Graduate Academic Council
2001 - 2002

Minutes of the Meeting of December 7, 2001

In attendance: C. MacDonald (Chair), J. Mumpower, J. Bartow (Staff), L. Raffalovich, L. Trubitt, M. Gallant, P. Brusoe, R. Irving, S. Nagy-Zekmi, V. Ng, C. Smith, H. Charalambous, L. Niu & D. Shub

Unable to attend: None

Guest: Professor Debi May, Special Education Program

1. Minutes from the GAC meeting of November 9, 2001 were reviewed and unanimously approved by the Council without amendment.

2. Report of the Dean of Graduate Studies - J. Mumpower

  1. Dean Mumpower reminded the Council of Fall Commencement, upcoming on 12/9/01
  2. Dean Mumpower circulated a revised draft memo intended to clarify the eligibility of doctoral students to register for dissertation load courses numbered 899. The clarification has been sought following upon the one-credit dissertation load enrollment policy change approved for implementation in Fall 2001. In short, the clarification identifies doctoral candidates as eligible to register for 899 dissertation load courses. The Council suggested a couple of wording changes and then endorsed the revised memo by consensus.

3. Report of the GAC Chair - C. MacDonald

Professor MacDonald brought to the attention of the Council, Senate efforts to review and potential revise its By-Laws. J. Bartow was asked to obtain a copy of the By-Laws relevant to the GAC and distribute them to Council members. The issue will be re-considered in the Spring 2002 term

4. Report of the GAC Committee on Curriculum & Instruction (appended to these minutes)

After a discussion of the two curricular items led by Committee Chair Mary Gallant, the Council voted unanimously to accept the report and in doing so approve the changes to the respective academic programs. The Council requested that the Public Policy faculty be directly apprised of the changes.

5. M.S. Program in Literacy & Special Education

Professor Debi May introduced the proposal for this new program, a collaborative effort between the faculties in Reading and Special Education. Currently, each department offers a M.S. program of its own. The newly proposed combined program will require 40 credits minimum (18 in Reading and 22 in Special Ed; accept students for full-time enrollment; require no new resources; and be responsive to high demand for certified teachers. Professor May offered to prepare a summary program handout for the next GAC meeting. The Council voted to table further consideration of the proposal until the January meeting.

The next meeting of the GAC is scheduled for January 22, 2002 at 10:00 AM in UAB424.


To: Graduate Academic Council

From: Mary Gallant, Chair
          GAC Committee on Curriculum & Instruction (CC&I)

Date: December 3, 2001

Subj.: Report and Recommendations

The CC&I met on 11/29/01. In attendance were: V. Ng, C. Ellis, L. Raffalovich, K. Quinn, R.-M. Weber, P. Brusoe, M. Gallant (Chair), and J. Bartow (staff). L. Niu and K. Reinhold were unable to attend. Four proposals were considered. Two have been tabled for further inquiry, while the remaining two (below) are recommended to the GAC for approval.

1. M.S. Biodiversity, Conservation & Policy

It is proposed that curriculum for the program be amended, particularly the components incorporating policy and tool-based courses. The modifications "reflect the need to provide more exposure to course work in public policy and more intensive training in GIS and remote sensing, two key tools of the modern ecologist and resource manager." The program remains at 30 credits total. The CC7amp;I unanimously recommends approval by the GAC.

2. Ph.D. Organizational Studies

The faculty of this interdisciplinary program propose a substantial re-write of the curriculum. The thoughtful and clear proposal positively impressed the Committee. Changes in the following sections of the curriculum were addressed: distribution requirements, methods exam, comprehensive content exam, research project, proseminar, residency requirements, transfer credit limits, advising, admission to candidacy and dissertation. One concerned surfaced regarding the proposed revision to criteria for admission to candidacy, such that students could be elevated to candidacy before the completion of all course work. The Committee finds this to conflict with University graduate policy that requires all course work to be completed as a prerequisite for candidacy. The Committee voted unanimously to strike the candidacy revisions from the proposal and recommend the approval of the amended proposal by the GAC.