Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2001-2002‎ > ‎

2001 - 09/13

UCAP Meeting of 09/13/2001


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, September 13, 2001
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the August 30, 2001 meeting (Attachment A)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Subcommittee Formation

6. Review of Graduation with Honor/High Honor (Attachment B)

7. Criteria for Group Work (Attachment C)

8. Roundtable

Attachment A: August 30, 2001 Draft Minutes
Attachment B: Data on Honor/High Honor Graduates
Attachment C: Cooperative Learning Returns To College

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

minutes status: not approved

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 09/13/2001

    Approved 9/27/01

University Committee on Academic Policy

September 13, 2001

Members present: Jon Sticklen (Chair), Henry Beckmeyer, Bridget Behe, Howard Bossen, George Cornell, Steve Dilley, James Gallagher, Rod Phillips, Shaun Phillips, Latonya Riddle, Juli Wade, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson

Others Present: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost)

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

2. Approval of Agenda: Howard Bossen raised the suggestion that the normal agenda be suspended due to the extraordinary events of the week. Assistant Provost Barbara Steidle indicated that she was going to discuss the current events as part of her comments. The agenda was approved with the proposed amendment by Howard Bossen to extend discussion regarding MSU’s reactions (present and future) to the terrorist attacks earlier this week.

3. Comments from the Chairperson: Chairperson Jon Sticklen reported ECAC (Executive Committee of the Academic Council) did not assign us additional items yet for this year. ECAC functions as a steering committee to other university committees.

Winston Wilkinson suggested that all acronyms be defined the first time they are used in UCAP’s minutes. Jon Sticklen indicated that he would put together a glossary on UCAP’s website.

Jim Gallagher moved that UCAP will define a quorum as a simple majority of filled seats only. Jeanne Wald seconded and the motion was passed.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost: Assistant Provost Barbara Steidle began her comments with a statement that all are appalled by the tragic events of the last few days. On the morning of the attack, there was a meeting of the Undergraduate Deans in progress. Discussion immediately turned to what actions MSU would pursue. Of urgent concern were MSU’s student interns who might be located in Washington DC and in New York City, MSU students abroad, and MSU international students on campus, in particular our Muslim and Middle Eastern students.

MSU instigated immediate searches to locate all interns and within hours MSU accounted for every intern in Washington DC. Colleges ascertained that there were few or no interns in NYC. Students were provided with contact numbers for counselors and on-site people monitoring the situation. MSU also ascertained the safety of all students abroad and advised them to keep a low profile. They were given a direct DPPS (Department of Police and Public Safety) line for emergency situations or to report situations in which they felt threatened.

In addition, MSU’s counseling center is on alert and open to all students. The Department of Psychiatry is helping to augment counseling staff services. All residence halls had floor meetings. Religious leaders and student affairs and advisors held programs and meetings. Assistant Deans were asked to contact chairs of departments to ask faculty to be sensitive to the needs of students. Consideration was given to our own student teaching interns and how they might deal with students in their own classrooms. Various meetings are being scheduled and MSU will organize a forum for further discussions. ASMSU organized a vigil Tuesday evening. There is a website: that contains a 31 minute video helping young children to deal with the disaster. MSU’s home page on the web will have other sources for information. Steidle distributed website information form the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Michigan that offered suggestions for classroom treatment of the issues and concerns of students. A faculty group will be convened to discuss a major University symposium dealing with the issues and events as they unfold.

The current recommendation for dealing with student absences is to apply the religious studies policy. Long-term absences will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

4. Discussion on MSU’s role in responding to the aftermath of September 11th terrorist attack: Jeanne Wald applauded the administration’s actions as described by the Provost in her comments, and raised a few questions. From those faculty UCAP members present, she asked how many had received any information regarding discussing this issue with their classes. No one present had received any. They had interpreted President McPherson’s message to mean that business should go on as usual. Shaun Phillips and Latonya Riddle indicated that students felt quite isolated, alone and unsure as to how to deal with the aftermath. Several faculty members indicated that some resources for the faculty and suggestions for class discussions would be helpful.

Howard Bossen suggested publicizing resources and what had been done, and using the expertise of faculty in Communication to do this. Howard Bossen brought up concerns about a possible long-term backlash against Muslim and Arab students, and encouraged discussions on what we might do as a community to discourage this. Several UCAP members pointed out that this was not simply an issue of overt acts, but also how our Arab and Muslim students might feel isolated and guilty even without external harassment. Jon Sticklen and others raised issues of security for these students. Barbara Steidle assured UCAP that MSU has regular security measures and that there was great sensitivity to the problems of this population at this time. UCAP suggested that a statement issued by the President might help here. For Study Abroad issues, there is a regular security committee that reviews programs and locations and is empowered to make judgments regarding cancellation or the need to recall students and faculty.

UCAP members believe the university should be proactive. Jim Gallagher asked about policies regarding absenteeism and whether deans will be communicating anything regarding this. Rod Phillips suggested that the current situation should be viewed as an ongoing issue rather than a one-day event. Several members suggested proactive thinking about possible scenarios, including military action, students involved in the military (draft or otherwise) and how that may affect students. Steidle indicated there was a policy in place regarding military call-ups and that this would be reviewed.

Jon Sticklen suggested rethinking what justifies canceling classes. Jon Sticklen also commented that during times of crisis, there should be departmental meetings as a stabilizing influence. Winston Wilkinson sounded a warning against overreacting and feeding into the terrorist’s motives to instill fear and adversely affect our ability to function. Many UCAP members felt there was a need to strike an appropriate balance and that deviating from the normal routine in a constructive way was warranted. There were several concerns expressed regarding President McPherson’s September 11 message that was interpreted as “business as usual.”

Steve Dilly asked whether the university was prepared if electronic communication became nonfunctional – from affecting individual instructors’ ability to function in class to the general communication on campus. Barbara Steidle referred to Paul Hunt as in the position to monitor and control these potential problems.

UCAP members would like to see MSU stand strong as a community, supporting and providing resources for its members. Howard Bossen moved for these suggestions to be formally passed on to the Provost and President for immediate action. George Cornell seconded and it was passed unanimously.

5. Subcommittee formation: Jon Sticklen asked for comments on the list of four subcommittees. It was decided that The Enhancement of University Community Perception of the Importance of Instruction/Assessment of Instruction Subcommittee would be in abeyance until we hear from the Provost after she reviewed UCAP’s report.

Two more subcommittees were added to the list:
· a subcommittee dedicated to producing guidelines on what information UCAP would want in its advisory role regarding consideration of proposals for creating or dissolving departmental programs;
· a subcommittee charged with developing a document that would provide guidance to faculty on responding to local or general crises situations.

Jon Sticklen asked that members write on the distributed sheets their first, second and third preference for subcommittee service and hand in those preferences at the meeting.

6. Jon Sticklen suggested that items 6 and 7 be tabled until next week’s meeting.

7. The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jeanne Wald