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CGSP to discuss program initiation

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 23 - March 9, 1995

The Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies (CGSP) will be taking up the issue of graduate program initiation and closure, commission chair Joe Merola announced last Wednesday.

John Eaton said, "The Course and Program Criteria Committee and the Graduate School have been concerned for several years about the sudden appearance of new programs" without discussion of resources.

The committee has requested information from other graduate schools. Documents received include preliminary proposal forms and "permission to plan" forms, which "lets CGSP and the university administration know beforehand what is being considered," Eaton said.

The committee will bring information to the commission and draft suggestions, "probably for next fall's agenda," Eaton said.

In other business, Eaton raised several issues related to summer enrollment--or non-enrollment.

The college deans and the Graduate School have recently agreed to phase out the summer-enrollment requirement for students who use university resources during the summer to conduct dissertation and thesis research. Students will be required to enroll for three hours this summer, one hour next summer, and then not at all for 1997.

Eaton pointed out that if a student is not enrolled they will not have access to the infirmary, and "if student loans require enrollment, the student will have to work that out with the Financial Aid Office." On the other hand, Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage taken out during a term when a student is registered will continue through July, and the students can then renew for the fall semester as of August 1, Eaton said.

Gene Brown asked if there is some plan to reimburse faculty members for advising over the summer, since there will be a shortfall in the revenue. Len Peters responded that there never has been a direct relationship between tuition received and services.

Wayne Worner said, "A lot of things are changing. I'm deciding now whether to take some resources we use during the academic year and spend them during the summer.... It was precisely the lack of rigor about enforcing enrollment" that resulted in the inequity of some students registering and some not.

Worner said 90 percent of College of Education students who come during the summer sign up for nine to 12 credits. He said the typical way of dealing with (university) shortfalls is to require the colleges to give up a certain percentage. "There are differential impacts across the colleges. Someone will be in my pocket. Someone is going to pay."

Peters agreed, "The issues become more important as the budget relies more on tuition and less on state funding."

During committee reports, Eileen Hitchingham, dean of libraries, reported that some 250,000 volumes will be moved from rented storage (CHEDS) to a new remote facility during the next couple of months. Some staff members will be out of the library working on the move.

Regarding increased use of storage, she said, "In the long term, we have to address, `just because we bought it, do we want to keep it forever?'"

Asked if she is looking at other forms of archiving, she said, "Digitized material has its own expenses. Should Virginia Tech and UVa be holding the same stuff? Digitizing the same stuff?"

Merola asked how long it takes to get material from storage. "Response will be at least as good as now...," Hitchingham said.