Meeting 1: April 24, 2014

Material included for today’s meeting:

  1. Timeline for Committee Work: We are scheduled for 2 hours weekly until June. Chancellor Loftin would like a report with recommendations by July 1, 2014 so we should expect to get the draft finished mid-June and sent to the Provost for review. The list of topics for each meeting is a guideline but certainly flexible if any one piece of inventory requires additional time.
  2. A first draft of an inventory of what graduate school does. For each meeting we will provide you with the material you need to address the topic in advance and it would be helpful to do the reading before the meeting so we are ready for a discussion.
  3. List of task force members and their affiliation
  4. Draft of the primary goals for the task force as outlined in Chancellor Loftin’s letter
  5. Copy of Chancellor Loftin’s letter
  6. Copy of the Council of Graduate Schools publication “Organization and Administration of Graduate Education” as background for a national view of graduate administration, functions and purpose.

Tasks:

  1. Assess the inventory of graduate school functions and determine which should be administered by the academic units and which should remain within the newly created Office of Graduate Studies. Challenges:
    1. Gathering Information: We each represent specific constituents (graduate students, DGSs, contacts, deans, others) that may have concerns or opinions regarding the restructuring process or its components. It is important we understand these issues, and the opinions of our constituent groups, as we make decisions about functional placements and resource allocations. Thus, we will reach out via email to each of our groups for feedback throughout the process.
    2. Scope of the task: Addressing the needs of the interdisciplinary programs alone could take months. Is this the right committee for doing that? The role of the graduate faculty senate in each piece of the inventory must be considered as well as the role of GFS as designated in the Faculty Handbook of the CRR.

Discussion:

Interdisciplinary Programs

There was considerable discussion concerning interdisciplinary programs. Although the graduate school remains intact through September for spring and summer graduation, will issues around interdisciplinary programs be resolved by December graduation for that set of graduating students? We have programs with as few as 4 to as many as 250 graduate students. Some programs have formed collaboratively representing as many as 7 colleges while others were formed out of necessity. Importantly all students in these programs receive their diploma from the Graduate School. Enrollment numbers from the Registrars web site indicate the “Graduate School” has the third highest enrollment after Education and A&S. While some of these enrollments can easily be shifted to colleges (Vet Med, Medicine etc), the large interdisciplinary programs will be more challenging as they involve considerable resources and multiple colleges have begun a competitive process for obtaining management control of these programs. Thus, there needs to be a high level discussion and negotiation regarding how these programs are administered, the impact on their future growth and their accreditation requirements.

The Task Force acknowledges there are many possible models for managing interdisciplinary programs successfully, including the creation of an umbrella “school” similar to the role previously played by the Graduate School. However, more detailed discussions are needed that specifically address the diversity of programs (Professional, MS, PhD, certificates, minors) as well as possible models. The Task Force felt strongly, however, that these programs need to be protected, and new interdisciplinary programs promoted. Interdisciplinary study is a hallmark of education at Mizzou and must be maintained.

Recommendation to the Provost:

Create a high level task force to examine possible administrative structures that will protect the independence of and enhance our current interdisciplinary programs and degrees and provide a mechanism to foster growth of new interdisciplinary programs. 

Favor: 14 yes, opposed 0, abstain 1 (absent: M. O’Brien, T. Kitchel)

Upcoming

Next meeting Tuesday – Admissions Process. Terrence Grus, director of graduate admissions will join us. We will distribute documents pertaining to admissions on Monday including a more detailed description and list of components of the process, admission data, FTEs involved and budget.

Considerations: At Texas A&M, each graduate program has its own website and clearly lists the admissions requirements. Some of our programs do this as well, some do not. Admissions at Texas A&M is then handled by a centralized system. The MU graduate school maintains a web site that lists all the requirements of all program because some do not. Can this be addressed.

How do other AAU schools process graduate admissions?

Please share the report on admissions efficiency study done by IR and Quality Improvement last year.

Resources