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University Committee on Undergraduate Education


November 12, 2020

10:15am to 12:00pm, via ZOOM




Passcode: 849464



  1. Approval of the Agenda (Action Item)


  1. Approval of the November 5, 2020 UCUE Minutes (Action Item) Deferred to December 3 meeting


  1. Comments from the Chairperson


  1. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education


  1. Code of Conduct for Academic Advising (Discussion Item)


  1. SIRS Replacement (Subcommittee Report)

Scot Yoder, Associate Dean, Residential College in Arts & Humanities


  1. Roundtable



University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, November 12, 2020

10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., via Zoom


Passcode: 849464

Present:  Rich Bellon, Glenn Chambers, Andy Corner, Deb Dotterer, Corey Drake, Jan Eberle, Richard Enbody, Kathleen Gallo, David Gilstrap, Sejuti Das Gupta, Aubrey Hanes, Nick Knowles, Mark Largent, Gina Leinninger, Sheng-Mei Ma, Chloe Majzel, Dan Manville, Helen Mayer, Justin Micomonaco, Tom Rimer (for Antoinette Tessmer), Steve Shablin, Tyler Silvestri, Emily Tabuteau, Elizabeth Webster, Patty West, Scot Yoder


Absent: Antoinette Tessmer, Brianna Aiello, Aaron Iturralde

The agenda was approved.

Approval for the November 5 UCUE minutes was deferred until the next meeting.

Comments from the Chairperson

Chairperson Corner announced that John Ambrose will attend the December 3 UCUE meeting with a request to recommend the implementation of test optional permanently.  Last year, UCUE recommended and approved that applicants for undergraduate admission be given the option to include a score from a standardized test, rather than be required.  This is a trend at our peer institutions to make test optional.  It was approved preliminarily largely due to the fact that students were having trouble getting access to the testing.  Given the trend, we are being asked to consider this permanent.  Chairperson Corner asks that members plan to discuss this at the December 3 meeting.

 Legislation may come to UCUE from ASMSU regarding recording classes.

 Gina Leinninger agreed to sit in for Chairperson Andy Corner at the December 17 Faculty Senate meeting from 3:30 – 5:00pm since he is unable to attend. 


Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Associate Provost Largent thanked members for their work on the S/NS grading option on behalf of Provost Woodruff.  The option has been implemented for Fall and Spring.  Implementation for summer is being considered.  Other Big Ten institutions will follow the S/NS grading option.


Code of Conduct for Academic Advising (Discussion Item)

Assistant Dean Dotterer provided background and a discussion was held regarding the possibility of establishing a statement of standards by which undergraduate advisors would have to abide by. 

 Background information indicated that an original report was done in 2015.  Academic Specialists were not represented at that time in Academic Governance, however they are currently represented.  Core expectations were developed for academic advisors and were mapped back to NACADA’s core competencies.  Working groups were established for professional development for advisors. 

 A consultant was brought in from NACADA in 2017 to help develop an assessment of academic advising.  The assessment was done through the lens of a student learning experience to help develop student and advisor learning outcomes around the advising experience as well as map those to the expectations for advisor conduct.  Data is currently being gathered again and an assessment has been updated to include questions regarding remote learning.

 Assistant Dean Dotterer indicated that although many things have changed since 2017, the design of advising has not changed. Advisors are a mix of professional advising staff including faculty, centralized and de-centralized advising offices, advisors who report to department chairpersons, and advisors who report to Deans’ offices.

 Nikunj Agarwal spoke about the different types of advisors and the discrepancies throughout advising.

Associate Provost Largent indicated he is in support of a code of rights and responsibilities between students, advisors, and the institution and encouraged UCUE to move forward in ways that acknowledge rights and assign responsibilities. 

 UCUE members shared their concerns and ideas regarding the development of a Code of Academic Advising.  Discussion focused on who should be on the committee indicating that advisors are underrepresented on the committee.  Further discussion included if the work to develop a Code of Academic Advising should be returned to University Council or remain with UCUE.  It was determined the work would remain with UCUE.

 In summary, Associate Provost Largent recommended that through a subgroup, UCUE indicate that there are shortcomings throughout academic advising, articulate the shortcomings, and provide recommendations for solutions. 

 It was determined that a subgroup to include Emily Tabuteau, Justin Micomonaco, Chloe Majzel, Nikunj Agarwal, and representatives from the following offices: Academic Specialists Advisory Committee (ASAC), Assistant Dean Dotterer’s office, and Office of the Ombudsperson.  The committee’s charge is to organize and recruit members from other areas of the University to determine the state of advising on campus, associated issues, and possible recommendations for solutions.


SIRS Replacement (Subcommittee Report)

Scot Yoder, Associate Dean, Residential College in Arts & Humanities

 Associate Dean Yoder referenced the SIRS Subcommittee report dated November 12, 2020 that was shared with UCUE and thanked subcommittee members David Gilstrap, Sejuti Das Gupta, Corey Drake, and Antoinette Tessmer. 

 Associate Dean Yoder stated that in May 2020, students were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the transition to remote teaching through a supplementary survey that accompanied the SIRS process.  Associate Provost Jeff Grabill asked UCUE to incorporate modified versions of the questions used in the supplemental survey in the course evaluation process for Fall Semester 2020.  The responses gathered through the supplemental survey are intended to assist instructors in improving their remote teaching practices.  After clarification from Associate Provost Grabill, UCUE endorses the use of the supplementary survey proposed by the Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, for Fall semester 2020.

 It was noted that a new software system, Explorance Blue, will replace the current SISRS system.



 David Gilstrap stated that the Athletic Council has had two meetings were looking at a $30 million shortfall without a season, but through budget cuts, retirements, and expected television revenue, they think they will break even.

 Tyler Sylvestri discussed concerns with Faculty Senate in regard to the UCUE’S involvement with the S/NS policy.

 Associate Provost Largent stated that bylaws delegate grading policy to UCUE and S/NS is not a grading policy.  It does not change what instructors report to the Registrar’s Office (RO).  It is a grade recording policy in which the RO is charged by the Provost to record the grades that the instructors provide as the instructors provide them and add an additional layer of function to provide students the opportunity to convert those grades on a transcript to an S or automatically convert them to an NS.    The underlying grades still exist and can be represented on a transcript by the RO if a student requests.