by Rachel Brown

I. Admitted Students
A.) 14 students were offered admission to the PhD program this year
i.) Increasing number of accepted PhD applicants come in with MAs
ii.) All admitted students this year also received offers to other schools
iii.) This year, the Political Science Program has been given permission to go   above the limit of 12 admitted applicants, but anyone admitted above this number will not receive a    fellowship or tuition remission (normally 9 fellowship and 3 tuition remission offers are handed out
iv.) Starting with the Fall 2015 cohort, when students with fellowships take a leave of absence their fellowship money will be converted into money for the colleges at which they were appointed for the hiring of adjuncts, rather than given to unfunded students.
B.) 6 MA students out of 11 who were offered admissions have accepted
C.) There is some discussion of adjusting the admissions’s policy next year to offer admissions to the MA program for highly qualified applicants who are rejected from PhD program.
D.) Throughout the GC, faculty are discussing how to increase enrollment, balance the number of Phd and Master’s students, and increase revenue.

II. Website
A.) The newly convened Website Committee (Alyson Cole, Margaret Cook, Nick Micinski, Chris Michael and Rachel Brown) will work with the Marketing and Communications office to improve the website. The soon-to-be-spiffified website will have a section for PhD students on the market that lists their research interests and links to their CVs.

III. Curriculum Committee
A.) Next year’s Curriculum Committee will help establish a database of how people from our program fare on the job market (i.e. whether they are in full-time teaching or tenure track positions,working in the non-profit sector, whether they have turned their dissertation into books etc.).
B.) Next year’s committee will also work to update the guidelines for dissertation proposals and the examination procedures for first and second exams

IV. Faculty Membership Committee
A.) Next year’s Faculty Membership Committee will likely revisit the guidelines for faculty appointments to the GC. Members will consider whether it is necessary for faculty members to be a member of only one subfield and how to balance the limited number of courses and limited number of teaching opportunities with the many potential faculty members whose research and dissertation guidance could add significantly to the department.

VI. Course Credits
A.) Faculty have discussed various ways of addressing the differential amount of credits granted to 8000-level courses (4 credits) versus 7000-level courses (3 credits) despite that the workloads do not necessarily reflect this difference. This is especially an issue for non-NYC residents receiving tuition remission who must pay for any credits above 9. Potential options, which will be discussed and decided upon at a later time, include:
i.) Students could take 2 3-credit courses and sign up for a Weighted Instructional Unit. They would only need permission for adding a WIU if they add it after the registration period ends; otherwise, they could simply add it themselves.
ii.) Professors could determine whether they want to make a course 8000-level, which would necessarily entail a research paper rather than an in-class or take home midterm and final, or 7000-level, which would necessarily entail a midterm and a final instead of a research paper
iii.) All classes would be worth 3 credits
iv.) Students could determine whether they want to take a course for 3 credits (midterm/final) or 4 credits (research paper)

VII.) Program Evaluation Course
A.) There has been a student request to reinstate a skill-based program evaluation course for practitioners interested in monitoring and evaluation within NGOs. Some Executive Committee members suggested one way to address this request is to give credit to those taking the equivalent course at Baruch.

VIII. Department Colloquium
A.) Currently a coalition of faculty and students from the Executive Committee are developing a department colloquium that will take place on Thursday afternoons every 3-4 weeks. For the months of September/October 2014-2015 academic year, sessions will be mock job talks for students on the market. For the remaining months there would be 2 back-to-back talks by level III students and sometimes faculty inside and outside of CUNY, perhaps followed by wine and cheese if there is enough money. The goal is to foster an interdisciplinary intellectual community across the sub-fields and to increase professional development opportunities for students. Given the discussions about program participation, involvement and attendance following the collapse of the student conference, this is an initiative we should all support if we want to make change in program culture (and/or to make it run like an actual program!). This initiative would require regular participation or else the colloquium can do nothing to change the culture we so passionately decry on the listserv.

IX. CUNY-Wide Trends
A.) Both Queens College and Baruch are considering instituting masters programs, the former in Political Science and the latter in Global Studies
B.) Across the university administrators are under increasing pressure to consider online courses

 

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