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University Senate Minutes - February 9, 1998

The University Senate met in regular session at 3:00 p. m. , February 9, 1998 in Room 115 of the Nursing Health Sciences Building.

Professor Jim Applegate, Chairperson of the Senate Council presided.

Members absent were:Debra Aaron, Behruz Abadi*, Jim Albisetti, Leon Assael, Jeffrey Bieber*, Terry Birdwhistell, Douglas Boyd, James Brennan*, Geza Bruckner*, Joseph Burch, Mary Burke*, Johnny Cailleteau, Joan Callahan*, Ben Carr, Edward Carter, Jordan Cohen, Frederick Danner*, Philip DeSimone, David Durant, Lee Edgerton*, Robert Farquhar, Juanita Fleming, Donald Frazier, William Freehling, Richard Furst, Philip Greasley*, David Hamilton, Issam Harik*, Patrick Herring, Patricia Howard, Craig Infanger, Edward Jennings, Raleigh Jones, Jamshed Kanga, Edward Kasarskis, Craig Koontz, Alan Leech, Thomas Lester, C. Oran Little, Daniel Mason, Steven Middendorf, Mark Miller, Josh Mitchell, David Mohney, Wolfgang Natter, Anthony Newberry, Jacqueline Noonan*, Thomas Pope, Shirley Raines, Dan Reedy, Thomas Robinson, Horst Schach, Gregory Smith, Edward Soltis*, Cidambi Srinivasan, David Stockham, Louis Swift*, John Thelin*, Henry Vasconez, Retia Walker, Jesse Weil, Emery Wilson, Charles Wethington, Eugene Williams, Deborah Witham*, Donald Witt*, William Witt, Ernest Yanarella*, Elisabeth Zinser*.

*Absence Explained

The Chair said that the minutes from October, November, and December had been distributed. There were no corrections or amendments. The minutes were approved as distributed.

Chairperson Applegate made the following announcements:

There will be no resolution on the basketball arena today in light of the obvious changes in the situation since the agenda was distributed and the decision was made to stay in Rupp Arena for the foreseeable future. The Council asked me to communicate to you a couple of things regarding this so you will know in fact we have been on the case. We meet regularly with the President on campus issues, including the arena. We had endorsed a resolution to present today which echoed much of what was in the faculty generated resolution which many of you read about in the papers. It opposed a new arena and utilization of significant funds for renovation of Rupp Arena. It suggested a return to a focus on academic issues. Though this is a moot point for the foreseeable future. However the Council wanted me to let you know that we will continue to monitor this issue as it develops.

The President has been communicating with them for over a year on this issue. I had a phone conversation with him late last week and it is clearly his intention to pursue vigorously the option to stay in Rupp Arena and to perhaps purchase Rupp if that becomes an option. He made clear, it has never been his intention to engage in any kind of significant fund raising effort related to the arena. He says he is as anxious as anyone to return to a focus on academics and particularly on an academic capital campaign that we are all looking forward to kicking off in the not too distant future.

The Council will continue to keep track of this issue as they do other issues when we meet with the President. I am assuming you have read in the paper that there has been at least a tentative agreement that the basketball team will remain in Rupp Arena for sometime to come with the option to buy if that becomes feasible.

When we get to the action items today, you will notice that Lee Meyer will be presenting those rather than Roy Moore. If you will remember the new system you voted into place in the fall allows Roy to succeed himself. . That new system not only allows for a chair-elect (which Roy continues to be, he will be my replacement on June 1st) it also creates a vice-chair (Lee's role). He takes on a lot of the responsibilities Roy had assumed.

We do thank Lee for being willing to take on that vice-chair role.

I want to forecast a couple of things for the March meeting so you can keep your eyes on e-mail. First, I am anticipating that prior to the March meeting you will have distributed to you draft copies of the University strategic plan. Many of you know that there was a faculty group that sent a draft of the strategic plan to the President and his Cabinet. They are reviewing it at this point. Shortly it will be released to the campus for comment. I am hopeful that we can devote a good part of the March meeting to your reactions and feedback on that strategic plan. It is the University strategic plan for the next five years. It does embrace what are called the "strategic indicators;" measures of what we are going to try to accomplish in the next five years to meet a variety of goals. You will also notice in that much of what was in the Graduate Education Task Force Report (popularly known as the Reedy Report) has been integrated into that strategic plan. Of course the plan is much more than just graduate education and research. It covers also undergraduate education and other areas. We will let you know when this is available so you can get copies.

