University Council on Graduate Study

REPORT ON 1995-1996 ACTIVITIES


University of Pittsburgh

As stated in its bylaws, the University Council on Graduate Study is to communicate its decisions to the faculty, students, and administrative officers of the University. If you have comments on the activities as reported here or suggestions for agenda items, please contact Vice Provost Elizabeth Baranger at 624-0790 or via e-mail at eub@vms.cis.pitt.edu.

ACTIONS TAKEN IN 1995-1996

UCGS COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES

The Graduate Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Merle Moskowitz, reviewed health insurance options for graduate students and worked with Blue Cross to develop the new SelectBlue insurance plan for graduate students with eligible academic appointments.

The Graduate Procedures Committee chaired by Louis Pingel, reviewed proposals for new programs prior to their submission to UCGS. It also reviewed proposals for new and changed academic programs which did not require approval from UCGS, and did not identify problems with these proposals. These included the Certificate in Health Law in the School of Law, and transfer of the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders from the Department of Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The Committee also reviewed a proposal from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences to lower the required number of credits required for graduation in one of its master's programs to 25, but would not approve this without further justification from the school.

The Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Academic Programs, chaired by Elizabeth Baranger, began two reviews (Greensburg and the doctoral program in Nursing) and completed three begun in 1994-95. Those completed are described below.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Changing Job Market for Graduates was chaired by Gerald Holder. Recognizing that the numbers of jobs available to applicants with graduate and professional degrees has declined in many fields in recent years, the Committee reviewed the University's current efforts to improve degree programs and prepare students for the professional workplace. Its discussions centered around three issues: how the University can add value to its degrees so that graduates are more competitive in the marketplace, whether to restrict graduate enrollment levels, and how to improve placement of graduates. In the spring term, the committee presented a report to UCGS containing recommendations which can be summarized as follows, and recommended that departments and programs should be encouraged to consider these suggestions.

COMPLETED EVALUATIONS OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Economics
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of Economics was conducted between May 1994 and February 1996. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Academic Programs were unanimously approved on February 13, 1996 and sent to the Provost on February 20, 1996. Both the Internal and External Review Committees commended the Department and the University on the profound improvements since the last review and on the excellence of the Department. The SEAP recommended that the Department continue its policy of filling faculty openings over more than one year for appropriate faculty openings, prepare a plan for improved recruitment of women and minority faculty, and that any joint appointments between Economics and other units be negotiated, funded and approved on an ad hoc basis. The Department should also continue its minority graduate student enrollment efforts, improve data collection on undergraduate majors, and work with the Development Office in FAS to identify appropriate new sources of graduate support. The SEAP recommended that the Department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

French and Italian Languages & Literatures
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of French and Italian was conducted between September 1994 and February 1996. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Academic Programs were unanimously approved on January 16, 1996 and sent to the Provost on February 20, 1996. The SEAP recommended that the Department should continue to improve its graduate course evaluation process, take steps to ensure students' access to a wider variety of courses within the Department, and encourage them to take interdisciplinary courses outside the Department. In addition, the SEAP made recommendations regarding improvement of minority representation on the faculty, MA requirements for students who do not wish to pursue the doctorate, MA and PhD examination formats, and preparation of students at all levels for the professional workplace. During approval of this report, UCGS noted that this department is an important collaborator in University-wide interdisciplinary programs. The SEAP recommended that the Department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

Civil and Environmental Engineering
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was conducted between September 1994 and April 1996. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Academic Programs were unanimously approved on March 12, 1996 and sent to the Provost on April 25, 1996. The SEAP recommended that the Department should take steps to maintain a collegial academic community with common goals, an open decision-making process, and an administrative structure which encourages strong leadership as well as faculty participation. The SEAP also recommended that the Department's planning efforts should address graduate student support, hiring priorities, development of Master's and PhD research programs, department-wide computing needs, development of stronger ties to other schools and departments, increased external support, and the scope and balance of research and graduate programs. Finally, the SEAP recommended that the Department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

REVIEW OF PROPOSALS

Management Program for Health Professional Certificate Program
Approved February 13, 1996. Approved by the Provost June 28, 1996. The Schools of Public Health and Nursing proposed this certificate for health professionals, who have completed and initial professional degree and are not currently enrolled in a master's program, to obtain education in management. Several potential students expressed an interest in such a program and similar programs exist at other institutions. The School will encourage certificate students to continue on in the master's program, which may be easily done since all courses required for the certificate will also fulfill requirements for the Master of Public Health. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)
Approved April 16, 1996. Approved by the Provost August 22, 1996. Approved by the Board of Trustees October 24, 1996. The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs proposed this new executive degree program, designed for students with at least five years of experience in positions with substantial managerial or policy-making responsibility. It is designed to attract the large population of local professionals who are interested in a graduate degree and can attend school part-time. Council approved the proposal unanimously by mail ballot.

Changing the Name of the School of Library and Information Science
Reviewed April 16, 1996. Approved by the Provost April 30, 1996. The School of Library and Information Science proposed a change of it s name to "School of Information Sciences" and the department names to Department of Library and Information Science and Department of Information Science and Telecommunications. This parallels changes made at other institutions. Council did not have any objections to this change.

