Graduate Council Advisory Committee
Hill University Center, Executive Boardroom
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Members present: Jim Collawn, Bryan Noe, Susan Rich, Jeff Engler, David Macrina, Erica Pryor, Mary MacDougall, Alan Randich, Kent Keyser
Staff: Thomas Harris, Susan Banks
- Information Items:
- New RCR grant opportunity – Dr. Engler discussed a new opportunity through the Office of Research Integrity which will provide funding to support development of initiatives designed to embed ethics education and responsible conduct of research education into the graduate curriculum. The Grad School plans to apply for one of these grants.
- ESL outcomes – Dr. Engler gave a report on the 2006 – 2008 ESL Assessments. Before the fall of 2007 the graduate school accepted international student volunteers volunteer for English Language proficiency testing. The assessments tested capabilities in communicating in both spoken and written English. The proficiency testing became mandatory for all incoming international student for whom TOEFL scores were required beginning in fall semester 2007. The data are being compared to the student TOEFL scores to determine the correlation between TOEFL scores and the OPI testing done locally. Another aspect is trying to improve communication skills of international students who are to become TA’s so that communication becomes less of a problem in the classroom. ESL course work recommendations are made to the individual program directors based on results of the proficiency testing. Only about 40 – 50% of the students have actually taken one or more of the recommended ESL courses. See handout.
- Update on stipends for fiscal 2009 – Dr. Noe confirmed to the ADCOM members that stipend commitments made for 2009 will remain firm.
- Resource allocation paradigm update – Dr. Noe indicated that the GBS Office is well under way with assisting the Health Science programs to prepare their applications by developing a means to pre-populate of tabular data required in their applications. The Graduate School has set a tentative deadline of October 15th for submission of funding applications from all programs. The committees for SBS, NS&M, ENG and EDU have completed development of their criteria, but did not come to a consensus with regard to weighting of the criteria. A meeting has been scheduled for May 8 with all the program directors who are responsible for programs that are funded to discuss how they wish to weight their evaluation parameters. The Graduate School is continuing to work on providing the core data to make the applications less onerous than they have been in the past.
- Graduate School Outcomes Assessment components – Dr. Noe reviewed with ADCOM the last version of the Graduate School assessment components prepared for the last SACS accreditation visit. Revisions were recommended that will be incorporated into the new WEAVE online data system. The new system will allow each department to keep their data up to date and current. New recommended assessment parameters include under The High-Quality Graduate Research Programs category: a) Availability of a printed student handbook for each program, b) ESL testing (oral and written) being mandatory for entering international students for whom English is not their native language, c) Written assessment of student performance at the end of every year, d) Dissertation committee formed no later than the end of the 3rd year of study and e) Dissertation committee meets at least once per year and provides a written report of the meeting.
The section entitled Recognize graduate student achievement will be modified to become “Recognize faculty mentorship and graduate student achievement.” In this section the number of students attending the hooding ceremony parameter will be replaced with number of degrees granted. Also documented will be the number of individual fellowships for which grad students have applied and their success rate in garnering those fellowships. The cumulative number over time, and the number and names of faculty who have received the mentorship awards during the past year will be added to this section.
Finally, ADCOM agreed to delete the section of Doctoral Dissertation Quality. This decision was based on the recognition that this is a parameter which is quite difficult to quantify, and that the Grad School has placed the responsibility for monitoring the quality of Masters theses and doctoral dissertations back into the hands of the students’ committees and their respective programs where monitoring and quality control should occur.
ADCOM annual appreciation dinner will be held Thursday, May 8, 2008 at Veranda on Highland at 6:00 pm
- Rotation of ADCOM membership – Dr. Noe asked for ADCOM members who believed that other commitments were superceding their commitment to serve as an ADCOM member would volunteer to rotate off ADCOM. Dr. Noe will then consult with the Deans of the schools represented to identify faculty to replace the members who have rotated off ADCOM.
(ADCOM web site is http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=38719)
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.