We want to have a good discussion and debate about the plan so we can provide feedback to the President and the Board regarding the strategic plan. The plan sets the agenda for us for the foreseeable future.

Also in March it is very likely you will be looking at some issues related to the integration of Lexington Community College into our campus as well as into this Senate. That is still in the works but I am anticipating that issue will be before us. I hope you give that careful attention. I think that it is very important that we do this well. Many of you are familiar with the kind of really wonderful cooperative relationships that have developed around the country between research universities and community colleges that enhance the ability of the research university to engage in outreach and career development activities while enriching the offerings of the community colleges. We will be presenting some beginning ideas on the structure and skeleton of that relationship in light of the new higher education reform laws.

Finally you remember in the Fall we had a panel discussion from some of the representatives of Arts and Sciences regarding the pilot post tenure review policy that Arts and Sciences has had in effect for the last several years. At the time there seemed to be some external urgency to this issue related to some action that might be taken by the legislature. We have worked, discussed, and had breakfasts with our legislative contingent and I think that both the Senate Council and perhaps the Council of Senate Faculty Leaders (COSFL) have come to the conclusion that the immediate external threat is somewhat lessened, although we are still monitoring that in terms of some sort of post tenure review law that we might not find friendly or sensible related to our jobs and what we do.

I do not think we have removed the need to thoughtfully and carefully consider how we want to address concerns we are hearing about tenure. We all know that tenure, as the statues read, is not a lifetime job guarantee. You can lose tenure for things like incompetence, refusal to perform duty, and immoral behavior. The question is how do we create a system where faculty colleagues continue to grow and do well after tenure. We are pursuing an initiative with the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) that can help us thoughtfully address post-tenure review. The AAHE had a special meeting in Orlando last week on the topic and I have been in contact with Chris Licutta a fellow of that association who is putting together a program that will provide grants to Universities who want to take some time to have forums, colloquiums, and speakers to think and talk about the issue of post-tenure review and accountability. Given that Arts and Sciences will be reviewing its system as it brings in a new Dean, it may be a good time for us to take charge of this issue and spend some reflective time to consider what if anything needs to be done in this area. This way, any proposal comes from the University Senate and is not driven by external concerns or threats. I wanted to let you know that this post-tenure review issue was not just dropped after having a Senate meeting about it. These things are still in process.

Also in March we may be presenting you some proposals to alter the criteria for promotion and tenure at this Institution, which again is part of the ongoing effort to look at the P & T system and our special title series faculty system and improve it.

The Chair said that the next item of business was the presentation of the honorary degree candidates, he prefaced that by saying that what they were doing is recommending to the Board of Trustees their sense of these candidates as a University Senate, they are not approving them. This is a personnel matter and they require of the senators and all those present to please not discuss or distribute this information outside of the meeting. He asked anyone who could not honor this request to leave. Chairperson Applegate then introduced Professor Phyllis Wise for presentation of the candidates. Professor Wise summarized the information on the nominees for the Senate's consideration.

The motion to accept the degree candidates for recommendation to the President passed in an unanimous voice vote.

ACTION ITEM 2 - Proposal to modify the Governing Regulations relative to interruption of service during probationary period. A recommendation from the University Senate to the Administration.

Action Item

Proposed modifications to Governing Regulations (GR X-3ff) relative to interruption of service during probationary period (interruption of the tenure clock for up to one year).

Recommendation

Modifications to the Governing Regulations of the University of Kentucky (1/12/92), Page X-3ff . are proposed at this time which specify the following understandings relative to probationary periods and the granting of tenure. Material to be added is underlined; new guidelines are bold and underlined; material to be deleted is in brackets. Note: The most recent revisions have two brackets around the materials to be deleted and the proposed additions are in all capitals and underlined.

2. Probationary Periods

2. Probationary periods (or maximum non-tenure periods) are not applicable in cases where faculty members are appointed (1) in the research, Medical Center clinical, adjunct, visiting, or voluntary series of academic ranks and titles, or (2) on a part-time or temporary basis. In all such appointments, faculty members are ineligible for tenure.

