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Senate Council Minutes - April 24, 2006

The Senate Council met on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 3:00 pm in 103 Main Building. Below is a record of what transpired.

The meeting was called to order at 3:04 pm.

1. Minutes from April 17 and Announcements

Jones, Grossman and Tagavi offered changes. The Chair suggested bringing the section of the minutes regarding Section 6.1.1 to the Senate Council listserv for discussion and then approval at the May 1 Senate Council meeting. He said the time could be used to ensure consensus on what was agreed upon.

The minutes as amended, except the summary of Section 6.1.1, were approved.

The Chair offered congratulations to John Thelin for receiving a Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching, a well deserved teaching award. He also offered congratulations to Monica Hobson for receiving the Vandenbosh Outstanding Political Science Senior award, and noted her receipt of the Singletary Outstanding Senior Female award. Senate Council (SC) members applauded their accomplishments.

The Chair shared he had met with interim Provost Smith regarding completer degrees. He reported that the interim Provost remained unconvinced of the rationale for a completer degree, especially given UK's mission among public universities in the state and the academic standards upheld by the faculty. He encouraged SC members to conduct a thorough review of the issue. The Chair stated his intent to put forth a communication to the interim Provost regarding the collective sentiment from the Senate Council. He opined that Provost Smith felt duty-bound to respond to Applegate's communications on the topic, and not defer the issue to incoming Provost Subbaswamy.

The Chair said the President's Cabinet seemed to be favorably disposed to deleting a phrase in the Administrative Regulations regarding the retirement age of executive administrators. He said the President's Commission on Women (PCW) was putting forth a proposal and requested input from the Senate Council; it would be on the SC agenda for May 1. In response to Lesnaw, the Chair confirmed that the Senate Council would secure the specific proposal from the PCW for review prior to the May 1 meeting.

The Chair asked Senate Rules and Elections Committee (SREC) chair Jones to update SC members on nominees for academic area advisory committees (AAAC). Jones replied that a forceful email communication to college faculty councils resulted in some nomination activity over the weekend. He asked that AAAC nominations be added to the May 1 agenda. The Chair stated that nominees for the Joint Senate Council/Staff Senate Committee on Employee Issues (JCEI) would also be on the agenda for May 1. The Chair also noted that he met with faculty trustees Jeff Dembo and Roy Moore and President Todd earlier in the day and believed the JCEI could play a productive role in a variety of areas, including the issues of salaries and merit compensation. The President also indicated a continuing interest the issue of tuition remission. The Chair asked for three to four names for the JCEI. He said Staff Senate Chair Dippery had obtained commitments from three of the four staff employees who had been nominated. Brief discussion confirmed the continued value and need for such a committee.

Grossman asked about the idea previously discussed regarding a breakfast with President Todd. The Chair said the President had indicated his receptivity to the idea. The Chair referred to a past interest in meeting with incoming Provost Subbaswamy; he said he was hoping for a commitment from the incoming Provost to attend a breakfast with the President or at a separate meeting.

Lesnaw alerted SC members to one omission in the Chair's list of congratulations earlier in the meeting, that of the Chair's recent election to the Board of Trustees. She offered her heartfelt congratulations. SC members concurred with applause. The Chair offered his thanks to those that voted for him. He said it was a close race and that Moore would be difficult to replace.

2. New Minor: Folklore & Mythology

Folklore & Mythology (PDF)

The Chair introduced Jay Francis, who was speaking on behalf of the proposal. The Chair again offered his apologies that due to lengthy discussion on another agenda item, time had run out at the April 17 meeting, postponing a review of the new minor until the 24th.

Guest Francis stated that the new minor stemmed from the amalgamation of various language departments. There were already folklore and mythology classes offered in the Departments of German, Russian and Classics, so the decision was made to combine the various strengths of the departments into one program. It also solidified the deliberately chosen new name of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, all of which are inextricably tied together in a topic such as folklore and mythology. Francis explained that there was a desire to have a core of classes from the department, but also offer an interdisciplinary perspective. There was a hope it could be expanded to include Chinese, Japanese and Arabic/Islamic courses, when appropriate courses in those areas were developed.

