SSE Graduate Studies Committee Meeting

February 12, 2008
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM


Present: McPherson (ex-officio), Tasker, Cserjesi, Schmehl, Gaver, Johannesson, Lockman, O’Connor, Perdew, Rosencrans, Longlois, Orrill, Taylor

Absent: Fink (Schmehl sat in for fink)

McPherson called the meeting to order at 11:40.

Research Day, April 10, 2008

McPherson began the meeting by discussing the upcoming Research day. Longlois included that, to date, only 35 students have confirmed that they would be participating. McPherson reiterated that student participation is encouraged.

Outstanding Researcher Award

McPherson announced that only two nominations have been filed for the Outstanding Researcher Award. Gaver and Tasker asked that a an e-mail reminder about the nomination deadline be sent out to the faculty. Originally, the deadline was February 15th, but the committee agreed to extend the deadline until Friday, February 22nd. The Executive Committee will review the nominations and determine the Outstanding Researcher Award recipient.

Stipend Allocations/Tuition for 2008-2009

McPherson explained that each stipend for the ’08-’09 year has been increased by 3%. Tasker then asked why the departments and programs have different numbers of stipends. McPherson answered that this was due to inter-departmental cannibalization and that the number of stipends per department/program is ultimately determined by the Provost’s office and are largely historically based. Several members of the committee also questioned whether the health insurance (which rose from $650 to $1,000) would be drawn from the fringe benefits to which McPherson answered that only FICA draws from the fringe.

New Tuition Charges for unsupported students

McPherson introduced the topic of changes to the university’s policy regarding unsupported students. Perdew expressed concern that the new policy could be detrimental to a few students who exhibit promise in their field. McPherson reassured Perdew that such cases could be examined and rectified in the best interests of the student.

Chair of Committee election

During the previous meeting of this committee (on Sept. 24), Tasker declared that he would be stepping down as chair of the committee. Since then, no one has volunteered to chair the committee and so McPherson sought to find a new chair. It was introduced into discussion that perhaps Fink would be a suitable candidate. McPherson resolved that a vote regarding Fink’s election to committee chair should not be performed until he (Fink) could at least be notified of his nomination for the esteemed position.

Eric Taylor recruiting trip

Taylor discussed his recent recruiting trip to North Carolina A&T. He then updated the committee on future plans for recruiting Science & Engineering graduate students. The committee also offered recruiting suggestions such as the creation of departmental tracts to be distributed at recruiting events and the addition of certain elements on the SSE graduate page. Schmehl and Gaver then discussed whether or not the online application service was a worthy investment. A unanimous conclusion was not reached.

GEM Consortium

McPherson noted that, per the suggestion of Dean Altiero, the School of Science & Engineering has been accepted as a member of the GEM Consortium due to the highly favorable impact it promises for the school.

Other Business

At the conclusion of the meeting, McPherson mentioned that two small endowments exist which could supplement future student stipends. Also mentioned were the 34 student awards to be given out at the end of the spring semester.

McPherson called to a close this meeting of the Graduate Studies Committee at 12:45 pm.

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