Probationary periods are applicable, however, to non-tenured appointments of faculty members on a full-time year-to-year basis in the regular, special title, extension, or librarian series of academic ranks and titles. Such non-tenured appointments may be for one year or for other stated periods, subject to renewal. The total non-tenure period, however, shall not exceed [seven] eight years[,]. [including previous full-time service with the rank of instructor or higher in other independently accredited institutions of higher learning, provided that in the case of] For a faculty member with more than three years in the academic profession, who is called from another independently accredited institution and appointed at the rank of associate professor or below, it may be required that the individual serve in a probationary status for a period not to exceed four years, even though thereby the individual's total non-tenure period in the academic profession is extended beyond [seven] eight years. [However, in any case where a period of prior service of a prospective faculty member involves significantly different institutional objectives or significantly different professional activity, all or part of the period of prior service may be eliminated from consideration in determining the maximum non-tenure period in the University System or the Community College System of the University of Kentucky. ] Except as provided in Part X. C. 7, time spent on leave of absence shall count as probationary period service unless the University in granting the leave and the individual in accepting it agree to the contrary. In such circumstances, the process of tenure review may reasonably be extended by one full academic or calendar year consistent with the appointment, contract, rank and prior service of the individual member. That is, rather than being reviewed in the sixth year, the review would occur no later than the seventh year of an appointment. In the event that tenure is not awarded following review in the seventh year, the terminal contract would occur in the eighth year. The ordinary review of faculty remains in the sixth year of the seven year probationary period. However, during the probationary period, faculty members,[[ in consultation with appropriate administrators (Division Director, Department Chair, or Dean)]] WITH THE APPROVAL OF THEIR IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR (DEPARTMENT CHAIR, DIRECTOR, OR DEAN IN SOME CASES), may elect to interrupt their University service without prejudice, for a period of time not to exceed one full year of appointment. [[Discretionary decision-making relative to the granting of such interruption of University service shall remain between the individual faculty member and the appropriately authorized administrator. (Division Director, Department Chair, or Dean). Typically, interruption of service will be granted only in cases of personal, family, or medical crises or for other catastrophic events during which professional productivity would be severely compromised. ]] INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE WILL BE GRANTED ONLY IN CASES INVOLVING PERSONAL, FAMILY OR MEDICAL EVENTS THAT CLEARLY COMPROMISE THE FACULTY MEMBER'S PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTIVITY. A FACULTY MEMBER MAY APPEAL THE DECISION OF HIS OR HER IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR TO THE NEXT HIGHER ADMINISTRATIVE LEVEL. IF NOT SATISFIED WITH THIS LEVEL OF APPEAL, THE FACULTY MEMBER MAY ELECT TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT HIGHER ADMINISTRATIVE LEVEL WHILE INFORMING THE ADMINISTRATOR AT EACH PRECEDING LEVEL OF THIS INTENTION. FINAL APPEAL WILL BE ADDRESSED TO THE CHANCELLOR WHOSE DECISION SHALL BE BINDING. It is recognized that the University and its units are subject to all appropriate state and federal laws, including but not limited to the Family Medical Leave Act and any and all other such laws as may apply.

Rationale

This proposal is one of the recommendations made in the report of the Senate Council Task Force on Promotion and Tenure. The Task Force reviewed the promotion and tenure system during the 1996-97 academic year. It is forwarded with the recommendation of the Senate Council with the following specific rationale.

The purpose of a specified period of probationary review is to provide a time frame that permits faculty to demonstrate scholarly productivity in order that an accurate assessment by the institution can be made relative to the individual's professional competencies. that is, accurate assessment by the institution of the individual's professional competencies are essential to the granting of a lifetime position within the organization. An arbitrary time frame that does not acknowledge the impact of life events may lead the organization to dismiss a scholar of great potential. The flexibility offered in this proposal does not affect the right of the organization to make these assessments of faculty potential in a timely fashion and does not prohibit meritorious faculty from moving forward toward tenure in a timely fashion (that is, this is a "budget neutral" proposal). It does provide equal opportunity to ALL faculty members, regardless of their life circumstances, to demonstrate their scholarly competencies. There is nothing inherently "magical" about a six year probationary time frame. In fact, rigid application of that requirement may limit the growth of the Institution by untimely release of talented scholars who have experienced "life intrusion." The proposal is consistent with decisions of major Fortune 500 companies and other business entities which acknowledge the complexities of life circumstances that often affect the most valuable resource of an organization -- the employee. The recommendations reflect the sense of the November and December Senate debates including guidelines for conditions under which suspension of the probationary period may be granted and a specific appeal process.

