Senate Council Minutes - August 30, 2004
The Senate Council met on Monday, August 30, 2004 from 3pm to 5pm in the Keeneland Room of the Young Library and took the following actions.
1. Approval of the Minutes from August 16, 2004
Ms. Scott noted that upon Tagavi's suggestion she had changed all of the references to "Moore" in the minutes to either "Greg Moore" or "Roy Moore" as appropriate. The minutes were approved as amended.
2. Writing Across the Curriculum Efforts
The Chair introduced Janet Eldred and thanked her for attending. Eldred provided some history on the changes to the English requirement, both as a University Studies Program requirement and as graduation requirement. Eldred expressed the need for significant faculty input in creating a successful program and said she hoped the Senate, possibly through an ad hoc committee, could be fundamentally involved in the creation of future Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) proposals.
Eldred outlined the current writing requirements and discussed ways in which they might be changed or re-evaluated to fit a WAC program while still satisfying SACS' accountability requirements.
Cibull asked for clarification regarding what action Eldred hoped the Senate Council members would take. Grossman suggested that the Senate Council members form an ad hoc committee to consider the situation. Eldred supported the idea of the formation of an ad hoc committee. Tagavi suggested that such committee should be controlled and appointed by the USP Committee with perhaps half of the composition of the committee taken from the USP Committee and the other half from the English department.
Eldred suggested the USP Committee was not the appropriate domain in which to house a new ad hoc committee, since the new writing requirements were graduation requirements and not USP requirements. She added that work coming out of the USP Committee may cause unforeseen problems with transfer agreements among colleges while the work of the ad hoc committee should be specific to UK.
The Senate Council members discussed the formation of an ad hoc committee and what its charge should be. The following are the items such a committee would address:
- the development of criteria to determine which courses are appropriate for inclusion in the second-tier of the writing requirement;
- the development of criteria for student evaluation to satisfy SACS requirements;
- the development of an evaluation process to determine which courses can be "W" courses;
- the evaluation of how the implementation of voluntary WAC will entail change for participating departments;
- the devising of a method by which departments can determine the sustainability of such change;
- the development of a mechanism by which interested faculty can learn how to incorporate WAC; and
- the formulation of a mechanism to determine which of the interested departments can qualify for limited financial assistance in establishing WAC.
Eldred said there were limited funds in her budget for next year to bring in speakers and provide workshops for interested faculty. She said there should be a fair way of determining which departments get access to those services and resources.
Staben made a motion to form an ad hoc committee of the Senate to study the Writing Across the Curriculum issue. Kaalund seconded the motion. Tagavi offered a friendly amendment of including people on the ad hoc committee with appropriate expertise in addition to Senators. Staben accepted the friendly amendment. Cibull suggested including all of the above-mentioned charges to the committee. After brief discussion, the motion passed without dissent.
The Chair thanked Eldred and she departed.
3. Ad hoc committee on academic offenses
The Chair thanked Grossman for attending and provided some background on the rationale (DOC) and proposal (DOC) Grossman presented. Grossman said the proposal had grown out of his increasing frustration over the rules and how they were misinterpreted and misapplied in different colleges and departments around campus. Grossman indicated his openness to suggestions or input and hoped that an ad hoc committee could be formed to examine the issue and review the rules. He added his hope that the proposed rules could be posted to the Senate site and reviewed and discussed at the Senate in an iterative fashion before going to the Senate for a vote.
Tagavi asked if Grossman was the only person interested in revising the rules or if others were so inclined. Staben suggested that many of the faculty had felt that the current rules were problematic for some time and provided a recent anecdotal example. He said Grossman's proposal was timely and would most likely be welcomed.
Cibull clarified that Grossman's request was to appoint an ad hoc committee to work on a proposal, not to seek approval of the proposal at hand.
Debski asked if a committee on the honor code existed. Kaalund noted that the Law School had an honor code, and that a University-wide honor code had been discussed informally within the Student Government Association.
Staben asked if the Senate had a standing committee that could consider or form a proposal. Dembo noted that while Admissions and Academic Standards came closest, a Senate standing committee would not have the necessary broad institutional composition that an ad hoc committee would accommodate. Cibull suggested that the Ombud be included in the committee's composition, as well as a representative from the Office of Legal Counsel. Tagavi noted that a student should serve on the committee as well. Moore suggested Joe Fink III and Dembo as possible committee members.
Kaalund made a motion to establish an ad hoc committee of the Senate with broad representation and with appropriate expertise in the field to study revisions to the academic offenses policy. Cibull seconded the motion. Staben suggested Grossman be on the committee, and Grossman volunteered to serve as Chair. Jones supported Grossman's offer. The motion passed without dissent.
