Grad web page and the Graduate Admissions web page were both being redesigned.  Two members from GPARC will be coming to the next UCGS meeting to give a report on the Online Recruitment Seminar they held in September.

There was some discussion on how the university could use publishing for recruitment of graduate students. Elizabeth Baranger pointed out that a new brochure highlighting the city of Pittsburgh directed to graduate students was being created.

David Miller stated that someone should be working with potential changes to the recruitment process of international students. Council members expressed concern over the decline or potential decline of international students in their programs.

A potential concern to take into consideration would be the difficulty some international students may have in getting into the country.  Elizabeth Baranger put two questions to the Council:
1) What could the Provost’s Office do?
2) What could we facilitate the schools to do?

There was some discussion on creating a committee to look into this.

The meeting was adjourned.