Indiana University Bloomington Strategic Plan Graduate Education Team Report. February 6, 2014

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1 Indiana University Bloomington Strategic Plan Graduate Education Team Report February 6, 2014 A hallmark of universities with very high research activity is a vibrant and robust portfolio of graduate degree programs that attract the very best graduate students drawn to high quality faculty who seek the deep intellectual engagement that graduate education entails. Graduate programs play a pivotal and visible role in the prestige and reputation of the university. These degree programs include research and professional masters and doctoral degrees that span a wide array of disciplines and structures. Unlike the generalist nature of undergraduate education, graduate programs train students to become specialists and practitioners in their fields. They drive the research engine of many disciplines, contribute substantially and in an essential way to the teaching of undergraduates, and produce the professionals that serve our communities as physicians, lawyers, teachers, and business executives, as well as create the next generation of faculty who populate higher education institutions at all levels. Indiana University Bloomington has grown in its first two hundred years to an enrollment of more than 40,000 students, including 10,000 graduate and professional students in over 350 graduate degree programs. The campus has achieved renown for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, area studies, business, music, law and education; almost 20 programs are ranked in the top 20 in their discipline. Higher education, including graduate education, is undergoing dramatic changes in response to external and internal pressures. Graduate education is expensive and tighter budgets, especially at public institutions, necessitate close examination of the value proposition for these programs. Pedagogical methodologies are moving away from the traditional classroom and into more collaborative environments. Technology has opened new ways to communicate and connect that are altering how students and faculty interact. Disciplinary boundaries are dissolving, creating both new opportunities in research and teaching, but also demanding new models for the creation and management of new graduate programs. The assumption that graduate students, especially PhD students, will always find employment in the academy has faded in some fields and students must now be given opportunities to explore other career paths. Finally, graduate education, as with higher education in general, is experiencing increasing demands for accountability and the demonstration of how graduate training benefits the state, nation and world. Graduate education at Indiana University must make renewed efforts to meet the challenges of its third century in order to maintain competiveness, innovation and excellence in graduate training, to promote quality research, and to ensure inclusiveness. It is in this context that the Graduate Education Team of the IUB Strategic Planning Committee began the task of envisioning the future of graduate education at Indiana University Bloomington by creating the following, mission statement:

2 Mission The mission of Indiana University - Bloomington is to promote and support a community conducive to excellence in graduate education for students, faculty, departments, schools, and the campus. To sustain excellence in graduate education, preparing a diverse student population to lead the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and practices throughout their futures as scholars, educators, and professionals, Indiana University - Bloomington is committed to: The systematic pursuit of transformative knowledge and practices High academic standards and integrity Honesty, collegiality, respect, and care in interpersonal relationships An intellectually open, collaborative, and inclusive environment In applying these principles, the committee identified 5 major objectives that span the career arc of a graduate student. These include improving efforts to recruit the very best students, ensuring student success by increasing retention, decreasing time to degree, improving financial support, and creating a graduate student mentoring program. Other objectives foster and enhance excellence in graduate education through the promotion of interdisciplinary degree programs, increased international opportunities, facilitating the creation of professional masters degree programs and combined degrees and establishing a common, yet flexible, graduate program assessment process that will evaluate the quality and outcomes of graduate degree programs. Finally, the future of post-doctoral scholars at Indiana University is addressed and recommendations are made to better monitor, support, and promote post-doctoral trainees. Objectives 1. Recruitment of a Diverse Graduate Student Population A. We will recruit and retain graduate students with high academic potential and diverse backgrounds Research universities most important resources are their faculties and students. The success of our graduate programs depends on our ability to recruit and retain students of the highest academic potential, to support our students intellectually, financially, and emotionally, and, upon their graduation, to facilitate their transition into fulfilling positions that apply their hard-earned knowledge and skills. We begin with objectives related to the very earliest stages of the graduate career recruitment and move progressively through the career with an emphasis on best practices in graduate student support. 2