4. Graduation Agreement Update
Greissman introduced the topic and noted some changes to the web site since its creation. Greissman agreed to use whichever appropriate language the Registrar's Office uses when asking students to log-in to various systems by using their social security numbers. In response to Tagavi's concern that students who participate in the agreement should not be given preferential treatment in advance registration for courses, Greissman pledged that the administration has no intention of allowing preferential treatment to occur and will not do so without first notifying the Senate. Greissman said "the Provost will not unilaterally make preferential treatment in terms of registration without first consulting with the appropriate bodies, including the University Senate".
Greissman reported having met with Ralph Derickson from Public Relations regarding the best ways to advertise the availability of the Graduation Agreement. He added that he had sent the web site link to the Advising network listserv and has offered to meet with advisors to explain the Agreement's benefits.
Moore said he was under the impression that the only students who could participate were those students whose majors were part of the pilot program. Greissman replied that all students can register on the web site if they want, but they won't be part of the agreement unless they switch to one of the participating majors. Moore expressed concern that departments would be penalized by paying student tuition if the University didn't offer the courses the student needed to graduate, rather than the cost being incurred by the Provost's office or the University. Greissman said he didn't think it was a forgone conclusion that the department would be responsible. He expressed hope that the Graduation Agreement would help cause important conversations about course availability and resources to occur.
Cibull asked for clarification as to why students who aren't in participating majors are allowed to register for the Agreement. Greissman said the language of the Agreement is what binds the student to the Agreement, not the fact that they had a valid log-in ID and PAC number. He added that his intent was to encourage students to visit the web site and consider their options. He added that students have a deadline by which they have to register for the Agreement, so they aren't allowed to accumulate too many hours before making decisions about their majors.
Debski expressed concern that the Agreement had originally been discussed in the context of only applying to students who did not change majors but now allowed for changing majors. Greissman said that students who were interested in participating in the Agreement had to make those decisions within a finite period of time rather than waiting until much later in their careers. He noted that students who change majors after that period of time will not be eligible for the Agreement. Debski said she thought the ability to change majors will cause a need to resolve even more misperception among faculty, departments and students. Greissman noted that the Graduation Agreement is a pilot project, adding that the need for conversations and communication will be great if the program is to succeed. He noted that if it failed it would not be renewed after the third year.
Debski expressed concern that the Agreement is being publicly discussed as "small, but growing" when not even a year's worth of data has been collected to warrant such expansion.
Bailey said that one of the indicators of success is how many student register with the Agreement and expressed concern that students will be allowed to participate in the Agreement even if they have changed majors. He said that the consequence of changing majors was a delay in graduation and felt that allowing students to participate after changing majors eroded the Agreement. Greissman said the only indicator of success was if the University could see a reduction in the time to graduation. He noted that most first-year students take basic USP courses anyway, so allowing them to change majors within a well-defined period of time did not automatically necessitate a delay in graduation.
The Chair thanked Greissman for providing an update and invited him to do so again in the future.
5. Late Senate committee assignments
The Chair explained that a number of committee preference sheets had been received late and asked the Senate Council members to consider the additions to the various committees. Staben noted that Eldred could not be assigned to the Academic Advising Committee since only three faculty members can serve on that committee by Senate rule and there were already three faculty appointed. Ms. Scott will determine which other choices Eldred listed and will reassign her appropriately. Jones made a motion to approve the committee assignments, with the one exception, and Kaalund seconded the motion. The motion passed without dissent. Bailey suggested allowing Eldred to serve as an ex offico non-voting member if she had desire to do so.
6. University Senate agenda
Tagavi requested that all speakers before the Senate be provided a time-line regarding how long their presentations should last. The Chair agreed to ask the presenters to speak for a limited period of time. Cibull asked if Nash could present at a later time, since the President was already scheduled to make a presentation at the first meeting. The Chair replied that delaying Nash would create a domino-effect for subsequent meetings, since the agendas for each were already beginning to fill up. Jones requested that the agenda be reorganized to allow the Toxicology issue to be decided immediately after the President's address. The Chair agreed. Tagavi made a motion to approve the agenda with the above-mentioned changes. Jones seconded the motion, which passed without dissent.
The Chair asked the Senate Council members if there was any support in favor of putting forward a resolution expressing appreciation for Dick Siemer's work, welcoming Frank Butler to his new role and encouraging the acting EVPFA and the President to continue and perpetuate those programs and initiatives with which Siemer had been associated. He noted that the Staff Senate's Executive Committee had expressed some interest in putting forward a joint resolution, but that both on the Executive Committee and the Senate Council e-mail exchanges there had been some resistance expressed. The Chair added that his sense is that the proposed resolution did not have sufficient support to go forward. The Chair added that the Staff Senate's support staff position had recently been eliminated and discussions were currently underway to determine how to honor the Administration's suggestion that some agreement be reached to share the Senate Council office's support staff position.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:05pm.
Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair
Members present: Bailey, Cibull, Debski, Dembo (arrived 3:15), Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Moore (arrived 3:10), Staben, Tagavi, Yanarella.
Liaison present: Greissman
Guests present: Biagi, Doyu, Eldred, Grossman
Prepared by Rebecca Scott on September 2, 2004