Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎1999-2000‎ > ‎

2000 - 01/13

UCAP Meeting of 01/13/2000


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, January 13, 2000
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 11 & December 2 Meetings (Attachments)

3. Comments from the Chairpersons

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Integrative Studies: Transcollegiate Course Requirement – Clarification (Attachment)

6. Teaching Awards Report – Follow-up Issue

7. Establishment of Short-term Sub-committees:
    a. calendar issue – possible mid-fall semester break
    b. new grade marker – distinguish between “earned” 0.0 and no-shows
    c. joint UGC/UCC sub-committee on final examinations outside of finals week

8. Public SIRS

9. Roundtable


Attachments: Meeting Minutes of November 11 and December 2
Academic Program Catalog Entry for Transcollegiate Course Requirement

Please phone or E-Mail Robin Pline (353-5380; if you cannot be present.

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 01/27/2000

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 01/13/2000

Approved 1/27/00
University Committee on Academic Policy
January 13, 2000
10:15 – 12:00

Present: Kathryn Baker, Eric Bonten, Howard Bossen, Joseph Chartkoff, Rachel Fisher, Cindy Gibbons, David Imig, Fred Jacobs, Kurt Lausman, Gerald Osborn, Tony Roath, Jon Sticklen, Winston Wilkinson

Others: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost)

1. The agenda was approved.

2. The minutes from November 11, 1999 were approved as amended. Winston Wilkinson noted that item 3 under the basic recommendations for the laptop proposal should read “by a requirement to be described as soon as possible…”

The minutes from December 2, 1999 were approved.

3. Chairpersons’ comments:

Fred Jacobs summarized the most recent meeting of the ECAC:
    a) There may be an active review of graduate programs which have no students or very few students. Currently, 80 of 239 graduate programs have had zero or one graduate in the past 5 years. The UGC will trigger review of these programs.
    b) There is a proposal to establish a policy center in the College of Education on a five-year time limited basis which will then be reevaluated at the end of the five years. This is externally funded.
    c) TV monitors were removed from Wells Hall and the International Center based on a petition from the Department of Mathematics.

4. Comments from Assistant Provost, Barbara Steidle:

    a) The College of Education’s 16th annual Educational Technology Conference will be held February 5, 2000. Other seminars that may be relevant for UCAP members include: a) online cheating (March 13), b) critical thinking (March 24), and c) student evaluations of teaching (March 31). In addition, there will a series of Friday brown bags on the use of technology in the classroom. Contact Byron Brown at the computer lab for dates/times/places.
    b) The laptop proposal will go to the Board of Trustees in February as an action item.
    c) Freshman academic performance has been very good this year. The average freshman Fall semester GPA increased to 2.72 from the previous year’s 2.64. This may be a result from increased attention to freshmen retention, increased mentorship from the faculty, special programs, residence hall staff, and/or better high school preparation.
    Correspondingly, adverse academic actions decreased. The sophomore and senior classes increased their GPAs. The discussion prompted Jon Sticklen to propose a formal resolution to examine the basis for the improvements:
      "UCAP resolves that the recent upturn in freshman GPA is to be commended. Further, UCAP resolves that the office of the Provost consider a funded research project to determine the causative factors backing the increase."

    This motion was seconded and approved.
5. Transcollegiate Course Requirement clarification:

The Spring 1999 discussion regarding the increase in credits for ISB/P laboratories was premised on the elimination of the transcollegiate course requirement. Barbara Steidle briefed the committee about the Transcollegiate Course Requirement in order to record a formal response from the committee on the elimination of the requirement. The University has not been able to mount a sufficient number of courses to apply it to the entire undergraduate population. The overall credit requirement for Integrative Studies and writing remains at 30 credits. Winston Wilkinson made a motion to accept the changes as presented. The motion was seconded and approved. Gerald Osborn added a friendly amendment, which states: “The transcollegiate course requirement is dropped with regret.” This was seconded and approved.

6. Teaching Awards Report:

Steidle returned the Teaching Awards Report to the committee for consideration of what may be an unintended consequence. Academic disciplines with long post-doctoral expectations prior to hiring may create an impediment to consideration of their new faculty for teaching awards. Steidle requested that the committee consider how to remove that discrepancy, if that were within its original intent in supporting the Awards Report. After much discussion over the eligibility of post-docs across all disciplines, Winston Wilkinson suggested and motioned that the teaching awards criteria language be changed to: “Years spent in “post-doctoral” appointments do not count in determining eligibility.” This motion was seconded and approved.

7. Short-term sub-committees:

Jon Sticklen requested volunteers for short-term sub-committees:
    a) Calendar issue (3 volunteers) --- to determine the possibility of a mid-fall semester break similar to spring break. This committee is requested to take action soon.
    Members: Winston Wilkinson (lead), Eric Bonten, Kurt Lausman

    b) New grade marker (3 volunteers) --- This results from discussion actions necessitated by changes in the federal financial aid eligibility. The university is required to report students who receive 0.0 in all of their classes based on consistent non-attendance or non-appearance. Discussion among the Associate Deans group led to a suggestion that the University consider whether there should be another grade marker that would operate as a 0.0 but also denote this cause, thus distinguishing it from a situation in which the 0.0 was based on actual performance related to the class requirements. The sub-committee will consider the question and make recommendations to the full committee.
    Members: Joe Chartkoff (lead), Gerald Osborn, Kathryn Baker

    c) Final exam week (2 volunteers) --- joint UGC/UCC sub-committee to examine the problems associated with faculty administering final exams outside of the scheduled final exam week. Student and faculty complaints cite disadvantages and disruptions in study preparation and class participation during final weeks. The main question centers on examining the actual policy and how the policy may be enforced. Related issues include concerns timing for when final grades are due following exam week.
Members: Rachel Fisher, Tony Roath

8. Public SIRS:

The format and issues on public SIRS were returned to the table for discussion. The SIRS forms generated much discussion among committee members. Fred Jacobs reported that two questions could be added to SIRS forms that could be made public: 1) rate the instructor, and 2) rate the course. An alternate suggestion would be to redo the SIRS forms with different questions and make the entire SIRS form public. However, faculty did not receive this last suggestion well due to problems with confidentiality. One solution is to have two different SIRS forms with a policy statement indicating that one set of questions are meant for publication. Some of the highlights include: general reaction from faculty who do not like the SIRS forms due to inappropriate questions, some of the problems associated with the forms may be that different departments rely upon SIRS as a tool to evaluate teaching. Finally, SIRS are not standard across the university. Some specific comments:

David Imig – try to separate the issue of public SIRS (for students) and privacy issues for faculty self-improvement.
Jon Sticklen – suggests a ‘two-form’ approach: one for students and another for faculty.
Eric Bonten – suggests a possible linkage between on-line courses and the profiles of professors’ teaching styles, philosophies, objectives, etc.

The questions posed in the sub-committee report on SIRS will be open for discussion at the next meeting.

9. Roundtable:

Winston Wilkinson brought up a concern for university policy regarding teaching credentials. The Military Science Dept. does not always appoint instructors with master’s degrees, although University policy dictates that a master’s is required. The committee should watch this issue.
Fred Jacobs asked whether any actions haven been taken for riot control, especially in light of the basketball team’s successes.

The meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by Tony Roath