The Employee Recognition Committee of Staff Senate would like to congratulate the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for the June 2004 Department of the Month award.
The Office of Graduate Studies and Research includes the Office of the Dean, Graduate Admissions, the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Division of Continuing Education. Each unit works individually and collaboratively to provide outstanding service to its constituents, and to coordinate and provide leadership for a variety of university projects.
For example, the Dean's Office was instrumental in the recent North Central Association (NCA) accreditation process, directing the development of UNK's Self-Study and arranging for the NCA team visit. In addition, the office has provided leadership for the UNK Centennial Celebration, which includes the centennial banners, so visible on campus and around the community; the Centennial Golf outing; and current work on a Centennial Commemorative book, as well as various activities being planned for Fall 2005. Additional significant activities include the work of the UNK Graduate Council, as well as collaboration with the graduate program committees and graduate department chairs who direct UNK's graduate programs.
The Graduate Admissions staff is a dedicated group that provides exceptional assistance to prospective and admitted students, as well as to the Graduate Faculty. In the past three years, the office has processed an average of more than 1,300 applications for admission each year, with more than 500 of those being for degree-seeking students. The office provides degree-seeking students with a program of study and monitors their progress. In all, the office assists more than 2,000 enrolled graduate students each year. Much of this work is done in collaboration with Continuing Education, which was administratively assigned to Graduate Studies this past year. Each member of the Graduate Admissions staff has received the UNK Employee of the Month award.
A second important function of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research is to facilitate student and faculty research. Much of this work is achieved through the collaborative efforts of the Office of Sponsored Programs staff, Undergraduate Research Council and Research Services Council. Through the combined efforts of these entities, research funds are provided to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as to faculty in support of scholarly and creative projects.
The graduate office also provides partial funding for students to attend professional research conferences and other activities that give them an opportunity to disseminate their scholarly/creative work. Most notable of these travel activities is the support provided for students to attend the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). More than 60 UNK students present their work at NCUR each year, making UNK one of the largest student and faculty groups in attendance. Other significant research functions of the Graduate Office include Student Research Day, the Undergraduate Research Journal, and the summer research opportunities provided to students and faculty. As a result, UNK has become a national model for undergraduate student research.
Staff Senate recognizes the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for the valuable services provided to students, the campus, the community and the state, and designates the them the Department of the Month for June.