Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2000-2001‎ > ‎

2000 - 10/26

UCAP Meeting of 10/26/2000


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, October 26, 2000
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the September 28, 2000 meeting

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Follow-up to Academic Council discussion re SPES
    Follow-up to 1st meeting of joint UCAP-CCSAC subcommittee
6. Reading Days and other issues related to conformity with academic calendar

7. Roundtable

8. Break-out sessions: Organization & agenda development for subcommittees

Attachment: September 28, 2000 Draft Minutes

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


minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 11/30/2000

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 10/26/2000

APPROVED 11/30/00
University Committee on Academic Policy
October 26, 2000

Present: Henry Beckmeyer, Roy Black, Howard Bossen, Joseph Chartkoff, Cynthia
        Gibbons, Douglas Henry, David Imig, Fred Jacobs, Kurt Lausman, Shaun
            Phillips, Latonya Riddle, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson
    Others: Barbara Steidle, Assistant Provost

    Minutes Prepared by Joseph Chartkoff

    1. Meeting was called to order at 10:20 am.

    2. Agenda was approved

    3. Minutes from the meeting of September 28, 2000, were approved with modifications
      to indicate the acronym SPES rather than SIRS.
    4. Comments from the Chairperson: Chairperson Wald announced her proposal that, in the future, the agendas and minutes for UCAP meetings would be distributed only electronically rather than both electronically and by campus mail. Agendas, minutes and related documents would be sent to committee members by e-mail, and would also be available at UCAP’s web site. This method would eliminate a current problem in which campus mail sometimes does not bring these materials to committee members before the meeting is held. The proposal was accepted informally by the committee. Any member who wishes to continue to receive paper copies may do so by e-mail to

    5. Comments from the Assistant Provost: Assistant Provost Steidle did not offer any comments at this time.

    6. Follow-up to Academic Council discussion re. SPES, and Follow-up to 1st meeting of joint UCAP-CCSAC subcommittee: Jeanne Wald discussed the presentation of the SPES proposal to the Executive Committee of Academic Council and the subsequent discussion of the proposal at Faculty Council. The proposal was received collegially in the Faculty Senate, after a more active reception in ECAC. Several Faculty Council members made recommendations concerning the completion of the SPES form and its implementation. Those suggestions, recorded on tape, are being assembled and will be discussed at the next UCAP meeting in order to adopt the final form of the SPES questionnaire for possible use at the end of this semester.
      Continuing discussion of SPES recommendations brought forth a series of issues and proposals, some reflecting Faculty Council discussions and some generated at today’s UCAP meeting. Wald noted that Faculty Council members recommended creation of a “don’t know” or “abstain” option for the SPES scoring sheet. She also noted that Question 6 needed review since it was the most-challenged item on the form. She reported that a widely shared opinion at Faculty Council supported making SPES results available to the campus community, not just to students. It was also suggested that the acronym SPES be changed, since the term “evaluation” is used to imply review by peers, and these reviews are not by peers. The suggestion of the phrase “Student Public Opinion System” or SPOS, was made, and was tentatively adopted by the committee to replace SPES.

      Chairperson Wald recommended, with elaboration provided by Assistant Provost Steidle, that the SPES Subcommittee bring recommendations for final revisions to the questionnaire to the next meeting of UCAP on Nov. 9th. UCAP then would approve a final version of the form. If completed in a timely manner, the instrument could be administered at the end of the Fall 2000 semester. Results would not be generally released at that time, under the principle that having data from 2-3 semesters would be more valuable and reliable for all purposes. Individual faculty would be provided with results of their own evaluations, and would be encouraged to compare those results with SIRS evaluation results of the same sections, to identify potential issues, such as whether the SPOS surveys generated any significant anomalies. After the SPOS surveys for Spring 2001 were completed, data from both Fall 2000 and Spring 2001 could be made generally electronically accessible to the whole university community. This date would be too late for early registration for academic 2001-2002, which will take place in April 2001. It would be available for registration change possibilities later, however. Once the data on SPOS from Fall 2001 were collected, SPOS results from multiple semesters would be available electronically and be regularly updated. The committee agreed informally with this scenario.

      Chairperson Wald then addressed the topic of a request made to UCAP by the Office of the Provost to discuss policy issues involved in the evaluation of teaching by peers in consideration of faculty promotion, tenure and merit adjustment decisions. Committee discussion indicated that, while units currently generate their own recommendations for promotion, tenure and merit, and can consider what criteria they wish, those considerations may be affected to varying degrees by perceptions that teaching merit will not be recognized administratively and is therefore not worth effort or significant consideration. The committee decided that the most productive course would be to invite the Provost to discuss the matter at the November 30th meeting. In the meantime, the committee would have the topic on its November 9th agenda in order to determine what aspects of the topic it would propose to discuss with the Provost.
    7. Reading Days and other issues related to conformity with the academic calendar: Joseph Chartkoff reported on discussion of the Reading Days proposal by the Calendar Issues Subcommittee, and on results of his survey of faculty opinions about the Reading Days proposal among faculty in the College of Social Science. He circulated a three-page summary of the survey. In his college, faculty opposition outweighed support by more than 2:1. Representatives from several other colleges summarized views among faculty in their colleges. In the majority of cases, opposition significantly outweighed support for the proposal. Given the lack of substantial faculty support in most colleges, UCAP decided not to pursue action on the proposal.

    8. Round Table: Barbara Steidle raised two issues that had surfaced in relation to the Reading Days proposal and which were related to calendar issues. The first concerned the practice by some faculty of holding final examinations during the last week of regular classes rather than at the scheduled time for final examinations. The committee agreed that this issue was of significant merit and agreed to address it at the meeting of November 9, 2000.
      The other matter concerned a faculty complaint that some faculty were not holding classes on the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. The committee judged that the matter was better addressed by unit chairpersons and directors.
    9. The meeting was adjourned at 12:02 p.m.

    UCAP MINUTES 10.26.00.doc