3 1. Develop an institutional database for tracking admissions offers and yields for schools and departments, with special attention to underrepresented groups. Integrate the system with degree and placement data to provide comprehensive information about the entire graduate student career. 2. Aggressively market IUB as a destination for world-class graduate education in a stimulating and supportive environment that follows evidence-based practices in graduate education. 3. Build the capacity of the IU international alumni network to aid in recruitment and job placement by providing institutional support and incentives for alumni groups to develop, flourish, and remain connected to their departments or schools. 4. Increase funding for recruitment activities, including faculty travel to recruitment fairs and professional conferences and international universities, and prospective student travel to IUB. 5. Assist individual schools and departments in identifying potential sources of high-quality students and developing targeted strategies for attracting them. 6. Develop summer undergraduate research opportunity programs that bring promising students to campus after their sophomore and/or junior years. 7. Provide campus-wide workshops on best practices in admissions, with attention to admissions strategies for underrepresented students and to strategies for maximizing fit between student interests and program goals for all students 8. Develop campus-wide standards for department/program websites to help ensure that full information is provided to potential students; the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School template provides a useful model. 1. Increased numbers of highly-qualified applicants to IUB graduate programs. 2. Improvements in average GPAs and relevant test scores of applicants. 3. Increased rates of matriculation among admitted applicants. 4. Increased numbers and improved credentials of international students. B. The proportion of underrepresented minorities who enter and remain enrolled in IUB graduate programs will increase Universities depend on diversity of all types--social (e.g., race, class, gender, sexual orientation), theoretical, and methodological--to thrive intellectually and educate effectively:. As gatekeepers to power and resources, universities have a special obligation to ensure equal access to the opportunities and knowledge that higher education provides and to tailor support to student needs so that all of our students can succeed. 3

4 1. Develop a concerted campaign to increase the proportion of underrepresented minorities who enter and remain enrolled in IUB graduate programs. 2. Increase outreach to populations that are not well represented on the IUB campus through participation in both general and targeted graduate recruitment fairs. 3. Build relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions by charging a central office to coordinate and develop these relationships. 4. Identify a faculty diversity coordinator in each school. 5. Develop and strengthen programs that build community among graduate students from underrepresented groups. 6. Develop a peer counseling program to provide targeted support to underrepresented graduate students. 7. Increase faculty awareness of the unique needs of underrepresented students through workshops, consultations, and web-based resources. 8. Develop campus resources for helping international students to adjust to life at IU, including better language assistance and cultural integration. 9. Enhance funding packages for underrepresented minority doctoral students by increasing top-up fellowships, years of support, and research funds. 10. Provide support for campus recruitment visits to all admitted underrepresented minority students. 1. Increased numbers of applicants to our graduate programs who are from underrepresented groups. 2. Increased proportion of graduate students from underrepresented groups in units that currently fall below national medians. 3. Increased retention rate for underrepresented students and increased satisfaction of these students as measured by student surveys. 4. Increased numbers of departments/schools that send representatives to graduate recruitment fairs and/or other recruitment venues. 5. Increased numbers of departments/schools that send faculty to visit minority serving institutions and that invite faculty/students from those institutions to IU to give talks and visit programs. 6. Annual workshops for Directors of Graduate Studies and other faculty on recruitment and support programs for underrepresented minority students. 4

5 2. Transforming the Graduate Curriculum A. IUB will continually evaluate and assess the quality of graduate degree programs To be responsive to the changing needs for graduate level training and career interests of students, Indiana University encourages innovation in the development of new degree programs that fit these goals. Graduate programs require regular assessment to ensure that they are relevant and continue to fit the mission of the institution. It is important, therefore, to understand whether IUB is offering the optimal mix of graduate degree offerings and determine what areas should be promoted, what new areas should be explored, and what areas should be scaled back. At the same time, barriers to the rapid implementation of innovative new programs need to be reduced to be responsive to faculty and student interests. 1. Create an inventory of current graduate degree programs that provides transparency in the number of applicants, enrollments, completion rates, time to degree and placement data. 2. Renew the reporting of graduate academic program reviews to the Provost and develop metrics for measuring program success and excellence, as well as criteria for program reduction. 3. Streamline the current academic program approval process 1. Successful implementation of a graduate program data dashboard 2. New metrics for graduate program evaluation developed and implemented 3. Increased numbers of program reviews reported to the Provost 4. Reduced time from new program proposal submission to final approval B. IUB will become a leader in the creation of high quality online graduate degree programs, courses and certificates Higher education is changing rapidly from a portfolio of primarily residencebased courses and degree programs to one with a growing number of online offerings. With the exception of professional masters programs, graduate programs have been slow to respond to this opportunity. A cautious approach is needed to determine the appropriate degree of non-residence based curriculum, drawing on best practices of other institutions, informed by national disciplinary studies, and applied to appropriate programs. Indiana University Bloomington must seize these opportunities for innovation, while maintaining the highest standards of excellence. 5

