Graduate Council Meeting

16 October 2007

Members present:  Bradley, Brown, Chen, Clapp, Vela Cordova, Fields, Gresham, Hernandez, Nelson (represented by Ms. Canales), Joon-Yeoul Oh (represented by Dr. George Wagman), Olivares, Ramirez, Sétamou, Uddameri, Williams, Lewis (Ag student rep), Munoz (A&S student rep), Bandyopadhvay (EN student rep), Briana Flores (BA student rep), and Candi Blair (ED student rep).

Members absent: Priti Verma

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

Motion to accept minutes from September 18, 2007 meeting approved.

Introduction of student representatives of the Graduate Council was made.

Executive Committee –Dr. Fields reminded members of the graduate council that Friday, October 19 is the deadline for students to register for the upcoming TAMUS Pathways Symposium.  As of Tuesday October 16, 2007, 43 out of the 55 seats available in the charter bus that will provide transportation to students are booked. He reminded members that only one night of accommodation plus a couple of meals will be sponsored.  Dr. Fields also reminded the council members that a revised spring 2008 IRB Manual is available on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs’ web site.


Dr. Fields reported that there are concerns that the university does not have consistent policies established for cases where graduate students repeatedly fail their comprehensive examinations.  Members of the graduate council felt the need to standardize these policies and make them explicit. Therefore, Dean Olivares asked graduate council representatives from Wildlife, Engineering, and Education to return to next month's meeting with reports on their programs' policies in this regard, addressing:

(a) How many times should a student who has failed a comprehensive exam                            be allowed to repeat it?

(b) For doctoral students, what is the sequence and timing for the proposal defense?

      and qualifying exam defense?

(c)  Should doctoral students be required to submit a journal publication of their              dissertation as a requirement for graduation?  (This last item will be delayed for

      future discussion).


Curriculum Committee – Dr. Sue Bradley presented a proposal to delete the M.S. program in Geology. Because of insufficient number of students, all courses offered in this program will become supportive program. A motion to accept this proposal was approved.


            Just after the Curriculum Committee report, Dr. Michelle Brown from the Department of Educational Leadership & Counseling asked if the curriculum committee had received curriculum change proposals from her, and Dr. Bradley replied that she had not.  Dean Olivares raised the concern that many curriculum proposals may be getting lost, so he suggested that those departments submitting proposals should follow them through as they progress up to the Provost Office. 

Dr. Fields reminded members that the deadline for curriculum proposals is November 15 at the Provost office.

Membership Committee – Nothing to report at this time.

Program Review Committee – Nothing to report at this time.

Dean’s Report

1.        The College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Education will increase the requirement on the TOEFL score in their colleges from 500 to 550 effective with applications for the fall 2009 semester.

2.        A TAMUK-Kaplan GRE workshop is scheduled for October 20, 2007.  For registration, contact Courtney Romo in Echkardt Hall Room 211, 212, or 213.

3.        It is recommended that all graduate research reports, theses, and dissertations be submitted by students in both hard copy form and digitally.  Committee chairpersons require a copy in digital format.  Details regarding submission procedures are left up to the department to communicate to their student. As usual, only hard copies are submitted to the Graduate Office. 

Dr Olivares introduced Dr. Masa, the University Honors Chairman who had a message regarding the Alpha Chi honors society. His briefing is summarized in 4 points:

  1. Alpha Chi is a national interdisciplinary university honors society that inducts members in the top10% of their class (juniors and seniors)
  2.  As of Fall 2007, Alpha Chi is allowing graduate students to become part of Alpha Chi.
  3. The national organization is allowing individual universities to determine what is “top 10%” for graduate students.
  4. Suggested guidelines:

a.       GPA of 4.0 is the automatic cutoff for eligibility

b.      Both graduate and undergraduate GPA can be considered

c.       Rank students within their college/discipline and select the top 10%

Members agreed to the need of consensus and suggested that GPA of 3.5 for undergraduate students and 3.75 for graduate students can be used as cutoffs for eligibility. However, for graduate students, Dr. Masa will send to the chairman of each department a list of their students meeting the primary eligibility criteria based on GPA. The department will make the final recommendation on the top 10%.  It was also agreed that only graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) who have completed a full year at the University are eligible for such honors.

Student Representatives – No report, but three of the new student representatives that were present for the first time this year were introduced to the Council.

Old Business – No report, but Dean Olivares stated that progress reports are expected from the Doctoral and Masters task forces during the next meeting.

New Business – None

Motion to adjourn at 3:55 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou