University Council on Graduate Study

 

Report on 2004 - 2005 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 Patricia Beeson at 624-0790 or via email at beeson@provost.pitt.edu.

 

Issues Addressed In 2004-2005†††††††

 

Changes in the TOEFL Exam

A new generation of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam will be launched by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) this fall. The Internet-based test will begin in September of 2005. On March 15, 2005 Timothy Thompson, Office of International Services, and Alan Juffs, Chair of the Department of Linguistics, presented to UCGS the changes in the TOEFL and the establishment of new standards.

 

The new version of the TOEFL is substantially different from the current version and includes a speaking section, in addition to the reading, writing, and listening sections that comprise the current exam. As a result of these changes, UCGS discussed possible new standards of acceptable scores for the University of Pittsburgh. After a significant discussion, UCGS concluded that additional information on how other universities were setting minimum score requirements needed be obtained before making any recommendations.

 

Cross-Program Coordination in Graduate Student Recruiting

UCGS discussed graduate student recruiting and how programs can better coordinate recruiting efforts including efforts to recruit McNair Fellows. The Graduate and Professional Admissions and Recruitment Committee (GPARC), a cross-campus committee with representation from nearly every graduate and professional school, will work with UCGS in the future to accomplish common goals.

 

Graduate Student Stipends

The issue of how competitive Pitt is with its graduate student stipends, especially in certain fields like mathematics and the sciences, was raised. The Office of the Provost participated in a graduate stipend survey sponsored by Binghamton University SUNY that surveyed what 73 institutions (public/ private/masters/doctoral-granting) provided their TAs, TFs, GSAs, and GSRs including stipends, health insurance, tuition, and fees. UCGS will discuss this issue further in the fall when data from this survey and a survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education are available.

 

 

Reports Given to UCGS†††††††

 

Update on the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Project

Vice Provost Beeson updated Council on the progress of the UCGS ad hoc Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Steering Committee. Among the items reviewed were the latest ETD usage statistics, the number of Pitt ETDs submitted to date, and the issue concerning copyrighted images used in some ETDs primarily in History of Art and Architecture.For information on the latest developments in the ETD Project and to view Pittís ETDs, users can visit the ETD Web site at http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/etd/.

 

UCGS Committee Activities††††††††††††

 

The Graduate Procedures Committee, chaired by Louis Pingel, did not convene in 2004-2005 as it was not called upon for assistance on any matter during the 2004-05 academic

year.

 

The Graduate Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Judith Erlen, did not convene in 2004-2005 as it was not called upon for assistance on any matter during the 2004-05 academic

year.

The ad hoc Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Steering Committee, chaired by Vice Provost Beeson, continued to provide direction to the ETD Project as it began its first year as a university requirement starting in December of 2004.With advice from the ETD Steering Committee, the ETD Process Group carried through with the implementation and improvement of the project. Pitt now has over 725 ETDs that have been accessed over 150,000 times in total.

 

The ad hoc Doctoral Mentoring Award Committee, chaired by Steven Husted, developed an operational plan for the Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring including a process of calling for nominations, judging the nominees, and determining the winners. A set of recommendations was submitted to the Office of the Provost on April 1, 2005.

 

 

Review of Proposals

 

Graduate and Post-Professional Certificates in Disability Legal Studies

Approved November 16, 2004. Approved by the Provost January 20, 2005.

The School of Law proposed to establish a certificate in Disability Legal Studies.

The program will be housed and administered by the School of Law. Council suggested that two certificates, the Graduate Certificate and the Post-Professional Certificate be approved since the proposal satisfied both.

 

PhD Program in Integrative Molecular Biology

Approved December 14, 2004. Approved by the Provost January 5, 2005.

The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine proposed to establish a cross-campus Integrative Molecular Biology PhD program. Faculty from across the campus prepared this proposal for a collaborative program which will result in a PhD in Integrative Molecular Biology, 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.

 

PhD Program in Computational Biology

Approved April 19, 2005. Approved by the Provost May 12, 2005.

The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine proposed to establish a joint PhD Program in Computational Biology. Faculty from across the campus prepared this proposal for a collaborative program which would result in a PhD in Computational Biology, either in Medicine or Arts and Sciences, depending on the location of the studentís major advisor.Students would be admitted into a single program and the advising and course work would be a shared responsibility of training faculty from both schools.This is intended to be a small, high quality program.

 

Documents Circulated to the University Community

 

Report on 2003-2004 Activities, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh. http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/ucgsar2003.html

 

Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh.

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/reg.html

 

Online Graduate and Professional Bulletin, 2004, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh. http://www.umc.pitt.edu/bulletins/graduate/index.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

 

Policy Statement for Graduate Student Researchers, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/gsr.html

 

Elements of Good Academic Advising, University Council on Graduate Study, University of Pittsburgh.

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/advising.html

 

The Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

https://www.pitt.edu/Graduate/

 

Graduate Recruitment City Panorama Brochure (Revised 2005), Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

 

Graduate Faculty Membership Roster, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.Updated three times a year at http://www.ir.pitt.edu/gradfac/homepg.htm.

 

Choosing A Dissertation Advisor, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/advisor.html††

 

ETD Format Guidelines Manual, Office of the Provost, University of Pittsburgh.

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/etd/format.html

 

Thesis and Dissertation Word Templates (Revised 2005) http://training.cssd.pitt.edu/thesisdissertationtemplates.htm

 

ETD LaTeX Template

http://www.pitt.edu/~graduate/etd/latextemplate.html

 

 

2004-2005 UCGS Standing Committees

 

Graduate Procedures: Chair, Louis Pingel

Graduate Student Affairs: Chair, Judith Erlen

 

2004-2005 UCGS Ad hoc Committees

 

ETD Steering Committee: Chair, Patricia Beeson

Doctoral Mentoring Award: Chair, Steven Husted

 

2004-2005 UCGS Members

†††††††††††

Patricia Beeson, Office of the Provost/UCGS Chair

Jeffrey Brodsky, Arts and Sciences/Interdisciplinary

Luis Chaparro, Engineering

Judith Erlen, Nursing

Robert Gibbs, Pharmacy

Paula Grabowski, Arts and Sciences/Natural Sciences

Steven Husted, Arts and Sciences

Justin Hsieh, Graduate and Professional Student Association/A&S

Timothy James, Graduate and Professional Student Association/KGSB

Carl Johnson, Education

Gary Koeske, Social Work

Margaret Mahoney, Law

Malcolm McNeil, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

David Miller, Public and International Affairs

Ronald Neufeld, Engineering

Marianne Novy, Arts and Sciences/Humanities

Cynthia Persinger, Graduate and Professional Student Association/A&S

Stephen Phillips, Medicine

Louis Pingel, Education

John Prescott, Katz Graduate School of Business

Dennis Ranalli, Dental Medicine

Mark Roberts, Medicine

Kevin Sontheimer, Arts and Sciences/Social Sciences

Roslyn Stone, Public Health

Martin Weiss, Information Sciences

E. Glenn Whitehead, Arts and Sciences/Natural Sciences

Brian Yoder, Graduate and Professional Student Association/EDU

 

Observers:

Barbara Repasi Heron, Associate Registrar

Carrie Sparks, Assistant to the Provost