ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
DATE: November 2, 2006
PRESENT: Agnes Samples Rakesh Sah
Bruce Brumley Audrey ConnerRosberg
Lorrie Steerey Keith Edgerton
Gershon Bulgatz Noreen Lee
Matt Redinger Janii Pedersen (student)
Alicia Esteves (student)
ABSENT: Mark Hardt – excused Sandie Rietz – excused
Johanna Mitchell – excused Craig McKenzie – excused
David Garloff (ex-officio) Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)
Mary McNally (ex-officio) John Cech (ex-officio)
Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio) Bob Carr (ex-officio)
Terrie Iverson (ex-officio) Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)
George White (ex-officio)
GUESTS: Joe Howell Steve Eliason
PRESIDING: Audrey ConnerRosberg, Chair
Audrey ConnerRosberg called the meeting to order at 3:43 p.m.
The minutes of October 26 were accepted as presented.
A. Taking Roll and Disasters: Further report from Dr. ConnerRosberg
Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that she met with Provost White to discuss the issue of taking roll, which is not required in the faculty contracts. Provost White’s response was that although taking roll is not in the contract, it is a professional obligation. He also said that there has been a problem with faculty not taking roll the first two weeks of the semester, which causes problems with the student loans. Dr. ConnerRosberg asked Judy Chapman, Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships, to attend today’s meeting and explain the problems with roll and loans.
Ms. Chapman stated that Financial Aid is an odd duck. They don’t want the faculty taking roll. However, we need to show we have a way of determining that some students did not and have not attended class. Ms. Chapman noted that the Registrar wants to know when students are not in class so that if they have dropped out of a class, the Registrar can “administratively withdraw” the student in compliance with federal regulations. Then, if there is a waiting list to get into that course, students who really need the course and will attend can get in.
Ms. Chapman noted the other problem with students signing up for classes and never attending is that they can get their refund (from their loans) before school even starts. They may never have intended to attend school, they are just working the system to get money. If a student does this and we can’t prove the student never came to class, MSU-Billings has to pay the student’s loan back to the government. The student then owes MSU-Billings and it is highly unlikely that we will collect.
Ms. Chapman noted that once we are past the first few weeks of school, Financial Aid doesn’t want you taking attendance because if the student stays part of the semester and then leaves, we have to give back more of the money.
Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that Provost White said we are losing about one faculty FTE with this drain of funds.
Ms. Chapman summarized by saying that Financial Aid would like the faculty to keep track of their students the first two weeks of school because they need to know which students never attended at all.
The student members noted that if an instructor is taking role and paying attention to his or her students, the students are more likely to attend class and make an effort to catch up if they do miss a class.
B. The UCC and Academic Senate Items for Information
It was noted that the UCC was created specifically so that the Academic Senate would not have to hear all the curriculum changes, unless there was an issue. We are now doing a review and approval twice—the UCC and the Senate.
It was noted that departments with curriculum changes should still have someone attend the Senate to shepherd through their changes. It was observed that we could ask faculty to attend a meeting if there is an issue with their curriculum changes.
It was cited that just because there are signatures on the form doesn’t mean a change is OK. A few years ago, a dean was pushing through a new program and the Senate was not aware of the lack of faculty support for the program until after the Senate approved it.
It was noted that the UCC was created to thoroughly check all curriculum changes. If the Senate begins half-way checking curriculum, it’s human nature that the UCC will become less thorough.
It was agreed that the Academic Senate will accept all curriculum changes from the UCC unless a specific issue comes up. In that case, faculty representatives for the curriculum will be asked to attend a subsequent meeting to explain.
II. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
Item 14 MATH 201 Mathematics for Elementary Education I. Change title to Fundamentals of Mathematics I.
Item 14.a MATH 202 Mathematics for Elementary Education II. Change prerequisites and change title to Fundamentals of Mathematics II.
Item 14.b COMP/MATH 305 Discrete Structures I. Change prerequisites.
Item 14.c MATH 498 Capstone Seminar. Change credits and course description.
Item 14.d BS Major in Mathematics. Modification of an existing program.
Þ Motion by Lorrie Steerey, seconded by Keith Edgerton to accept Items 14, 14.a, 14.b, 14.c, and 14.d for information.
Joe Howell, Chair of Mathematics, stated that MATH 202 was flagged as too narrow for Academic Foundations because it is only for education majors. They reworked the course and changed the title of it, as well as the prerequisite course. COMP/MATH 305 needs a computer programming perquisite. MATH 498 was a capstone requested by NCATE that was quickly thrown together with one credit. One credit has turned out to be inadequate, so Item 14.c makes it variable credits, one to three. The program modification adds the capstone course to the major, using credits that were previously electives.
Þ Motion carried.
Item 17 BA Major in Environmental Studies. Modification of an existing program.
Þ Motion by Bruce Brumley, seconded by Noreen Lee to accept Item 17 for information.
It was noted that the change seems very simple and doesn’t require discussion.
Þ Motion carried.
Item 18.e SOCL 423 Control of Crime. Change title and course description.
Item 18.f BA Major in Sociology. Modification of an existing program.
Item 18.g BS Major in Sociology. Modification of an existing program.
Item 18.h Minor in Sociology. Modification of an existing program.
Þ Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Lorrie Steerey to accept Items 18.e, 18.f, 18.g, 18.h for information.
Steve Eliason, Assistant Professor of Sociology, stated that the title of SOCL 423 has been updated to Introduction to Corrections, a more contemporary title. The course description has been changed to more accurately reflect the course. The program modifications are to include the new title of SOCL 423.
Þ Motion carried.
III. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
A. Results of COT Faculty Meeting Regarding 51% Rule
Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that she agreed to find out what the COT faculty thought of the 51% rule. They had a faculty meeting which was very poorly attended.
It was noted that this is really an issue for the COT curriculum council, not the Senate. The Senate cannot do anything with this without the COT’s action.
The Senate agreed that the issue of the 51% rule should be taken off the Senate agenda and not discussed again.
B. Academic Foundations “Celebration”
Dr. ConnerRosberg stated that Provost White would like the Senate, with the Student Senate, to plan some kind of celebration for the completion of the Academic Foundations project.
It was noted that it is not the Senate’s job to plan a party. University Relations would be a much more appropriate office to put together a celebration for Academic Foundations.
C. Meeting on November 16
Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that there is a great deal of curriculum that will be coming from the UCC. Perhaps the Senate could meet on November 16, when she is at the BOR meeting, to move some of the curriculum. The Senate agreed to meet on the 16th solely for curriculum.
The meeting adjourned at 4:32 p.m.