University Council on Graduate Study
 Report on 1997-1998 Activities

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 email at eub@vms.cis.pitt.edu.



Issues Addressed In 1997-1998

Resolution on Distance Education
Council agreed that UCGS will not routinely review off-campus graduate degree proposals, but that any such proposals must take into consideration those policies outlined by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Task Force on Distance Education. When such proposals are presented, the Provost’s Office will review it as follows: budget review, academic review by vice provost for graduate or undergraduate studies, and review by vice provost who is contact person for that area. If there are problems or concerns, UCGS will be asked to review the proposal, too. This review would follow a short checklist using the Council of Graduate Schools and other guidelines. Units preparing proposals should consider this checklist.

World Wide Web As Resource
Council agreed that graduate schools at the University should link to the University’s Graduate Studies page or to its relevant links and noted the value of the Web as a recruitment tool for graduate students. Members of Council reviewed guidelines for online bulletins. The hard copy versions of the bulletins will remain the “official” ones; schools will keep copies as usual for their records.  The online publication will contain the most recent information, but its terms are not binding; online bulletins are there for informational purposes only.

Interface Between Strategic Planning and Evaluations of Academic Programs
Council discussed ways to integrate schools’ strategic planning and budgeting efforts with the regular evaluation of academic programs. The Subcommittee for Evaluation of Academic Programs will consider ways in which the evaluative reviews could be more productively integrated with schools’ planning efforts.
 



 
UCGS Committee Activities

The Graduate Procedures Committee, chaired by Louis Pingel, reviewed proposals for new doctoral programs and changes in doctoral program names prior to their submission to UCGS.  The committee considered changes to Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh to clarify the registration requirements connected to primary and secondary academic programs of students pursuing two independent degree programs simultaneously and to modify the description of the certificate program at the graduate level. The description of the certificate program included in Regulations Governing Graduate Study will now note that the program is a “coherent set of courses and related work” and that when certificates are earned in conjunction with a degree program the certificate “academically enhances” the work of the degree program.

The Subcommittee for Evaluation of Academic Programs, chaired by Elizabeth Baranger, began four reviews (English, History of Art and Architecture, Administration and Policy Studies, Music) and completed those described below.

The Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Phyllis Coontz, oversaw the reformatting of the University’s TA/TF/GSA Policy Statement. It also drafted, revised, and sent out for comment a document called Elements of Good Academic Advising. The health insurance policy offered to graduate students with eligible academic appointments was reviewed.

The Task Force on Postdoctoral Fellows, chaired by Ian Reynolds, began collecting information on the role of postdocs at the University of Pittsburgh and considering possible recommendations.



Completed Evaluations of Academic Programs

 Doctoral Program in Social Work
The evaluation of the doctoral program in the School of Social Work was conducted between  December 1996 and October 1997. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for Evaluation of Academic Programs were approved on January 20, 1998 and sent to the Provost on February 11, 1998. Both the Internal and External Review Committees commended the school for its strong program. The SEAP recommended that the school address issues dealing with curriculum goals and pedagogy, mentoring of junior faculty, a need for research training, and students’ computing needs. The SEAP recommended that the department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

Department of Psychology in Education
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of Psychology in Education in the School of Education was conducted between May 1996 and November 1997. On March 31, 1998, the recommendations made by the Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Academic Programs were presented to UCGS, which took no action, and then submitted to the Provost in May 1998. The SEAP recommended that the department be allowed to make a few hires in anticipation of retirements after careful consideration of the planning and budgeting process, that any hires should be on the basis of scholarly potential, and that a differential teaching load policy for faculty actively pursuing research agendas be implemented. The SEAP recommended that the department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

Department of Biological Sciences
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences was conducted between December 1996 and December 1997. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for Evaluation of Academic Programs were approved on March 31, 1998 and submitted to the Provost in April 1998. The SEAP recommended a plan be devised to facilitate cooperation between FAS and the School of Medicine in their related biological sciences programs, that expansion of the faculty should carefully consider the opportunities for certain fields, and that the department address potential problems in its teaching load and facilities maintenance. The SEAP recommended that the department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.

Department of History
The evaluation of the academic programs of the Department of History in the Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences was conducted between August 1996 and September 1997. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee for Evaluation of Academic Programs were approved on November 11, 1997 and submitted to the Provost on February 10, 1998. The SEAP noted that the department is well-regarded nationally and internationally and recommended that the department and dean devise a comprehensive plan to deal with replacing the large number of forthcoming retirements and that the department address various issues in its graduate and undergraduate programs. The SEAP recommended that the department be reviewed again at the next regularly scheduled interval.