6 1. Work with the Office of Online Education to create an accessible inventory of graduate online offerings at Indiana University Bloomington. 2. Establish guidelines for implementation and metrics for the assessment of online courses and programs. 3. Promote the creation of new online opportunities by identifying challenges to their implementation that can be overcome through sharing of common resources. 1. Increased numbers of online courses, certificates and degree programs. 2. The creation and dissemination of guidelines for new online programs. 3. Visibility of Indiana University Bloomington in online graduate offerings. C. IUB will improve the portfolio of inter- and trans-disciplinary degree programs, including professional masters degrees Higher education, especially graduate higher education, is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, responding not only to the interest of students, but also to the needs of the workplace. Traditional disciplinary silos are eroding and previously disparate programs are being combined in strategic new ways. There are currently 276 dual and joint degree programs at IU Bloomington, including dual and combined degrees. In addition to traditional professional masters programs, there is growing interest in and development of masters programs that incorporate professional training, such as professional science masters. These latter programs have not been a significant component of graduate programs at Indiana University Bloomington, but they deserve greater attention. 1. Monitor the numbers of, and enrollment in, interdisciplinary programs. 2. Collect data on student satisfaction, degree completion and placement rates for students enrolled in interdisciplinary and professional masters programs. 3. Reduce barriers to the design, implementation, and enrollment in interdisciplinary programs (e.g., fee remission policies). 1. Increased numbers of interdisciplinary courses, certificates and degree programs. 2. Increased numbers of dual degree programs that combine degrees in different schools or departments. 3. Increased enrollments in interdisciplinary programs. 6

7 4. Increased research support for multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty. D. IUB will extend its commitment for global and international experiences to graduate students and graduate education The marketplace for graduates of our degree programs has become global. Job opportunities are worldwide and graduates are increasingly accepting positions outside their native country. The global marketplace also demands that students have a deeper and broader understanding of other cultures. 1. Provide financial and collegial support for faculty, departments, and schools to develop global content for existing graduate courses, particularly interdisciplinary approaches. 2. Support collaborative teaching with faculty from other countries through the use of technology, such as on-line courses and distance learning, and through travel, including building on existing IU connections to foreign universities such as the Gateway to India program. 3. Increase graduate student opportunities for work and study abroad, including increased support for preparative training and for travel. 1. Reduced time for approval of new degree and certificate initiatives. 2. Increased numbers of graduate students who are involved in work and study overseas during their time at IU. 3. Increased numbers of courses and programs with international and global content. E. Renew commitment to graduate student pedagogy, both in teaching students to teach and in improving faculty teaching of graduate students 1. Encourage the development of optional graduate teaching certificates that would allow doctoral students to go on the market with certification in teaching. 2. For programs in which teaching experience is highly valued on the job market, offer more opportunities for doctoral candidates to teach courses of their own design. 3. Take note of best practices within the university for training graduate students, and promote these as strengths of our graduate education. 7

