January Minutes

January 21th, 2021

The Council met remotely via Teams.

Members Present


Faculty representatives: Professors V. Anand; P.C. Calleja, T.P. Cronan, N.D. Dennis, A.P.G. Dowling, C. Harris, C. Hestekin, L. Hinrichsen, V. H. Hunt, P.R. Koski, J.W. Murry, J.C. Rupe, J.D. Webb

Student representatives: Mr. J. DiLoreto-Hill, Ms. N.B. Evans, Mr. W.E. Sebree


Professors J. Gigantino, A. Gonzalez, A.E. Ellstrand, K. Mamiseishvili, L.J. Robertson, A. Zajicek

Division of Student Affairs representative: Dr. L.M. Yingling

Members Absent


Faculty representative: Professor J.B. Kerr

Student representative: Ms. K. Dzurilla


Professor E. Goodstein-Murphree


Terri Fisher


GSIE Associate Dean Curt Rom

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by Chair Patricia Koski.

  1. Minutes for the December 10, 2020, Graduate Council meeting stand approved, as no changes were suggested. (Graduate Council Minutes.)
  2. Dean Koski amended the agenda to add a discussion item on possible revisions to the Spring 2021 grading policy. Dr. Koski introduced Dr. Jim Gigantino who began his tenure as Associate Dean of the Graduate School & International Education on January 11, 2021. He becomes Chair of the Graduate Council. Dr. Koski also introduced Dr. Casey Harris as the new representative from Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences who will serve the remainder of Dr. Gigantino’s unexpired term. Dean Koski turned the meeting over to Dr. Gigantino. Dr. Gigantino thanked Dr. Koski for her 22 years of service, chairing the Graduate Council and serving as Associate Dean of the Graduate School and International Education.
  3. Announcements: Title changes for existing organizational units were announced including:
    • Office for Diversity and Inclusion becoming the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • Office of Economic Development becoming the Division of Economic Development
    • Office of Research and Innovation becoming the Division of Research and Innovation
    • Office of Student Activities, Initiatives and Services (OASIS) becoming the Sylvia Hack Boyer Center for Student Services
  4. Other Announcements: Dr. Gigantino announced that Dr. Brinck Kerr is now the senior member from Fulbright College and has joined the Academic Appeals Committee.
  5. There was no dean’s report.
  6. The following program proposals were approved unanimously and will go next to the Faculty Senate (the name of the presenter is in parentheses):
    • Department of Curriculum and Instruction, proposal to delete the post-master’s certificate in Arkansas Curriculum/Program Administrator (ACPAMC) (Professor K. Mamiseishvili)
    • Department of Curriculum and Instruction, proposal to delete the graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders (AUTSGC) (Professor K. Mamiseishvili)
    Program change proposals and new program proposals may be viewed on The Registrar's Office Program and Unit Changes page. or in Attachment A.
  7. The Council discussed the proposed edits to the policy on dismissal for unethical and professional conduct and amended the proposal to require departments/programs to provide notification of the procedures for appeal to the student at the time of the dismissal decision. The amended proposal was approved by a vote of 18-0-2 and is contained in Attachment B
  8. Dean Koski led a discussion on possible changes to the Spring 2021 grading policy due to COVID-19. Dr. Koski indicated that the Associated Student Government had passed a resolution in favor of adopting the Spring 2020 policy for Spring 2021 for undergraduates. The Council discussed the matter for graduate students and came to a unanimous conclusion that the withdrawal deadline should be extended to the last day of final exams. There was division if other changes to the grading policy should be implemented with faculty representatives feeling that changing D/F grades to NC or other grades to “pass” serves little benefit to students. Student representatives on the council showed strong support for additional options if available. Dr. Koski will report this to the Provost and other Deans.
  9. The course change reports contained in Attachment C were approved unanimously.
  10. The graduate faculty recommendations were approved unanimously and are listed in Attachment D. Graduate faculty applications previously approved (via email) are in Attachment E.

There being no other business, the Council adjourned at 3:30 p.m. The Council will meet next in a virtual format at 2:00 p.m. on February 18, 2021.