Graduate Council Notes

Graduate Studies Council- Notes
March 8, 2012
Taylor Hall 327, 11:00 a.m.

Present:  Al Caniff, Nancy Gauss, Mark Todd, Karin Waidley, and Terri Wenzlaff

Absent:  Michaela Driver, Nella Bea Anderson


1. Mark Todd called the meeting to order. 

2. Mark asked for clarification on who will be on the council next year.

a. Al will be on sabbatical in the fall. Faculty Senate may need to designate a replacement since Al’s position is at-large.

b. Nella Bea will be stepping down form the council since she has assumed an administrative position.

c. Karin will be on sabbatical in the spring.

d. Mark’s two-year term is up.

e. Terri’s ex-officio position will be filled by her replacement in the spring.

3. ENVS and ROE may have proposals to be considered early in the fall; BAE will begin discussion on a proposal in the fall.

4. Discussion of the proposed changes to the MFA Program

a. Mark directed attention to the rationale, which follows the course listing.  Now that the program has gotten off the ground, and a cycle is nearing completion, they have learned what works and what doesn’t.  They are proposing changes that would better serve students. 

b. The most major revisions are to the Genre Fiction Concentration; minor revisions are proposed for Screenwriting and Poetry.

c. Mark said the title for the Genre Fiction Concentration should be “Popular Fiction/Non-fiction.”

d. Mark indicated a correction to page 9:  “The program has now completed an entire cycle of the program, and the requested changes reflect the input of faculty and students in the program either to make the curriculum ore effective.”

e. Depending on the Registrar and the rules for using course numbers, Mark is not sure that numbers will remain the same with changes to titles, etc.

f. After approval by the Graduate Council, the proposal goes to Curriculum Committee.  Mark will be present at the curriculum discussion.

g. The MFA program will have ten graduates this year.  Five of the original 15 students had to drop to part time, but still expect all to graduate at some point.

h. During the summer students will present their thesis at a formal reading in late July.  Al suggested that the Graduate Council and Western students be invited.  Mark will send out a campus alert; there is no need for it to be a closed session.

i. Nancy indicated that the Library has agreed to bind and provide copy of the student thesis to the student as well as the archival copy for the Library.  The   Library will need a release form acknowledging a copy will be available in the Library and accessible to the general public.

j. Karin asked how Teaching Assistants are utilized within a low residency program.  Mark answered that credit for being a Teaching Assistant is transcripted work and is only completed in a classroom setting – it cannot be used for an online component.  (See last two pages of the proposal).

           i. There are a lot more pitfalls to teaching online – must be a seasoned instructor.

           ii. The program scholarshipped the tuition for the TA credit and it has had some recruiting value.

K. Karin asked if there is any mechanism for tracking these first graduates to see what they do after graduation.

           i. Mark indicated that only insofar as is embedded in course description – CRWR 603 (the third residency) deals with how to get your book published, and how do you launch your career.  The Writing the Rockies conference is integral to the MFA track because it enables students to establish relationships to help them launch their careers. However, there is nothing in place beyond the curriculum, but it should be added.                                     

5. Mark called for a vote on the MFA proposal.  Both Michaela and Nella Bea shared their comments and vote with Mark via email. The proposal was approved unanimously.

6. The meeting was adjourned at 11:38 a.m.


Meeting notes prepared by A. Wegert