The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Statistics was held on Zoom at 12:30pm, December 6, 2021. Abel Rodriguez, Department Chair, presided at the meeting. Kristine Chan was recording secretary. 


Chair Remarks 

Faculty retreat: Given that most faculty are not going to be able to participate, the retreat has been canceled.  There will be further discussion on a future retreat in Spring quarter.  


Activities in Winter quarter 

  1. Faculty meetings: Meetings will continue to be on Zoom during the early part of the quarter, but we expect to move to in-person meeting with a remote participation option later in the quarter, assuming the situation allows for it. In any case, the Chair plans to have only three or four meetings next quarter to compensate for the additional workload related to PhD and MS admission committees, as well as the BS revamp committee. 

  1. Seminars: Most talks will be held on Zoom. However, we plan to have two hybrid seminars to be available on Zoom and in-person. Our hope is transition to having about half of the seminars being held in person during Spring quarter. 

  1. Assistant or Associate Teaching Professor search: The deadline for applicants to be fully considered is coming up on December 15. The appointments committee will be reviewing the applications and scheduling Zoom meetings soon. Talks are to be scheduled in early March 2022.  

  1. BS revamp committee: We expect to make a presentation of the work done by the committee so far in mid-January. 


Department Staff: Staff will continue to have a hybrid schedule. The plan is to have them all be onsite twice a week. A formal announcement will be sent closer to the start of the quarter. 


TA/RA job descriptions: The Chair reminded faculty to attempt to have a collaborative approach to going over the job description with TA/RA before signing the form. This will allow transparency between the instructors and TAs as well as minimize issues/miscommunication. 


TA evaluations: The Chair reminded faculty to fill out evaluations for the TAs given that is plays a role in the PhD student’s requirement to graduate. 


STAT 600 approval registration for TAs: A Catalyst poll was sent to the voting faculty to authorize our graduate advisor, Ellen Reynolds, to provide students who serve as TAs, a permission code to enroll in up to 2 credits of STAT 600 without checking with faculty beforehand. 



Faculty meeting for 12/13 will be canceled. 


New Business 

PhD Program requirement changes for 2022-2023: This continued the discussion initiated at the previous department meeting. Discussion of the future of the CSSS, MLBD and ADS tracks has been tabled until the Spring quarter. Similarly, discussion about possible changes to the MS Theory Exam waiver system will be tabled until the Winter quarter in order to gather more information about outcomes for the current cohort. Hence, the remaining of the discussion focused on defining more clearly what the departmental expectations are for General Exam, potentially adding a writing component to the exam. There was agreement on the need to be more explicit on what topics need to be covered in the General Exam: (a) literature review, (b) work already performed that will become part of the dissertation, and (c) future work to be carried out for the dissertation. However, there was a sense that the exact form of materials that the student needs to provide should be left to the discretion of the Supervisory Committee. To avoid ambiguities, it was felt that using a two-page Exam Charge signed by the Supervisory Committee similar to the one used by Computer Science and Engineering could be an effective communication tool. A concrete proposal will be presented in early Spring for further discussion. 


Executive Session 

Faculty present discussed the reappointments of adjunct and affiliate faculty. A catalyst poll was later sent to them to record the votes for approving the appointments. 



There being no other items to discuss, the meeting moved on to an Executive Session at 1:22pm. The meeting was later adjourned at 2:00pm.