Graduate Council by pengxiuhui


                                             Graduate Council
                                          Friday, February 1, 2008
                                             10:00am – 2:00pm
                                                 WFP 3304

Members present: Brad Burns, Lee Gray, Kurt Helgeson (for Lisa Heinrich), Barbara Keinath, Christel
Kippenhan, Manuel López, Dennis Nunes, Roger Prestwich, Kari Winter

Members ITV: Richard Adler, Anne Blackhurst, Donna Burgraff, Jane Giedt, Louise Mengelkoch, Raphael
Onyeaghala, Tim Secott

Members absent: Carol Nielsen

Members WebEx: Jeanette Karjala

Office of the Chancellor staff present: Jeanette Daines, Neala Schleuning, Erin Sperling

Guests attending via ITV: Joan Miller (Bemidji State University)

Meeting was called to order at 10:10am.

Review of agenda (Gray)
   o An agenda recently revised was distributed.

Minutes from November 2, 2007 meeting (Gray)
   o The minutes were reviewed and unanimously approved as is.

Graduate programs – ISRS and graduate education (Lopez and Blackhurst)
    o Blackhurst asked for this item to be on the agenda just after the Graduate Council’s last meeting. She
        had attended a meeting at South Central College in North Mankato which was attended also by ISRS
        staff. It was realized that there is no graduate-level ISRS user group. At MSU-Mankato they need to
        work almost daily to accommodate graduate education in ISRS. Blackhurst, then, has been wondering
        whether we should have such a user group.
    o Adler is in agreement that a graduate-level ISRS user group is needed. Issues that are discussed
        regarding ISRS are primarily related to undergraduate focus. Graduate education seems to get left out
        of discussion.
    o MSU-Mankato is talking about creating a shadow system that they can use to provide useful
        information to the campus community. Now they need to struggle with ISRS and track this data
        separately, which is double the work. There is an obligation to provide accurate student-related data
        regarding graduate education, yet doing so may double the workload of administrators which his not
        seen as fair.
    o It was also mentioned that ISRS provides no useful admissions information, prospects information, yet
        campuses are asked regularly, and should be, about graduate-level enrollment. Shadow systems provide
        information but eat up a good deal of administrator time. Shadow systems also do not link well with
        other systems.
    o The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) regularly asks for information on graduate education. The
        information they are asking for is not even necessarily that complex and should not be this difficult to
    o Macro level issue: Graduate level representation related to systems-level discussions in the system is
    o Micro level issue: ISRS.
    o   There is a request to have a graduate-level user group. If this is correct, who would the members be?
        Registrars and related staff are already involved at undergraduate level. Would graduate faculty and
        administrators be more appropriate? Insights are appreciated so discussions at system level can be
    o   Nunes stated that SCSU’s admissions director and registrar have been working on ISRS issues for 1 – 2
        years. The issue at hand is not a lack of representation but a lack of interest in fixing issues. Issues
        were known, needs were known; interest and motivation to take action were non-existent.
    o   Schleuning asked whether there is a report or minutes from this committee exist? Not known, but it is
        the consensus of participants that priority to fix issues is not there.
    o   Burgraff suggests that a person dedicated on each campus to graduate-level admissions, etc., could serve
        on such a user group and try to bring these issues to greater attention of decision-makers.
    o   Keinath says gradate education should not feel “special” that graduate-level technology and data needs
        are being ignored. The needs of campuses seem to be being ignored for various reasons. The graduate-
        level issues being experienced are a symptom of a larger, system-wide problem.

Action item: Lopez suggested that he take these issues to the leadership council. These issues can be raised
without specific attribution, and also share general perspective that system is generally broken. Each
institution is requested to send information to López who will combine it. Reasonably up-to-date information
would be especially helpful.

Discussion – graduate faculty development needs and opportunities (Milne)
    o Lynda Milne, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in the Office of the Chancellor,
       was welcomed for a discussion related to development needs and related issues for graduate-level
       faculty. She is here at her own invitation with the encouragement of the CTL steering committee. They
       had tried to talk on their own about faculty development needs and opportunities for graduate-level
       faculty, and what CTL can do to help. When investigating these questions, they realized they did not
       have the level of involvement needed in graduate education in order to have an informed perspective. It
       was decided, then, to come to the Graduate Council to seek feedback.

