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. 

1/19/01