This proposal is applicable to current employees.

Note:

If approved, the proposed recommendation will be forwarded to the President for appropriate administrative consideration.

The Chair recognized Professor Lee Meyer for introduction of the item. Professor Meyer reviewed the background and rationale of the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.

The Chair said that they should note that the effort to include the piece about the immediate supervisor was a response to the discussion at the last meeting about having a clear statement about how this would be decided. The appeals piece is lifted directly from the regulations about how one appeals almost any personnel decision that is made. There was some discussion that there needed to be an appeal mechanism explicitly stated in case there were discrepancies across units.

The Chair noted that the Council asked that he share that there was considerable sentiment among the Council that the word professional should be included where it says "granted only in cases involving personnel, family, or medical" that it could say "granted only in cases involving personnel, family, medical, or professional events." They did not wantto put the word professional in there because they would rather have it passed as is than have it defeated on the basis of that word. They felt there could be an amendment adding the word professional. Their interpretation of professional events was perhaps grants being delayed by a government shutdown for a year, a lab burning to the ground, or other crisis like that. The Chair noted he hoped that most Senators received by e-mail some of the information from CUPA (College and University Personnel Association) regarding the widespread use of this type of policy at other institutions.

Hans Gesund (Engineering) asked how this would affect the present rules on study leaves. Currently a person can get a study leave that could last one or two years and that time does not count against the probationary period. The Chair said this was clearly intended to apply only to the situations where the criteria for this kind of interruption of service indicated here was present. His belief is that this is in no way intended to affect any other kind of leave policy. This is simply an additional leave possibility.

Lee Meyer said that in the part immediately proceeding the changes it refers to leave of absence and says there "except as in provided in Part C X7, time spent on leave of absence shall count as probationary period service unless the University in granting the leave and the individual in accepting it agree to the contrary." So that is already covered in the regulations as they exist now.

Kaveh Tagavi (Engineering) said that he sent e-mail to the College of Engineering faculty and they responded overwhelming liking this idea. He would like to underline the idea because the vehicle that is used to arrive at this idea has two major shortcomings. One, it does not work after the fact. He assumes that in many cases of personal and family crisis it is only afterwards that you find out that this crisis had an effect on your performance. Also the proposal is only helpful if you can afford it. It would be nice if we could help people without asking them to sit out and not receive a paycheck.

The Chair said that this was an interruption of service not a leave without pay, so they would be paid during this time. There are now provisions where you can take leave without pay. This is interruption of service related to the tenure decision it is not a leave without pay.

David Adams (Mathematics) said if he was not mistaken there had been some cases where people have had difficulties and this situation had been extended. If that is the case, why do we need this resolution, each individual case should be handled on its own merit. There does not need to be a universal blanket rule for everybody.

The Chair said that some members of the Task Force might want to comment on that, but what the Council heard was that there had been some examples of that but since there was no established procedure it is very difficult to do that.

Alan Kaplan (Medicine) said that this sets a tone that this is the appropriate thing to do if the need arises. There has been one instance recently where a faculty member's laboratory was not ready for eight months and the administration refused to extend the tenure period. They were told that they would be judged by the tenure committee on eight months less productivity, which is sheer folly. So this sets a tone for if there is a reason and it is appropriate that something ought to be done and that is a positive step rather than a back room procedure that may or may not be viewed positively.

Chairperson Applegate said if they remembered from the information from the College and University Personnel Association that where this has been in place it is used relatively infrequently but is generally a part of a variety of things that are done to create what are perceived to be a family oriented P & T policy. Where it has been used before, Alan's point about the tone is what comes out of that report.