8 4. Extend the services of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning to more fully incorporate graduate education and graduate students in its grants for active learning and new course development. 1. New graduate teaching certificate opportunities and increased numbers of students who take advantage of them. 2. Increased numbers of students participating in CITL programs. 3. Numbers of student-designed and built courses. F. IUB will work aggressively to reduce the time necessary to complete a PhD Institutions of higher education are under pressure from legislators, parents, students, and the general public to reduce time to degree at the graduate level. There is reasonable and appropriate variation across disciplines in median time to degree because of variation in the nature of the training and skills that are required for professional success. Given the varied nature of graduate training, it is not in the best interest of our students or our graduate programs to set uniform targets for time to degree. That said, it is incumbent on all programs to review their requirements and student support to ensure that their students complete their degrees in a timely manner. Many of the actions listed in other sections (e.g., providing more consistent financial support, improving advising and mentoring) will contribute to reducing time to degree. In this section, we highlight additional curricular and administrative actions that programs should undertake. 1. Encourage programs to conduct regular reviews of degree requirements that are obstacles to timely degree completion. 2. Reduce the maximum number of years allowed from program entry to qualifying examination and from qualifying examination to degree completion. 3. Allocate additional recruitment funds to programs that reduce time to degree while maintaining high job placement rates. 4. Encourage departments to develop regular checkpoints and reviews for evaluating student progress. 5. Share best national practices for timely degree completion and provide logistical and administrative support to programs that choose to adopt them. 1. Reduced time to degree in programs currently above the national disciplinary median. 8

9 2. Increased number of proposals for curricular reform aimed at reducing time to degree. G. Facilitate industrial and corporate opportunities for internships. Although many of our graduate departments prepare students for careers in academia, perhaps the majority of our graduate students go on to careers in industry or the corporate world. There are many opportunities to improve graduate education at Indiana University that involve providing more insight and experience with corporate employment. There are numerous opportunities for internships with both large and small companies and government organizations throughout the country. The current approach at IU would benefit from making the process less ad hoc and more formalized. 1. Develop a database of internship opportunities within appropriate units. 2. Consider and evaluate diversity within any internship program. 3. Develop alumni relations organizations within each department. 4. Consider important moral issues with respect to recruitment and internship placements with some corporations. 5. Facilitate the participation of students in internships. 6. Incorporate globalization by facilitating internships in other countries. Indicators of Progress 1. Increase in the number of graduate student internship opportunities. 2. Increase in the number of graduate students participating in internships. 3. Mentoring, Professional Development and Career Advising A. We will adopt best practices and develop innovative new programs in graduate advising and mentorship Success in graduate school depends on achieving close and effective working relationships with department advisors and mentors, and on being given complete, clear information about academic policies and professional expectations. Students benefit not only from having discipline-specific departmental advisors, but also from peer and non-disciplinary advisors. 1. Develop a campus-wide web-based navigator for monitoring student progress. 2. Partner with and support the University Graduate School / DEMA Mentoring 9

10 Center 3. Establish workshops and coordinate the development of written and digital resources targeted to graduate students at different stages of their careers 4. Support peer-mentoring programs within and across units that facilitate interaction between beginning and advanced students. 5. Encourage programs to set up annual student performance reviews and a system to collect and analyze these data. 6. Encourage cross-disciplinary graduate dissertation and thesis committees by creating a student and faculty-accessible database of faculty across schools with list of interest and expertise. 1. Increased numbers of workshops focused on advising and mentorship. 2. Increased retention rates for graduate students. 3. Reduced time to degree in programs that are currently above national averages. 4. Higher rates of student satisfaction as expressed on exit surveys B. We will expand resources and support for seeking job opportunities, both within and outside academia. Graduate school in the twenty-first century must prepare students for a diverse array of career paths, from research and teaching positions in universities to a wide range of non-academic professions. In addition to the core mission of establishing expertise in a particular field, we aim to inculcate adaptability in response to rapidly changing circumstances. To achieve this goal, career advising, specifically designed for graduate students, must be strengthened. 1. Found a Graduate Student Professional Development Center either within, or independent of, the Career Development Center. 2. Expand the Preparing Future Faculty Program. 3. Create or contract with a commercial folio service and make it available to all IUB graduate students. 4. Improve preparation for alternative career paths. 5. Help students establish internships and practicum experiences with industrial, governmental or NGO partners that draw on their graduate training but do not obligate them to careers in the academy. 6. Increase information about and access to international employment opportunities by: developing mentoring program with foreign alumni; developing a database of contacts in NGOs, international organizations, governments and other potential employers; developing cooperative arrangements with foreign universities to allow our students to use their placement facilities; develop a specialized placement staff with expertise in 10

