GRADUATE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD MEETING
Monday, April 23, 2007
Members present: Martha Alligood, Sharon Bland, Denis Brunt, Stan Eakins, Linner Griffin, James Holte, Gerhard Kalmus, George Kasperek, Sharon Knight, John Kramar, Vivian Mott, Ron Newton, Todd Nolan, Belinda Patterson, Pat Pellicane, John Placer, Heather Ries, Art Rouse, and Carmine Scavo.
Members Absent: Margie Gallagher, Belinda Patterson, John Placer, Mark Taggart
1) Acceptance of the April 9, 2007 minutes of the GSAB (Ron Newton)
The minutes were approved as amended editorially. (Denis Brunt spelled with one “n.” Item #2, second sentence: insert the word “at.”
2) Acceptance of the GCC minutes (Sharon Knight)
No minutes were presented
3) Information items –
a. Admission standards (Pat)
The dean surveyed other institutions: Virginia Commonwealth GPA was 2.7; another university accepted “strong” students – no specific statement or GPA figure given. A figure showing the relationship between the GPA and the GRE of students accepted into the graduate program at ECU was discussed. The figure indicates that a student can be accepted into the graduate program with a GPA below 2.0 if the GRE score is above 1150. The data also show that a student can be admitted with a GPA at 2.5 with a GRE score of 850. If the GPA is 3.2, a student can be admitted with a GRE of 750. These data indicate that the quality of students that are being admitted may not be what we want it to be. At this time, these data are being shared for information purposes only. Perhaps these data do not apply to more mature (non-traditional) students who have been out of the academy for some time. It is the experience of some colleges at ECU that the mature (non-traditional) student is usually successful regardless of their undergraduate GPA. Dean Pellicane will be obtaining data about the academic record of students, who have been dismissed for academic reasons, and he will apply similar analyses relative to the GPA and the GRE; these data are forthcoming. It was stated that research shows that “motivation” and a program relative to the desired job/career of the student are good indicators in predicting success of that student in a particular graduate program.
b. Drop date (Pat) – Dr. Pellicane met with the Graduate Student Council about the drop-date issue. He reported that the GSC was in favor of moving the date up, and making it similar to that of the undergraduates. There is concern that some fraud is associated with this late-date drop (two weeks before the end of the semester) as it now stands, because some students are being supported with funds which require them to be full-time students. The target time interval now is about 6 weeks into the semester if the graduate policy is to be commensurate with the undergraduate guideline. Is 6 weeks sufficient for a graduate course? A graduate course is different from an undergraduate course, particularly when it comes to evaluation. Will students be sufficiently evaluated after 6 weeks? It was stated that with the late date that we now have, some students will not be attending class anyhow.
There was an overall concurrence with the discussion that the drop date be moved up to an earlier date in the semester.
c. Composition of Graduate Research Advisory Committees.
The make-up of the advisory committee is presently described in the “Manual of Basic Requirements for Theses and Dissertation.” It was recommended by the Thesis/Dissertation Format Manual Committee at their first meeting that this component be removed from the Manual document, and that a description of the advisory committee composition be placed elsewhere, perhaps in the graduate catalog. Information which was removed from the Manual, as alluded to above, was disseminated for discussion purposes. Also, a table of 2005 survey information on the membership of advisory committees of several units on campus was also shared. It is readily apparent from this information that there is a wide diversity among the departments relative to the numbers of faculty participants on the advisory committees.
4) Cooperative Program with Pusan University, South Korea (Jan Tovey)
English language teachers enrolled at Pusan University, South Korea, take 4 courses (12 cr hr) in an intensive language program. About 10% of these students are looking for opportunities in the US for a graduate program. The Department of English is requesting for approval to allow for the transfer of 12 cr hr from Pusan University to be used as graduate credit for the ECU master’s degree. The SK students would come to ECU for one year, and then finish the degree within that time. They will have both thesis and non-thesis options. The University of Mississippi and Penn State University have similar agreements with Pusan University. The students would apply to the ECU program for admittance just as domestic students do. It was stated that it is routine in the Graduate School now to allow 12 cr hr of transfer credit in many ECU programs. Have the courses been accredited through an international body? Pusan University is a reputed regional university in South Korea, and the quality of instruction there is presumed to be very good. However, it was reported that, generally, the speaking and writing skills of South Korean students traditionally have not been good, and much improvement is required. This may be one of the motivations for establishing this cooperative program. The agreement can be severed within 30 days if the trial program does not work out. The goal is to get 7 to 10 students to come to ECU. They are coming with their own support. They will not be teaching students while here. The motion to allow 12 cr hr of transfer credit for this program was approved.
5) Comments on the Draft: Research and Graduate Studies Strategic Plan (Pat)
It was stated that an outcome should not be for example, “doubling the number of doctoral students.” An outcome could be, for example, “improving the quality of the graduate student experience.” Some areas of research by several disciplines are not represented in the strategic plan; there is sentiment that the document is narrowly focused. The plan will be placed on the agenda for the next GSAB meeting for further discussion.
6) Certificate granting process was discussed.
It was recommended that the certificates be standardized to the same format. Right now, there are a variety of different formats that are being used by the more than 60 departments that are offering certification programs.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.
R J Newton, Recorder