Graduate Academic Council
2003 - 2004


Minutes of the Council meeting of November 13, 2003
Approved by the Council on
In attendance: A. Pomerantz, C. Smith, D. Byrd, H. Charalambous (Chair), H. Meyer, J. Mumpower, J. Bartow (staff), J. Koehler, L. Trubitt, M. Casserly, R. Geer, S. Friedman, S. Shahedipour, S. Chen & S. Lee,  
Unable to attend: A. Ticano, F. Cornet, L.-A. McNutt & S. Ramanathan  
Guests: W. Lanford, P. Haldar, H. Bakhru, S. Oktyabrsky, & M.S. Alam  
1. Introduction of new GAC member: Prof. Donald Byrd, English  
Selection/assignment of GAC committees by new members:
Susanne Lee - Curriculum & Instruction
Sujatha Ramanathan - Admissions & Academic Standing
Justin Koehler - Educational Policy & Procedures
Donald Byrd - Educational Policy & Procedures
These committee assignments were unanimously approved by the Council.
2. Minutes from the meeting of 10/9/03 were unanimously approved without amendment.  
3. Dean's Report - J. Mumpower
  • Grad enrollments are off 3-4% from targeted levels; no significant change from that reported to GAC at its October 2003 meeting.

  • Shortfall of funds for tuition scholarships in AY 2004-05, resulting from tuition increase without matching appropriations increase, looms as a significant problem. Dean Mumpower estimates the shortfall to be about 10% of the total funds for graduate student support awards.

  • Dean Mumpower drew attention to the proposed new By-Laws that call for the establishment of an Assessment Council of the Senate. He alerted Council members that numerous program reviews are underway, now in the second year of a seven-year cycle.
4. Chair's Report - H. Charalambous
  • Chair Charalambous reported that there had been one Senate meeting since the last GAC meeting and news from that Senate meeting was commonly known (and should be available at the Senate website).

  • Chair Charalambous encouraged members to recluse themselves from formal votes on GAC matters pertaining to issues related to their home academic unit.
5. Committee on Educational Policy & Procedures - A. Pomerantz
Although the Committee has not met since the last GAC meeting, Professor Pomerantz commented that a response to the GAC resolution on electronic theses & dissertations (ETDs) had been received from Dean Butler of the University Libraries. The Libraries are supportive of the GAC's policy intention and will be forming a committee to examine and determine details for proposed policy and procedural changes. Mary Casserly, Associate Dean of the Libraries and GAC member will be forming the working committee.
6. Committee on Admissions & Academic Standing - S. Shahedipour
No report/recommendations at this time. Two grievances are under review and will be reported on in the future.
7. Discussion of the Career Development Center (CDC)
As announced in the Summer of 2003 and explained to the Senate Executive Committee, the CDC has discontinued counseling services to graduating graduate students due to budget constraints. Placement file services will continue. Council members discussed the desirability of the facilitation of on-campus employer recruitment visits in some graduate fields, esp. business, and noted that each academic unit has previously had responsibility for arranging their own. The lack of focus on placements was identified as having a potential negative impact on student recruitment. The discussion led to general agreement that the decline in CDC is regretful but at least placement file services are being maintained. Dean Mumpower indicated that he would look into potential out-sourcing of career counseling services.

8. Committee on Curriculum & Instruction - H. Meyer

Professor Charalambous preceded the presentation of the CC&I written report (appended to the end of these minutes) by thanking the Committee for many hours of work. She drew attention to key statements in italics that formed the basis for the Committee's efforts in reviewing course proposals from the NanoSciences School. She brought four issues to the attention of GAC members pertaining to cross-listing of courses: (1) how do academic units' control courses? (2) resource implications are not a GAC issue; (3) cross-listing may impact students; and (4) cross-listing may promote University-wide collaboration. She posed the question of how does overlap affect merit? She suggested the question for the GAC pertaining to SNN courses has three potential outcomes: (1) approve implementation; (2) approve implementation with provisions; or (3) deny implementation authorization and require reconsideration.