Mike Nietzel (Dean - Graduate School) said that if there were prior cases they are not going on across the University and were not known by the Task Force. That would be the reason why there should be a policy, so that people are uniformly aware of this. Also there is nothing in this language that suggests it would not be done on a case by case basis. So both of the concerns really still would point toward an affirmative vote on this recommendation.

Alan Kaplan said he would like to support adding the word professional. From the case he mentioned it would not be an unusual occurrence and would make this a much stronger document for the faculty that in addition to family or medical events to add professional events that impeded one's ability to make appropriate progress. He made an amendment to add the word professional. There was a second. The Chair said the discussion was to be limited to the amendment.

Hans Gesund said he had a problem with the definition of professional event. Would having a paper turned down or a book manuscript rejected be considered a professional event. They are all professional events. They need a better definition or the door will be open wide to anybody with a good lawyer who wants an extension.

The Chair said that may be a problem but that only incidents that clearly compromised the faculty member's professional productivity are applicable here.

Kaveh Tagavi asked if a five year contract is cut after the first year because of lack of funds, would that be a professional crisis? If someone does not get a contract in the first place, only because funds are not available, not because of the merit, would that be considered a professional crisis?

The Chair asked if there was anymore discussion on the amendment? There was none. The amendment to add professional, so the items would read "personal, family, medical or professional events that clearly compromise. . . ." passed in a voice vote.

There was no more discussion on the motion. The item passed in a voice vote.

ACTION ITEM 2 - Reconsideration of proposal to revise University Senate Rules, Section V - 3.1.1a, Repeat Option

Proposal:

{Amend the first paragraph of 5.3.1.1 as follows. The language to be eliminated is in brackets [ ]; new language is underlined}

5.3.1.1 Repeat Option (US: 11/14/83; US: 4/13/87; US: 11/14/88; US: 4/23/90; US: 9/20/93 US: 4/11/94) A student shall have the option to repeat once as many as three different completed courses [which have been completed] with only the grade, credit hours and quality points for the second completion used in computing the student's academic standing and credit for graduation. The limit of three repeat options holds for a student's entire undergraduate career, no matter how many degrees or programs are attempted. A student [also] may not use the repeat option when retaking a course on a Pass-Fail basis [(provided the course meets the requirements for being taken Pass-Fail), even though] if the course was originally taken for a letter grade. [If a failing grade (F) is earned on the second attempt, the original grade will continue to be used in calculating the grade point average and the second attempt shall constitute exhaustion of one of the student's three repeat options under this provision. ]

A student exercising the repeat option must notify in writing the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. A student may exercise the repeat option at any time prior to graduation. (US: 4/11/94)

If a student officially withdraws from the second attempt, then the grade, credit hours and quality points for the first completion shall constitute the grade in that course for official purposes. Permission to attempt again the same course shall be granted by the instructor and the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled (see Section IV - 4. 3. 3). (US: 4/11/94).

The repeat option may be exercised only the second time a student takes a course for a letter grade, not a subsequent time. (US: 2/14/94)

Note:

The Committee recommends that the form used for exercise of the repeat option be revised to state clearly and prominently that the option may be exercised after the course is completed, so long as the student is still enrolled at UK. No rule change is necessary to implement this recommendation, since forms are not specified in the Senate Rules.

Rationale:

The Rules Committee concluded that the major problems with the repeat option result from its possible use to repeat a course on a Pass-Fail basis when the course was originally taken for a letter grade. In particular, the Senate raised the issue of the "opportunistic F", where a student repeats the course, attends enough classes to avoid a grade of "N", and then stops attending and working, receiving an "F", which removes the previous grade (as well as the credit hours). The rule amendment as drafted removes this possibility, because a student is required to exercise the repeat option for a letter grade if the initial attempt was made for a letter grade. The Committee recognizes that this restricts the ability of students to exercise the Pass-Fail option. However, we concluded that this restriction was very limited, and was necessary to resolve the conflicts in these two rules. In addition, we interpreted the intent of the Pass-Fail rule to be to encourage students to try different courses, perhaps not in their major and in areas where they had no prior experience. Such courses, the Committee believed, would not be ones a student would likely want or need to show grade improvement by using the repeat option.

