Last year was a 'very busy year' for the Committee on Graduate Studies

In its final meeting of autumn quarter, the senate heard a brief report on the 2011-12 accomplishments of the Committee on Graduate Studies.

L.A. Cicero Eamonn Callan, professor of education, presents the annual report of the Committee on Graduate Studies to the Faculty Senate.

Eamonn Callan, professor of education, presents the annual report of the Committee on Graduate Studies to the Faculty Senate.

In a brief presentation to the Faculty Senate on Thursday, Eamonn Callan, chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies, praised the "outstanding work" done by his predecessor, Richard Roberts, during the three years he chaired the committee.

Roberts, who is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History at Stanford, served as chair of the committee from 2009 to 2012.

"You can see from the report that it was a very busy year," Callan said, referring to the committee's 2011-12 annual report, which was distributed to the senate.

He said the committee spent much of its time last year reviewing Interdisciplinary Programs (IDPs), degree-granting programs that meet the academic needs and interests of students and faculty not served by the degree options offered in the university's regular academic departments.

The committee's 17-page report includes guidelines for authorizing, renewing and terminating Interdisciplinary Programs. The guidelines, which were approved by the senate last May, went into effect at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. The report is available on the Faculty Senate's website.

"Perhaps the only other matter of note was some small adjustments made to the role of emeritus faculty on doctoral reading committees," Callan said. "Otherwise, it was a hardworking but somewhat dull year."

In response to a question, Callan said that prior to last year, emeritus faculty could not belong to reading committees. They could serve as add-ons, but didn't count against the three required members for a reading committee.

"Now they do count," he said. "I think that was a very wise revision."

The senate approved the change in an administrative session in October 2011.

"Reading committees will be at least three, but not more than five members, all of whom must sign off on the dissertation," the report said. "Emeritus faculty are now counted the same as current Academic Council faculty, rather than as non-Academic Council members."

The minutes of the meeting, including the question-and-answer period that followed the presentation, will be available next week.

The next senate meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24.