Professor Meyer, CC&I Chairperson, introduced the Committee report, first highlighting the proposed/recommended changes to the DrPH program. Moving on to address the SNN course proposals, he indicated that the Committee did not arrive at its recommendations lightly, operated with no hard & fast rule - making interpretations necessary, and noted that course approvals are "normally" within the jurisdiction of the schools and colleges. Prof. Meyer also noted his perception that overlap is primarily a resource issue and likely more common at the undergraduate level. On the graduate level, he expressed an opinion that the research basis of courses was often specifically germane to individual programs. He referred Council members to the written C&I report.

Prof. Geer, addressing the two courses (SNN517 & 519) that remained at some controversy following the C&I report, shared draft revised course descriptions for each (appended to the end of these minutes) that he thought might resolve the existing concerns. Prof. Lee, who had not before seen these proposed revisions and herself developed/teaches one of the Physics courses of overlap concern, indicated she was not prepared to react to such changes on the spot. Moreover, she was comfortable with the C&I recommendation that would allow for overlap content concerns to evolve over the next year. She indicated, however, that she would no be voting on this matter, as she is too much an interested party.
A motion was made and seconded (Geer & Mumpower) to accept and approve the recommendations contained in the CC&I report with the exception of those offered in the last paragraph. The motion was unanimously approved (14-0-0).

A motion was suggested to approve the recommendation contained in the last paragraph of the CC&I report for implementation of SNN 517 & 519 with proviso for continued dialogue between SNNE and Physics and report back to the GAC at the end of 2004.

Prof. Smith expressed her discomfort the provision to "force" dialogue.

Prof. Shahedipour asked, "Do the courses not have academic merit?"

A motion was made to approve the implementation of SNN 517 & 519 as recommended by the CC&I, but without the provision for reporting back to the GAC at the end of 2004 (Meyer & Geer). Restated, the motion read: GAC authorizes the implementation of the two new courses (SNNE517 & 519), with proviso that the Physics Dept. and SNNE should engage in further dialogue on the course overlap issues.
The motion was approved by majority vote (7-5-1).

There being no further business, the GAC meeting of 11/13/03 was adjourned.

To: Graduate Academic Council

From: Heinz Dieter Meyer, Chair
GAC Committee on Curriculum & Instruction (CC&I)

Date: November 12, 2003

Subj.: Report and Recommendations

The CC&I met twice since the last Council meeting. Participants and dates are noted below:

Meeting of 11/5/03
In attendance: A. Cervantes-Rodriguez, D. Parker, F. Henderson, G. Pogarsky, H. Meyer (Chair), J. Bartow (staff), K. Quinn, S. Friedman, S. Chen, S. Lee & H. Charalambous (GAC Chair)
Members unable to attend: L.-A. McNutt & R.-M. Weber
Guests: C. MacDonald, S. Shahedipour, B. Geer & E. Lifshin

Meeting of 11/12/03
In attendance: A. Cervantes-Rodriguez, D. Parker, F. Henderson, G. Pogarsky, H. Meyer (Chair), J. Bartow (staff), K. Quinn, S. Friedman, S. Chen, S. Lee & H. Charalambous (GAC Chair)
Members unable to attend: L.-A. McNutt & R.-M. Weber
Guests: C. MacDonald, S. Shahedipour, B. Geer, E. Lifshin, P. Haldar, M.S. Alam, S. Oktyabrsky

Two matters came before the Committee at these meetings and are recommended to the Council for action:

1. Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program Amendments

The faculty of the School of Public Health propose changes to the curriculum of the DrPH program. The changes include the substitution of HPM500 as a required core course, replacing HPM501; listing of specific requirements for the areas of concentration; and the specification of SPH701 as a required course. Overall credit requirements of the program remain unchanged. The Committee unanimously (7-0-0) recommends GAC approval of the proposed changes (11/12/03).

2. Graduate Course Proposals - School on NanoSciences & NanoEngineering (SNNE)

New course proposals from the SNNE came before the Committee as a result of GAC action recorded during the 2002-03 academic year. At the GAC meeting of 12/6/02, a motion was passed specifying that:

New course proposals submitted for recently approved programs shall be individually reviewed by the curriculum committee, particularly in regard to overlap with existing course offerings.

The CC&I examined courses approved within the SNNE with reference to the GAC responsibility for implementing the [University] academic plan as called for in the By-Laws, specifically that which reads:

Normally new graduate courses will receive final approval from the schools and colleges, but the council shall have the power to review the academic merit of courses and require reconsideration.

