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Senate Council Minutes - February 6, 2006

The Senate Council met on Monday, February 6, 2006 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building. Below is a record of what transpired.

The meeting was called to order at 3:03 pm.

1. January 30 Minutes and Announcements

There being no changes other than those previously incorporated, the minutes were approved as amended.

The Chair noted Tagavi's attempts to resolve the issue regarding the academic calendars. The Chair spoke with Don Witt, University Registrar, and was told there was no pressing exigency to approve the calendars before the February University Senate meeting. In addition, the calendar version sent to the Senate Council office immediately prior to the Council meeting was different from the earlier versions. Thus, the Chair stated that agenda item number five ("Academic Calendars") would be postponed until a future Council meeting.

The Chair stated he had sent to the President and copied Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness Connie Ray and interim Provost Scott Smith the letter requesting ex officio status for the Senate Council chair on the University Committee on Academic Planning and Priorities (UCAPP). The Chair stated that Ray had made a similar suggestion to him for a Senate Council liaison person before the letter requesting ex officio status was sent. The Chair also sent Ray the names of those individuals vetted through the Council for appointment to UCAPP.

Guests Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Phil Kraemer, and Marcia Stanhope and Joanne Davis, both from the College of Nursing, introduced themselves.

2. Zero-Credit Hour Courses in Undergraduate Course Work - Guest Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Phil Kraemer

{The Senate Council and University Senate reviewed, via the web, a proposal for a zero- to one-credit hour course, BIO 199. While zero-credit is customary in graduate-level courses, various Council members wondered about the rationale and appropriateness of such an undergraduate course. It was decided to request input from an appropriate source as to the rationale behind a zero-credit course for undergraduates.}

Guest Kraemer offered an overview of the rationale behind zero-credit hour course work for undergraduate students. When the Department of Chemistry desired a zero-credit hour course, it was for the purpose of engaging students in a lab experience without forcing them to do so for an entire semester's worth of course work. There was also some concern about a student working in a lab without the benefit of a formal agreement, in the event of an insurance or liability issue. By registering for a course, the liability issue would be resolved.

Grossman added that another reason for the Chemistry zero-credit course was pedagogical; the zero-credit would offer first- and second-year students an opportunity to engage in research at a level appropriate for their learning experience.

Kraemer explained that while the zero-credit course would give students a chance to work in a lab, it would also allow a department to catalog the number of students receiving this type of laboratory experience, and for the faculty members to self-acknowledge this type of work. In Music, a zero-credit hour course allowed the program to offer credit to students (through that course) for attendance at extracurricular events. Zero-credit courses would normally be offered on a pass/fail basis.

Tagavi questioned what the difference in course or course work would be if either zero or one credit hour were offered. Kraemer stated it should be clear on the course syllabus. Tagavi wondered about what would occur if a student were accused of cheating in a zero-credit hour course. Lesnaw stated her approval of the concept, adding that it would offer experiential education to a student.

3. College of Nursing Admissions Proposal

College of Nursing Admissions Proposal (PDF)

Guest Davis shared that Nursing desired to add interviews as part of the admissions process. An interview would aid in achieving as close to a 100% retention rate as possible. For the past year, interviews had been conducted on a trial basis, but without the interview carrying any weight in admissions decisions.

Grossman commented that he hoped the addition of interviews would not be used as another cut-off, but as an additional method in admitting a candidate who might otherwise not have been admitted. He also suggested Nursing be aware of diversity issues in the interview process. Davis agreed with his comments. The interview process would not merely interview the top candidates, but others as well.

Baxter added that factoring in diversity issues could be difficult, since items such as skin color, gender, etc. are difficult to quantify. He suggested conferring with Legal Counsel. Davis stated that discrimination issues had been raised about the admissions process in the past, when it was done strictly by quantifiable characteristics.

In response to Grabau, Davis stated that some candidate would not progress past the interview process, and that Nursing would certainly interview more students than was possible to admit. Greissman asked for some examples of interview questions. Davis said that questions asked of candidates would attempt to discern a candidate's concept of what nursing entails and their understanding of nursing in general, among other questions. There would be standard questions, so every interview would be similar.