11 foreign job searches. 1. Improved placement rates in academic and non-academic positions. 2. Increased graduate student conference presentations. 3. Increased numbers of students who apply for and receive positions in other countries after graduation. C. Industrial and corporate recruiting will be expanded Most large corporations have formal interactions with a number of colleges and universities whereby they meet and recruit the best and brightest students for internships and/or employment. Many of these relationships begin with alumni. 1. Encourage alumni in each department to visit IU and discuss student opportunities. 2. Develop formal mechanisms for alumni interactions in each department. 3. Consider formalization of career fairs, investigate where they are already being done on campus, and consider when they are appropriate. Indicators of Progress 1. Increased alumni interactions in each department. 2. Creation of formal alumni boards in individual IU departments 3. IU-wide career fairs. 4. Graduate Student Support and Well-being A. Better and more consistent financial support will be provided to doctoral students Financial support is among the strongest determinants of PhD completion and shortening time to degree. Secure funding allows students to complete their degrees in less time and with more focused effort. Timely degree completion is also dependent on the availability of research funding, especially for those disciplines in which faculty-dependent research support is not available. At a period of time when student loan rates, especially graduate student loans, are at an all-time high, strong financial support during their graduate careers will help ensure success in their future careers. The financial literacy projects that have been recently launched are part of the solution, but the university can do more to set our graduates on strong financial footing. 11

12 1. Restructure graduate funding for doctoral students to increase years on fellowship or research support and reduce years of instructional SAA support. 2. Incentivize the submission of departmental training grant applications to the NIH and NSF. 3. Support schools, departments, and programs in their efforts to seek external funds for graduate student support, whether from university-industry partnerships, federal grants, or donors, with matching funds from the Campus. 4. Specifically include graduate student support in the next capital campaign with special emphasis on fellowships for pre-dissertation and dissertation research. 5. Increase average stipend levels to the median of comparable departments at peer CIC institutions. 6. Provide better support for graduate student research, including summer research awards in the humanities and social sciences, awards for graduate student conference and research travel, and dissertation writing fellowships. 7. Incorporate the University Graduate School Grad Grants Center into the Graduate Student Professional Development Center and increase resources to meet the demand of students seeking external funding. 8. Extend G901 eligibility so that qualifying PhD students can remain on G901 until the limit of their candidacy. 9. Create opportunities for funding for graduate students who want to pursue cross-disciplinary programs across departments and schools. 1. Increased numbers of NIH T32 and IGERT programs. 2. Increased percentage of doctoral students each year who are funded through training programs, Foundation and external fellowships. 3. Increased Foundation funds for graduate student support. 4. Improved student stipend ranking in comparison to peer institutions. B. IUB will become a national leader in programming that supports graduate student well-being Graduate degree programs are demanding and especially stressful. Pressured by academic challenges, research progress, and very often, family obligations, graduate student health and wellness suffers, leading to increased attrition rates and longer time to degree completion. Indiana University Bloomington will make every effort to ensure that graduate students have access to resources designed to improve health and wellness. 12

13 1. Create a division of CAPS specifically dedicated to graduate students. 2. Establish a campus-wide graduate student leave policy. 3. Revise fee remission policies so that students can take fitness and related courses without additional charge. 4. Negotiate health insurance plans that provide the most affordable family coverage. 5. Develop better and more affordable childcare options for graduate students. 1. Reduced attrition rates, especially for medical and mental health reasons 2. Increased retention of students with families 3. Decreased time to degree 5. The Post-doctoral Experience Post-doctoral positions represent an important, but often ignored, component of graduate studies. In many fields, especially in the sciences, post-doctoral training following the PhD degree is mandatory for further advancement. Because of their important contributions to the teaching and research missions of Indiana University, the numbers, support mechanisms and academic responsibilities of postdoctoral researchers needs to be better understood so that their role at the university can be accurately quantified and codified. A. Establish a centralized program to gather information on the current postdoc population The post-doctoral population at IUB is substantial but there is no effective structure that provides a home, advocacy and basic information exchange. No uniform definitions exist for postdoctoral positions, some of which are traineeships and some are more long-term positions. There is a need therefore to develop systems to better track these individuals. 1. Through the Office of Post-doctoral Affairs, establish a centralized program to gather information on the current post-doc population, their academic homes and their sources of financial support. 2. Compile information, in conjunction with the status of post-docs currently at IUB, on the sources of IUB post-doctoral scholars (where they received their PhD, indicators of achievement, previous positions) and their future positions after leaving IUB to provide a measure of our success in recruiting and placing high quality post-docs. 13

