ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:         January 29, 2004

 

PRESENT:    Debbie Schoenfeld                            Sandie Rietz

                  Paul Bauer                                      Audrey ConnerRosberg

                  Keith Edgerton                                Randall Gloege

                  Alan Davis                                     Connie Landis

                  Matt Redinger

                  Janie Park (ex-officio)                        Amanda Mears (ex-officio)

                  Victor Sargent (ex-officio)

                 

ABSENT:     St. John Robinson                            

                  Mary Susan Fishbaugh – excused           Mark Hardt – excused

 

                  John Cech (ex-officio)                        Joe Michels (ex-officio)

                  Randy Rhine (ex-officio)                     George White (ex-officio)

                  Dan Zirker (ex-officio)                       Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                  Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

GUESTS:     Shelley Van Atta                              Karen Everett

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:38 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

 

The minutes of January 22 were accepted as presented.

 

I.       Introduction – Shelley Van Atta, Director, University Relations

 

Ms. Van Atta said that she was delighted to be working here at MSU-Billings.  Previously, she worked at Rocky for 17 years, and her favorite part was working with faculty.  She noted that if you have any interesting stories in your department, be they students or faculty, please let her know so we can get the word out.  She also likes to send articles to the newspapers of students’ hometowns, because they always get printed.  Finally, she noted that she uses the Associated Press style in her writing, which sometimes calls for unusual usages that may look odd to the faculty.  If you have questions about anything she does, please call her at 2268 or visit.

 

II.       Senate Membership

 

Keith Edgerton stated that we have a new temporary Senator, Debbie Schoenfeld, who is filling in for Doug Brown who has a class at this time this semester.  Ms. Schoenfeld stated that she teaches business law and tax.  The Senate welcomed her.

 

Dr. Edgerton also stated that George Madden has resigned from the Senate.  He stated that he has many projects going right now, and did not want to give the Senate a partial effort.  Mary Susan Fishbaugh will be filling out his term, which runs until the end of this semester.

 

III.     DISCUSSION/ACTION

 

A.  Time Block for Faculty, Fall 2005:  Karen Everett, Registrar

 

Ms. Everett noted that the Senate had suggested some times last semester.  The later in the day they are, the less conflict there is.

all times on Tuesday afternoons; includes the COT

2:30 to 4:00 – 49 classes

3:40 to 5:10 – 13 classes

4:00 to 5:30 – 2 classes

 

Keith Edgerton noted that the reserved time block would be for formal or informal meetings, but faculty don’t have to schedule meetings at that time.  This scheduling is to make faculty meetings easier to hold.

 

Ž Motion by Randall Gloege, seconded by Sandie Rietz to designate Tuesdays at 3:40 pm to 5:00 pm as a sacrosanct faculty meeting time wherein no classes will be scheduled, starting Fall 2005.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

B.  Audit Policy:  Karen Everett, Registrar

Item 28  Audit Policy – Proposal from the Academic Standards & Scholastic Standing Committee

 

Ms. Everett noted that this change is to reflect what faculty are already doing.  The current policy states that some courses such as labs and health & physical education courses cannot be audited.  However, if a faculty member signs off on a audit form, the admissions office cannot disagree.  They are trying to enforce a policy that does not exist.

 

Ms. Everett also noted that Board of Regents policy states that regular students get charged full tuition to audit a class, while non-students (community members) are charged $5 per credit.  It was cited that this seems unfair.

 

It was noted, however, that if students are in the class and are learning what is being presented, they should be charged the same as all other students.  Some audit students even take the tests and do the homework.  They just don’t want to be held accountable for a grade.  Anyone who audits a course should be charged full tuition.  It was argued that full tuition was excessive, but $5 per credit is not enough.

 

It was noted that a more careful definition of audit needs to be made.  Ms. Everett noted that an auditor is a listener only.  They should not expect the instructor to grade their homework, essays, or tests.

 

Ž Motion by Connie Landis, seconded by Audrey ConnerRosberg to approve Item 28 on first reading.

 

Ž Motion carried, 6 for, 2 against.

 

A second reading will be held after Ms. Everett can get more information about what other Universities are doing with audits.

 

C.  Finals Week Update:  Karen Everett

 

Ms. Everett noted that North West has dropped the policy of counting minutes, but the Board of Regents have taken up the policy of 64 instructional days and 4 days of finals.  This was part of the semester conversion in 1992.  Further, Financial Aid stated that we cannot get federal funding unless we have 15 weeks, including finals.  Something (a test, instruction, etc.) has to be going on that 15th week.  However, several students have noted that they are not having their finals during finals week, but the week before.

 

It was noted that because of this policy, both the students and the faculty are contractually obligated to be present during finals week.

 

It was decided that Ms. Everett should draft a memo that the Senate and Provost could send out jointly to all faculty, reminding them of the policy.  It was noted that perhaps a notice should be put in the Retort as well, so that students are aware.  It was cited that the notice could be sent to all the student clubs including the ASMSU-Billings, who could also disseminate the information.  .

 

D.  Graduate Faculty Status: Application & Criteria, and RACE/IPD Bylaws

 

It was noted that although no policies have come forward to the Academic Senate, there are rumors of new faculty members having to do the equivalent of a review to gain graduate faculty status.  This was never the policy in the past.  Usually what happened is a faculty member who was already teaching graduate courses submitted a short letter (which may have had a vita attached) requesting graduate faculty status.  This letter went up the chain, through the department chair, the dean, the Graduate Committee, the Provost, and finally the Chancellor.

 

It was noted that more criteria or a more clear process may be needed, but any change to policy must be approved by the Academic Senate, as the Graduate Committee is a standing committee of the Senate.

 

RACE Committee

It was noted that since the Academic Senate bylaws were written in 1984, the Director of Graduate Studies has been the chair of this committee.  Why was it written this way?  Does the Senate even have the power to appoint an administrator to such a position?

 

It was further noted that on the application for RACE funds, the faculty proposal has to be supported by the chair and dean.  If this is so, what is the committee for?  The chair and dean should be made aware of the faculty proposal, but the approval power should rest with the committee.

 

It was further noted that the RACE bylaws state that the committee is to advise the Director of Graduate Studies about where the funding should go, but the Director is also the chair of the committee.  That is a conflict of interest.

 

It was decided that the Senate should ask the RACE Committee what changes they would advise.

 

F.  Posting Grade Reports

 

It was stated that a report of each instructor’s average grade for each class in CEHS was sent out to all faculty in that college.  What was the point of this?

 

Dr. Park noted that we do keep such reports, but mainly they are for institutional information, and for reports to the Commissioner and the like.

 

It was noted that if such a report gets out to the students, things could get messy, since all names were listed on the report.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

 

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