University Council on Graduate Study
November 16, 2004
3:00-5:00 p.m.
817 CL

Attending:  Patricia Beeson (Chair), Jeff Brodsky (A&S), John Durrant (SHRS), Judith Erlen (NUR), Paula Grabowski (A&S), Steven Husted (A&S), Gary Koeske (SW), Margaret Mahoney (LAW), David Miller (GSPIA), Steve Phillips (SOM), Louis Pingel (EDUC), Mark Roberts (SOM), Roslyn Stone (GSPH), Glenn Whitehead (A&S); Barbara R. Heron (Registrar), Carrie Sparks (Provostís Office)

Guests: Ellen Cohn (SHRS) and Alan Meisel (LAW)

Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the April 13, 2004 meeting were approved as written.

Vice Provost Beeson updated Council on the progress of the UCGS ad hoc ETD Steering Committee. Among the items reviewed were the latest ETD usage statistics, the number of ETDs submitted at Pitt to date, and the issue concerning copyrighted images used in some ETDs (primarily in History of Art and Architecture).

A member of Council asked if there was a system in place to migrate ETDs to keep up with technology. ETDs are archived on microfilm through UMI (for dissertations) and Compucom (for theses) so a version of the studentís thesis or dissertation is preserved. Beyond that ULS is committed to regular updating of archived electronic documents to ensure they continue to be accessible to future technologies. An open architecture for file types and structures is used so that they can be more easily migrated to future file types.
Provostís Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Vice Provost Beeson asked those current members of the ad hoc Doctoral Mentoring Award to continue to serve on the committee to create a procedure and initiate the first set of awards.  The current members agreed to remain on the committee. It was pointed out that the students who used to serve on this committee are no longer here. Carrie Sparks was asked to solicit a new student member to serve.

Steve Philips pointed out that in the School of Medicine the students did an excellent job putting together a mentoring award for their school.

Proposal for Disability Legal Studies Certificate Program
Alan Meisel, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law and Ellen Cohn (SHRS) presented a proposal to initiate a program leading to a graduate Certificate in Disability Legal Studies.  The program will be housed and administered by the School of Law.

A member of Council asked if there had been any requests for this program.  Dr. Cohn said there was a great deal of interest, even from faculty. They expect about three students a year. Some members of Council felt that the demand for this degree may indeed be beyond three students a year. A member of Council asked how they would handle a situation where fifteen students wanted to enter the certificate program. They would be evaluated on academic criteria, professional experience, recommendations, etc. The infrastructure is already in place. All courses are scheduled during the day. It will be difficult for persons with jobs to get this certificate.

A member of Council asked if they were proposing one or two certificates such as a Graduate Certificate and a Post-Professional Certificate. Dr. Cohn and Professor Meisel said they were only proposing one certificate. Council noted that there were different certificates that this proposal could be submitted for. Cohn and Meisel expressed that it did not matter which one Council approved.

The guests were excused.

There was discussion among Council as to whether or not the proposal called for a Graduate Certificate, a Post-Professional Certificate, or two certificates. After some discussion, it was decided that both certificates applied.

There was a motion made to approve a Graduate Certificate and a Post-Professional Certificate in Disability Legal Studies.  The motion was seconded. All present voted in favor of the motion.

 New Business

Steve Philips spoke about the McNair Program. He stressed how there should be broader representation of Pitt at their conference. He encouraged a unified approach, such as a weekend event. Steve Husted said that Pitt  should be working harder to get these highly qualified students. A&S brings McNair students here and encourages them to visit and apply to our programs. Vice Provost Beeson will talk more with Drs. Husted and Philips and other schools on this issue.

Vice Provost Beeson discussed the current UCGS subcommittees including their recent duties and projects. UCGS members were asked to sign up for a sub-committee over email.

Old Business
The issue of graduate student stipends and how competitive we are in certain fields like mathematics and the sciences was raised. Glenn Whitehead asked that we revisit this issue. Vice Provost Beeson mentioned the recent stipend survey published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She will bring this data to a UCGS meeting to discuss at a future time.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of UCGS will be on December 14, 2004.