ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
DATE: February 28, 2013
PRESENT: Scott Murray Stephen Eliason
Don Larsen Sandie Rietz
Susan Gilbertz Craig McKenzie
Francisco Saldivar Debra Johnson
Mark Hardt Bruce Brumley
Patricia Vettel-Becker Isaiah Garrison (student)
Diane Duin (ex-officio) Marsha Riley (ex-officio)
David Gurchiek (ex-officio)
ABSENT: Barb Pedula* Doug Brown*
Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio) Mike Campbell (ex-officio)
Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio)* Mark Pagano (ex-officio)*
Matt Redinger (ex-officio)* Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)
Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)
GUESTS: Cheri Johannes David Craig
PRESIDING: Bruce Brumley, Chair
Bruce Brumley called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.
The minutes of January 31 were accepted as presented.
I. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
Item 43 Common Course Numbering: COMT to COMX, JRNL, and FILM.
Ž Motion by Sandie Rietz, seconded by Mark Hardt to accept Item 43 for information.
Ž Motion carried.
Item 8 BA Major in Music Teaching Licensure Option. Modification to an existing program.
Item 8.a Minor in Music. Modification to an existing program.
Ž Motion by Steve Eliason, seconded by Scott Murray to accept Items 8 and 8.a for information.
Ž Motion carried.
II. ITEM – SECOND READING
Item 40 Draft Credit Hour Policy. (Second draft)
It was noted that Bozeman learned we were forming a credit hour policy and decided there should be a policy for all four units of MSU. So, we have to put our policy on hold for now. Also, the Provost has some additions he would like to make to the policy, but he is out of town today.
III. ITEMS – FIRST READING
Item 40.a Grade Appeal Procedure. (Moving procedure from Student Affairs to Academic Affairs)
Item 40.b Campus Hearing Committee Guidelines/Format.
Item 40.c Campus Hearing Committee Hearing Guidelines/Format for Grade Appeals.
These items will be postponed until Vice Provost Redinger is in attendance.
Item 39 Fresh Start Policy. Change to minimum credits completed at MSUB for non-BA/BS students, by the Academic Standards & Scholastic Standing Committee.
This policy has not yet been reviewed by the Academic Standards & Scholastic Standing Committee, so it will also be postponed.
IV. COMMITTEE REPORTS
The Provost Council has been discussing possible new graduate degrees, and our new Director of Graduate Studies, David Craig, has been meeting with program directors. They are working on a questionnaire and a market survey.
The Executive Budget Council has been working on possible cuts to our budget, but they will all depend on the legislature as well as decisions made by the University Budget Committee.
At Cabinet, a discussion of the fee for online courses took place. As a result, the fee of $40 per credit for online courses has been reduced to $20 per credit beginning this semester. However, there has been discussion of modifying this fee so that all students pay it. It would be a mandatory fee of less than $20 and would be paid by all students because all courses have the option to use the D2L shell, and many face-to-face classes do, if only to post grades. It was noted that the students do support this fee, but it requires Board of Regents approval.
V. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
A. Drop Policy: How it is Implemented and Effect on Half-Semester Courses
Cheri Johannes, Registrar, noted that our current policy states students can drop themselves with no penalty whatsoever the first 15 days of the semester. After the 15th day, students need permission to drop and some kind of grade will be assigned and put on the transcript, whether it is a “W” or even an “F” if the faculty member so chooses. From the 15th day to 7 weeks into the semester, students must formally drop the course with Admissions & Records. From 7 weeks to the end of the term—before finals week—students must use the green signature form and get both instructor and advisor permission.
It was noted that one issue is, if some faculty allow students to drop a course the day before finals week with no good reason, should we even have the signature authorization process? Shouldn’t we just allow students to drop whenever they want, with the only penalty being financial?
It was cited that the idea of completion-based funding has been brought up. If we end up with more students dropping courses because instructor authorization is no longer required, we may lose funding.
Regarding half-semester and summer courses, Dr. Johannes stated that with courses starting at different times, there are a lot of policies to comply with, including U.S. Department of Education rules. To keep from having a huge number of drop-dates for a huge number of course schedules, they have elected to choose one date for several course schedules. Therefore, it is possible a student taking a 5 week course and a 10 week course would have the same drop-date for both. Dr. Johannes has a form for students to sign which walks them through all the possible educational and financial implications of withdrawing from a course after the “official 15th day of the semester” because their class started late. The only real way for half-semester courses to work smoothly is to make the entire program half-semester courses.
B. Report from Committee: Courses without an Academic Home, including courses from former CPSLL
David Craig, Director of the Honors Program, stated that our University Honors Program is similar to Bozeman and Missoula. There are some courses specifically in the Honors program, our “HON” courses, and some other courses that are department-based and carry those departments’ rubrics. The question is, who should be vested with control of the HON courses? The Honors Council is doing that now, and they unanimously recommend that they be vested with control of the HON courses.
Dr. Craig stated that what makes them honors courses is the difficult part. An Honors Program’s credibility is from the value added to a student’s experience. We are in compliance with the guidelines of what an Honors program is supposed to be, but the guidelines are very broad.
It was noted that the Honors Council and the Honors program could be treated like a department. Curriculum proposals would come from the Council, through Dr. Craig, and to the UCC for review.
The question was raised as to what is happening with the other “homeless courses” pointed out by Provost Pagano. It was noted that the task force charged with finding a home for these courses is bringing them to the Senate piecemeal because each group of courses is in a very different situation. The part today is only the honors courses.
Dr. Craig noted that he hopes to develop City College honors courses as well, which means he needs representatives from City College on the Honors Council.
It was agreed that the Senate does not have to decide anything on these courses today.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.