Minutes Approved at the 555th Meeting - November 7, 2005


GRADUATE COUNCIL MINUTES
554th Meeting
October 3, 2005

MEMBERS PRESENT: Abdel-Motaleb, Arado, Barbe, Blickhan, Bose, Brovelli, Carnahan, Changnon, Curry, Elish-Piper, Factor, Gowen, Gupta, Harris, Jackson, Johnson, Lieberman, Lockard, Miranda, Morrissey, Odoms-Young, Sims, Waas, Willis

MEMBERS ABSENT: Baker, Karonis, Singh

OTHERS PRESENT: Arntz (Assistant to the Vice President for Research), Jonker (International Programs), Perkins (Assistant to the Vice President for Recruitment), Smith (Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator), Stoddard (University Council), Wright
(Secretary)

Rathindra Bose, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. Bose introduced Yale Factor as the new assistant chair of the Graduate Council and Donna Smith as the new Catalog Editor.

Jackson moved approval of the September 12, 2005 minutes with the following correction: In the section under “new business,” instead of “Blickhan responded that the University by-laws state that the deans of the colleges appoint members...”, it will now read, “Blickhan responded that the University by-laws state that the deans of the colleges or the college councils appoint members…” Abdel-Motaleb seconded the motion which carried unanimously.

Priority Business

Establishment of 2005-2006 Standing Committees of the Graduate Council: Graduate Council Members are invited to serve on two standing committees of the Graduate Council, and students on one committee. Based on the interest expressed by the council members, faculty were placed on at least one of their choices, some of them were invited to be chairs of particular committees. Additional vacancies were then filled with non-Council members to assure appropriate representation by colleges. Approval for the standing committees membership list as distributed was moved by Jackson, seconded by Harris; motion passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

Research and Artistry Committee: It was announced that the call for proposals for summer 2006 Research and Artistry grants has been distributed to all departments. Gowen reported the departments are first to rank proposals submitted for Research and Artistry Funding, then the college, and the committee integrates ratings to make selections. Last year, there were a total of 99 proposals submitted; group 1 (untenured faculty) submitted 58 proposals and group 2 (tenured faculty) submitted 41. The number of proposals funded were 20 in group 1, and 8 in group 2. Bose mentioned that interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary proposals created an issue last year, due to proposals being ranked individually at the college level, but as a single proposal collectively by the Research and Artistry Committee. In one case a proposal was ranked much higher than the other at the college level, but the Research and Artistry Committee’s combined ranking was below the funded proposals. The faculty who received a high ranking proposal raised questions about the University’s stand on interdisciplinary proposals. Bose was able to allocate a small fund to continue funding for this particular research. The committee may want to look at better ways of handling these proposals this year. Sims questioned whether or not the Summer Research and Artistry cover letter could be accessible to fill in online. Bose responded that the Division of Research and Graduate Studies will make the cover letter available via their website.

New Business

Enrollment Management: Bose distributed a Graduate Enrollment table adapted from information sent by NIU’s Institutional Research department. In the near future he plans to add graduation information and application information and distribute table to individual colleges. Also, he is planning to conduct a capacity survey, unit by unit. This survey should help us to address issues related to recruitment, resources, faculty, advisorship, programs in demand, etc. to various Graduate programs. Bose opened the floor for discussion about further pursuit of this project. Blickhan mentioned time as an issue, the fall semester numbers represent only ten day enrollment. If you only look at the numbers for students enrolled at the 10-day cut off, we may underestimate the actual totals. Also, there are many summer-only students. Bose responded that summer enrollment should be included in the proposed survey. Factor mentioned use of head count report numbers. Jackson stated that the Au.D. of Audiology is not listed on this table. Abdel-Motaleb questioned why there was a decreased enrollment in finance and also business education. Johnson stated that these programs had been discontinued and the small number of remaining students were finishing their degrees. Lockard and Carnahan expressed their opinions that this project could be beneficial to pursue.

Honorary Degree: The letters for nomination have been sent out by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies to all departments. In the past two years, no nominations were received. Abdel-Motaleb asked whether the nominations could be national or international. Bose responded they could be either.

Old Business

Abdel-Motaleb brought up the issue of the method used by Sponsored Projects to number grant proposals. Bose explained that projects are labeled by the fiscal year. If funding starts before June 30th the project will be recorded in that fiscal year in which they are received. There is some flexibility on the annual report for multi-year projects, lump sum awards can either be accounted for in one fiscal year, or they may be spread over the entire award time.

Announcements

Associate Dean Search: A copy of the final Associate Dean of the Graduate School position advertisement was distributed. The advertisement will be placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education within a week. The ad will also run in Diverse Issues in Higher Education (formerly Black Issues in Higher Education), Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, with the Council of Graduate Schools, and will also be on the Northern Illinois University Human Resource Services website.

Homeland Security Funding: Bose stated that in early June, IBHE and the Governor’s office asked how the universities can best attract more homeland security funding and prepare skilled work force to work in the homeland security related industries. Bose is a member of the statewide taskforce for Homeland Security. The task force identified three mechanisms to address Governor’s initiative; curriculum development to create skilled workforce, research to attract federal grants, and entrepreneurship to attract new industries to Illinois. Michael Brody is the representative from the Governor’s office coordinating this project. Willis and Pritchard are on a state wide subcommittee and working to establish certificate programs at Northern Illinois University.

Willis explained that she attended a meeting with a group of interested faculty to develop undergraduate certificate programs with existing classes and has initiated the approval process. The certificate program will include two semesters of core courses with two tracks, manufacturing and industrial technology and biology. The state proposed four tracks, but only two could be put together quickly. After these two are finalized we may look into others consistent with the university’s areas of strength. The state has also petitioned universities to develop a core curriculum. The curriculum that is chosen will be available online as a resource for other universities. After the undergraduate certificates are created, work will begin on developing graduate certificates. Waas wondered if there was any funding available for developing these programs. Willis replied that if our core curriculum was accepted then we would receive funding. Bose has raised questions concerning funding during a recent conference call, stating that if the governor’s office is committed to developing these programs funding needs to be made available. IBHE will communicate with the governor’s office to create a line item budget for this. Changnon asked about the need to evaluate a natural disaster. Willis responded that disaster preparedness and disaster response are already in the plan. Bose stated that six institutions have created a consortium and submitted a proposal for rural preparedness to the Homeland Security Department. The College of Health and Human Sciences and the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology are part of this project. Shirley Richmond and Alan Robinson have been actively involved in this project and attending regular meetings.

Other Business: Willis mentioned that the Graduate Student Advisory Committee would be meeting this afternoon and she will let the departments know if they are still in need of representatives for the Graduate Council Standing Committees. Bose will ask the committee to develop a concrete plan on how to allocate the $10,000 to graduate students.

Meeting was adjourned at 11 a.m.