14 3. Create a database on academic responsibilities (teaching only, research only, mixed responsibilities), chain of command for post-docs (individual faculty, department, school, etc.) and methods and frequency of assessment. 4. Gather information on sources of financial support for post docs, non-salary benefits (health insurance, retirement benefits, paid vacations, family leave, etc.), mean and range of compensation packages and comparable statistics from peer institutions to determine how IU compares. Indicators of Progress 1. Construction and maintenance of an accessible database on post-doctoral information. B. Strengthen and support the Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs The University Graduate School has created an Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs that is intended to serve these students. An expansion of the roles of this office will fill the need to support and nurture this population of scholars and professionals in training, as well as those more permanent postdoctoral positions that serve a vital role in the research enterprise of the campus. 1. Revamp and strengthen to the Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs to provide basic information on benefits, policies, programs, rights and responsibilities. 2. Establish a centralized website for post-docs at IUB as a source of information for potential and current post-docs, and links to inter-university and national organizations such as the National Postdoctoral Association (www.nationalpostdoc.org). 3. Organize and sponsor events aimed at post-docs across campus to build a sense of community and connection across academic units. Indicators of Progress 1. Reinvigorated Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs and involvement of the post-doc population. 2. Appointment of a director of the Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs. 3. Establishment of an informational website aimed specifically at post-doctoral fellows. C. Establish a program to support postdoctoral trainees as a pipeline for faculty recruitment In many disciplines, post-doctoral fellows play a key role in graduate and undergraduate teaching, research training, and mentoring students. Moreover, post-doctoral positions are often the terminal rank for adjunct instructors, 14

15 research assistants and laboratory managers. Faculty recruiting also largely comes from post-doc ranks. It is in the interest of IUB and other institutions of higher education to support and develop a pool of well-trained and highly qualified post-docs, particularly post-docs from underrepresented groups. 1. Establish and fund a program for post-doctoral positions that would be available to all units on campus on a competitive basis. 2. Provide informational seminars and training activities to improve their competitiveness for permanent positions in and outside of academia. 3. Closely evaluate post-docs in this program for tenure-track faculty positions within the home units. 4. Ensure applications from historically under-represented groups are reviewed and evaluated for their potential to address faculty balance and representation. 5. Partner with HBCU institutions to create a postdoctoral faculty in training program. Indicators of Progress 1. Recruitment of well-qualified and representative post-docs in diverse disciplines. 2. High success of placing post-docs into permanent positions. 3. Improved representation of historically underrepresented groups. 4. Faculty positions at IUB and elsewhere offered to participants in the program. 15

16 Appendix Graduate Team Roster Joyce Alexander Executive Associate Dean Professor, Counseling & Educational Psychology School of Education Penelope Anderson Associate Professor of English College of Arts and Sciences David Bish Haydn Murray Professor, Geological Sciences College of Arts and Sciences Keith Clay Director, IU Research and Teaching Preserve Distinguished Professor of Biology College of Arts and Sciences David Daleke, Chair Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Health Sciences Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Administration, University Graduate School Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology School of Medicine Bloomington Sameeksha Desai Assistant Professor of Public & Environmental Affairs School of Public and Environmental Affairs Roger Hangarter Director of Graduate Studies Chancellor's Professor, Biology College of Arts and Sciences Ron Arreujo Treasurer, Graduate and Professional Student Organization Alex Lichtenstein Associate Professor of History College of Arts and Sciences Jane McLeod Associate Dean for Social and Historical Sciences, and Graduate Education Professor of Sociology College of Arts and Sciences 16

17 Howard Rosenbaum Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Library & Information Science Director, ILS MIS Program Associate Professor of Information Science School of Informatics and Computing Brenda Weber Director of Graduate Studies, Gender Studies Associate Professor of Gender Studies College of Arts and Sciences Susan Williams Walter W. Foskett Professor-Law Maurer School of Law 17

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