Graduate School Administrative Board Minutes
November 13, 2006
Members Present: Gerhard Kalmus, Margie Gallagher, Art Rouse, Stan Eakins, Sylvia Brown, Sharon Bland, Jim Holte, Heather Ries, John Placer, Sharon Knight, Dennis Brunt, Mark Taggart, Carmine Scavo, George Kasperek, Todd Nolan, Linner Griffin, John Kramar, Patrick Pellicane, Belinda Patterson
Members Absent: Ron Newton, Vivian Mott
Dean Pellicane called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM. The minutes of the October 23, 2006 meeting were approved as amended.
Dr. Sharon Knight reported no items of business or recommendations from the Graduate Curriculum Committee.
Dr. Pellicane called on Dr.Carmine Scavo to review the text of the proposed Dual Degrees policy distributed to Board members since the last meeting. Dr. Kasperek suggested amending the statement, “The dual degree programs will forward the student’s proposal and number of s.h. to be treated in common to the Graduate Credits Committee which will approve or disapprove the proposal.” Following discussion, the Board agreed to replace this statement with the statement, “Departments will forward the dual degree agreement to the Graduate School with final approval residing with the Dean of the Graduate School.” A motion to approve the policy as amended was seconded and approved by the Board. (See attachment.)
Citing the need for a unified University graduate student grievance policy and procedure, Dr. Pellicane presented a draft of a proposed policy for the Board’s consideration. A motion was made and seconded to accept the proposed Graduate School Appeals Procedure. Board members agreed to the following amendments:
- replace the phrase “unsatisfactory performance on preliminary or final examinations” throughout the policy statement with the phrase “comprehensive assessment of performance”,
- delete the last sentence of paragraph three: “Grading Decisions are subject to appeal according to procedures defined by the Division of Student Affairs”,
- add a new sentence at the end of first paragraph: “This policy does not apply to the appeal of decisions regarding course grades.”
- The motion as amended was approved by the Board. (See attachment.)
Dr. Pellicane recognized Dr. Mark Taggert to present his insights and recommendations regarding Appendix F and other sections of the ECU Faculty Manual addressing the Graduate School’s organization and administration and requirements for graduate faculty status. Because of studies currently underway by the Graduate Task Force, the Faculty Senate and the Yardley Group, Dr. Taggert recommended that the Board first look at Section IV. Academic Policy located in Part II. University Organization of the ECU Faculty Manual and wait for final recommendations from these groups before considering other sections. Dr. Taggert noted the need for clearer, consistent definitions of the Graduate Assembly, the Graduate School Administrative Board and graduate faculty in Appendix F. Other points of discussion included the relationship between the graduate faculty and the Faculty Senate and the proportion of graduate and undergraduate faculty members serving in the Senate.
Before adjourning, Dr. Pellicane reminded the group of the Yardley Group’s return visit on Friday, November 17. The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
Belinda Patterson for Ron Newton
ECU graduate students can enroll in dual degree programs (where the student is seeking two degrees from two different disciplines) in which more than 20% of a program is credited by the other. Students interested in pursuing two related degree programs at the same time need to:
a. be admitted to both degree programs;
b. propose how many s.h. the two programs will accept in common;
c. prepare a statement explaining why they want to purse the dual degrees and provide a justification for doing so; and
d. obtain approval of their proposal by both degree programs.
Departments will forward the dual degree agreement to the Graduate School with final approval residing with the Dean of the Graduate School.
GRADUATE SCHOOL APPEALS PROCEDURE
Graduate students may appeal decisions concerning unsatisfactory performance on comprehensive assessments, academic probation for reasons of unsatisfactory progress toward the degree other than insufficient grade point average, termination of or election to void an assistantship for reasons set forth in the terms and conditions applicable to graduate assistant appointments, or dismissal from the graduate program. This policy does not apply to the appeal of decisions regarding course grades.
Informal resolution of appeals concerning unsatisfactory performance on comprehensive assessments, academic probation for reasons of unsatisfactory progress toward a degree, termination of or election to void assistantships, or dismissal from the graduate program is always the most desirable approach, and encouraged whenever possible. Before initiating a formal appeal, the student should discuss the problem with the person or persons whose actions are being challenged (henceforth referred to as the ‘academic officer’) within 10 business days following the adverse recommendation or decision. The student should keep the head/chair of the department in which the student’s program resides apprized of the situation and progress of negotiations. For matters concerning unsatisfactory performance on comprehensive assessments, academic probation for reasons of unsatisfactory progress toward a degree, termination of or election to void assistantships, or dismissal from the graduate program the appropriate academic officers are the student’s advisor, the graduate advising committee, and/or the student’s supervisor. If the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction within 20 business days following the informal discussion between the student and the academic officer(s), the student may initiate a formal appeal by submitting the matter in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The student shall have five (5) additional business days to file this appeal. In the written appeal, the student must clearly address three (3) important aspects of the appeal: 1) the action(s) being challenged, 2) the person(s) against whom the complaint is being made, and 3) the redress sought. A decision shall be deemed final on the expiration of the period for filing an appeal, or, if an appeal is filed, upon issuance of a decision in such an appeal, whichever is later. No adverse recommendation or action shall be effective until such date.
The Dean of Graduate Studies, together with the Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, shall examine the appeal and jointly determine whether the actions complained were disciplinary or academic. If the challenged action is deemed to be disciplinary, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall refer the complaint to the appropriate University officers responsible for disciplinary matters within five (5) business days. If the challenged action is deemed to be an academic matter other than a grading decision, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall implement the procedures defined below, keeping all records associated with the case.
A review panel composed of two (2) faculty members and a graduate student will be appointed. One faculty member, from a college other than the one in which the student’s academic department resides, will be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The other faculty member, from the college in which the student’s program resides will be appointed by the dean of the college. However, this representative will not be from the student appellant’s department. In the event that either of the two (2) aforementioned deans is a complainant in the case, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies will appoint the appropriate faculty members. The Graduate Student Council will provide a list of graduate students who expressed a willingness to serve on review panels from which the Dean of Graduate Studies will appoint a student from a department other than that of the student appellant. In the event that the Dean of Graduate Studies is a principal in the case, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies will appoint the student member.
The Review Panel will consider the case in detail. It must review any and all written records of the case. It must afford the student appellant an opportunity to appear in person before it, and consider any written materials the student may wish to bring to its attention. The Review Panel will hear from the academic officer(s) whose action is being appealed and may confer with other involved parties. It shall evaluate any other information it deems important to its deliberations. Written summaries of the deliberations will be kept. To overcome the presumption of good faith in the performance judgment by the advisor, supervisor, and/or graduate committee, an appeal must demonstrate that the evaluation was based upon matters that are inappropriate or irrelevant to academic performance and applicable professional standards and that consideration of those matters was the deciding factor in the evaluation. Should the Review Panel find in favor of the student, it will submit a report, making appropriate recommendations, to the Dean of Graduate Studies, e.g., reassignment to a different advisor and/or graduate committee, administration of another examination, or alternative assistantship assignment. The Dean of Graduate Studies and the dean of the appellant’s college shall jointly review the case, giving due consideration to the Review Panel’s report and recommendation. Following consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall make the final decision of the University. In the event that the Dean of Graduate Studies is a principal in the case, the duties of the Dean of Graduate Studies, with respect to this case, shall be transferred to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies. In the event that the decision recommends termination of an assistantship due to unavailability of funds or other conditions beyond the University’s control or performance of assigned duties and functions as set forth in the terms and conditions applicable to graduate assistant appointments, such terminations must be approved by the Chancellor as the representative of the Board of Trustees