University Council on Graduate Study
November 18, 2003
3:00-5:00 p.m.
817 Cathedral of Learning


Attending:  Elizabeth Baranger (Chair), Jacob Birnberg (KATZ), Jeff Brodsky (AS), Luis Chaparro (ENGR), Paul Danczyk (GPSA), Judith Erlen (NUR), Robert Gibbs (PHARM), Paula Grabowski (AS), Stephanie Hoogendoorn (GPSA), Steven Husted (AS), Margaret Mahoney (LAW), Malcolm McNeil (SHRS), David Miller (GSPIA),
Steve Phillips (SOM), Louis Pingel (EDUC), Esther Sales (SW), Roslyn Stone (GSPH),
Glen Whitehead (AS); Patricia Cochran (Provostís Office), Carrie Sparks (Provostís Office)

Guest:  John Rosenberg (Biological Sciences)


I. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the October 28, 2003 meeting were approved as written.

II. Revised Deadlines for the Office of International Services
Dr. Baranger distributed a memo concerning the revised deadlines for submission of Admission Letters to the Office of International Services (OIS) for Processing and Issuance of Visa Documents for International Students.  A deadline of June 1, 2004 will be established along with a SEVIS fee of $100.00.  Questions were raised about procedures for charging the fee. The question also arose as to whether the academic departments would be willing to pay this fee on behalf of the student and if there is a way for the department to do this.  Members of Council agreed that most departments would be willing to pay this fee upfront on behalf of the student. Dr. Baranger agreed that it would be a good idea to have an OIS representative attend a future meeting of UCGS to explain these revisions and update Council on the latest issues that will affect graduate students.

III. Proposal to Establish a Cross-Campus Molecular Biophysics Program
John Rosenberg from the Department of Biological Sciences presented a proposal to establish a cross-campus Molecular Biophysics PhD program that was submitted by John Cooper, Dean of the Arts and Sciences, and by Arthur S. Levine, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice Chancellor of the Schools of the Health Sciences.  Faculty from across the campus prepared this proposal for a collaborative program which will result in a PhD in Molecular Biophysics, either in Medicine or Arts and Sciences, depending on the location of the studentís major advisor.  Students will be admitted into a single program and the advising and course work will be a shared responsibility of faculty from both schools.  This is intended to be a small, high quality program.

Members of Council asked about what type of undergraduate degree was needed and Dr. Rosenberg explained that students would be chosen from three target areas:  Physics or Chemistry Majors, Biology, Bio/Chem. Majors, and Informatics Program.  Other concerns were raised about coursework requirements, criteria, and budgetary issues.
Dr. Husted said that students will be admitted into a single program and the budget, advising, and coursework will be a shared responsibility of both schools.

The question arose as to the lack of a support letter from Physics.  Dr. Husted explained that the Department of Physics had reviewed and voted to accept, with qualifications, the program as presented.  Minor qualifications were being negotiated, so there is no letter from Physics as of yet.

There was a motion made to approve the proposal to establish a Cross-Campus Molecular Biophysics PhD Program.  The motion was seconded, but a Council Member asked for a formal statement of course requirements for the degree Council agreed.  The amendment to the motion was seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion as amended.

IV. Requirement of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)
Dr. Baranger explained that the ETD Steering Committee, during its November 4, 2003 meeting, voted to recommend that ETDs become a University requirement by the December 2004 graduation.  Council will be asked to vote on whether or not to recommend to the Provost that this become a requirement.

Carrie Sparks, from the Provostís Office, made a presentation to UCGS showing what other universities are doing, ETD statistics by School, ETD usage, survey results and responses from 2001-2002 compared with 2002-2003.

Council Members raised concerns over issues involving hard copies, publications, plagiarism, patents, and security.  Carrie responded that hard copies are available; safety is in place and the copyright laws are the same as for hard copies;  if patent-pending, there is a one year restriction and ETD authors can chose to restrict their ETD to Pitt IP addresses and inter-library loan for up to five years. If a student is concerned about prior publication issues, he/she should speak with the publisher they intend to publish with.  She also stated that ETDs are now being used to create a global network.

Dr. Phillips felt that ETDs would be a boon for communicating in a scholarly way especially in music the sciences and other fields that could benefit from visual and audio components in the presentation of research.

There was a motion made to recommend to the Provost that ETDs become a requirement by December 2004 Graduation.  The motion was seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion.

V. Annual Report on Off-Campus and Distance Education Programs
Dr. Baranger presented a report on the numbers of such graduate programs offered by the University of Pittsburgh and their approximate enrollments.  If a new program is requested, it must go to the Provost for review and that is why statistics are presented to UCGS.

The meeting was adjourned.  The next meeting of Council will be held on December 9, 2003.