Review of Proposals

Area of Concentration in the MSN Program in Health and Community Systems
Although UCGS does not typically consider proposals to establish areas of concentration, this proposal was brought to the attention of UCGS because it reflected a change in the MSN degree program; Council was asked to consider the implications of the request. The School of Nursing proposed the establishment of an area of concentration in Specialized Nursing Roles. Council approved the establishment of this area of concentration on January 20, 1998. Approved by the Provost March 10, 1998.

Master of Science in Pharmacology
Approved February 24, 1998. Approved by the Provost March 10, 1998.  The School of  Medicine proposed the establishment of a terminal masters degree in pharmacology, to be offered only to those students in the doctoral program who, due to unexpected extenuating circumstances, find themselves unable to complete their PhD. Council approved the proposal  unanimously.

Department of Bioengineering
Approved March 31, 1998. Approved by the Provost May 5, 1998. The School of Engineering proposed the establishment of a Department of Bioengineering. Council approved the proposal with a recommendation that budget plans be articulated before provost approval.
 
Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics
Approved May 12, 1998. Approved by the Provost June 8, 1998. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences proposed the establishment of an interdisciplinary master of arts program in Bioethics. This replaces the track in Medical Ethics in the MA program in History and Philosophy of Science. Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Combined BA/MA/MS in Applied Statistics
Approved May 12, 1998. Approved by the Provost June 30, 1998. The Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences proposed the establishment of a combined bachelors/masters program in Applied Statistics. Council approved the proposal pending addition of certain guidelines.

Combined BA/MA in Applied Linguistics
Approved May 12, 1998. Approval of Provost pending. The Faculty and College of Arts and Sciences proposed the establishment of a combined bachelors/masters program in Applied Linguistics. Council approved the proposal pending addition of certain guidelines.

Proposal for the Establishment of a Doctoral Program in Cell Biology and Physiology
Approved May 12, 1998. Approved by the Provost May 20, 1998 The School of Medicine proposed the establishment of a doctoral program in Cell Biology and Physiology to replace the doctoral program in physiology. After a review by the Graduate Procedures Committee, Council approved the proposal unanimously.


Documents Circulated to the University Community

Report on 1996-97 Activities, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh.
http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/9697report.html

Graduate Faculty Membership Roster, Fall, 1997, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. Web address: http://www.ba.pitt.edu/irweb/gradfac/homepg.htm

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

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

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

Choosing A Dissertation Advisor, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.
http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/advisor.html

Style and Form Manual, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.
http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/style.html


1997-98 UCGS Standing Committees

Graduate Procedures: Chair, Lou Pingel
Evaluation of Academic Programs: Chair, Elizabeth Baranger
Graduate Student Affairs: Chair, Phyllis Coontz

1997-98 UCGS Ad hoc Committees

Task Force on Postdoctoral Fellows: Chair, Ian Reynolds



1997-98 UCGS Members

Christopher Bissada, Graduate and Professional Student Association
Phyllis Coontz, GSPIA
Robert Devaty, FAS Natural Sciences
Kathleen DeWalt, FAS At-Large
Stephen Hirtle,  School of Information Sciences
John Ismail,  School of Dental Medicine
Jamie Jarrett, Graduate and Professional Student Association
Rainer Johnsen, FAS At-Large
Peter Karsten, FAS Social Sciences
Wynne Korr,  School of Social Work
Margaret Mahoney, School of Law
Mainak Mazumdar, School of Engineering
Ronald Neufeld, School of Engineering
Lou Pingel,  School of Education
Evelyn Rawski, Interdisciplinary
Ian Reynolds,  School of Medicine
Merrilee Salmon, FAS Humanities
Faith Seltzer, Graduate and Professional Student Association
G. Gordon Spice, School of Education
John Stephens, Graduate and Professional Student Association
Roslyn Stone, Graduate School of Public Health
Edward Sussna, Katz Graduate School of Business
Valerie Swigart, School of Nursing
Regis Vollmer, School of Pharmacy
Valerie Watzlaf,  School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
 

Observers:
Samuel Conte, University Registrar
Kit Ayars, Office of the Provost