University Senate Minutes - March 8, 2004
The University Senate met on Monday, March 8, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Auditorium of the W. T. Young Library and took the following actions.
Members absent: Ambrose*, Austin*, Bacon, Baldwin, Barnett, Bhavsar, Blandford*, Brothers, Brown, Brunn, Butler, Cavagnero, Cibulka, Cibull*, Cohen, Deem, Desai*, Diedrichs, Duffy*, Duke*, Fink*, Flournoy, Gaetke*, Garen, Garkovich, Garrity*, Gentry, Haist, Hanson, Hardy*, Hensley*, Hoffman, Kaalund, Kerley, Kovarik, Lesnaw, Lester, Lewin, Lindlof, C. Martin*, M. Martin, Mazur, McCormick*, Michael*, Mobley, Mohney, Noonan*, Perry, Purdue*, Ray*, Roberts, Robinson, Roland, Schomaker, Sharpe, Shay, Siemer, S. Smith, V. Smith, Staben*, Staten*, Storm, Sudharshan, Swetnam, Terrell, Todd, Tsang, Vasconez, Vestal, Wade*, Walker, Watts, Weis, Whitescarver*, C. Williams, E. Williams, Wilson, Witt, Zentall, Zoll.
1. Approval of the Minutes from December 2003 and February 2004
The minutes from the past two Senate meetings were approved as written.
The Chair thanked Kim Judd, the Treasurer of the Staff Senate, for serving as honorary Sergeant-at-Arms for the day.
The Chair asked the Senators from LCC for an update on the reorganization of LCC. Womack reported that four or five bills were presented to the legislature. She said that LCC supported all of the bills, except the one that would delay the decision for another year, since it could jeopardize LCC's accreditation.
The Chair reported that nominations for the Board of Trustees faculty representative position will be accepted until March 19, 2004. He reported a quirk in the rules pertaining to this election discovered by Tagavi. Tagavi will propose a solution and the proposed rules change will go before the Senate Council.
2. Provost's Annual Address
The Provost addressed the Senate on a variety of issues, including funding shortfalls from the state, swelling freshmen classes, retention issues, the University's covenant with the Commonwealth, research and development needs, undergraduate student achievement, and enrollment/graduation figures. The Provost also discussed the status of the University among its benchmarks, the need to improve faculty salaries, the upcoming Winter Intersession, the progress of the Graduation Agreement, the need to change the University's writing requirement, the University's quest for top-20 status, tuition increases, budget cuts, the re-organization of LCC, the need to decrease the use of part-time instructors, the possibility of creating a College of Public Health, and a variety of paradoxes confronting higher education in Kentucky. The full text of the presentation will be available in the March 2004 transcript.
Grossman asked if progress has been made concerning the cuts service units receive resulting in increases prices for those services to academic units. The Provost replied that non-academic units receive worse cuts than academic units, but agreed that a problem exists. He said the EVPFA is working to make sure the costs in question are responsive to academic needs. He urged Grossman to continue to let him know about such issues.
Tagavi asked if the Graduation Contract was now being called a Graduation Agreement instead. The Provost replied the term had been changed to match the wording used at other institutions.
3. University Writing Program
University Writing Program (PDF)
The Chair introduced the item and reminded the Senate that it had not been included on the agenda. He outlined his intention to have Dr. Eldred present the proposal, followed by Council and Committee input, before asking the Senate if it had enough information to waive the ten-day rule. The Chair introduced Drs. Eldred and Rosenman and invited them to speak.
Eldred presented the proposal and provided a historical perspective for the current writing requirement. She outlined the courses which would fulfill the second tier of the requirement and explained the exemption rule. Rosenman noted the English department's strong support for the proposal, explaining that it was better pedagogically and a better use of resources.
Joanne Davis provided some insight on how a delayed decision on this proposal could present difficulty for students visiting campus in March to register for classes during Merit Weekend. She estimated as many as 800 students would not know which classes to register for unless the proposal was decided. Jacquie Hager said the Registrar's Office was prepared to accommodate both the current requirement and the proposed requirement in terms of course offerings and classroom space.
The Chair invited members of the Undergraduate Council to comment on the proposal. Kraemer and Yates spoke in favor of the proposal, with Yates noting an overall improvement in the quality of education under the new requirements.