Background:

In the late summer, 1997, a member of the Central Advising Service (CAS) staff asked for a rule interpretation governing the use of repeat options. Specifically, the question was whether the same interpretation could be applied to a student taking a repeat option for a letter grade as stipulated for a repeat option taken pass/fail. The Rules Committee informally interpreted the Rules to apply to both letter grade and pass/fail attempts and suggested new wording so that failure in a repeat option always resulted in the first grade earned counting. The Senate Council disagreed with the Rules Committee, and moved that the last sentence in paragraph one be deleted so that in all cases, the repeat option (second attempt) is always the one to count. That proposal was considered by the University Senate at its meeting on September 8, 1997, and returned to Committee for further consideration. The revised proposal before the Senate was recommended by the Senate Rules Committee and endorsed by the Senate Council and is recommended for Senate adoption.

Implementation:

Summer Session, 1998

Note:

If approved, the proposal will be codified by the Rules Committee Chairperson Applegate recognized Lee Meyer for introduction of the item.

Professor Meyer reviewed the backgroundand changes of the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.

Hans Gesund stated there needed to be a change on page 2. Attendance at a Community College is the equivalent of attendance at the Lexington Campus should be changed to attendance at Lexington Community College since the community colleges are no longer part of the University. The Chair said there was an interpretation of the Rules Committee and that the Rules Committee could review their interpretation. At this time the exact relationship between LCC and the Lexington campus and the rest of the Community Colleges and LCC and this campus is developing. That could be right, it could be the language should be limited, the Rules Committee could review it or it could be changed. Professor Gesund said he preferred that the Rules Committee look it over.

George Blandford (Engineering) said that the University was still accepting letter grades from the community colleges for purposes at UK, it would seem that this rule would apply to all.

There was no more discussion and the item passed in an unanimous voice vote.

ACTION ITEM 3 - Proposed changes to University Senate Rules, Section IV - 4.2.5, Graduate School Admissions

Proposal:

Note that italicized words indicate additions and square bracketed words [] mark deletions.

4.2.5 GRADUATE SCHOOL [A student who is a graduate of a fully accredited institution of higher learning and has a grade point average of 2.5 on a basis of 4.0 may apply for admission to the Graduate School. ] Students seeking admission to the University of Kentucky Graduate School must holda baccalaureate degree from a fully accredited institution of higher learning. All applicants for admission to a graduate degree program must have an undergraduate grade point standing of at least 2.75, and a graduate grade point standing (if applicable) of at least 3.0 on a basis of 4.0. Furthermore, all applicants must submit scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions of the aptitude section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This rule may be waived in individual cases upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies in an individual department or program. However, in cases where GRE waivers are granted, the GRE scores must be submitted before the end of the first semester of graduate study. The advanced portion of the GRE may be required by individual [departments or] programs. [if they so desire. ] A student witha grade point average of less than 2.75 [2.5] or a graduate of a non-accredited institution may be admitted, or provisionally admitted, only after the [Graduate Record Examination] GRE and other evidence acceptable to the program [department] and the Dean of the Graduate School is submitted indicating that the student is capable of doing satisfactory graduate work. Individual [departments] programs may establish higher requirements.

Rationale:

A periodic review of the Graduate School Admissions criteria compared to the benchmark institutions revealed that the standards at UK are low. The proposed changes will bring the admissions criteria at UK more in line with our benchmark institutions.

The proposed changes were recommended by the Graduate Council ad hoc Committee on Admissions Standards and have been approved by the Graduate Faculty, the Senate Committee on Admissions and Academic Standards, and the Senate Council, and are recommended to the Senate for adoption.

Note:

If approved, the proposal will be forwarded to the Rules Committee for codification.

Implementation Date:

Fall Semester, 1998

The Chair recognized Professor Meyer for introduction of the item. Professor Meyer reviewed the background of the item and recommended approval on behalf of the Senate Council.

Robert Molzon (Mathematics) said that if he understood this correctly students seeking admission to the University of Kentucky Graduate School must hold a baccalaureate degree. That would eliminate a large number of applicants, because a lot of students are admitted to graduate school before they held a degree. Most people do not hold a degree at the point of which they are seeking admission to graduate school.