The SNNE has approved the creation of 81 new courses as part of the recently registered PhD and MS curricula. The course proposals were vetted with the Physics Department en route to the C&I in relation to any "overlap" issues. Initial comments from Physics identified "no substantial overlap" concerns with 72 of the proposed courses. Accordingly, the CC&I unanimously (7-0-0) recommends that the GAC authorize the implementation of these 72 courses without delay (11/5/03)
Of the remaining nine courses, additional consideration of such by Physics was facilitated by the CC&I via adjournment of the initial meeting on 11/5/03, with a request for further comment from Physics in advance of the next CC&I meeting on 11/12/03. The Physics Department complied with this request and their comments were forwarded to the SNNE for review and comment prior to the continuation of the CC&I meeting. Such comments were additionally received from the SNNE. Of the nine courses, six were identified by Physics as having "minimal overlap" or "substantial overlap but different emphasis." Physics proposed no cross-listing for these six courses. Accordingly, the CC&I unanimously (7-0-0) recommends that the GAC authorize the implementation of these 6 courses (SNNE 502, 505, 511, 512, 516 & 670) without delay (11/12/03).
Of the three remaining new courses, upon the recommendation of the Physics Dept. pertaining to SNNE667, that it be cross-listed with APHY563, the SNNE modified its course proposal to include such cross-listing, noting that such cross-listing may be subject to further consideration after two years. Accordingly the CC&I unanimously (9-0-0) recommends that the GAC authorize the implementation of this course (SNNE667/APHY563) without delay (11/12/03).

Two courses of the initial group approved by SNNE (SNNE517 & SNNE519) were considered at great length by the CC&I, in light of the Physics recommendation for cross-listing of each (with APHY567 & APHY562 respectively) and a SNNE alternate comment that cross-listing was not appropriate. The SNNE did suggest that students might benefit from delivery of SNNE517 & APHY567 in different semesters.

Committee discussion on the two courses in question, incorporating many comments from SNNE and PHY faculty guests for clarification purposes, was extensive. (Procedural note: Prof. Susanne Lee, Committee member from Physics, participated in the discussion until the time during the meeting when guests were asked to leave. In light of the then absence of faculty from SNNE, she also refrained from further participation in the discussion.) Unresolved overlap concerns and disagreements between the two faculty bodies drew the Committee's attention. So, too, did a focus on the definition of "academic merit" of new courses as called for in the By-Laws.

A motion to recommend that GAC authorize the implementation of the two new courses (SNNE517 & 519) was amended to additionally include a proviso that the Physics Dept. and SNNE should engaged in further dialogue on the course overlap issues and that a report on such should be submitted at the conclusion of the Fall 2004 semester so that the GAC may re-assess its implementation authorization if it determines such is warranted. The Committee approved this motion, as amended, by a vote of 7-0-1 (Prof. Susanne Lee abstained).

The recommendation in the last paragraph of the CC&I report was amended by GAC, see above minutes.

Draft course changes presented by Prof. Geer at the GAC 11/13/03 Meeting
These changes were not acted on or approved. They are appended to these minutes for informational purposes.

SNNE 519-- Principles of NanoMaterials: (3 Cr). This course will explore the structure/chemistry/property relationships in nanomaterials and nanomaterial systems. Examples will be drawn from areas that include nanoelectronics, nanophotonic devices, superconducting systems and nanoelectromechanical devices. The course will include key elements of nanophase diagrams, size effects on thermodynamics, band theory and crystal structure as well as the fundamentals of mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties of nanomaterials. Prerequisite: knowledge of materials science on the level of Phy 562 or equivalent.

SNN 517--Science and Nanoengineering of Semiconductor Materials and Nanostructures: (3 Cr). Advanced course focusing on the properties of low-dimensional semiconductor heterostructures critical to optoelectronic devices. Topics to be covered: bandgap engineering of heterostructures; two-, one- and zero-dimensional systems; transport in superlattices and quantum wells; carrier diffusion and scattering, ballistic transport; optical absorption; excitonic effects; radiative and non-radiative recombination; optical scattering in low-dimensional heterostructures; defects and interfaces in heterostructures. Prerequisite: knowledge of the basic physics of semiconductors on the level of Phy 567 or equivalent.