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University Senate Minutes - November 14, 2005

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

Absences: Alexander, Baldwin, Barker, Bartilow, Bordo*, Brown, Burchett, Butler, Calvert*, Caudill*, Cheng*, Cibulka, Cohen, Cooper*, Coyne*, Daniel, Debski*s, DeSimone, Duffy, Dwoskin*, Edgerton, Fording*, Forgue*, Gaetke*, Garen, Gesund*, Getchell, Hasselbring, Haven*, Hazard*, Hobson*, Hoch*, Hoffman, Holmes*, Hull*, Jarvis, Johnson, E., Johnson, K.*, Kalim*, Kim*, Lester, Lindlof*, Lock*, Look, Matthews, McCormick, Mobley, Mohney, Perman, Petrone, Piascik*, Portillo, Pulito, Randall*, Ray, Roberts, Roland, Shaw, Shay, Smart, Smith, D.*, Smith, S., Steltenkamp*, Straus*, Stringer*, Sudarshan, Terrell, Thompson*, Todd, Turner, S., Turner, W., Vestal, Williams, C., Williams, E., Wise, Witt, Wyatt, Zentall

*Denotes excused absence.

1. Minutes from October 10, 2005

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

2. Announcements

The Chair asked Jones for an update regarding the ongoing Senate Council voting process. Jones reviewed that the voting was to nominate six (elected, faculty) University Senators for an election to the Senate Council. Of the six names to be on the final ballot, five individuals had confirmed their willingness to serve.

The Chair offered information regarding the Joint Senate Council / Provost General Education Reform and Assessment Planning & Coordinating Committee. He shared that it was the hope of all involved to enjoy an active Spring semester of activity and a vetting of ideas. He indicated that further information would be forthcoming in Desantis? presentation.

Sheila Brothers was introduced as the new administrative coordinator of the Senate Council Office. The Chair also noted the contribution of the past administrative coordinator, Rebecca Scott.

3. College of Agriculture Name Change

College of Agriculture Name Change (PDF)

The Chair stated the proposal came forward with a positive recommendation from the Academic Organization and Structure Committee. He made reference to some issues raised on the Senate Council listserv regarding the quality of information provided to the Senate Council. Due to this information, a debate on the listserv had taken place regarding possibly removing this agenda item. The item remained.

Bailey noted that the Academic Organization and Structure Committee had reviewed the proposal and discovered it to be well-founded. Bailey noted he was not aware of any discrepancy of information on the listserv. Due to the concern, he said Dean Smith had offered to table the discussion if necessary. The Chair apologized to Bailey for not contacting him sooner regarding the issues raised on the listserv. He then noted there was a motion on the floor from the Senate Council with a positive recommendation.

Grabau inquired as to whether he could address Bailey?s concerns. Bailey noted a discussion could take place on the floor or the proposal could be tabled. The Chair stated that a conversation had taken place over the weekend to discuss the possibility of removing the College of Agriculture name change from the University Senate agenda. The Chair stressed that his concern was to lay to rest the discrepancies in information and hoped not to prejudice the proposal. He expressed appreciation for Dean Smith?s willingness to delay the consideration of the proposal if necessary.

Jones moved to table the College of Agriculture name change proposal. DeLuca seconded. The Chair requested guidance from the Parliamentarian as to how to proceed. The Parliamentarian stated that if the intent was to postpone, the motion should include a reference to time. Jones reworded his motion to move the College of Agriculture name change proposal be tabled until the next University Senate meeting. DeLuca agreed to the rewroding. The parliamentarian noted there would be no discussion. Dembo noted that the substance for tabling had yet to be brought to the floor. A vote was taken and the motion failed.

Bailey said that the College of Agriculture had considered a name change for the past few years. However, the impetus for change came when the Human Environmental Sciences College joined the College of Agriculture. It was felt that ?agriculture? did not fully encompass the activities of the college. ?Agriculture? continued to be a recurring theme, as well as ?food? due to programs involving food, and ?environment,? largely related to the recent joining with Human Environmental Sciences. Bailey noted the proposal was approved by the Agriculture Faculty Council on October 3. Bailey again expressed lack of knoweldge regarding any comments on the Senate Council listserv.

