University Statistics Committee/Master of Statistics Program Procedures

Updated March 2012

1. Role of University Statistics Committee on Campus

The University Statistics Committee was formed to administer the Master of Statistics (MStat) degree program, an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary professional degree; and to monitor the proliferation of statistics courses on campus. Tracks of the program are listed in the MStat Program Brochure and on the MStat website. Created in lieu of a Statistics Department, the committee has an interest in all advanced degrees in statistics at this university. The committee has no authority to alter course offerings, except the special topics courses offered directly by the committee.

2. Committee Membership

The University Statistics Committee consists of a chair, a regular voting member of each track, and ad hoc members including other faculty of each track and faculty not associated with tracks that have an interest in statistics and/or teach for the program. All regular and ad-hoc members are invited to attend committee meetings.

Each track has one regular voting member. Other ad hoc faculty may attend meetings, but cannot vote. Since the chair does not vote except to break a tie, the chairs' track may have a separate regular voting member.

The committee chair is the MStat Program Director. A committee chair serves no more than three years.

3. Procedures for Appointment of Committee and Committee Chair

Early each spring, each track undergoes its own procedure to identify a single nominee to be the track's regular voting committee member for the following year. Nominations are forwarded to the current chair. In addition, the committee votes to identify a single nominee for Chair for the following year. The current chair forwards all nominations to the Dean of the Graduate School. The committee nominates; the Dean appoints.

4. Decision-Making Process

This interdepartmental, interdisciplinary program makes its decisions as a group. Although all regular and ad hoc faculty are invited to participate in discussions, only regular members have an official vote.

5. Relationship of committee/Program to Departments

The MStat degree is granted in a specific department (e.g., MStat in Biostatistics is granted in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.) However, the Chair of the University Statistics Committee signs on all forms (admissions, candidacy, etc.) as department chair for this program, by agreement with the home departments of each track when the MStat program was created.

Track faculty follow each track's procedures to coordinate with their home department. In addition, the committee coordinates with related programs to assure that course content meets MStat students' needs. The chair meets annually with the course coordinator for the Mathematics 5010, 5080-5090, and 6010-6020 classes to review the textbooks and curriculum and provide feedback.

6. Budget Issues

The MStat program budget is administered in a 1001 fund. Faculty are in a variety of colleges, some of which do not deal with 1001 funds very often, such as the School of Medicine. The chair and administrator must take care not to use or transfer this money in ways inconsistent with state law regarding 1001 funds (see Policy and Procedures).

The committee chair is the account PI. The administrator shall forward to the committee chair copies of the monthly account statements for review. All financial transactions of the committee require the committee chair's signoff. The committee chair shall present an annual financial report to the committee.

The Dean of the Graduate School has recommended that the program have a balance of 10-40% of budget at any time.

The chair sends a request for the following year's budget to the Dean of the Graduate School each year in February. Once the budget has been determined, the committee is free to re-budget within the total to meet the emergent needs of the program.

Part of the MStat budget is a base budget, and part comes from productivity funds based on student credit hours (SCH) for courses paid by the MStat program.

7. Program Administrator's Role

The MStat program administrator fulfills several responsibilities, and is compensated through the MStat budget for her or his work. The responsibilities include (but are not limited to) processing admissions, committee and graduation applications, keeping records for program reviews, keeping student files accurate and up to date, and answering students' questions.

When Committee chairs change, it is the current administrator's responsibility to ensure a smooth transition by 1) having the new committee chair sign the account signature cards and sending them forward, 2) ensuring that the new chair will receive account statements by identifying the location code at which the new chair wishes to receive account statements and sending in a change of location to General Accounting, 3) ensuring that the new chair is on the email list to receive SCH reports, and 4) performing a final reconciliation of the account statement together with the exiting chair.

8. Stat Courses

Track courses may be cross-listed with STAT, especially the Special Topics courses. Students may register for a cross-listed course under STAT or under the department of the faculty member teaching the course. Currently, SCH are apportioned (proportionally) to the unit(s) paying for the course.

9. Quality Assurance in Stat Courses

Students in STAT courses fill out course evaluations provided by the instructor's home department.

10. Admissions Procedures

Track faculty follow their departmental process as well as recommending candidates to the University Statistics Committee chair for admission. They initial the application for signoff by the Committee chair. The committee chair generally accepts the track's recommendation, except in the event of some procedural irregularity or inequity.

Each track has a different admissions due date. In particular, the Mathematics track needs completed admissions by January 15 for those prospective students who are to compete for financial aids. Therefore, the Mathematics Department writes a letter to the prospective student offering admission and financial aid contingent on concurrence of the MStat program on the admission.

The University Graduate School urges all programs to have a consistent application deadline of April 15.

Each track has its own prerequisites, which are listed in the program brochure. All tracks require calculus, as the core courses (Math 5010-5080-5090) require multivariable calculus.

11. Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements differ by track and are listed in the program brochure. Track requirements also differ regarding which courses are acceptable as electives.