Graduate Council Meeting

12 February 2008

Members present:  Bradley, Brown, Chen, Clapp, Fields, Gresham, Hewitt, Nelson, Olivares, Perez (for Hernandez), Ramirez, Sétamou, Uddameri, Vela Córdova, Wagman, Bandyopadhyay (student rep),

Members absent: Verma, Williams, Blair (Student rep), Lewis (student rep), Flores (student rep).

Meeting was called to order at 2:45 p.m.

Motion to accept minutes from January 22, 2008 meeting approved.

Executive Committee Dr. Fields opened the meeting noting that there were not reports from the Executive Committee.

Curriculum Committee – Dr. Fields announced that some curriculum proposals that have been submitted to the Provost office were rejected because of some mistakes and inconsistencies in these proposals. To ensure that proposals submitted do not bounce back in the future, Dr. Olivares stressed the importance of thorough reviews of any curriculum proposal before submission. He reminded the Graduate Council that faculty members have a huge responsibility in ensuring that factual errors and inconsistencies are corrected, and that only proposal documents in very excellent shape should be submitted to the Provost office in the future.

Membership Committee –Dr. Uddameri reported that the Graduate Faculty Membership Committee met and reviewed all membership applications it has received. The Committee made its recommendation and a list of nominated graduate faculty was circulated to the Council. Dr. Olivares asked members of the Graduate Council to make any comments they have on the list. Later in the week, letters will be sent out to applicants showing their Graduate Faculty status.  Dr. Olivares took the opportunity to remind the Council about the requirements for graduate faculty membership and the selection process. One key criterion required for the application of graduate faculty is the continued scholarship for the last three years by the applicant. For unsuccessful candidates, Dean Olivares also explained the appeal process before the Executive Committee.


     A motion to accept the recommended list of graduate faculty was approved.


      Dr. Olivares mentioned that a compiled list of all graduate faculties will be available and will be sent to each department chair.


Program Review Committee –Dr. Clapp announced that reviews of the four graduate degree programs have been completed and submitted either to the program Chair or college Dean.  Dr. Tejeda-Delgado has completed her review of the Early Childhood Education program, met with the Department Chair, and submitted her report to Dean Daniel for his review. Dr. Bennington has completed her review of the English as Second Language and submitted her report to Dr. Ruiz, the Department Chair. Dr. Flores has completed the review of the Spanish program and submitted his report to the Department Chair, Dr. Roberson. Dr. Rees has completed the Agribusiness program review and discussed the report with the Department Chair (Dr. Nelson) and the College Dean (Dr. Rasmussen).  Dr. Clapp will complete a summary report of all recommendations received from the Program Review Committee members by March 18, 2008 and submit his final report to the Graduate Council on March 25, 2008.

      Dr. Fields mentioned to the Council that the university administration is facing problems with small non-viable programs being continued. He strongly urged the Program Review Committee to carefully look into this issue before completing its final report. Dean Olivares reminded the Council about the minimum criteria for program viability (six master’s graduates every three years and three doctoral every three years), and also mentioned that these expectations may be raised in the future. But he reassured the council that the main goals of program reviews are to strengthen and resolve weaknesses. With 44 graduate degree programs on campus, Dean Olivares mentioned that current review cycles for each program are every 5-6 years, but marginal programs should expect frequent reviews.   

Dean’s Report –Dean Olivares reported on the Graduate Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) meeting and announced that he will be attending another meeting tomorrow and will report on it at the next Graduate Council meeting on March 25, 2008.


      Dr. Olivares cautioned faculty about embarking on collaborative graduate programs if there is no critical mass of students and administrative support for such programs. He explained that depending on the nature of collaborative graduate programs, an institution collaborating in such programs may or may not get the deserved credit when the degree is delivered. Dean Olivares also reminded the Council that the ultimate goal of developing a cooperative or joint graduate program is to be able to have a self-standing program in the future. If this prospect is not there, college and departments at TAMUK should apply care before joining any collaborating graduate programs.             

 Student Representatives – No report.

Old Business – Dr. Fields and Uddameri reported on the status of the “Master’s external paper review” and the “Doctoral external review” task forces.

    a. Master’s Task Force- Dr. Fields distributed to members of the Graduate Council the draft report of the Master’s program review. The requirement for an external paper review for master’s programs has been added as part 6 in the document, while the section for suggestions has been moved to part 7. Dr. Fields mentioned that revisions and editorial changes are still to be made to the report before the final version.  Dr. Olivares noted that self-study report was not included in the document submitted by the Task Force. He also stressed the need to include in the document the format of the external review, the timeframe for submission of this external review and the contact person to whom external review will be submitted. A two-page external review with a 2-week turn-around time for report submission after review has been suggested. Both internal and external review reports should be submitted to Program Review Chair who will have the responsibility to submit them to the Graduate Council, which will formulate the final recommendation based on both internal and external review reports.

      A motion to accept the content of the report was approved with additional documents comprising calendar and instructions on how to submit reports as recommendations.  

    b. Doctoral Task Force –Dr. Uddameri announced that the taskforce has already competed one review, but is still working on format changes to parallel the 18 criteria set forth by the coordinating board.


      A motion to accept these format changes was approved.


 New Business – Dr. Olivares announced the deadlines of different reports and dates of upcoming elections.

  • February 12, 2008: list of graduate faculty membership will be completed;
  • March 25, 2008: all program review reports are due;
  • March 2008: college elections of Graduate Council members for Academic year 2008;
  • April 15, 2008: standing committee elections for academic year 2008 from the floor.

Motion to adjourn at 3:50 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou