University Council on Graduate Study November 21 , 2000 3:00-5:00 PM, 817 CL Attending: Elizabeth Baranger (Chair), Ray Burdett (SHRS), Mary Derkach (GSPH), Judith Erlen (Nursing), Joseph Grabowski (FAS/Chemistry), Stephen Hirtle (SIS), Don Hoffman (Dental Medicine), Stephanie Hoogendoorn (GPSA), Steven Husted (FAS), Margaret Mahoney (Law), David Miller (GSPIA), Ron Neufeld (Engineering), Stephen Phillips (Medicine), Louis Pingel (Education), Deane Root (FAS/Music), Esther Sales (Social Work), David Turnshek (FAS/Physics), Regis Vollmer (Pharmacy); Kit Ayars (Provost's Office), Barbara Repasi Heron (Registrar's Office) I. Minutes Approval The minutes of the October 17, 2000 meeting were approved as written. II. Announcements * The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) has asked UCGS to collect information on schools' practices re awarding travel grants to graduate students. Council members were asked to provide travel grant information or the name/phone number of their schools' appropriate contact person. * GPSA will host the regional conference for the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students this spring. GPSA President Stephanie Hoogendoorn asked for Council's help in identifying a keynote speaker for the luncheon. Suggestions included Jim Roddey, John Murray, Paul O'Neill, Karen Feinstein, and Mary Lou Soffa. Hoogendoorn also asked for suggestions for session topics and speakers. Jen Saffron will hold a session on the Pitt Arts program; a School of Education rep may hold a session on organizing conferences. Council suggested that the topic of scholarly publishing might be timely; Provost Maher, Library Director Rush Miller, and Professor Evelyn Rawski are knowledgeable about recent issues related to scholarly publishing. * The UCGS Annual Report is being mailed out to graduate faculty from the University mail room this week. * Council still needs a representative from the School of Education and one from the Social Sciences in Arts and Sciences. III. Murtha Report/Off-Campus Programs Chair Elizabeth Baranger noted that this report comes annually without fail. Is the content of the report what Council wants or need in such a report? A copy of the IEMBA Update (Katz Graduate School of Business) was distributed for comparison. Council members noted that exchange of information is useful, in that it gives ideas to other schools, but UCGS does not want oversight responsibility. Thus information shared in a report should be shared with the sense that this is for others' information, not for evaluative review. Regarding this year's Murtha Report in particular, a member of Council expressed concern for the educational experiences of Engineering students as that program is being phased out. Baranger will call John Manley to ensure that students' needs are attended to. Council asked Baranger to convey to Murtha that its reports should be submitted annually in the more concise format followed in the IEMBA Update. Furthermore, Baranger will ask deans to submit a similar report on their off-campus programs at the graduate level. IV. Self-Study for Middle States Accreditation Baranger noted that the University is up for accreditation; this self-study focuses on the undergraduate student experience, but also touches on graduate student experiences. Middle States is particularly interested in outcomes assessment or measurable evaluation of programs. She invited Council's comments on sections of the self-study distributed in advance of the meeting. Council suggested noting not only what new programs have been opened, but also how many have been closed or terminated. A complementary suggestion was to indicate that existing programs are often being re-engineered: changing technology means some new degrees or new programs, but there's also a large category of programs being re-engineered to meet new market demands and new technologies. Council noted the document is useful as a means to look at where the University is going. Discussion ensued on the usefulness of the approval process: Council supports the functionality of the Graduate Procedures Committee, which brings proposals for new doctoral programs to Council for review but does not ask Council to consider proposals it deems unready or inappropriate. Council affirms the usefulness of having to put together a formal proposal for approval as a barrier to establishment of "frivolous" programs. Evaluation and review of existing programs should take place on a regular basis. The self-study considers student-experience, and this is also the underlying raison d'etre for the Enrollment Management Committee. Steve Hirtle, Council's representative to EMC, noted that while the committee was active for three or four years, it focused almost exclusively on undergraduate issues. Hirtle noted that the Student Affairs Committee of UCGS addresses issues that affect students in all schools and thus somewhat parallels the role of the graduate school at other institutions. The Student Affairs Committee might look in particular at issues connected to student housing for grad students and campus meeting places for grad students. Council suggested that the self-study note that the increased commitment of computer resources (hardware, bandwidth, and software) has significant impact for students. Other suggestions for revision of the self-study included noting the financial commitment/effort to provide travel funds to graduate students. GPSA could be mentioned, as that group is actively involved in considering use of the student activity fee as a means to improve student experiences. The distribution of relevant information via the Web adds to graduate student life, as well. (FAS' Grad-Guide is one example.) The Survival Skills and Ethics program is a positive career development offering at the University, though too little known. Council asked that Michael Zigmond be asked to attend a UCGS meeting to talk about the Survival Skills program. Council noted that there is a need for career counseling and placement services for graduate students. Baranger noted that the Placement Office is interested in developing programs for graduate students and asked if Council was interested in taking this on as a project? The Placement Office has given GPSA a liaison and will sponsor workshops in the spring, targeting international students. GPSA President Hoogendoorn asked Council to advise GPSA on how to get better help from the Placement Office: what exactly should GPSA ask for? Council members are asked to consider this and to provide Hoogendoorn with suggestions and ideas. V. Tuition Figures for In-State and Out-of-State Residents Last month, Council had raised the question of whether tuition rates for out-of-state residents are affecting recruitment. This rate is generally twice the in-state rate. The tuition for out-of-state students in the Physical Therapy graduate program, for instance, is the highest in the country. It is unclear whether or from where it is mandated exactly what the ratio of in-state to out-of-state tuition must be. Council noted that a related issue is schools' ability to provide financial aid. Another question is the ratio of US vs international students within the out-of-state residency group. Compiling data on availability of University financial aid and on the ratio of national to international out-of-state residents might identify groups of schools with similar problems or interests in this area. The data should take into consideration variations between masters and doctoral programs. VI. Committee Appointments Baranger will distribute committee appointments for this year via email. She urged the committees to try to meet before the end of the term, if possible. A copy of that email is attached to these minutes.