Graduate Council Meeting

13 November 2007

Members present:  Members present:  Bradley, Brown, Chen, Clapp, Vela Cordova, Fields, Gresham (represented by Priti Verma), Hernandez, Hewitt, Joon-Yeoul Oh (represented by Dr. George Wagman), Olivares, Ramirez, Sétamou, Uddameri, Williams, Lewis (student rep), Munoz (student rep), Bandyopadhyay (student rep), Blair (stud rep), Breanne (student rep).

Members absent: Nelson

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

Motion to accept minutes from October 16, 2007 meeting approved.

Executive Committee – Dr. Fields stressed the importance of graduate council work and encouraged every member to continue its active participation.


Curriculum Committee – Dr. Sue Bradley presented proposals to make changes to the Educational Leadership (EDLD) program by adding/deleting courses or changing course titles and description to match the current needs of students and reflect the program goals. Specifically, seven (7) proposals comprising 4 changes in course title and/or course description, one deletion of course and two additions of new courses have been submitted:

1.      Change title and description (EDLD-07-G-6) from a sequential course to a research based course that will be offered once every two years to ensure that every cohort of students have a chance to take this course.

2.      Change name of the special topic course (EDLD-07-G-7) to match program name and goal.

3.      Change name of the design course (EDLD-07-G-7) from ‘Practicum and Research’ to ‘Quantitative Research in Educational Leadership’.

4.      Change wording of course description (EDLD-07-G-9) to make it succinct

5.      Delete course EDLD6399 because not given for a while.

6.      Add new course (EDLD-07-G-11) to meet demand and stand competition from a sequential course to a research based course that will be offered once every two years to ensure that every cohort of students have a chance to take this course.

7.      Add a new course (EDLD-07-G-12)


            A motion to accept these proposals was approved.

Membership Committee – Dr. Uddameri reported that a call for Graduate Faculty nominations will be announced the first week of January 2008.

Program Review Committee –Dr. Clapp reminded the council that December 3, 2007, is the due date for program review reports from Agribusiness, Early Childhood Education, English as Second Language, and Spanish degree programs to be submitted to the graduate dean.

Dean’s Report

1.    The graduate curriculum routing procedure was explained by Dr. Olivares.  He stressed the importance of following this procedure to prevent delays and suggested that all curriculum proposals be submitted in eight (8) copies.  Dr. Olivares strongly recommended that a person initiating a proposal should follow it through, and to have it logged-in the Graduate Dean’s office before submitting the proposal to Dr. Sue Bradley who chairs the council’s curriculum committee.

2.    Dr. Olivares reported that student researchers from Texas A&M University- Kingsville made strong impression at the A&M University System 5th Annual Pathways Research Symposium held on November 2-3, 2007, at the campus of Tarleton State University. A total of 60 students participated from our university and 14 of them were recognized by different awards among which the first and second prizes; the university also won the Traveling Scholarship Trophy. The trophy will be place in the MSUB glass-cased window outside of the ballrooms. Dr. Olivares expressed his satisfaction for the outstanding research program ongoing at our university and congratulated all for this great accomplishment.

Dr. Olivares introduced Ms. Millie Slaughter, the Assistant Director of International Student Services who had a message regarding the immigration status of international students. First, Ms. Slaughter described the role of her office and then gave details on the final rules establishing SEVIS made available by the Department of Homeland Security. Her presentation is summarized in 4 points:

  1. All international students must maintain legal immigration status during the course of their education and training at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Although the University through her office applied for visas on behalf of students, she insisted on the fact that it is the student responsibility to main legal status.
  2. International students must also maintain full course load at any time except when they are about to graduate. Undergraduate students must have a 12 credit-hours load while graduate students must have a 9 credit-hours course load at all times.  However, thesis is considered as a full course load only when it is the last remaining course.
  3. International students have to follow regulations and inform the International Student Services of any change in their status.




  1. Ms. Slaughter commented on safety issues of international students after 3 incidents have bee reported recently. She mentioned that the University is taking all measures possible to ensure the safety of students. Some suggested measures included:  

a.       Students are advised not to walk by themselves when it is too late in the night; the University police can be called to transport students back to their apartment.

b.      Side-walks and security lights will be put in place

c.       It is suggested that security gates be placed around targeted student apartments (e.g., the University Square Apartments).

d.      University is working with owners of apartments to put additional security guards

Student Representatives – No report.

Old Business – Dr. Fields called on the two task forces to present their progress reports. Dr. Olivares encouraged members of the task forces to assist their task force chairs and contribute to their reports.

    a. Master’s Task Force-Dr. Fields submitted a draft consisting of questions to be addressed by external paper master program reviewers and requested input from the council and task force members.  The self study instrument is also being reviewed by the task force members for possible revisions.

    b. Doctoral Task Force –Dr. Uddameri reported that the Doctoral Task Force is still working on reviewing the existing doctoral self study instrument for possible revisions and that will eventually be used by external doctoral program reviewers.

     Comprehensive Examination Policies for Doctoral Programs

         Dr. Michelle Brown presented the Educational Leadership (EDLD) program policy regarding comprehensive final exams. After all core coursework students must register to take the comprehensive written exams that cover all 5 core program areas over a 3 day-period. Results of these exams are either pass or fail and students must pass all 5 exams before being allowed to take the comprehensive oral exam. A remedial plan including additional course work, private tutoring, or additional reading ensures that students who get initially failing grades pass the exams.

                    Drs. Clapp and Uddameri presented the Environmental Engineering (EVEN) department policy on doctoral program qualifying exam and student academic milestones. A two-stage evaluation process is in place to test students after the first 15 credit hours and prior to completing the first 30 credit hours of doctoral course work. Only students who pass these qualifying exams will obtain the Ph.D. candidacy, but students who fail twice any of these exams are out of the program. Successful completion of the Ph.D. program will also comprise satisfactory completion a proposal and dissertation defense, and a minimum of two refereed journal publications with at least one submitted for publication prior to graduation.  

Dr. Michelle Brown suggested to the EVEN Task Force that a remediation plan might be a good option to consider that would allow students in environmental engineering to take additional courses when they do not meet all the guidelines.

                    Dr. Fidel Hernandez did not have a report from the Wildlife Sciences concerning their comprehensive examination polices but suggested that a report will be presented to the council by January 22, 2008.

                    No report was also available from the Bilingual Department.  Dr. Olivares will contact Dr. Alberto Ruiz to submit a report to the council by January 22, 2008.

New Business – None.

Motion to adjourn at 3:45 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Dr. Mamoudou Sétamou