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Graduate Council Minutes, October 31, 2008


Kathryn Besio, Kathleen Stacey, Ken Morris, Dan Brown, Bryan Kim, Michael Shintaku, Jene Michaud, Larry Heintz, Donald Price, Charles Langlas, Rich Biffle, Jerry Calton, Keri Inglis, Kenny Simmons, Cathy Zenz

  1. Minutes approved with the correction of the spelling of Kathleen Stacey’s name.
  2. Discussion of the definition and tasks of the Outside member of dissertation committees.    

Motion: That the following language be inserted into the requirements for the composition of the dissertation committee:

Outside member

  • In consultation with his or her committee chair, the student will identify a UH Hilo faculty member from outside of the student’s graduate program to serve as an outside voting member of the dissertation committee.
  • The outside member must possess sufficient familiarity with the student’s research topic to be able to review and comment on the manuscript.
  • The committee chair must ascertain that the outside member is indeed independent of the faculty in the student’s graduate program and that his or her membership on the committee will not constitute any conflict of interest.
  • The outside member fulfills the following functions:
    • Represents the University faculty on the committee, ensuring administration of proper procedures and fair treatment of the student;
    • Ensures that the level of research is indeed appropriate to the student’s degree objective; and
    • Provides disciplinary expertise and an academic perspective that may not be possessed by the faculty of the student’s graduate program.
  • The approval process for the outside member is as follows
    • The student and committee chair will forward the name of the proposed outside committee member to the Graduate Council.
    • If the Graduate Council affirms the selection, the name will be sent forward to the VCAA for final approval.
    • If the Graduate Council does not affirm the selection, the VCAA will determine how to resolve the disagreement; final selection will rest with the VCAA if the disagreement cannot be resolved between the candidate/committee chair and the Graduate Council.

(Moved by Kenny Simmons, seconded by Ken Morris)

Passed 13/0/0

  1. Discussion of the composition of the dissertation committee in light of the above motion. Currently: 1) Committee Chair 2) UH Hilo outside member 3) Unspecified; so it is currently possible for a committee to have only one member from the student’s program.
    • Questions were raised as to whether the committee should be enlarged to ensure that more than one graduate program member serves on the committee.
    • It was determined that there is no formal policy or consistent process by which programs designate the faculty of that program.
    • Dan Brown requested that Graduate Program Chairs provide to┬á the Graduate Council a list of the faculty in their graduate programs and the procedure used by that program to determine who is a faculty member in that program.
  2. Announcement: A graduate student workroom has been established ÔÇô PB 13-5. Graduate students who wish to work there after hours may get a key by making a request to Dan Brown.
  3. Discussion of workload issues as related to graduate programs. A formal proposal was made to VCAA Hora, who requested more information. VCAA Castille informally expressed opinions on ┬ágraduate program compensation but there has been no formal response to the graduate council’s proposal, nor has a formal ┬á┬á proposal been forwarded to VCAA Castille.┬á At the next meeting, the Graduate Council will discuss how to proceed toward a resolution on this matter.

Meeting adjourned at 1pm.