Lesnaw asked if nursing schools across the country included an interview process. Davis replied that it was not standard, but some programs did include such a process. Lesnaw added that it would place a significant burden on the admissions committee, and wondered about a possible financial hardship placed on a student if required to come to Lexington for an interview. Davis acknowledged the additional work for the admissions committee, and explained that 95% of their applicants were UK students. Nursing personnel would make an effort to find a workaround if an interview would be a financial burden on a student.

Tagavi asked if an interview were included in the admissions process, would that process have some type of formula to factor interview responses into the other admissions requirements. Davis stated it did, but noted that Baxter's comments implied a difficulty in factoring this type of information. This formula for admissions would be available for a student to review.

The Chair stated there was a positive recommendation from the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee on this proposal. A vote was taken on the proposal to include interviews in the College of Nursing admissions process, and it passed unanimously.

4. Graduate Certificate in Public Health Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Public Health Nursing (PDF)

Guest Stanhope stated multiple purposes behind a graduate certificate in Public Health Nursing, including: the revitalization of the field across the state and the country; and a lack of reward for nurses in the public health field who have higher degrees. The hope is that the graduate certificate would encourage practicing nurses to return for a higher level of education, and perhaps intrigue them enough to return for a masters degree.

There was some discussion about a portion of the handout addressing a graduate certificate in Public Health for non-Nursing College of Public Health Graduate Students. That proposal, however, had been withdrawn by the College of Nursing.

Tagavi spoke about a statement addressing admission requirements that required a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Tagavi said there should be an explicit statement that the 3.0 GPA or higher should be for the certificate plus other coursework, and not just a 3.0 GPA or higher in certificate coursework. Stanhope stated that type of contingency had not been considered, but the majority of those applying for the certificate would not be enrolled in other courses. Grabau referred to the Progression Requirements, where it was stated that a 3.0 graduate GPA must be maintained. Tagavi pointed out that a student who failed miserably in their last semester would still be eligible to receive the certificate, if coursework in the certificate area was of a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Grabau asked about a reference to a required epidemiology course, which did not have a valid course prefix and number, just "XXX." Stanhope explained that there was some question originally about whether Nursing or Public Health would teach the course in question. It was already offered through Nursing, and Public Health would soon begin teaching it. She offered to insert the appropriate course listing. In response to Greissman, Stanhope stated that it was possible for a nursing student to not pass the nursing program, but still earn the certificate. Tagavi expressed concern about this issue.

Stanhope stated that the vast majority of individuals in the certificate program would not be taking additional courses elsewhere, but said she would add a caveat that a student in the certificate program would have to have a 3.0 GPA or higher in the certificate program as well as in any additional coursework. Grossman commented that the certificate was mainly for professionals, and Stanhope agreed. Stanhope stated she would send a revised version to the Senate Council Office.

The Chair took a vote on the motion to approve the Graduate Certificate in Public Health Nursing. The motion passed unanimously.

6. Petitions to Modify Transcript After Academic Offense

Petitions to Modify Transcript After Academic Offense (Blue, Underlined Text Starts Page 7) (PDF)

Academic Offenses Ad Hoc Committee Chair Grossman reviewed the last bit of unfinished business regarding the Academic Offenses proposal. Originally, a grade of XE was the minimum penalty for second offense, and the idea was to allow a student to request the XE be changed to an E. Since an XE would no longer be a minimum penalty, Grossman believed the feeling in the Senate Council was that the petition issue was no longer relevant. In addition, concerns were raised about its viability. The issue of sunsets on petitions was separated, to be voted on separately by the University Senate. Grossman stated the rationale was never expressly stated by the Senate Council.

The Chair referenced an email sent by Hearing Officer of the University Appeals Board Joe Fink, in which Fink counsels against the wording requiring consultation with complainants. Tagavi noted that a previous survey handout by him indicated only one respondent believed a longer time before sunsets would be appropriate. There was discussion on the difficulty in convening a University Appeals Board (UAB) meeting with the same membership, and when conditions for removal of the transcript notation would be set.

