Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎1999-2000‎ > ‎

1999 - 09/30

UCAP Meeting of 09/30/99


agenda status: approved


minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 10/14/99

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 09/30/99

Approved 10/14/99
University Committee on Academic Policy
September 30, 1999

Present: Linda Anderson (substitute for Patricia Edwards), Kathryn Baker, Eric Bonten,
      Howard Bossen, Joe Chartkoff, George Cornell, Rachel Fisher, David Imig, Fred
          Jacobs, Gerald Osborn, Jon Patterson, Jon Sticklen, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson,

Others Present: Cassandra Book, Renee Canady, Paul Hunt, Lou Anna Simon, Barbara Steidle

Called to order by Jeanne Wald at 10:21 AM

1. Agenda was approved.

2. Minutes of 9/2 and 9/16 meetings were approved.

3. Comments from Chairpersons deferred.

4. Comments from Assistant Provost deferred.

5. Winston Wilkinson elected to the Military Education Advisory Committee (MEAC).

6. Brief comments were given by Cassandra Book, College of Education re: document, “Criteria for Progression to the Internship.” The document was accepted with minor changes. Questions centered also upon decision to use 2.5 GPA rather than a higher standard. Book explained this is consistent with national standards and replaces no grade point standards being in place in the past. The Committee voted to approve the document.

7. Renee Canady, Director of Student Affairs, College of Nursing presented the document re: “Student Performance Policy.” The document is a response from College of Nursing Faculty who must deal with inconsistencies in the professionalization process of some nursing students. Other CIC nursing schools were consulted and the document reflects policies consistent with similar schools. Discussion included issues of “Warning Status,” specific language (i.e. will vs. may) and (psychological vs. behavioral), and due process and appeals.
    The majority of discussion centered around the relationship between Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guidelines and specific inclusions in the policy. Canady explained the Office of Student Affairs is very sensitive to the issue of balancing support for students with disabilities and minimum competencies necessary for the safe and successful practice of nursing. Barbara Steidle confirmed the document had already been reviewed by legal counsel. The document takes into account licensing requirements and legal requirements of the Nurse Practice Act and Criminal Codes. There was some further discussion regarding pre-admission counseling for students with disabilities.

    Some advice was provided in respect to making the document more explicit about who will be making decisions in the dismissal process. Canady indicated that the Student Affairs Committee makes decisions regarding academic dismissals. The Dean is the final point for appeals of academic decisions. The committee voted to approve the document. UCAP will receive a finalized copy of the document.

8. Provost Simon engaged UCAP members in a discussion about Student Laptop Computer Proposal.
    Provost Simon set the context for referral of the laptop computer proposal to UCAP in its capacity as an advisory body regarding admission requirements. There is another body, Communications and Computing Systems Advisory Committee (CCSAC), which includes both faculty and students and advises her on technology issues. She sees the computer requirement as a means to promote computer literacy for all MSU students. She was hoping for general agreement in principle to move the process forward prior to solving all the technical issues. Her primary concern was that the UCAP advice to her included that the “Student Laptop Proposal be referred back to the originating committee” to address the 7 listed issues. She is concerned about the level of detail and specificity UCAP has requested prior to its support of the document. She was hoping, for example, that UCAP would have strongly supported the proposal in principle so that it might move on to the Academic Council for further discussion.
    The Provost explained that she conceptualizes the requirement that undergraduate students buy laptop computers as equivalent to the expectation that students buy required texts. The purpose of the proposal is to promote computing skills because these are essential for success in students’ day-to-day life in their future work. Approximately 60% of freshman undergraduates arrive on campus with computers already and more have some level of computer skills. Most faculty already incorporate computer skills into their teaching. A driving consideration in making this a requirement is that poor students do not arrive with equivalent equipment or skill. In order to bring the cost of the computers into the financial aid calculations, the expectation must be stated as a requirement. However, there is no more intent to check each student for compliance than we currently have with regard to textbooks.

    The Provost described the requirement as “Pragmatic Idealism” propelling the rate of change in computer literacy for all students. The requirement will help poorer students by making the purchase of a portable computer a legitimate issue in their applications for financial aide. She acknowledged that this will cost students approximately an extra $1000.00 for a portable computer with the recommended capabilities. It will not be a requirement that students buy the computers from the university.
    From the pedagogical side, the requirement is intended to assist faculty to help students learn more efficiently and expeditiously, not to manipulate or constrain teaching styles. Faculty will continue to be the determinants of how their classes are conducted and what, if any, technology is used. From the Provost’s perspective the proposal speaks fundamentally to helping faculty teach and students learn in the future. There are technical issues which will require solutions prior to implementation but these should not prevent the proposal from moving forward.

    Some discussion centered on the requirement specifically of a “laptop” vs. “a computer.” The CCSAC has recommended specifically a laptop. The Provost wants students to have experience with technology they take with them; however, this is one of the particulars on which UCAP advice would be helpful.

    All UCAP members who spoke strongly endorsed the concept of increasing MSU students’ computer literacy and most felt the document advising the Provost stated this. The Provost reiterated her concern that UCAP recommended referral back to the originating committee. There was agreement that some miscommunication may have taken place.
    The discussion turned toward more technical issues. 2001 was chosen as the implementation date because this is when all residence halls will be appropriately wired and 90% of undergrads live in the residence halls. Off-campus connectivity can be indirectly fostered but cannot be guaranteed as it will require “leverage points” to encourage this.

    Plans also exist to add DHCP ports to an increasing number of classrooms. The classroom scheduling website indicates the current technology capabilities of classroom sites. The Provost feels it is unrealistic to expect an individual port at every classroom seat in the near future, but this is not inconsistent with the expectation that not all faculty will choose to incorporate classroom use of computers. Connectivity will continue to unfold over the next five years.
    Student UCAP members asked specifically about enforcement of the policy. The Provost reiterated the spirit of the proposal is to increase student computer literacy. She used the analogy that at present there is no policy to enforce the purchase of required texts. Students can expect that an increasing number of courses will have requirements for computer skills. Students without skills and their own equipment will be at an increasing disadvantage. This is a challenge to a University with such a heterogeneous student body.

    The next issue discussed involved questions to the Provost over the level of detail UCAP should be expected to request in order to provide conscientious advice. The Provost responded that all new issues involve details (devil in the details). She felt sufficient detail had already been provided and the number and specificity of questions by UCAP indicated that there might be disagreement with the policy and the advice to refer back to committee suggested possible obstructionism that she had not sensed when she talked to the committee last year.
    A miscommunication issue was acknowledged by both UCAP and the Provost. Paul Hunt expressed surprise that he had not been invited back to answer technical questions. He offered to meet with UCAP in future to address concerns. The Provost asked for UCAP advice in respect to (a) the principle involved; (b) specific language, i.e. would the policy be more palatable if the requirement were to be “a computer”, or “a computer, preferably a laptop,” or other more descriptive language. Other questions the Provost asked were “Is the target implementation date appropriate?” “How should faculty/student input be appropriately expanded beyond CCSAC?” The Provost asked UCAP at the end to provide her with advice on these points and to define any further roles the committee believed appropriate for itself in later stages. She would like to be able to provide her public response by January, 2000. The report would then go to Academic Council, along with UCAP’s advice. It would ultimately be considered by the Board of Trustees.
    There was brief discussion after the Provost left to review the level of detail we have requested and rewriting the UCAP advice document. The next meeting will focus upon issues and questions. Paul Hunt would be invited, if necessary and appropriate, to a subsequent meeting to respond to UCAP questions.

The meeting adjourned at 12:17.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gerald G. Osborn, D.O., M. Phil.