Grabau stated that he voted to table the issue to not prejudice the conversation. He noted that Senate Council?s concern was about the process involving the proposal, and the extent to which Agriculture faculty members were involved in the process. He referenced an email from Deborah Witham in which she stated she was not involved in the process by which the proposal came from the College of Agriculture, despite what had been indicated by Carla Craycraft. Via the email, Witham stated she had not been chair of any committee directly charged with the name change. Bailey noted that the routing sheet did not identify Witham as chair. Craycraft, attending from the College of Agriculture to answer questions regarding the proposal, apologized for the problem in communication. She stated that Deborah Witham had been the chair of the Agriculture Faculty Council, and Carla thought Deborah to be the lead faculty contact. The Faculty Council was asked to discuss the name change as part of the long-term strategic plan. However, Carla was unaware that Deborah had not been involved in the smaller groups making decisions about the name change. Carla apologized for the discrepancy.

Discussion commended regarding a criticism of the polls taken regarding the name change, and a statement that the Dean of Agriculture did not focus on the desires of faculty until near the end of the process.

Infanger moved to reconsider the motion to postpone. Cibull seconded. The Parliamentarian noted that such a proposal could only be entertained after intervening business. The Chair then ruled that Infanger?s motion was out of order. Cibull asked for clarification regarding whether or not the discussion could be categorized as intervening business. The Parliamentarian said it was ambiguous.

Mary Marchant, present chair of the Agriculture Faculty Council, commented that the Agriculture Faculty Council voted to accept the name change on October 3, and that three surveys were done involving faculty and staff.

Infanger moved to table the motion until the January meeting. The motion failed due to a lack of a second.

Jones noted concern that all the surveys combined faculty and staff, and that the larger numbers of staff possibly obscured the comments of faculty. Bailey reminded Jones that the Faculty Council voted to approve the name change, and that other groups were consulted. In response to Jones, Bailey clarified that the Faculty Council did not poll the faculty. Thelin commented that there was quite a bit of ambiguity regarding the choices of names presented and not presented. Jones recalled that the Faculty Council only had the opportunity for a ?yes? or ?no? vote on one proposed name.

Bailey referred to his past experience on the Academic Organization and Structure Committee and noted the committee checked to see if faculty had been offered a chance to approve or reject the name. He noted that the discussion was currently focusing on the process by which the name was chosen. Bailey stated that rejecting the name change due to concern regarding the surveys was inappropriate.

Craycraft added that many suggestions were offered, some suggesting keeping the current name. Many people stated that if the name had to change, "agriculture" should continue to be a part of it. The other words mentioned most frequently were ?food? and "environment." She noted that there had been many methods by which faculty could have voiced their opinions.

Burkhardt stated that the University Senate should only be concerned with knowing if the Agriculture Faculty Council followed their process. She noted that it appeared they did. She called the question. Infanger seconded. The vote carried.

The Chair then took a vote regarding the motion from the Academic Organization and Structure Committee in favor of changing the name of the College of Agriculture to the College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The motion carried.

The Chair thanked the Senate for its efforts, and noted that he would defer agenda item number three (?Department of Geology Name Change?) because Alan Desantis had a seminar to present at 4:30 pm.

4. Synopsis of External Review Committee Report

The Chair welcomed Alan Desantis. The Chair said that while the University Studies Program had not undergone any formalized assessment since its formulation in the mid-80s, it had been adjusted through incremental changes. The University Self Study Committee, chaired by Lori Gonzalez, submitted a USP Self Study report. This report was used by the USP External Review Committee, chaired by Desantis. As an opportunity for new possibilities in general education reform, the Chair hoped it would catalyze discussion. He said recommendations for improvement would be collated and reported on in an addendum to the USP External Review Committee. The Chair stated that any new proposals for revising the general education program would be debated in the University Senate and the final resolution would also occur in the University Senate.

Desantis began his presentation (PPT) by thanking the members of the USP External Review Committee. He explained that there was a good representation of different academic areas on the committee. Desantis shared that the USP External Review Committee generated a series of guidelines to serve as a springboard. It was a good opportunity to articulate the mission for all undergraduates. The USP had endured the addition and subtraction of various classes, leading to a lack of cohesiveness in USP. The committee came up with five learning outcomes they believed were essential for graduating students: 1. understanding their place and purpose in their world; 2. engaging in the process of inquiry and reflection; 3. thinking from multidisciplinary perspectives; 4. meeting the new demands and challenges of life in the 21st century; and 5. discovering and examining the ambiguity of human knowledge.