In response to a question from the Chair, the Senate's Academic Programs Committee (SAPC) chair Grossman stated that there was absolutely no controversy surrounding the proposal. Tagavi asked about the two new courses (GER 363 and MCL 270) mentioned in the new minor. Francis thought that the courses in question had been approved this semester. Tagavi suggested the new minor be approved contingent upon approval of the new courses GER 363 and MCL 270. Tagavi also asked about the "advisor approval" phrase regarding specific courses listed in the "Minor Electives" list. Francis indicated that the content of certain courses depended upon the instructor. The intent was to restrict students to courses with syllabi most amenable to the minor topic. Grossman said that only courses with "(topic appropriate)" needed to be approved by the advisor. Tagavi suggested utilizing an asterisk to better indicate that only some of the courses required an advisor's approval. Francis agreed to the change.

Grabau wondered about the "Minor Prerequisites," expressing concern that those courses were actually minor courses. He opined that pre-minor courses were those offering fundamental material as a foundation for what was to come. He thought those courses listed should be defined as part of the minor requirements. Francis replied that the study of folklore and mythology was a unique phenomenon of culture, not well suited to an introductory course. Francis went on to say that CLA 100, CLA 135 and GER 103 would offer a student a broad overview and orientation, hopefully enough to give a sense of the minor. In response to another question from Grabau, Francis stated that students were lining up for these types of courses, and that there were enrollments of over 600 students in CLA 100 and CLA 135, alone. Another motivation behind the creation of the minor was to draw increased attention to the department and a hope to tangentially increase the interest in the study of languages.

In response to Michael, Francis confirmed that all courses involved in the minor would be taught in English. Grabau explained that some of the course titles included "(in English)" in the formal course title. Baxter noted that with the extensive list of minor electives, the department would have to update the Bulletin each year with course additions and deletions. He suggested including a statement requiring one additional elective course chosen from a list approved by the department, which would save a lot of time maintaining up-to-date information. Francis agreed to the suggestion, and added that the list from advisors would incorporate Tagavi's suggestion to asterisk those courses needing advisor's approval.

In response to a couple of questions, Francis elaborated on the area of exploration being limited to mainly Western and hegemonic influences. There was a desire within the department to expand to include other cultural emphases, such as those of East Asia, South Asia and Islamic areas, when those courses are created. Frances also pointed out the inclusion of coursework emphasizing the subversive nature of folklore and mythology and the ease in which folklore and mythology can criticize and rebuke the culture from which it is driven.

Hobson asked if the phrasing in the "Total Hours Required" section was meant to indicate that the minor was restricted to students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Francis stated that the foreign language requirement phrasing was meant to indicate the necessity of fulfilling the Arts and Sciences language requirement, not to restrict enrollment to only students of the College of Arts and Sciences. He said he would make the language clearer.

There being no further discussion, the Chair called for a vote to approve the new minor in Folklore and Mythology, contingent upon the approval of GER 363 and MCL 270, and including the suggested changes, all of which Francis agreed to. The motion passed unanimously.

3. Postmortems on Completer Degree Conversation

Senate Council members engaged in extensive discussion regarding completer degrees. Randall moved that the Chair be charged with developing a tentative communication intended for the Provost, but that the communication be discussed at the May 1 Senate Council meeting, before being sent to the Office of the Provost. Tagavi seconded. A vote was taken on the motion, which passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Yanarella,
Senate Council Chair

Members present: Baxter, Duke, Grabau, Grossman, Hobson, Jarvis, Jones, Lesnaw, Michael, Randall, Tagavi, Thelin, Yanarella.

Liaison present: Greissman.

Guests present: Jay Francis.

Prepared by Sheila Brothers on April 25, 2006.