September 25, 2006


To: The Senate

From: William L. Green, Committee Chair, 2005-06

Subject: The Annual Report of the Graduate Committee, 2005-2006


The elected faculty members of the Graduate Committee for 2005-06 were James Craig (AE), R. Gary Parker (ISYE), David Anderson (ECE), Julia Babensee (BME), Elizabeth Davis (PSYCH), David Goldsman (ISYE), Julie Jacko (ISYE), Jianmin Qu (ME), Scott Wills (ECE), Min Zhou (ME), William L. Green (MATH), Janet Murray (LCC), Leonard Parsons (MGT), John Peponis (ARCH), Michael Saunders (CEE), Marilyn Smith (AE), and H. Venkateswaran (CoC). Graduate student David Jensen represented the Graduate Student Senate. The ex officio members of the Committee were Reta Pikowsky (Registrar) and Charles Liotta (Vice-Provost for Graduate Studies).


William Green and Gary Parker served respectively as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, and the Registrar served as Committee Secretary.  The Committee’s liaisons to the Institute Review Committee and to the Studies Abroad Committee were Gary Parker and Marilyn Smith respectively.  The liaison from the Executive Board was Bert Bras (ME). 


The Committee met twelve times during the period from Fall 2005 through Summer 2006.  The subcommittee to review petitions (Chair, Registrar, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies) met as needed before the petition meetings of the full committee. 


The Committee approved the following new degree programs and certificates:


MS in Music Technology (College of ARCH)

Certificate in Remote Sensing (EAS)

Participation of CEE in the (already extant) Bioengineering MS and PhD


For comparison, the Committee approved two new programs in 2004-5, three in 2003-4 and nine in 2002-3. 


The Committee approved total of 37 new courses (down by 30 from 2004-5), and 28 courses were made inactive at the request of various units (up by 5 from 2004-5).  The Committee approved renumbering or renaming of 4 existing courses, as well as various sets of curricular revisions, the most extensive of which was in Applied Physiology. 


The Committee approved two name changes (“Biology” to replace “Applied Biology”, and “Digital Media” to replace “Information Design and Technology”) for existing degree programs. It approved the use of shortened terms (“minimesters”) for certain courses in the MBA program and requested a review of this practice from the College of Management after two years have elapsed. It formulated a clarification of policy on double counting of hours in the Graduate Course Option, and it set policy on the use of the same thesis or the same thesis hours at both the undergraduate and MS levels (prohibited) and awarding undergraduate certificates to graduate students (also prohibited).  It sent a representative to the Executive Board and an ad hoc task force to discuss the rising number of student petitions.  (To date, this appears to be a serious workload problem for the Undergraduate Committee but has not yet overburdened the Graduate Committee.) 


The Committee heard 103 petitions from students, including one appeal.  Twelve of these petitions were denied, and the remaining 91 were approved; the appeal was denied.  The total number of petitions declined by 34 from last year, the number approved declined by 33, and the number denied declined by 1.  There has been an increase in the number of petitions for full graduate standing, associated in part with Executive Masters programs in the College of Management; otherwise the types of petitions do not appear to differ greatly from those of recent years. 


As a part of the continuing process of program review and assessment the Committee completed reviews of the graduate programs in City and Regional Planning; Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization; International Affairs; Human Computer Interactions; Aerospace; and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.