Desantis noted that the exploration committee (Joint Provost / Senate Council General Education Reform and Assessment Planning and Coordinating Committee, or GERA) must engender campus respect and trust, and foster campus-wide participation seeking out all faculty members. He stated the need for a strong ?top-down? leadership to push people into participatory change, and pledged support for a reward system for faculty members who commit time and energy to undergraduate education reform. He hoped there would be no harm done to graduate programs depending upon teaching assistants funded by USP. He finished by noting that realistic and honest levels of funding need to be set aside to see the issue through.

The Chair thanked Desantis for his presentation. He then asked Phil Kraemer to say a few words. Kraemer thanked the committee. He referenced an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that detailed the success of undergraduate education reform at Duke University, and a failure at Rice University. He shared information about his recent trip to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the description of their process. He stated an emphasis on the process and involving as many faculty members as possible. He hoped it would move as quickly as possible, but said adjusting the speed could be necessary to prevent change from being the primary goal. Change was just the beginning point, a laying out of foundational goals. He defined UK?s planning and coordinating committee, GERA, as a mechanism for discussion. Faculty members involved were not just those involved in teaching undergraduates and stated a desire to attain a stage where individuals have confidence in the reform, knowing that the concept was worth having.

The Chair said that there was a consensus among administrators and faculty leadership that this was the last, best chance to undertake significant reform of the general education core. He requested that University Senate members and all faculty rise to the occasion. If the opportunity is missed, with significant turnover in the upper levels of administration, a golden opportunity to significantly better and improve the overall undergraduate program will be lost.

Catherine Martin requested the reform address establishing a connectivity throughout a student?s four years, and also that it include instruction about freshman vulnerabilities, such as alcohol.

5. Department of Geology Name Change

Department of Geology Name Change (PDF)

The Chair introduced this item by commenting that the Senate Council had previously recommended a name change to Geology, which was soundly rejected by that department. He noted some early trepidation by the Senate Council regarding the word ?environment? and its use in other areas, which had since diminished. The proposal came to the Senate Council with a positive recommendation, and it was going to the University Senate, also, with a positive recommendation.

Bailey explained the discipline was evolving to accept Earth as a system. The concern was that the term ?geology? was associated with the destruction of the land. This association was not attractive to either students or faculty members. Agriculture, Biology and Chemistry were all consulted, but Medicine was not. The Chair noted a positive recommendation from the committee to change the name to ?Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences,? and called for a vote on the proposal. The motion passed.

6. Academic Offenses

The Chair introduced the agenda item by saying that the issue had been discussed in the Senate Council. In an attempt to reconcile differences and find common ground, the item was brought to the full Senate for discussion only to solicit opinions and views on the proposal as a whole, and also on specific, key issues. He stated the Senate Council would consider the issue further after comments by the University Senate and would bring a recommendation to the University Senate at a future meeting.

As chair of the Academic Offenses ad hoc committee, Grossman began by thanking the members of the committee for all the many, many meetings and email discussions. The Committee first did a comparison with benchmark institutions and noted that only two universities did not leave discretion for punishment for a first offense with the instructor. Grossman commented that many individuals identified a variety of problems with the current academic offenses system, specifically the minimum penalty of E for cheating. He went on to say that many faculty members were not willing to require an E for an offense, and that many faculty members were not following the current rules in order to avoid becoming entangled in UK bureaucracy. He explained, however, that ?under-the-table? arrangements could infringe upon a student?s rights and the student?s freedom to utilize the University Appeals Board. Grossman also noted an example in which an offender accepts an unofficial punishment over and over again with different instructors, and thus never being recognized as a repeat offender.

Grossman gave a presentation (PPT) that showed the current and proposed rules.

Dean Johnson and Grossman debated the text of the current rule as it applies to the minimum penalty. Kraemer questioned whether there could be extenuating circumstances for receiving an E.

Connie Wood asked for clarification regarding removal of an E by repeat option. Since the new rule allows for an XE to change to an E, can the E then be removed by repeat option? Grossman replied that it can. Wood noted concern about this, stating that there are situations involving egregious offenses where an E should not be removed. Tagavi clarified that the E was not removed from the transcript, but only removed from the GPA calculation. Wood stated there were certain situations in which the instructor might want to specify that the E is not to be removed from the GPA.

Grossman stated that removing the E by repeat option does not remove the grade from the transcript. He noted that there are reasons for XE designation. For example, if a student fails a course and retakes it without the repeat option, someone looking at the transcript could think the E was due to cheating. It is extremely difficult to identify an E given for cheating. Grossman explained that was the point behind proposing the removal of the automatic reduction from XE to E.