    o Adler mentioned that when faculty apply for graduate status, they are not approved because they have
        not had graduate-level teaching experience even though they have met all other requirements
        (credentials, etc). In Adler’s department, for instance, they have had seminars regarding graduate
        education regarding expectations, unique graduate-level classroom culture, and other issues, that may be
        helpful for newer faculty. Other faculty expressed support of this model.
    o No one at the table stated they currently have a formalized, systematic internal professional
        development/training program, but Giedt stated that a faculty exchange was brought up as a suggestion
        during the DNP review as a possible way for faculty to get additional experience. DNP has co-faculty
        in a mentor/mentee structure.
    o Giedt suggested CTL perhaps sponsor series of conferences (1 – 2 times per year) geared at new and
        more seasoned faculty who can come together for professional dialogue regarding best practices,
        pitfalls, etc.
    o Differences between graduate program types (e.g., masters vs. doctorate; applied vs. theoretical;
        differing disciplines; online or land; cohort and collaborative programs) may also need to be considered
        when creating development opportunities.
    o Graduate-level faculty also need to become more familiar with emerging technologies used in teaching
        and learning.
    o One model that may be worth considering is a model developed by the University of Minnesota. Their
        Office of Professional Development Outreach (OPDO) in the Department of Work and Human
        Resource Education provides a Teacher Education Series (TES) for individuals teaching in the Career
        and Technical Education (the old "vocational") areas to gain pedagogical knowledge and application
        assistance. The courses are offered as online, ITV, "day school," or hybrid. If and when the time
        arrives for developing pedagogical opportunities for those teaching masters and/or doctoral courses, it
        might be advantageous to communicate with the OPDO personnel and directors for methods that work.
        Teaching "The Adult Learner" requires pedagogical knowledge and techniques that are different from
        those applied to undergraduate students.

Action items:
    o Milne requested information regarding number of graduate-level faculty at each university.
        Information should be sent to López for compilation.
    o Milne will draft a brief survey to be distributed to graduate-level faculty regarding their professional
        development needs. A draft will be circulated to Graduate Council members through López.

Update – status of doctoral programs (Lopez)
   o Program applications either approved or in process, as well as submitted program intents, are as follows:

Approved programs
        DNP – MSU Moorhead; MSU Mankato; Metropolitan State University; Winona State University
        EdD: Counselor Education and Supervision – MSU Mankato
        EdD: Higher Education Administration – St. Cloud State University

Submitted applications
        PsyD: School Psychology – MSU Mankato
        EdD: Educational Leadership – MSU Mankato
        EdD: Educational Administration and Leadership – St. Cloud State University

Submitted intents
        DBA – Metropolitan State University

Discussion (López)
    o When program proposals were reviewed last year, we looked at curriculum and had external reviews.
        The fundamental issue being considered at that time was institutional capacity. Now, in the second year
        of reviewing program applications, we also have a question of system capacity, which institutions do
        not have to think about as much as the system does, and this is where concerns are and they seem to be
        increasing with institutional leaders as well. Program approval should not be a first-come-first-serve
        basis. More deliberate planning is needed in order to make approval a more deliberate process in light of
        various pressures, although it was acknowledged that the system culture may not be conductive as it is
        to this type of collaborative, system-wide planning.
    o “Duplication” a concern, as is determining a more comprehensive picture of supply and demand. There
        is a perceived need on Lopez’s part for a more strategic plan of doctoral programs at both institutional
        and system levels.
    o There is an understanding that there is a need for autonomy but we are also part of a system, so there are
        tensions. It also needs to be understood that there is that same tension on campuses between
        departments and institutions. To what extent have institutions within their own strategic planning
        addressed doctoral education specifically? We received more applications than expected at this point in
        process and we need to make sure the approval process is a systematic one.
    o The approved and proposed awards are practice, not research degrees. Some confusion of this
        distinction is starting to show up in some of the applications and support materials. Academe may
        understand the differences, but they need to be explained to the Board of Trustees and other
    o We ended up with six degree areas from legislature, even though six were not requested.
    o Consortial model of the DNP is perceived as being positive.
    o Regarding the cohort model, the advantage is that you do not actually start a program until you have
        viability of program before starting, but then students may end up waiting until numbers are there.
    o New doctoral programs, keep in mind, require long-term commitments to faculty (more costs) that need
        to be considered when looking at sustainability. Also keep in mind what investment does to other
        graduate programs, as well as, perhaps, undergraduate programs. Institutions have been trusted to look
        at these issues in terms of their planning.
    o   In terms of demand model we have been working with, sense is that most, but not all, students are
        coming from Minnesota. Is this trend continuing? Not necessarily, but program audience is an
        institutional decision. Online programs may broaden audience, but then you are competing with a larger
        pool of institutions.
    o   Part of difficulty in terms of demand is that in terms of Department of Labor statistics is that we
        frequently do not get the level of data detail that is necessary so we end up having to fill in the gaps with
        surveys and other means. We have a lot of programs in nursing at associate degree, for example, yet we
        talk about nursing shortage. Market-specific shortage, for example, is at baccalaureate level, yet
        Department of Labor data does not specify that level of detail.
    o   Institutions need to submit a plan covering several years to HLC as well as us. HLC determines which
        programs institutions have authorization for and at what level, which will vary depending on institution
    o   Doctoral programs require a great deal of financial investment. Cost needs to be a major factor. Long-
        term investigation of sustainability is crucial, even if there is need documented out there from a
        supply/demand perspective. “Lifetime sustainability” needs to be considered, although it is difficult to
        predict beyond 5 – 10 years. Room for adjustment is needed (flexibility over time to adapt as needed).
    o   Gray supports that Graduate Council regularly addresses this issue until resolution is reached.

