December 9, 2009: ADCOM Minutes

Graduate Council Advisory Committee
HUC Board Room
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Members present: John Johnstone, Gregg Janowski, Melissa Galvin, Jim Collawn, Bryan Noe, Susan Rich, Jeff Engler, Stephen O’Connor, David Macrina

Staff: Thomas Harris, Cyndi Ballinger

Guest: Dr. Marti Rice, Ms. Carolynn Thomas Jones, Dr. Robert Hernandez, Dr. Deborah Tanju, Mindy Lalor

Action Items:

    1. The first item on the agenda was the proposal from the Nursing school for a Certificate in Clinical Research Management. The proposal was defended by Dr. Marti Rice and Ms. Carolynn Thomas Jones. The first question proposed by ADCOM was whether there are similar competing programs at other schools in the region and country. Response: There is an institution in Texas which requires their students to be local, Vanderbilt has a program which is not as extensive, George Washington University has an evolving program, and Duke and University of Maryland both have similar programs. Student enrollment will not be a problem for UAB. A new Challenge grant has been established to enhance clinical research capacity nationally.  This additional source of support attracts international students to the certificate program. The certificate program doesn’t require students to have a bachelor’s degree in Nursing nor does the student have to be a nurse. This certificate program will give the UAB School of Nursing an opportunity to start a multi-disciplinary approach to clinical research. A needs assessment was completed by polling prospective employers prior to the development of the first courses. Employers indicated their support of the certificate program because much of what goes on now is on the job training.  Employers would like a program to be able to send people to for CE training that will also grant academic course credit.  Non degree seeking students will be allowed to take courses. ADCOM recommended adding content regarding competition among other schools and the employer needs assessment data. ADCOM members approved the proposal unanimously.
    2. The second agenda item was a proposal to remove of GMAT/GRE as an application requirement for the Executive DSc in Health Administration degree. This proposal was defended by Dr. Robert Hernandez.  Students in the program are between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, are senior administrators or executives, have a minimum of a Masters degree and five years of senior level administrative experience in the workforce before enrolling.  The Executive DSc degree has some of the same requirements as the PhD program and currently requires applicants to provide GMAT or GRE scores. The GMAT/GRE scores provided by the executives entering the program have been low  and are not considered a significant factor in the decision to admit.  Prospective students consider having to provide these test scores is a hindrance.  Therefore, the program requests permission to remove requirement to provide either GMAT or GRE scores. ADCOM members approved the proposal unanimously.

    3. The third item on the agenda was a discussion of a request to reduce the dissertation committee size for the Executive DSc in Health Administration degree, also defended by Dr. Robert Hernandez.  The program has evaluated the practices of similar programs at other Universities.  It was found that the doctoral committee sizes varied by school and program.  Doctoral Committees vary from 3 – 5 members among schools with most applied degree programs having 4 committee members.  Students in this program do not perform hypothesis driven research. Their dissertation research is predominantly evaluative.  Because of this students in the program are not usually exposed to faculty members at UAB outside the program.  The students come to campus for a focused interaction with several of the ten departmental faculty.  They are on campus for an eight day period three times a year and then they are doing applied assignments at home which doesn’t fit the normal type of course work at UAB.  Having a reduction in committee member size to 4 rather than 5 will make it easier to comprise committees and continuing to include one faculty member from another department. This would also facilitate finding faculty with appropriate expertise to serve on the committees. Having only one outside member serving will make filling the committees easier.  ADCOM members approved the proposal unanimously.

    4. Agenda item four was the proposal for an Internal Auditing Concentration (track) within the Master of Accounting program. The proposal was defended by Dr. Deborah Tanju. And internal audit concentration has been in place since the late 1980’s at the undergraduate level.  It places a lot of students around the world in internal audit type positions.  With the announcement of stimulus funds, the federal government’s hiring of internal auditors has increased by 18%.  With the high demand for internal auditors, adding the new track will allow accounting degree recipients to distinguish themselves by noting on their transcripts the internal audit concentration. The concentration will make the MAC students more marketable to other organizations as well, such as public accounting firms. Students will pursues both CPA and CIA after they finish their degree. ADCOM members approved the proposal unanimously.
    5. Agenda item five was the consideration of a possible policy change to the eligibility requirements for the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship. Students proposed nominating a faculty member for the award who did not meet the eligibility criterion of having been a UAB faculty member for a minimum of three years.  The consensus was that faculty should have at least a three year track record as a mentor before being considered to be eligible to be nominated. 

Informational Items:

    1.  Applications to the new GBS interdisciplinary themes (Rich).  All of the PhD programs in the Joint Health Sciences were in process of reorganizing themselves into non departmental interdisciplinary PhD programs (themes). The themes are now in the process of recruiting students who will enter in fall 2010.  Overall, application numbers are higher than they were last year at the same time with the increase being greater for domestic applicants than international applicants. Recruitment interviews are taking place within each of the themes.

    2. New NIH requirements for RCR training (Noe). Released Nov. 24th titled Update on the requirement for the responsible conduct of research. New criteria for recipients of the NIH grants. (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html).
    3. Highlights of the December 2009 Council of Graduate Schools meeting (Engler). The GRE will change in 2011 with the exclusion of the synonym and antonym sections. More reading comprehension will be added. A new scoring range will be used. The new range will be 130-170 in increments of one. The ability ship sections and go back later will be added to allow students to move around the test to answer the questions with which they are most comfortable first. The results from the NRC assessment of doctoral programs still have no release date. Starting in the Spring, data from Academic Analytics will be used at UAB to assess faculty scholarly activity.  Deans and chairs will be informed with the intent that they use the data to develop self improvement approaches within departments.

(ADCOM web site is http://www.uab.edu/graduate/graduate-council-information)

The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.