**Note that the November meeting was cancelled.

  • EO opened announcements:
    • Colloquium program for Spring 2015 is nearly set; look for announcements as the semester approaches.
    • Reminder: Student Conference is on 27 February and will be an all-day event, as we had a lot of student interest.
  • Student Announcement: Comparative Politics students with the support of Prof. Woodward have organized a weekly Comparative Politics Workshop. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, 4 February, 4:15pm and feature Andras Bozoki.
  • Bulk of meeting consisted of discussion around changes in the update of documents made by a sub-committee convened expressly for their revision.
    • A huge thanks to Professors Ben Fontana and Susan Woodward, as well as Margaret Cook for taking the lead and doing a lot of detailed work on the documents.
  • Note that the process to amend the bulletin is different from the process to amend the handbook. Updates to the handbook are approved within the department. The bulletin requires the approval of miscellaneous 8th Floor entities. After the handbook has been finalized, the bulletin will be updated.
  • Approved:
    • Updated Handbook with minor adjustments. Once the Curriculum Committee has addressed the suggested revisions, the upated handbook will be made available department-side.
      • Debate:
        • Research Methods vs Methods of Inquiry
          • The problem here that one contingent argues that “Methods of Inquiry” is problematic because it’s vague. It potentially allows Theory students to go through the program without taking a Qualitative or Quantitative methods course. Another contingent argues that we have gaps in the methodology curriculum; we have a methods requirement but don’t offer enough courses to fulfill the requirement. Additionally, it was argued, that Theory students going on the market should have a grasp of some methods of the discipline, even if they are not what they use in their own work.
          • Decision:
            • The debate was tabled until the Spring with continued (but informal) agreement that our program needs to have more methods options. Course proposals with syllabi are being developed and will be considered in the Spring.
          • 700 (3 cr.) vs 800 (4 cr.) Level Courses
            • The students raised the issue that there is not always a meaningful distinction between 700 and 800 level courses and that this can affect time to degree.
              • No change was recorded due to the fact that the distinction is enforced GC-wide. However, the AEO reminded the students that if they run into a problem regarding credits or meeting the five 800-level course min., they should speak to her and/or their professors. They are potentially in a position to assist you, so please advocate for yourself.
            • Faculty Advisement
              • Students raised concerns about the section in the updated handbook stating that each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon entry. The students wanted to know if this would now happen moving forward as previously the practice had been to assign all students to the EO or DEO. Faculty responded that they updated the policy to reflect the aspirations of the department but ultimately the committee decided that there should be a larger conversation about what our policy should be moving forward.
            • First Exam
              • There will be three graders for every exam, and each grader is expected to provide substantial comments in order to ensure that students understand the grade they received regardless of whether they pass or fail.
              • While this is not a change, it should be noted that there was a conversation about what occurs following a student’s second fail of an exam. The policy stands that students who fail an exam twice are automatically terminated from the program. Appeals can be taken up with the EO.
            • Second Exam
              • The updated program documents include an FAQ on what students can expect during the second exam.
              • The language in the handbook and the guidelines states that the third reader is expected to provide comments and questions two weeks prior to the defense date. There was debate about whether the third reader’s comments should be required or simply recommended. The committee kept the language stating that comments are expected from the third reader to indicate to students that while they can ask for a response prior to the defense, they may not receive one.
            • Placement Data on Graduates has been compiled and is in the process of being analyzed. Data will be available shortly. Thanks, Margaret!

 

 

 

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