September Minutes

September 21st, 2023

The Council met in a hybrid format via TEAMS and in MAIN 523.

Members Present


Faculty representatives: Professors A. Stoverink, K. Balachandran, P. Cronan, K. Hall, J. Lewis, M. Miller, E. Pohl, J. Rupe, I. Tzanetakis, J. Webb, and J. Whayne


Faculty Representatives: Professors A. Gonzalez, E. Bengtson (Chair), A. Ellstrand, M. Ganio, D. McNabb, T. Murphy (via Teams), L. Robertson
Provost’s Office representative: L. Kulczak
Global Campus representative: S. Kenner

Members Absent


Faculty representatives: A. Alrubaye, S. Kucharczyk, and J. Veilleux

Student representatives: H. Awah, C. Gilmore, K. Olatunde, and M. Rodriguez


Faculty representatives: Professors E. Goodstein-Murphree and L. Yingling


Ms. Phyllis Howell


Amanda L. Sullivan

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by Dr. Ed Bengtson.

  1. Minutes from the August 17, 2023, Graduate Council meeting stand approved as no corrections were suggested. (August 2023 Graduate Council Minutes)
  2. Announcements
    1. GSIE AY 23-24 start was a success for graduate orientation and socialization.
    2. Ranked programs/sponsored students – Please let Associate Dean Aloia know about any graduate programs with ranking. International countries want to send their students to ranked programs and this information will help in our recruitment process.
    3. RISE program – Student support is driving the initiative.
    4. Remote vs. in-person defenses – GSIE will not codify this process. There doesn’t appear to be anything in the written policies. However, if defenses are online, perhaps they should be open to the public, which will need a link for remote access. Ed B. will share more info with the graduate coordinators. If a defense is face to face, every member should be in the room. Programs can make their own rules regarding whether to allow committee members to Zoom into a defense.
  3. Dean’s Report (Dean Ed Pohl)
    1. The Graduate School is four students short from this time last year. We are down 5 percent in domestic and up 24% in international. We are down significantly in international undergraduates.
    2. Our number of graduate assistants (GA) is 1723, up from 1630 last year.
    3. GSIE is making progress on finding and hiring the best people for our department. We recently hired Dr. Niki Avery, Director of Graduate and International Admissions, and she is in the process of hiring support staff. There are also other positions in GSIE that are open, including Study Abroad staff positions in the College of Business.
  4. New Business, Program Changes, College of Education and Health Professions (Attachment A)
    1. Program Change Request: CIEDPH: Curriculum and Instruction, Doctor of Philosophy

      Removed "Completion of approved master's degree" as a program requirement because it is an admission requirement. The overall credit hours have been listed as 102, but the program of study only requires 69 total hours. Since not all master's degrees require 33 credits, this has created confusion and disparities between students. Also, "requiring" 102 credits is not accurate because it ostensibly counts the hours counted for the master's twice. Once for the master's and once for the Ph.D. (Presented by M. Ganio) Approved

    2. Program Change Request: HRDEED: Human Resource Development, Doctor of Education

      Changed number of hours from 96 to 54 to better reflect the number of hours that are required. Updated admissions criteria and added a new Research course which modified the program of study which was updated. (Presented by M. Ganio) Approved

    3. Program Change Request: HRDEMH: Human Resource Development, Master of Human Resource Development.

      Changing the number of hours for MS degree from 33 to 30 hours to fit ADHE guidelines that MS programs can be 30 hours. Removing the capstone course and replacing it with a capstone experience/comprehensive exam. (Presented by M. Ganio) Approved

    4. Program Change Request: PHEDME: Physical Education, Master of Education

      An accelerated program is being created for the PHED-ME program. The accelerated program will enable the HHPR department to attract and retain high achieving undergraduates at the UA and produce a more streamlined pipeline to the PHED-ME program. (Presented by M. Ganio and A. Sullivan) Approved.

    5. New Business. Program Inactivation Request, College of Engineering (Attachment A)

      Program Deactivation Request: ENEGMS: Environmental Engineering, Master of Science in Environmental Engineering.

      The program has had no declared students for multiple years. Faculty who originally created and sustained the program are no longer with the university. Current faculty have expressed interest in redesigning the program; however, this is not expected to be pursued within the immediate future. Approved

      Additional information for program change proposals and new program proposals may be viewed at or in Attachment A.

  5. Proposed course changes/additions/deactivations (Attachment B) – Approved
  6. Graduate faculty recommendations for faculty and graduate assistants (Attachment C) Approved with correction (noted on attachment)
  7. Other Business
    • The Council decided that the Dean’s office will supply a few printed agendas for each meeting. The members will bring their own copies.
    • The Council was asked to encourage their PhD students to sign up for the 3MT competition.
    • There was discussion that when a course or program change is submitted to the Council, it comes already moved and seconded from the departments. Out of respect to the departments, the Council voted to eliminate the move and second before Council discussion of course and programs updates. The Council will vote on the attachments noting any modifications.

The meeting adjourned at 2:32 p.m.