Action items
    o Feedback is welcome to López ( López will synthesize emails and bring
        them back to next meeting.
    o Transparency, need, and political issues need to be considered in the future, so we at least need to start
        thinking about these issues. Input from faculty, students, and administrators from all 7 universities so
        we can get a systematic overview of issues is appreciated.

Update – selection of external reviewers for masters programs (Daines)
   o At the last meeting, there was some information shared regarding the process/criteria related to the
       selection of external reviewers for graduate programs. A new draft of this language is intended to
       reflect discussion at the last meeting.
   o 3rd paragraph: Graduate Council members will be provided first opportunity to review a program
       application. There may be times when a member of the Graduate Council may not be appropriate.
       Criteria for such circumstances are now included.
   o Language related to unnecessary duplication and sound practices of curriculum were added to criteria.
   o Another request for review feedback so final paragraph on this issue was added.
   o Original concerns surfaced that members sometimes did not have what they thought was considered to
       be adequate expertise to review the program. This new process now also considers the schedules in
       light of whether anyone is available to conduct a review. Efforts to make sure the reviewer does not
       come from the same institution as the author of the proposal were also made explicit.
   o Helgeson notes conflict between the notions of having Graduate Council members review programs not
       in their area of expertise with the emphasis on other issues besides content (capacity, general practice,
       for example). Sound practices across disciplines, though, vary. Is helpful to have that discipline
       knowledge when reviewing programs even if capacity is the primary concern.
   o Perhaps focus more on delivery than on content of program in draft to help clarify matters.

Action item: Daines will make edit accordingly and will send back out for review and feedback.

Update – arbitration (Lopez)
   o IFO challenged AVC Mary Leary’s interpretation (labor relations) that doctoral programs were not
       covered by tuition provision of IFO contract because the contract was in place prior to addition of
       doctoral programs. MSCF also challenged the interpretation of their contract language on this issue.
       The arbitrator shared the IFO and MSCP point of view. Students currently in programs are being
       contacted to see if they are covered by provisions.
    o   Under the IFO contract, a certain number of credits can be covered by contract by tuition waiver
        (including dependents – perhaps 24 credits or so). Last contract which is theoretically still in place
        because a new one hasn’t been completed.
    o   MSCF is a different approach from IFO. In the IFO contract, the institution offering program waives
        tuition up to a certain number of credits. In the MSCF contract, the sending institution (home campus of
        the faculty member) is responsible for the tuition payment to the institution offering the program. In
        MSCF contract, benefits accrue only to faculty member.
    o   Decision has potential to be quite unequal (DNP, for instance). If the institution offering the course has
        students that are faculty members in other MnSCU institutions (say 4) and those 4 students don’t pay
        tuition, institution offering the course in the consortium will be the one to lose the tuition, correct?
        Consortia agreements, though, will balance the books at the end of the year. If the DNP had MSCF
        faculty in the programs, their home institution would need to pay the DNP institution.
    o   Questions were mentioned regarding the common market plan, and whether that applies to the tuition
        waiver. The common market dates back to old state universities and before (nearly 2 decades ago).
        López stated he can try to dig out old state university policy manual, but it may not be in there. Was in
        practice, not necessarily in policy. It was suggested to look at state university catalogs for statement on
        common market practices. SCSU has a category for it.
    o   SMSU has common market with the University of Minnesota - Morris which is outside the state
        university system. Giedt wondered whether there has been a change in this practice and whether it
        would inform tuition waiver issue.
    o   There are other systems that have similar policies in place. The UW system used to have program of
        undergraduate improvement where they would give sabbaticals to people to go on to get their advanced
        degrees and get half salary as well.
    o   At Mankato, their counselor education program may have MSCF faculty. They want as diverse a class
        as possible, which is a challenge if all the class members are from your own institution. Admissions
        decisions need to be deliberate relative to where students come from. At same time, knowing someone
        is from a certain union would not be the sole reason for turning someone away from the program.