Tagavi stated that the proposed change to the rules does not allow the University Appeals Board to review penalties less than an E unless they are grossly disproportionate. If the department Chair and the University Appeals Board believe the penalty should be decreased, under the proposed rule the instructor can demand the punishment remain the same. Currently, if the chair and instructor disagree, the chair's recommendation prevails.

Janet Eldred expressed concern that teaching assistants and part-time instructors would be raised to the level of authority of instructors. Additionally, she suggested voting on the entire document as opposed to voting on individual issues. Grossman indicated that in cases dealing with a teaching assistant or part-time instructor, the authority for deciding punishment could lie with the next higher level authority. Eldred wondered if the Academic Offenses committee felt that the specific issues could be approved separately, or if the entire proposal should be voted on as a whole. Grossman replied that it depended on the issue. The jurisdiction issue could be separated out rather easily, but other specific items were integral to the rule as a whole. Eldred requested a statement from the committee addressing the integral parts. Grossman stated he would ask the committee. Grossman also indicated that his comments during the discussion were his opinion, and not necessarily those of the committee as a whole.

Dean Blackwell asked if the committee had solicited the opinion of the University Appeals Board. Grossman replied that the committee had requested input and opinions since last February, and that very few responses had come. The responders had not identified themselves as University Appeals Board members. Additionally, the committee requested input from the current chair of the University Appeals Board and past Ombuds. He said comments from the Ombuds were divided.

Schach, a former Ombud and University Appeals Board member, stated his primary concern dealt with a level playing field for students. He also expressed concern with the punishment issue moving to lower levels of authority. Schach noted that while the current rule inadvertently encourages under-the-table dealings, the proposed rule would legitimize this type of practice. Many under-the-table negotiations were good compromises, since the evidence of cheating might not have stood up in a court of law. Schach also opposed allowing a student to redo an assignment if caught cheating. He thought that if the proposed rule was approved as currently written, the University Appeals Board would hear greater numbers of cases in which the student appeals the minimum sanction. He urged University Senate members to think about a level playing field from the perspective of the student.

Waldhart spoke to the intent to improve the current rule. She stated that the only way to find out the consequences of an action was to try it. The proposed rule should be voted on as a whole package, and any problems that are discovered after implementation could be fixed after the fact. If someone has a problem with certain components, that person should simply vote against the proposal.

Grossman addressed Schach?s comments, referring to comments made to him personally by Randall Roorda, director of the freshman writing program. Grossman stated Roorda was very much in favor of allowing a student to redo an assignment. Grossman noted that a punishment of redoing an assignment would be recorded. He stated the proposed rule was better than the current rule, and would allow instructors to obey the regulations and do the right thing by imposing an appropriate penalty.

Debra Anderson asked for clarification ? in the past a ?zero? on an assignment would not be recorded anywhere. Would it be recorded under the proposed rule? Grossman responded that it would be, the hope being that there would no longer be any motivation for negotiations on either side. Tagavi disagreed, stating informal agreements would not go away, and would still not be formally recorded. He said the motivation of the student to accept informal deals is so that the offense would not be recorded in the student?s records. Tagavi added that the cornerstone of the academic offenses rule was to afford students review by an impartial and unbiased panel. Under the proposed rule, the instructor, being intimately involved and passionate about the issue, would be the entity deciding the punishment. He urged the University Senate to not encroach on the University Appeals Board?s authority to decide on proper penalties.

Noting the time, the Chair thanked Grossman and the entire Senate for a lively interchange.

7. College of Engineering Admissions Proposal

College of Engineering Admissions Proposal (PPT)

The Chair noted that the proposal intended to amend the freshman minimum admission requirements. It was sent to the University Senate with a positive recommendation. The Chair explained that the Provost was invited to attend the Senate Council meeting at which this was discussed. At the Senate Council meeting, Provost spoke regarding the continued proliferation of higher education admission policies that differ from those of UK in general. The Senate Council created an internal policy for all new selective admissions proposals which will require the accompaniment of the Provost?s assessment of the impact of the proposal. For this particular proposal, the Provost did not believe it would offer any significant impact.

The Chair noted the College of Engineering admissions proposal was on the floor with a positive recommendation from the Senate Council. A vote was taken on the motion and the motion passed.

With no further business to attend to, the meeting was adjourned at 5:16 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Kaveh Tagavi
Secretary, University Senate

Prepared by Sheila Brothers on Thursday, November 17, 2005.