Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Attachment A
Faculty Senate Minutes
6 April 1999


DATE: 04/03/99

I have developed several suggestions in response to the data collected firom the graduate student survey. I am unsure of the feasibility of some of these suggestions and am unaware if programs already exist that would address these issues. Nonetheless, you will find my ideas below. I hope that they will be of some help to you in planning future programs, etc.

  1. The survey results clearly indicate that graduate students believe Millersville should increase its emphasis on graduate program. Ninety-six percent of the student responses indicate agreement with this sentiment. It is my belief that the University should conduct an investigation, perhaps starting with another graduate student survey, to detmnme what types of changes /additions students would like to see to the graduate program. For example, if, because of this survey recommended above, there is a suggestion to increase the number or types of classes ofFered, conduct a feasibility study to see- if it is possible. This feasibility study can then be presented to President Caputo for consideration. If additional Master's degree programs ate requested, again, conduct a feasilmlity study. Possibly hiring a recnu'ter, targeting specifically quality graduate students, may be in order. When I considered things that could be done immediately to increase graduate program focus, I though of bringing in speakers or holding presentations directly related to graduate student issues. Although graduate students can participate in the majority of programs offered on campus, there are not any programs designed specifically to meet the needs of graduate students. Topics for speakers/presentations could include: How to write a thesis; Preparing for entrance to a doctoral program; Steps on acquiring an internship/externship site; etc.
  2. Many students (90%) expressed dissatisfitction with the student activity fee charged each semester. It is my belief that ALL students in the fall and spring semesters should have equal access (without additional fees) to ALL student services. just because a student takes one class (3 credits) doesn't mean they should have to pay additional money [enough to equal the -"activity file" collected for two classes (6 credits)] to use the student services on campus. I also feel that students enrolled in the winter, pre-session, and summer sessions, shouldhave to pay a reduced f6ej or not have to pay any activity fee at all. These students are not up here on campus long enough to get any use out of the student services. In -addition, their course load during the condensed semester makes it even harder for them to make the time to use the services.
  3. A large number of students (62%) also responded they were not even aware of the student services available for their use. I feel that a general campus orientation for Micoming graduate students detailing all the services available on campus would benefit everyone. Ile students will be aware of what services are available on campus and infortned their student activity fee allows them to use the services. Ilerefore, graduate students will use the student service offices/programs more often, and the university will still be able to'collect dus activity fee from the students without so many complaints. In conjunction with the campus orientation, I believe that a university-wide, graduate student handbook should be developed. 'Me undergraduates have a handbook that details student services, policies, etc. I feel the graduate students should have the same type of book. 11iis book should be given, free of charge, to every new graduate student admitted to Millersville.
  4. Approximately 49% of the student body felt that the hours of the student services on campus were not conducive to their use. Due tc) the nature of the graduate program (i.e., a part-time program for working individuals) dw- majority of graduate students may not be able to have unlimited access to campus activities /services. However, it may be fimible to keepthemost "Popular" or '%eavily used" student services open during the evenings or on weekends. just a few more hours during the week tailored specifically with the graduate studenes schedule in mind may be enough of a change to make the difference.
  5. The majority of students (78%) believe there is enough emphasis on diversity at Millersville. ne Social Equity Office organizes and conducts many types of diversity programs throughout the year. To maintain the efforts of diversity awareness, I am suggesting that Millersville hold student training program in addition to the faculty/staff ones.
  6. Issues surrounding discrimination and sexual harassment need to be addressed immediately. The incidence number is small, but is present. The student orientation and the handbook would make students aware of the definition of these issues, the university's policy on these issues, and where they can- obtain help or file complaints related to these issues. In addition to the orientation and the handbook, I am suggesting holding workshops for the faculty and also for the students to educate them on discrimination and harassment issues.
  7. Sixty-three percent of the students feel they are not fairly represented in the decision-making process. 'Me Graduate Student Association (GSA) puts out a newsletter once in the fall, spring, and summer. In the newsletter we detail issues we are involved in or are aware of and offer telephone numbers, etc., for responses and opinions. Perhaps having a page on the web that is updated after each Graduate Course Program and Review committee meetin& Faculty Senate meetin& Dean's Council meetin& etc. could be created. Students could go there to find information about what is "happening" in the graduate program. Maybe- setting up an e-mail link from that page to the Graduate Studies office or the GSAs office would be helpfid. 11at way, students could "voice" their opinions to the decisionmakers.

I know that there are many suggestions listed here. If we could use these ideas as a springboard for change 2nd begin working on one or two issues at a time, Millersville could really have a strong graduate program.


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