Update – reminder of new website and forms (Sperling)
   o For information regarding academic programs, refer to, until the revised academic and student
       affairs website is fixed, which is
   o This website is a one-stop shop for all information related to program review, including new forms and
       instructions, resources regarding needs analyses, released executive memoranda, and staff contacts.

Other items (All)
   o Burns inquired about the status of discussions related to the possible implementation of a mandatory fee
        for graduate programs. This possibility was not acted on because the Office of the Chancellor
        Department of Finance stated it was not possible to impose non-refundable fees.
   o All campuses have agreed that tuition rates will increase by a maximum of 2% for community and
        technical colleges; the maximum at universities will be 3%. Graduate programs, though, were not
        considered during these discussions. The DNP group has worked with campus CFOs on tuition rates for
        the program, and only one of the four grad programs did the bureaucratic paperwork required for tuition
        differential. In the end, it was agreed that graduate program tuition rates would go up by 3%.

Updates (All)
Bemidji State University
   o Since the semester is young, they have not had internal graduate education meeting as of yet.
   o SMSU is currently waiting for their provost to review their reorganization proposal. Faculty gave a lot
        of feedback, so it is now up to the provost to decide on actions. As a result of this possible
        reorganization, the graduate school may or may not get a new home. “Small” changes from last spring
        will be implemented; it is unknown whether other changes will be made.
Metropolitan State University
   o MSU experienced a 7% increase in grad student headcount this year, or a 12% FTE increase. FTE is
       climbing faster than headcount, which indicates that students are taking heavier credit loads.
   o The Aslanian marketing study recently submitted looked at metro-area adult learners. MSU will be
       digesting this information. One study was done for Dakota County Technical College, and one is being
       done for and also doing one for the Metro Alliance.
   o The online MBA program was started within the College of Management. This program uses a cohort
       model. The cohort from Taiwan that will finish this May, and a new cohort was recruited and will start
       in June. Some university representatives expressed interest in how the online MBA works. This
       program can be revisited when more data is available.
   o MSU is currently looking for a president.
   o A DBA is being worked on right now. This program, if approved, will also be offered using a cohort

MSU Moorhead
  o Adler has new position and title: Dean of Graduate Studies; Associate Dean of the College of
     Education and Human Services. He reports directly to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Faculty
     are very excited about his efforts to increase visibility of graduate programs at MSU Moorhead.
  o MSU Moorhead also has a presidential search going. There are currently 10 candidates.

MSU Mankato
  o A steering committee is currently working to start a graduate research conference. They currently have
     an active undergraduate conference, where 200 students present at 2-day conference with faculty. They
     hope to have an annual graduate-level conference for next year.
  o A campus-wide group of 15 – 20 faculty and staff are meeting to discuss graduate education on campus,
     including positioning, benchmarking, and progress.
  o Lots of discussion is occurring regarding graduate student stipends. They are currently considering an
     annual cost of living adjustment, and also passed policy to permit graduate assistants that are funded
     externally to be paid at higher rates than those being funded internally, which is considered to be a way
     to encourage faculty to seek outside funding sources in an effort to attract highest quality students.
  o MSU Mankato has also been successful in securing private donations to fund assistantships. They have
     received $7 million from the Andreas family, as well as external funding to fund geography and other
     social science/liberal arts programs. Donors have been specifying that funds go to graduate education.
  o Preparations are starting in earnest for their March 17 – 18 HLC focus visit. They have submitted their
     self-study and are responding to concerns from Neala and other members of the academic programs
     staff regarding the two applications they submitted. Hopefully everything will come together so that
     they can move forward in the approval process.