The Chair invited members of the Senate Council to comment on the proposal. Tagavi said that an institution with aspirations to top twenty status should have technical writing. Eldred added that one concern at the Senate Council meeting had been about taking a 200-level course to satisfy both the Humanities requirement and the Writing requirement. Debski added that the concern had been about getting double-credit for one course. She asked if that recommendation had come from the English Department or the University Studies Program Committee. Eldred replied that both entities supported the proposal and addressed how difficult it was to ask the student to repeat the same course to satisfy two requirements. Debski said that part of the proposal made the requirement seem diminished.
Hoch asked what the vote was at the Senate Council meeting. Ms. Scott replied that it was 8 to 2 in favor of the proposal, to the best of her recollection.
Gesund voiced two concerns. The first pertained to the need to keep technical writing available. The second was how the proposal would affect transfer students. Eldred replied that Business Writing is staffed by adjuncts and that finding qualified staff was difficult, even if the money existed. Gesund replied that Engineering students would then need to be taught in Business Writing if not Technical Writing. Eldred reiterated there was no money or expertise. Gesund suggested she buy the expertise and hire the people. Eldred referred the question to Dean Hoch. Gesund asked that his other question be addressed. Eldred noted the portion of the proposal that addressed how transfer students would be accommodated, noting the existence of an articulation agreement addressing this and other situations. Yanarella spoke in favor of the proposal, noting the thoughtful examination given the proposal at a variety of levels and through many committees.
The Chair noted a special called meeting of the Senate might be necessary to decide the issue prior to Merit Weekend if the Senate was not comfortable waiving the ten-day rule. Waldhart moved to waive the ten-day rule. Grossman seconded the motion. Tagavi spoke against the motion, wondering why the proposal should be rushed through this year rather than next year. Eldred replied that the budget was partially responsible for the rush, noting that either course sections would need to be cut or class sizes increased if the old requirement remained in place. Roorda noted that if class sizes increased students would have to write less so the TA's would not spend more than 10 hours per week between instruction and grading.
Waldhart felt the proposal had not been rushed, since it had been reviewed and rewritten for a year. Blackwell called the question. The majority of Senators voted in favor of ending debate, with twelve Senators opposed. The motion to end debate passed. Durant moved to approve the proposal. Yates seconded the motion.
Gesund moved to amend the proposal to require ENG 204 Technical Writing to be added to the classes that are approved to fulfill the second-tier of the writing requirement. Waldhart, Debski and Hoch spoke against the amendment, with Hoch referring to it as an unfunded mandate. Gesund spoke in favor of his amendment, noting that if ENG 204 would not satisfy the second-tier then Engineering students might have to take courses they do not wish to take and in which they might not do well.
After further discussion Dwyer called the question. The motion to stop debate passed with six Senators opposed. Six Senators voted in favor of the amendment with the rest opposed. The amendment failed.
Durant proposed an amendment to the exemption clause to allow students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP exam to be exempt from ENG 104 and to strike the exemptions pertaining to standardized test scores. Albisetti seconded the amendment. After brief discussion DeSimone called the question. The motion to stop debate passed with two Senators opposed. Nine voted in favor of the amendment with 32 Senators opposed. The amendment failed.
After further discussion of the motion on the floor, Tagavi offered an amendment to open priority registration for Business Writing to the entire University, not just Business students. Gesund seconded the amendment. After some discussion Yates called the question. Gesund questioned the existence of a quorum. A hand-count ascertained the presence of a quorum. The motion to stop debate passed with none opposed. Five Senators voted in favor of the amendment, with the rest opposed. The amendment failed.
After brief discussion Kern called the question to stop debate on the motion on the floor. The motion to stop debate passed with four Senators opposed. Tagavi abstained. Thirty five Senator voted in favor of the motion with five opposed. Three Senators abstained and three did not vote in any category. The motion to approve the proposal passed.
The Chair apologized to Nash for having to delay her presentation until a future meeting. Dr. Nash will return in April.
The hour being late, the meeting adjourned at 5:20 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jeffrey Dembo
Chair, Senate Council
Prepared by Rebecca Scott on March 17, 2004.