Tagavi spoke against a provision that only XE (given if considerable premeditation had gone into the offense), as opposed to suspension and dismissal, was singled out to disallow removal of the notation. He thought the pertinent sections could be re-written to avoid the anomaly. Tagavi also voiced concern about situations in which the instructor/chair/dean had not stated any conditions, yet the UAB would still be required to consult with the same when hearing the petition years later. Grossman stated that if no conditions were specified, then there were no conditions, and that any conditions should be documented before the UAB met. He stated he could edit the section so that it was explicitly stated. Tagavi then brought up the provision that the UAB could deny the petition even if all conditions had been met by the student, and warned of potential lawsuits. Grossman stated Legal Counsel had approved the wording in Section 6.4.8.B [of the revised document] that stated the UAB had the discretion to deny a petition even if all conditions had been met. Tagavi added that even if a denial of that sort was legal, it was not a good policy.

Although there was some additional discussion, Grossman wondered about the logic in rewriting the pertinent sections in light of the feeling that the Council and Senate would vote against it. The Chair asked for a motion. Jones moved that the issue of sunsets on petitions be sent to the University Senate with a negative recommendation from the Senate Council. Grossman suggested a friendly amendment to add the phrase, "and if the proposal is approved by the University Senate against the recommendation of the Senate Council, the section would be sent to the Rules & Elections Committee to be codified. Jones stated that if the proposal reached the Senate, the version with changes would have to be available at that time.

Grossman again indicated his preference not to perform major editing of a section that was not likely to be approved. After a suggestion from Tagavi, the Chair stated it would be best for the Council to request the Senate approve the withdrawal of the issue of petitions. Jones withdrew his motion.

Grossman moved the Senate Council ask the University Senate for permission to withdraw the issue of petitions from consideration. Jones seconded. Greissman clarified that the end result would be no provision for a student to modify the transcript. In response to a question from him about the students' feelings, Hobson stated there was no reference to this issue in the written instrument used to gauge students' opinions.

A vote was taken on the motion for the Senate Council to ask the University Senate for permission to withdraw from consideration the petitions portion of the academic offenses proposal. The motion passed unanimously.

Dembo asked if any further effort had been made regarding educating the University community about these changes. The Chair stated that he had been waiting until this final issue was put to rest before initiating conversations about education. He stated it would be on a future Council agenda.

Tagavi shared that as a part of his responsibilities as Ombud, he had put together a timetable by which deans would receive information during the summer. He stated that the next Ombud would also need to meet with department chairs and educate them, with the facilitation of the deans, during the summer. He also stated he would use the Ombud's office to create a mass emailing to faculty at the end of the Spring 2006 semester, and use the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester to educate the faculty. Tagavi said Provost Smith had agreed to his plan, but that Provost Smith had mentioned Grossman had also discussed the education process with the Provost. Tagavi indicated there was no problem with tweaking the timeline if necessary.

Grossman stated he had sent an email to the Provost asking that it be forwarded to deans in early January, informing deans about the changes to the academic offenses policy. Both Grossman and Tagavi expressed willingness to work together regarding the education process. Greissman suggested a "frequently asked questions" section online as a resource for students and faculty. Tagavi thought inclusion of the flow chart created by Grossman would also be helpful. Grossman expressed concern that someone looking at the flow chart might misinterpret the flow chart as a substitute for the official Rule, and that the flow chart could not cover all possible contingencies. Tagavi suggested adding a disclaimer and Greissman suggested utilizing hyperlinks to take a site visitor to the relevant Rule.

7. Committee Nominees

Nominating Committee Chair Jones shared that nominees for the Non-resident Fee Committee would be forthcoming in two weeks. Referring to Dembo's resignation from the Administrative Regulations Review Committee (ARRC), Jones stated the Chair had charged the Nominating Committee (NC) with finding a replacement for departing ARRC member Dembo. Jones said that Dembo had been involved in an executive capacity as Senate Council Chair, so another executive presence from the Council was warranted. Due to the long-term nature of the ARRC, Jones explained the NC nominated Grabau, whose status as vice chair-elect would offer continuity. Tagavi could serve as an alternate.

