Graduate Studies Council

Role statement

The Graduate Studies Council reviews, develops, and recommends policy regarding graduate education at Western Michigan University. Policy recommendations shall include, but are not limited to, the admission of applicants to the Graduate College and to graduate degree programs, development of graduate curricula and approval of graduate programs, selection of graduate faculty, awards and fellowships and graduate student personnel practices. Reviews shall include, but are not limited to, existing programs, proposed new programs, significant program changes and academic standards of graduate level programs. The work of the council is accomplished through standing and ad hoc committees which act on behalf of the council, within the framework of its policies, subject to review by the council.

Council Standing Committees 

  1. Agenda Subcommittee—prepares the agenda for meetings of the Graduate Studies Council.
  2. All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholars Award Subcommittee—reviews applications and makes recommendations as to the recipients of All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholars Awards.
  3. All-University Graduate Student Teaching Effectiveness Award Subcommittee—reviews applications and makes recommendations as to the recipients of All-University Graduate Student Teaching Effectiveness Awards.
  4. Graduate Student Association—reviews services and needs of graduate students; makes recommendations to appropriate officials and offices; recommends graduate students for appointments to University councils and committees; and serves as liaison between departmental graduate student organizations, the Graduate Studies Council, and the dean of the Graduate College.
  5. Transfer of Credit Subcommittee—reviews transfer policies and procedures.

Charges 2017-18

In addition to the specific responsibilities listed in the Graduate Studies Council’s role statement and the work of subcommittees if such exist, the Faculty Senate Executive Board charges the GSC to consider, as a committee of the whole or through the appropriate subcommittee or task force, the following issues:

  1. Review the scope and description of the council's role statement and assess the effectiveness of the council's practices. Address any continuing or outstanding issues or initiatives as directed by the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
  2. Review curriculum proposals which propose to create a new graduate degree or certificate, delete a graduate program, or revise the name of any graduate degree or certificate, as well as any others required by WMU’s curriculum review process.
  3. Solicit, review, and award the All-University Graduate Student Research and Creative Scholar Awards, and the All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards, and other means to promote excellence in graduate education at WMU. 
  4. Continue review of graduate education policies, procedures, and forms to ensure they are supportive of student success, including issues related to doctoral candidacy and academic forgiveness, as well as other issues identified by the Graduate College in its review of policies within the Graduate Catalog regarding redundancy and clarity, or based on its review of survey input from the graduate faculty and professional staff survey conducted by GSC during 2016-17.
  5. Review the level of support available to graduate students from WMU’s Writing Center and Career and Employment Services and offer recommendations as appropriate.

Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Board on Aug. 4, 2017

NOTE: The GSC will seek information from the Graduate College and related administrative offices to maintain communications with those offices on issues directly related to them. Council recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Board in the form of a report (see template). After review, the Executive Board may invite the council to initiate a memorandum of action (MOA) on which the recommendation(s) is/are stated. Any draft MOAs requested by the Executive Board should be submitted using the DRAFT MOA template.

The GSC chairperson shall provide a written summary of the council's progress for the year; list the above charges noting each item's progress and current status; any other activities undertaken; and draft charges for the 2018-19 academic year, no later than June 30, 2018.

Click here for a printable version of the GSC 2017-18 Charges