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University Senate Minutes - February 14, 2005

The University Senate met on Monday, February 14, 2005 at 3:00pm in the Auditorium of the Young Library and took the following actions.

Absences: Alexander, Anderman*, Baldwin, Barker, Beattie, Berryman*, Bhavsar*, Biagi, Braun*, Brown*, Butler, Carter, Catavolos, Caudill*, Cheng, Cibulka, Cohen, Darnall, Debski, Deem, Dembo*, DeSimone, Duffy, Duke, Ellis, Filak, Fink, Gaetke*, Garen, Gesund*, Getchell, Gonzalez, Gross, Hanosn, Haven*, Hazard*, Hoffman, Isaacs*, Johnson, Kaetzel*, Lester, Martin, M., McCormick*, McKinney, Michael*, Mobley, Mohney, Moore, Nietzel, Noonan*, Perman, Portillo, Pulito, Ray*, Roberts, Robinson, Roland*, Rouhier-Willoughby*, Royce, Shaw, Shay, Smith, S., Steltenkamp*, Sudharshan, Tagavi*, Todd, Tsang, Turner, Vasconez*, Vestal, Walker, Williams, C., Williams, E., Witt, Wyatt.

*Denotes excused absence

The Chair called the meeting to order and noted the length of the agenda. He said that all of the action items had been forwarded to the Senate from the Senate Council with a positive recommendation and will be on the floor for discussion.

1. Approval of the December 13, 2004 Minutes

The Chair asked if there were any corrections to the minutes. There being none, the minutes were approved as written.

2. Announcements

The Chair noted that announcements had been circulated in advance of the meeting by e-mail due to time constraints. He invited Grossman to present an update on the activities of the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Offenses. Grossman said the proposed changes to Senate Rules and rationale were available for review on the Senate web site. He encouraged feedback, input and suggestions. The Chair thanked Grossman and his committee for taking on such a monumental task.

3. Honorary Degree Candidate

The Chair invited Dean Blackwell to present the honorary degree candidate for the Senate?s consideration. Blackwell presented the names of the committee members and outlined the difficulty the committee had in securing nominees who were still available to attend commencement at such a late date. She said the committee had plans for the future to keep rolling nominations for one and two years in advance to solve the problem. Blackwell presented the name of the candidate and some information on his background and achievements. After brief discussion, the Chair called for a vote. The motion to approve the candidate for an honorary degree passed without dissent. The Chair reminded the body that the name of the honorary degree candidate should remain confidential until after Blackwell had presented his information to the Board of Trustees.

Jones noted that the honorary degree committee was a committee that was appointed by the President and that some faculty members serve on the committee. Jones asked through which body faculty members were appointed to this committee. Blackwell said that while she was not sure she did recall that a list had been circulated to the Dean?s for suggested nominations.

4. Academic Calendars

The Chair reminded the Senators that the motion to approve the Academic Calendars was already on the floor by virtue of the positive recommendation from the Senate Council. He asked if there was any need for discussion. There being none, the motion passed without dissent.

5. Items from the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee

The Chair noted that the chair of the committee could not attend to present the items. Clauter, one of the committee members, said that all of the items received the unanimous recommendation for approval of the committee. The Chair added that each item had the positive recommendation of the Senate Council and was on the floor for discussion.

SR (PDF): Jones asked for a clarification as to which language will be forwarded to the Rules and Elections Committee for codification. The Chair said that the underlined language on page 21 of the handout would be included in the charge to the committee. There being no further discussion the Chair called for a vote. The motion to approve passed without dissent.

College of Nursing Enrollment Cap (PDF): Grossman noted that the sunset clause approved by the Senate Council was not included as part of either the presentation or the packet. He asked the Senators to be aware that the Senate Council had added a clause that the cap be approved for three years, after which Nursing would need to petition the Senate Council and the Senate if it wished the cap to continue. The Chair thanked Grossman for the correction. He noted that the Senate Council had also requested evidence that the faculty of the college supported the proposal and that such evidence had since been provided.

Kraemer wondered why Nursing used a "first come, first serve" process rather than examining the merits of the applicants to pre-Nursing. Brockopp noted that selective criteria had been utilized in the past but added that first-year students often changed their minds about their majors after attempting the pre-Nursing curriculum. She noted the need for a 200-person cap was that the required course Anatomy and Neurophysiology only held 200 people. She added that only 80 students gain admission to the Nursing program annually.

Grossman said he would have voted against the proposal had the sunset clause not been instituted. He added that other colleges besides Nursing were facing increased enrollment and limited resources, but noted that other colleges were not permitted to institute caps. He said the intention of the Senate Council was to include a sunset so that Nursing might be able to find a way, over the next three years, to accommodate more students.

There being no further discussion a vote was taken. The motion to approve was passed without dissent.

Masters Time-to-Degree proposal (PDF): Blackwell outlined the current appeal process and explained the key points of the proposal. The Chair noted that if approved the proposal would be implemented for new students admitted January 2006. Jackson said it would actually be effective for Fall 2005. Ms. Scott offered her apologies for the error. Edgerton asked what percentage of students will be impacted by the change in policy. Blackwell replied that between two and three percent of students apply for time extensions. There being no further discussion a vote was taken. The motion to approve passed without dissent.

Conditional Admission Proposal (PDF): The Chair noted that if approved the status of both tentative and provisional admissions would be combined into one single conditional admission status. There being no discussion a vote was taken. The motion passed without dissent.

The Chair thanked the members of the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for their excellent work.

6. Items from the Academic Organization and Structure Committee

Bailey presented the items as Chair of the committee.

Proposal to change Department of Orthopedics to Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (PDF): Bailey said that after the department was created from the former division the department decided to change back the spelling to the former spelling. He reported that due to the minor nature of the change the items was not routed through the committee but was decided at the Senate Council after appropriate justification for the request was received. There being no further discussion a vote was taken. The motion to approve was passed without dissent.

