Graduate School Administrative Board Meeting
June 11, 2007
Mendenhall Student Center Underground
Members Present: Sharon Bland, Denis Brunt, Stan Eakins, Linner Griffin, George Kasperek, Sharon Knight, John Kramar, Vivian Mott, Ron Newton, Todd Nolan, Pat Pellicane, John Placer, Heather Ries, Carmine Scavo, and Mark Taggart
Members Absent: Martha Alligood, Stan Eakins, Margie Gallagher, James Holte, Gerhard Kalmus, Vivian Mott, Belinda Patterson, and Art Rouse.
a. Thesis/Dissertation Manual – Revisions of the Manual were presented by Denis Brunt, chair of the revision committee. The introduction is essentially the same as the original document. A statement whereby a format of a journal in the discipline as a model was included. The library staff suggested some common styles that could be used, and a site link to this information is included. Copyright issues are addressed in the revised document, and a link is provided to get this information. Instead of a large document with all of the components present and a need therefore to scroll through a voluminous number of pages, the major components are now listed with a link where the information can be accessed. The Joyner library has revised the library submission guidelines, but the Laupus library submission guidelines have not yet been included. Dr. Denis will provide these in the final revision. The final revised document will be presented to the GSAB at the next meeting.
b. Graduate School Website Task Force – The site is being improved; it is both informational and promotional. The College of Business has provided invaluable input. Three C of B students have studied other graduate school web-sites to determine: what are the best practices to follow in constructing a web-site? Laurie Godwin and Dana Brooks are helping the Graduate School to construct a new web site. If anyone has some thoughts or input on this, please let the GS know about these ideas. It is anticipated that the new web-site will be “rolled-out” in September, 2007.
c. Graduate Application Task Force – The Task Force is presently addressing the “application site” as set up with the Banner System on the Graduate School web site. It is desired to keep the process efficient as well as meeting the immediate and future needs. We want to know: what Banner can do for us and what are its limitations? We are working with ITCS to see if they can help us with our needs. We will be moving toward electronic submission (statement of purpose – letters of recommendation) of the application. Presently, transcripts can be scanned in by GS staff. The Task Force will also be providing input and advice and addressing issues relating to the efficient processing of all components of the application for admission to the Graduate School.
d. Graduate Assistantship Contracts – In the immediate future, all contracts will be handled by the Office of Student Employment. This is a new entity that is being set up to handle all student employees. A draft of the contract was handed out to members of the GSAB, and their input, critique, recommendations and suggestions were invited. The goal is to make the standard contract available for use in fall 2007. Some units such as the BSOM will be offering a full year contract while other units may be offering them for one semester. The contract will need to allow for the variable time option as well as designating the amount of time that a student will be dedicating to teaching, research, administration, other tasks, etc.
e. Administrative Reorganization – The Graduate School is presently drafting a job description for a new staff member hire. The new position description will accommodate the need for facility and use of computer technology including Banner, new software, etc. The hire will have webmaster responsibilities and will develop BIC generated reports to provide status updates of the application process and other data needed by the GS. The hire will have to be very adaptable to a “shifting technology landscape.”
2) Discussion items
a. Definition of a dissertation and a thesis – Since we have an immature and evolving research status, there is a need to define some of the terms that we use. The definitions will need to cover both research and non-research degrees at both the master’s and doctoral levels. [Definition of Thesis-Dissertation] Will still need more work on the definition of a non-research doctoral degree. The phrase, “must never have been published,” refers to the thesis and/or dissertation in its entirety. It is realized that components of the thesis/dissertation can be published prior to finalizing and processing the thesis/dissertation through the Graduate School.
b. Definition of graduate assistantships – Handouts defining the three types of graduate student positions were provided [graduate assistant (GA), graduate research assistant (GRA), and graduate teaching assistant (GTA)]. [Definition of Graduate Assistant] We need to have these classifications so that we can validly report the research productivity of a unit. We may need to include an additional category, i.e. a fellowship (no specific duties are associated with a fellowship; no specific expectations associated with money given).
A student does not pay taxes on a fellowship. Only assistantships come with specific duties, responsibilities and/or expectations. Assistantships are provided from lapsed salary dollars, but fellowships are not.
c. Policy on unsatisfactory student performance – There is need to have this policy defined, so that it can be tied into the grievance policy that we now have in place. This policy would provide a means for termination if necessary. The policy statement as written in the handout was accepted with unanimous approval. [Graduate School Unsatisfactory Performance Policy]
The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 pm.
Ronald J. Newton