ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:         March 6, 2003

 

PRESENT:    George Benedict                               Doug Brown

                  Sandie Rietz                                    Audrey ConnerRosberg

                  George Madden                               Keith Edgerton

                  Alan Davis                                     Connie Landis

                  Matt Redinger

                  Janie Park (ex-officio)                        Dan Zirker (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:     Paul Bauer – excused                         Randall Gloege – excused

                  Mark Hardt – excused

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

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

                  Nichole Alley (ex-officio)                    Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                  Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:36 p.m. on March 6, 2003, in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

 

The February 27, 2003, meeting minutes were approved.

 

I.       NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  “T” Grades – Karen Everett.  Ms. Everett stated that a “T” grade for graduate students and an “I” grade for undergraduate students impact financial aid the same way.  The grade counts against the student because to receive aid, a student must pass 67% of attempted credit hours.  An “I” or “T” reduces the number of passing credits, so students could possibly be suspended from financial aid.  Ms. Everett also noted that a “T” grade for grad students has a limit of 6 years, and an “I” grade for undergrad students has a limit of 1 year to complete.  The proposal (Item 47) does not list a time limit, just that the work must be completed by graduation, which can take 10 years.  A more specific time limit is needed.

 

It was noted that originally “T” grades were for thesis students.  Not many programs require a thesis anymore.

 

It was stated that if an “I” or “T” is given, the student should be informed of all the implications.

 

It was cited that the “I” grade is abused on this campus.  A benchmark should be set as to how much work should be done in a course before the “I” grade is ever given.

 

Ms. Everett noted that when a faculty member gives an “I,” a form is sent to the faculty member.  It is basically a contract for the student explaining what the student must do to complete the course.  A copy of this contract sent to the student, the faculty member and  kept on file in the Office of Admissions and Records so the student can reference it if needed.

 

Ms. Everett stated that when a student has an “I” in a 496 course (a Co-op course for internships), it is a red flag for Financial Aid that there is probably a very good reason the student did not finish.  Financial Aid crosschecks with Career Services and Cooperative Education to verify the reasons behind the “I” grade.

 

The question was then raised as to the utility of the “T” grade for undergrads since it has the same results as an “I” grade.

 

It was noted that if a student has an internship that runs from October to March, they can register in either fall or spring, depending on when the most hours of work are being done.  The flat spot can be “worked” to fit the student’s credit load, so the student does not have to pay extra for the internship.  Ms. Everett noted that at the University of Montana, if a student has an internship that runs across two semesters, the student must pay for it in both semesters.

 

It was noted that the problem with the “I” grade is that it is not always awarded for a good reason.

 

Keith Edgerton stated that he would withdraw this Item.  The Senate thanked him for his efforts.

 

II.      ITEMS – FIRST READING

 

Item 47  “T” Grade for Advanced Undergraduates - Resolution from the Academic Senate, dated 2/27/03.

 

Withdrawn.

 

 

Item 45  STAT 541 Applied Statistics.  Change course description – online only course.

 

It was noted that this course is a beginning course for graduate students if they have not had Statistics as an undergraduate student.  This is a research methods course.

 

It was noted that if the campus is trying to combine courses that duplicate across campus, this may be one of them.  EDF 501 is offered in the College of Education and Human Services, and is essentially the same course.  It was also noted that if STAT 541 is offered only online, EDF 501 may not need to be offered online, or not offered solely online.

 

It was noted that STAT 541 is mainly for Master’s in Health Administration students.

 

It was cited that perhaps the University Budget Committee should be looking at this course and others like it.  It was cited that all the graduate and undergraduate research methods courses are well-enrolled courses.

 

Ž Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Audrey ConnerRosberg to approve Item 45 on first reading.

 

Ž Motion carried with 2 abstentions.

 

It was noted that there is a problem on campus with faculty who think they “own” courses.

 

Ž Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Doug Brown to waive second reading of Item 45.

 

Ž Motion carried, 7 for, 2 against.

 

III.     MORE NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  Streamlining Academic Senate Forms, Continued Discussion.

It was noted that eventually all courses will have to submit outcomes assessment for Northwest, so the outcomes matrix that was developed by the Gen Ed Committee could be attached to the New Course Form.

 

It was stated that the resource question should be re-written so more information is requested.  It was cited that the special fees question should also ask what the fee is for.

 

It was noted that the questions on the form and the outcomes matrix together cover everything that is in a syllabus.  A syllabus need not be attached.

 

It was noted that having a syllabus on file helps a course maintain continuity.  It was stated that syllabi should be kept on file in departments, not at the Senate level.

 

Ž Motion by George Madden, seconded by Matt Redinger to delete the syllabus attachment from the New Course Proposal Form.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

It was noted that most departments do not have a curriculum committee, so that signature line should be deleted from the form.

 

It was then noted that the signature line for the Dean could be deleted.  Janie Park, Provost, then stated that if the Dean’s line were deleted, she would still send the Items back to the Deans because she needs their input before approving or disapproving a course.

 

It was cited that as a matter of courtesy, the Dean should see the changes coming out of his or her own college.  It was also cited that the Dean signing or not signing does not stop an Item from progressing through the committees.  It was stated that if a Dean objects to a proposal, he or she should bring that objection to the Academic Senate.

 

It was also noted that this form should be called a New Course Proposal Form, rather than a New Course Approval Form.

 

It was also noted that with the addition of this line to the form:

All faculty and departmental chairs (or their designates) who propose new courses must attend the appropriate committee meetings to advocate the course or to answer any questions about the new course that might arise.

All chairs should know that if they (or their designates) do not attend, their Items will not be passed.

 

It was stated that the originating faculty member should have a signature line.

 

It was cited that the Dean’s signature line could say “reviewed” rather than “recommended.”

 

Dr. Edgerton stated that he will further revise this form with the Senate’s suggestions, and will bring it back next week for further discussion.

 

B.  Academic Computing and Allied Technology Committee Brief Report – Matt Redinger.  Dr. Redinger stated that the Committee met last Friday (February 28) to discuss Online issues.  He noted that the Committee decided to get some more information from the Online Program.  The Committee was surprised to learn that they have had information on the Online Program for quite some time, and until the Committee asked for it, no one had ever requested the information.

 

The Committee also noted that issues such as class size, quality, and oversight of the program are the same issues that all other programs and departments deal with.  It would be unfair to have special requirements for the Online Program.

 

As to student services, the Committee learned that all student services are available to online students except for Student Opportunity Services, and they are overwhelmed with on-campus students right now.

 

The Committee spoke with Randy Rhine, Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning, regarding courses offered solely online that are required in programs.  He stated that the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning does not advocate this practice, but it’s fundamentally a departmental concern.

 

The Committee noted that online course evaluations should be equal to on-campus course evaluations for Rank and Tenure purposes.  Currently, the Collective Bargaining Agreement does not allow online course evaluations to be utilized.  Dr. Park noted that work has begun on including online evaluations in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the process is not yet finished.  Dr. Park stated that she will bring materials relating to the change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to the next Senate meeting.

 

C.  Advising Problem

It was stated that someone (it is not known who) in the College of Education and Human Services is telling students that they must use the requirements of the current catalog, rather than the catalog they began under, for graduation requirements (which is incorrect).  Several students, especially graduate students, are very upset and are considering bringing a lawsuit against the University for breach of contract.  Dr. Park stated she will look into the problem.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:09 p.m.

 

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