St. Cloud State University
     o Their recent Center for Applied Doctorates open house was a success.
     o HLC approval was received for their currently offered doctoral programs.
     o SCSU graduate-level enrollments have experienced a 7% increase Fall 2007; 3% increase Spring 2008
        at graduate level as compared to this time last year. Since 2005, graduate student enrollments have
        increased by 20%. 1/8 of students on campus when including summer enrollments, are graduate
        students. These students are now considered integral to the university.
     o SCSU is working hard to continue increasing graduate student stipends, which have doubled over the
        last 4 -5 years (to $10K). They are looking at a cost of living adjustment of 3%. Stipends fell behind on
        campus during hard times over the last 4 – 5 years, and they do not want that to happen again.
     o The idea of having funds float depending on fund source seems to work well.
     o They have also tried to increase the presence of international graduate students. International student
        recruitment will be starting next year.
     o Graduate faculty and administration are working with their president on graduate education planning.
    o   New programs have been created; also have experienced a renewed commitment in programs. Faculty
        are expressing interest in having high-quality programs.

Southwest Minnesota State University
      o The lead campus librarian died suddenly on Tuesday and the campus is still reeling. She was a strong
          advocate for library and a lot of fun to work with.

Winona State University
     o Their graduate council meeting is February 4. Their discussion will likely involve committee
         restructuring. They have created a graduate student experience committee whose charge is to support
         all graduate students on personal development and competency. The graduate dean position
         recommendation is also still on agenda for discussion.
     o A graduate program assembly meeting in education took place December 2007. Lee and Tom
         Sherman were instrumental in bringing rough draft rubrics for assessment of graduate education
         program as far as admission steps, retention, follow up. A rubric was also presented for capstone,
         evaluation, competence exams, and for collecting data over time on admission for different grad
         programs. In addition, they also collected data for AQIP, follow up surveys, etc. They would like to
         work on this electronically so that when an accrediting agency or other body has interest in graduate
         programs, it should only be a matter of pushing a key in order to get data.

  Other information
     o Giedt requested information on whether campuses provide faculty workload credit for theses, etc.,
         and what constitutes a full-time load.
             o Bemidji State University: Graduate assistant has to carry 6 credits; international students
                need to carry at least 9 credits, which is true for all international students regardless of
                institution. Graduate assistants can go down from 9 credits, but the international student
                office needs to receive paperwork. There is no formal policy regarding faculty workload for
                theses and related credits. In addition, though, 1 credit of release time is provided to faculty
                for every graduate class taught. There is also a workload differential for graduate-level
             o Metropolitan State University: 8 credits for full-time graduate student status. Also have had
                discussions about this being a contractual issue. They do not have a formula for determining
                faculty workload, and will most likely end up leaving this as a contractual issue.
             o MSU Mankato: 6 credits is needed to be considered a full-time graduate student; they are
                currently working on a possible faculty workload formula.
             o Southwest Minnesota State University: Full-time graduate student load is 18 credits for the
                calendar year (credits can be broken down across 3 terms, including summer). They do not
                have a formal faculty load formula.
             o Winona State University: 6 credits is full-time. They have no faculty formula but the issue
                comes up each year.
             o St. Cloud State University: Their policy is the same as Metropolitan State’s. 8 credits is
                considered full-time and they have no formal faculty workload formula. They have had
                discussions in the graduate committee regarding compensation and it was clear from
                IFO/faculty senate that this was an issue not to discuss in committee but that it is a contract
                issue; it was requested that it be brought up in negotiations.
             o MSU Moorhead: 8 credits is considered full-time student status. They have no faculty
                workload formula.

        o   Academic programs would like an understanding of how many students are assigned to faculty
            (committees, theses, etc.), and what the time commitment is for them. We have not done a good job
            on forms to get at this information specifically. While information is important to collect and
            consider, institutions should not be put in a position to respond to questions they are not able to
            provide answers to due to the lack of available data.
   o   In terms of capacity to offer graduate programs – if, for example, there are three full-time faculty
       associated with a program that has 60 students enrolled, it is conceivable that each faculty member
       gets 20 students to advise. It is conceivable, then, that faculty members will advise and not teach; or
       teach mixed courses (graduate/undergraduate) and end up advising out of the kindness of their hearts.
       This issue, then, is another concern related to institutional capacity to offer programs. The number of
       active dissertation students each faculty member advises, though, will be capped.
   o   Some concern exists given gray area we’re walking into related to contractual issues regarding
       workload. López’s understanding of this issue is that institutions have flexibility in terms of
       assigning release time, so questions and concerns could be addressed that way.
   o   It was announced that Sperling’s last day with MnSCU is February 19. She accepted a position at the
       University of Minnesota in the Academic Health Center working with program review, accreditation,
       and promotion and tenure. We wish her well in this new endeavor.

Next meeting:
Friday, Apr 18, 2008
10:00am – 2:00pm

Happy Groundhog’s Day tomorrow.

Meeting adjourned at 1:47pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Erin Sperling

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