Joint Degree in Medical Ethics
Approved March 12, 1996. Approved by the Provost June 26, 1996. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine proposed this joint degree to streamline the process of earning both the MD in the School of Medicine and the MA in the History and Philosophy of Science Medical Ethics track. Students will spend four years in the School of Medicine and one in FAS in order to complete this program. There are few, if any, similar programs elsewhere in the country, although graduates will be in high demand by ethics programs recently required for hospital accreditation. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Terminating Degrees in the School of Education
Approved March 12, 1996. Approved by the Provost July 31, 1996. The School of Education proposed elimination of several programs which have not admitted new students in recent years, and would require a substantial investment in order to be revitalized. Most of the cuts will be of concentrations within degree programs. The only entire degree program to be cut will be the Master of Arts in Teaching within the Health, Physical and Recreation Education Department. Faculty from the terminated programs will be moved to remaining programs unless they retire. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Certificate in Latin American Social and Public Policy
Approved June 6, 1996. Approved by the Provost June 24, 1996. The University Center for International Studies proposed this certificate, which will be a more specialized version of the existing Graduate Certificate Program in the Center for Latin American Studies. Students will receive this certificate and a master's degree in their major department simultaneously. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Graduate Degrees in Statistics
Approved June 6, 1996. Approval by the Provost is pending. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences proposed three graduate degrees (MA, MS and PhD in Statistics) to be offered by the new Department of Statistics. The new programs will be comparable to those already offered by the Mathematics Department, although comprehensive examinations and other evaluative instruments will be redesigned with an emphasis on statistics. Most other major research universities have already established such programs, and the department has received many inquiries about the availability of them here. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Joint Master's Degree Program between GSPIA and Information Sciences (SIS)
Approved June 6, 1996. Approved by the Provost September 20, 1996. The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Information Sciences proposed this joint degree program to streamline the process of earning both a professional master's in a public affairs field and the MS in Information Science. Many students are independently working toward both degrees and would benefit from an intergrated curriculum. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Changing the Names of the Departments in the School of Dental Medicine
Approved June 6, 1996. Approved by the Provost August 15, 1996. The School of Dental Medicine proposed changing the names of two of its departments to reflect the speciality designation of the two disciplines, as follows.

Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Transfer of the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders from the Department of Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Reviewed by the Graduate Procedures Committee May 1996. Approved by the Provost May 23, 1996. Approved by the Chancellor May 28, 1996. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences proposed transfer of this program after such a change was recommended by review committees and all administrative groups in each school. The Division had operated independently within the Department of Communications for many years, and this change is consistent with the empirical nature of its science. Since this proposal did not involve changes to any academic programs it was referred to the Graduate Procedures Committee for consideration. The Committee did not have any objections to the proposal.

Certificate in Health Law in the School of Law
Reviewed by the Graduate Procedures Committee May 1996. Approved by the Provost July 18, 1996. The School of Law proposed this new certificate program, which will be earned in conjunction with the JD. It is designed to give students a basic grounding in the field of health law. Since the regulations governing graduate programs do not pertain to professional degree, UCGS did not vote on this proposal but referred it to the Graduate Procedures Committee for review. The Committee did not have any objections to the proposal.

DOCUMENTS CIRCULATED TO THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY

Report on 1994-1995 Activities, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh.

Graduate Faculty Membership Roster, September 30, 1995, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh. PittInfo address: http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/reg.html

Finding the Graduate Program That's Right for You, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. PittInfo address: http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/gradprogram.html

Policy Statement for Graduate Student Researchers, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. PittInfo address: http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/gsr.html

Policy Statement for Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Graduate Student Assistants, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. PittInfo address: http://www.pitt.edu/~provost/tapolicy

Style and Form Manual, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

1995-96 UCGS STANDING COMMITTEES

Graduate Procedures: Chair, Louis Pingel
Evaluation of Academic Programs: Chair, Elizabeth Baranger
Graduate Student Affairs: Chair, Merle Moskowitz
Executive Committee: Chair, Elizabeth Baranger

1995-96 AD HOC COMMITTEES

Changing Job Market for Graduates: Chair, Gerald Holder

1995-96 UCGS MEMBERS

Kay Atman, School of Education
Paula Baker, FAS Social Sciences
Elizabeth Baranger, Chair, Provost's Office
Patricia Bohachick, Nursing
Rob Coalson, FAS Natural Sciences
Joseph Costantino, Graduate School of Public Health
Giovanna DiBlasi, GPSA
Stephen Hirtle, School of Library and Information Science
Gerald Holder, School of Engineering
John Ismail, School of Dental Medicine
James Knapp, FAS At-Large
Wynne Korr, School of Social Work
Patricia Kroboth, School of Pharmacy
Jacqueline Lamb, School of Nursing
Ram Mahalingam, GPSA
Margaret Mahoney, School of Law
Ronald Neufeld, School of Engineering
Lou Pingel, School of Education
Simon Reich, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs
Ian Reynolds, School of Medicine
Mary Lou Soffa, FAS At-Large
Edward Sussna, Katz Graduate School of Business
Richmond Thomason, Interdisciplinary
Valerie Watzlaf, School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Anne Weis, FAS Humanities

Observers:
Samuel Conte, Registrar
Anne Rawlinson, Provost's staff

This page developed and maintained by Paula Janikowski.........Last Revision: December 12, 1996