Proposal to create a Cardiovascular Research Center (PDF): Bailey said the committee had met and discussed the proposal with Drs. Watt and Dougherty. He said the underlying principle of the proposal was that a critical mass of interest and research in the area, as well as faculty with expertise, existed to merit the creation of the Center. Bailey said his committee had contacted a number of individuals in an effort to detect dissent, including the director of the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, but had been unable to detect any opposition to the proposal. Dougherty said the University has become a powerhouse in the field of cardiovascular research and said the creation of the Center would help recruit faculty and grants, would stimulate clinical research and would facilitate faculty and fellowship development. There being no discussion, a vote was taken. The motion to approve was passed without dissent.

7. Item from Academic Programs Committee

Item from Academic Programs Committee (PDF)

Grossman presented the item as committee Chair. He said the committee found compelling rationale in terms of recruiting students and faculty, did not detect any resistance to the proposal, and found that the issue of resources had been addressed. He noted that the committee recommended approval, as did the Senate Council. Albisetti asked if the proposal created a department or just a program. The Chair replied that a new program would exist if the proposal was approved. There being no further discussion a vote was taken. The motion to approve was passed without dissent.

8. Proposed expansion of the Honors Program

Proposed expansion of the Honors Program (PDF)

The Chair invited Kern, as chair of the committee, to present the proposal. Kern said she was joined by Durant and Greissman in case the Senators had any questions for them. She noted the faculty committee was interdisciplinary in nature and had the task of considering how to expand the curriculum of the already excellent current program while creating opportunity for more faculty members to be involved. Kern said the committee spent the Fall semester considering the benchmark data and had then worked with faculty members around campus to obtain new proposals for curricular development. She said the proposal had been vetted through the USP committee, Educational Policy Council of the College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Council and Senate Council before coming to the University Senate. She said the basic proposal was to approve the change in structure to allow students the receipt of the honors program citation by fulfilling either the current sequence of courses or the proposed sequence. She said it was this basic addition of alternate sequences that she was asking the University Senate to approve.

Durant said the committee had worked quickly and well, adding that it kept many parts of the current Honors program intact. He added it was important to have the classes in the sequences linked to each other and said it was vital that they be interdisciplinary in nature involving small classes with active learning. He said the same sorts of USP requirements would be fulfilled by completion of the proposed sequence.

Yates asked if the proposed expansion would mean that more students would be admitted to the program and, if so, how many students and by whom would they be taught. Durant responded that at first enrollment would not be increased. He said the expansion of the program would likely mean an increase in the number of full-time faculty who could teach in the program.

Kern said her committee had identified and approved four tracks to begin as pilot tracks next year. She said they were World Food Issues, Nanotechnology and Culture, Social Sciences and a track called Space, Place and Culture. She noted the interdisciplinary nature of the four tracks and said they will involve faculty and students from a variety of different colleges. She anticipated that as the program expanded more faculty members would forward additional tracks for consideration. Kern added that course proposals and changes should be forthcoming and in place by Fall 2006 with the idea that the pilot courses should run and be assessed for a full year before permanent changes were presented. She said the courses and changes would be vetted through the usual process.

Albisetti spoke against the proposal, noting that it had its origins with the Provost rather than with the program faculty and expressed concern that if the program was expanded its faculty would not feel a sense of community. He expressed concern about the small size of the tracks, suggesting that there were not enough sections to accommodate student schedules. He said the proposed expansion seemed like another instance of work speed-up backed by the Provost and said he found the idea of teaching in Honors as an overload assignment offensive. Durant said that he and the committee had already thought about these issues and that there wouldn?t be any overload assignments at least during the first iteration of the expansion.

Greissman responded to Albisetti, noting that the Provost had backed this initiative after two successive program reviews by faculty recommended an expansion of the Honors Program. He added that two program reviews in a row have said that while the current Honors Program is a hallmark of undergraduate education at the University it should favorably consider an expansion to evolve into a four-year course of study and expand beyond the usual humanities curriculum. Greissman said the Provost should be applauded for paying such detailed attention to the faculty suggestions during those two program reviews. The Chair agreed, noting that the enthusiasm among faculty was much more wide-spread than it might have been if the proposal was simply a Provost?s initiative.

Kraemer spoke in favor of the proposal, saying that it is a good idea. He suggested it will benefit students, will be an excellent recruiting tool for both faculty and students, will provide faculty with increased opportunities to participate in the program and will increase the percentage of Honors courses taught by full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Jennings noted that if an idea has substantial merits then a discussion over its origin is rather fruitless and absurd. He added that he supported the proposal and felt it would benefit the University. The Chair thanked Jennings for his perspective and noted that part of his job as chair was to allow opportunity for all perspectives to be heard, adding that while the origins of a truth are not important in the sciences there is no such thing as a "genetic fallacy" in academic politics.

There being no further discussion the Chair called for a vote. Yates abstained and Albisetti and Gabel voted against the motion to approve, which passed.

9. Proposed changes to the ARs regarding Post-Doctoral appointments

Proposed changes to the ARs regarding Post-Doctoral appointments (PDF)

The Chair reported that due to some last-minute concerns from two administrators the item had been withdrawn. He said that if the concerns resulted in any changes to the proposal it would be reviewed by the Senate Council one more time before being forwarded to the University Senate.

Other Business

The Chair reminded the Senators that the date of the next meeting had been changed due to Spring Break. The University Senate will meet on Monday, March 7, 2005 instead of March 14. Further announcements regarding location will be forthcoming.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:15.

Respectfully submitted by Ernie Bailey
Chair, Senate Council

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on Friday, February 25, 2005.