MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
April 17, 2001

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April 17, 2001

In Attendance:
Ayse Celil (Biological Sciences)
Arindam Chowdhury (Chemistry)
Karen Zaiger (Chemistry)
Alex Bondarenko (Mathematical Sciences)
Kathryn Trapp (Mathematical Sciences)
Abhijit Brahme (Phyiscs)
David Owen (MCS Dean's Office)
Katya Malkin (MCS Dean's Office)

2000 GSAC Minutes Archive

This year's minutes:

January 23, 2001

February 13, 2001


The subcommittee polled students from each of their departments about which areas of expectation they thought were most important. Alex distributed a handout listing these areas in order of priority. The group then decided on five key areas that will be recorded in the database. These areas were:

  1. Time to complete degree
  2. Life after receiving CMU degree
  3. Description of graduate degree requirements
  4. Faculty publishing and grant support
  5. Graduate student support: TA vs. RA; summer employment and internship opportunities
Profiles of student-advisor relationships were also deemed important, but this item was left as a possible future addition as it will require collection of new data. The group thought it would be a good idea to poll students annually to ensure that the categories used remain relevant.

Several GSAC members checked with their departmental secretaries or coordinators and found that this information is readily available. Information will be collected (in electronic format if at all possible) and given to Katya for inclusion in a database. The goal will be to create a web page, limited to the GSAC web page, for prospective students that displays the information.

The subcommittee will put together a one page proposal for this project so that David can present it at the next Department Heads' meeting (Tuesday, April 24).

David also distributed an article that gave statistics about some of these areas for the entire university, broken down by college. The article was written by Nance Klancher. GSAC may want to consider contacting her and inviting her to a future meeting.


David has introduced GSAC's revised policy on ombudspersons to the department heads. He will send them a reminder and submit this topic as an agenda item for next week's meeting.

As a reminder, the policy states that each department will not be required to have an ombudsperson, but will review the issue prior to each advisory board meeting. Departments will then have the option of electing an ombudsperson if the need for one arises.


Bill Williams is in favor of funding career seminars for graduate students and it looks likely that GSAC could get funding to hold one or two seminars next year.

The group proposed a low budget event with minimal refreshments. The seminar would be open to the entire college and would consist of four or five presenters from outside the university (ie, scientists pursuing non-academic careers). The group agreed however, that timing and advertisement of the event are critical to getting a good turnout.

David will put together a brief proposal and e-mail it to the group.


Katya will make a reservation for next year's poster session/social event. The event will be held in Schatz Dining Room in the UC on a Friday evening, 6:30 - 9:00, at the beginning of February.

V. NEXT YEAR'S GSAC MEMBERSHIP Members should notify David or Katya as to whether they will continue to serve on GSAC next year. Biological Sciences still needs to elect a second member.

David will continue to serve as Associate Dean of Graduate and Faculty Affairs through the fall semester, but a new Associate Dean will take over in the spring semester.