A student senator commented that there were several dual program degrees on the university campus for example the PharmD, MPA or MBA program where students do not hold a bachelors degree but are applying to the graduate school. They will never have a bachelors degree. Would that be a waiver from the graduate school?

Carolyn Brock (Chemistry) said those students were provisionally admitted.

The Chair stated that in the current rules it is required that students hold a degree, this is not a change from the current practice.

Ray Cox (Mathematics) asked what fully accredited meant? Is a foreign institution fully accredited?The Chair stated that this also was not a change from the current rules.

Tom Blues (English) asked if it would helpful to make a slight editorial change so that the sentence in question read "students admitted to the University of Kentucky Graduate School. . . ."?

The Chair asked if that would be accepted as a friendly editorial change? There was no objection and the change was made.

Michael Tomblyn (Student Senator - Graduate School) said that he was making the exact same comment he made in the Senate Council meeting. He was glad to see the analytical portion of the GRE finally required considering that that is certainly the most important for graduate work and graduate thought processes. His concern is that if they are going to have a minimum GPA, some standards to hold applicants to, people apply from a variety of universities. Universities that are very strict in grades, universities like UK where grade inflation is awful. There is no way that students can be compared. It seems that if they really want to do a good job of comparing students for admission to anything, the one thing that they would have minimal scores for would be the GRE. He knows the whole point of this was so they would look good to their benchmarks. There is too much about TQM and looking at benchmarks, they should do what is right and find the best students.

The Chair said that when that came up in the Council, the Graduate Council had attached a variety of policies of the benchmarks and they all pretty much relied on GPA.

Bruce Walcott (Engineering) said that this does not preclude the Departments or programs from adding additional requirements. There can still be some filter for the good students. Carol Brock said that grade inflation has hit the sciences much less hard than the humanities. This will cause them a certain number of problems.

Last year there were several student applicants with GPAs in the 2.5 range and they thought long and hard about giving offers to them, they finally did and they went to Purdue instead. The bottom line has been in the sciences if an applicant was born in the US and looked halfway reasonable then universities are going to fight over them. This raising of the GPA will cause a certain number of problems.

Alan Kaplan asked if these were guidelines or laws?The Chair said that they way it read students must have a 2.75, but students could be provisionally admitted after the GRE and other evidence acceptable to the program and the Dean of the Graduate School is submitted. It does set a 2.75 bottom. But it can be overridden, so these are guidelines.

Melanie Cruz (President - Student Government) said she was talking to individuals in the Office of Minority Affairs and with the GPA of 2.75, there are certain students who are at risk as undergraduates; first generation college students, people of different economic levels, and of course minority students that would be discouraged by this. This might be discouraging for people who are at risk who want to go to graduate school but might not have the opportunity to excel during their undergraduate career. It might discourage people who would add diversity to graduate school.

Hans Gesund said that he felt there were a lot of problems and recommended sending the item back to the Graduate Council. There was a second to the motion.

Mike Cibull (Medicine) asked if there was a relationship between how graduate students do and their grade point average upon admission?

Carolyn Brock said that in chemistry the answer is no. It depends on whether or not they want to work when they get there.

Alan Kaplan said the item should have some rationale other than joining our benchmarks. If there is a reason for doing these things let that be stated. The fact that our benchmarks have things a certain way is not a great reason.

Doug Poe (Business and Economics) said that in the whole discussion over whether this is going to be rigidly enforced or not it is his understanding that the current rule of 2.5 is routinely waived if the program wishes it to be. All raising the standard does is to play into that discriminatory aspect in which people who know if they persist may end up getting in whereas it will prevent a lot of students who believe that is a hard and fast rule from applying. We then end up with a very discriminatory rule depending on whether you know it is going to be waived or not. If it comes forward and says this is an absolute rule that will not be waived, no one gets in with less than a 2.75 we know where we stand. His understanding is currently that is not the way it is applied it is a general guideline.

George Blandford said that if the rationale is that they are embarrassed about putting 2.5 in as the entry criteria they could fix that by taking all mention of grade point average out of the admissions catalog and merely saying they will select the strongest students who apply.

The motion to refer back to the Senate Committee on Admissions and Graduate Standards passed in an voice vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:56 p.m.

Donald Witt
Secretary, University Senate