Greissman questioned why only one name was put forth. Due to a miscommunication, Jones was under the impression that only one nominee was needed. Greissman explained that the ARRC membership was leaning toward administrators, away from a faculty presence. Since the NC was charged with facilitating recommendations and not in making final recommendations, Jones stated additional names could be suggested by the Council.

Tagavi volunteered, and in response to a question by Grossman, stated he would make time for attending AARC meetings. Greissman shared that some individuals would move in and out of the committee depending upon topic. He expressed concern that much of Tagavi's time on the committee might be spent discussing issues that were not of importance to Tagavi as chair-elect, or later as Senate Council Chair. Greissman respectfully suggested Tagavi be named as an ex officio, so that he could attend when appropriate, and that Grabau and Jones be nominated, as well. Tagavi agreed with the idea of a Council chair as ex officio.

Grossman moved the Senate Council nominate Grabau and Jones to serve on the Administrative Regulations Review Committee, and that the Senate Council Chair serve as an ex officio member. Tagavi seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

8. Nunn Center Proposal

Nunn Center Proposal (PDF)

The Chair stated the proposal had been sent by Terry Birdwhistell, on behalf of Dean of Libraries Carol Diedrichs. The intent of the proposal was to rename the Oral History Program in honor of Governor Louis B. Nunn, who, along with his progeny, was instrumental in the creation of the now nationally and internationally renowned University of Kentucky Oral History Program (OHP). He asked the Senate Council's disposition on this request.

In response to Tagavi, Jones stated the OHP was not an educational unit as defined by the Senate Rules. Thelin stated the OHP was exemplary, and that visiting scholars were routinely impressed by the vast collection. The Chair indicated a motion offering endorsement and support of the change would be satisfactory, and would not necessarily have to go to the Senate.

Thelin moved to endorse and approve the change from the "Oral History Program" to the "Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History" and thank Dean Diedrichs for the courtesy of consulting with the Senate Council and University Senate. Jones seconded.

The Council members engaged in discussion of the name change request, specifically about whether or not the involvement of the Senate in the OHP name change was a courtesy or was mandated if OHP were considered an educational unit. Grossman stated his belief that approval from the Senate, also, was preferable. Jones said the June 2005 revision of the Governing Regulations created the College of Libraries, and that Libraries was struggling with identifying its educational component. The Senate Rules did not address this topic, due to Libraries itself not yet having a good grasp on it.

Grossman again stated that the Senate should also vote on the change. The Chair stated it was appropriate to send it to the Senate, either as a required vote or as a courtesy and a symbolic act of support. He said he would check to verify the intent of the request by Libraries to approve. Grossman suggested a friendly amendment to include "and forward to the University Senate for a vote, whether or not it is required."

The Chair said he would hew to the interpretation offered by the Senate Rules and Elections Committee Chair Jones that it was not necessary to have a Senate vote on the issue, but that a vote by the Senate would be acceptable as a symbolic act.

A vote was taken on the motion to approve the change from the "Oral History Program" to the "Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History" and to thank Dean Diedrichs for the courtesy of consulting with the Senate. The motion passed unanimously.

9. Agenda for February 13 University Senate Meeting

Jones moved, Grossman seconded, and the Council unanimously passed the motion to approve the following ordered list of agenda items for the December University Senate meeting:

  1. Minutes from December 19 and Announcements
  2. Graduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences
  3. Work-Life Faculty Survey
  4. SAP Update from Phyllis Nash
  5. Academic Offenses
  6. LCC/KCTCS Degree Candidates
  7. Nunn Center Proposal
  8. Proposed Changes to Senate Rules, Section I ("The University Senate")
  9. Proposed Changes to Senate Rules, Section V ("Honorary Degrees")
  10. Proposed Changes to Senate Rules, Section VIII ("Printed Schedule of Classes and Bulletin")
  11. Proposed Changes to Senate Rules, Section II ("Calendar")
  12. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 4:58 pm.

    Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella,
    Senate Council Chair

    Members present: Baxter, Dembo, Grabau, Grossman, Hobson, Jones, Lesnaw, Moore, Randall, Tagavi, Thelin, Yanarella.

    Senate Council Liaison present: Greissman.

    Guests present: Kraemer, Davis, Stanhope.

    Prepared by Sheila Brothers on February 9, 2006.