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2002 - 01/10

UCAP Meeting of 01/10/2002


agenda status: approved

University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, January 10, 2002
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 29, 2001 meeting (Attachment)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Discussion with Subcommittee to Develop Guidelines
for Documentation Given to UCAP to Support Department
or Program Creation or Dissolution ........................................(Wilkinson)
Web Version of current document can be seen on the UCC Web site at
The following URL: (here too.... )

Framing the issue: (Sticklen).................. (Attachment)

6. SOCT Follow-Up

7. Replacement of 2nd Representative to Academic Council

8. Roundtable

Attachment: November 29, 2001 Draft Minutes

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

minutes status: not approved

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 01/10/2002

Approved as Amended
University Committee on Academic Policy
January 10, 2002

Members Present: Bridget Behe, Henry Beckmeyer, George Cornell, Lucinda Davenport, James Gallagher, Ryan Hedstrom, Joe Mignano, Rodney Phillips, Shaun Phillips, Latonya Riddle, Jon Sticklen, Juli Wade, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson, Cameron Wooley, Maija Zile

Others Present: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost)

1. Approval of Agenda: The agenda was approved with the addition of item 8: Academic Calendar.

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 29, 2001 meeting: The minutes were approved.

3. Comments from the Chairperson: The Chairperson deferred comments at this time.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost: Assistant Provost Steidle asked the student members for their recommendations on the membership of a focus group of students regarding student perceptions of the university experience. The students endorsed using ASMSU as the student focus group and will bring that proposal to the full body.

5. Discussion with Subcommittee to Develop Guidelines for Documentation Given to UCAP to support Department or Program Creation or Dissolution: Chairperson Sticklen focused on the issue of creating guidelines for sufficient documentation verifying effective consultation. UCAP is formally consulted with regard to two issues on proposals for the creation or dissolution of academic programs: direct impact on undergraduate students and adequacy of consultation. It is up to the Provost as to whether UCAP considers cases involving the creation, elimination or reorganization of administrative units. The Provost has, in practice, consulted with UCAP regarding such situations. UCAP considers the impact a change would have on undergraduate majors and whether there has been effective consultation. It was generally agreed that UCAP had been successful in determining the impact on undergraduate majors; however it was far more difficult to ascertain effective consultation. Discussion at this meeting was intended to clarify the role of the subcommittee and to provide informal commentary on the issues. The subcommittee asked for commentary on six guidelines, which are included below. During the meeting, UCAP committee members offered several other suggestions including: a) early in the consultation process faculty and students should submit a list of their concerns and that the administration would then respond (in writing) to these concerns; b) a default time table should be proposed; c) early general broad notification of all faculty and affected majors should take place; d) continued broad dissemination of information including open meetings should be made.
    Subcommittee proposed guidelines:
    i) An external review of a Program, Center, Institute, Department, College, etc. that is being considered for dissolution should be required as a part of the administrative review and process. There should be agreement between unit faculty (being considered for dissolution) and academic leadership (Dean, Provost) on who will conduct the external review and what the focus of the review will be. An agreed upon set of guidelines for the external evaluation and questions to be answered by the external review should also be agreed upon by unit faculty and the Dean or Provost. There should be a set time period for these preliminary discussions.

    ii) The first step in proposed program dissolution should be an administrative (Dean, Provost) statement and rationale that is written and distributed for faculty and staff response and discussion. This should be required and be followed up by a meeting between affected faculty and administrative leadership requesting the dissolution of a program.

    iii) There should be formal process as a part of university governance that allows faculty to oppose the dissolution of programs in a procedural fashion. [UCAP and other relevant University Committees should be consulted and requested to vote on specific proposals on program dissolutions.] Additionally, it may a good idea to require a college or academic unit vote on the proposed program dissolution.

    iv) Requests for dissolution of programs that originate with administrators (Dean/Provost) should be heard by the relevant units of University Governance [University Committee on Academic Policy (UCAP), University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA), University Committee on Curriculum (UCC)].

    v) Requests for dissolution of programs/units should be provided to students in programs that are proposed for dissolution. There should be at least one scheduled meeting between administrators supporting dissolution and students in units affected by dissolution. Additionally, student government should be notified of program dissolution and provided an opportunity to discuss student concerns.

    vi) Since Board of Trustee action is required for program dissolution, scheduled Board deliberations on program dissolution should be required to be distributed to faculty and staff in units targeted for dissolution. This would allow the scheduling of presentations before the Board on the issue of dissolution of specific programs.

    The subcommittee’s charge is to create a statement of what UCAP would consider as “adequate consultation.” The complication in the discussion is the separation of UCAP’s role regarding proposals dealing with academic major programs and organizational units. It was also suggested that the Provost be contacted as to what she might want included in such a statement. The subcommittee was asked to come back with a draft document as soon as possible.
6. SOCT Follow-Up: Assistant Provost Steidle indicated that there was some concern about confusion that could arise from the “box and whiskers” display, and so discussion had turned to use of a bar graph. College Associate Deans’ offices were asked to send their department choices as to options for comparison. It is unclear as to whether faculty in the units were consulted, or even informed. A demonstration of the display is expected at a future UCAP meeting.

7. Replacement of 2nd Representative to Academic Council: George Cornell volunteered and was unanimously approved.

8. Academic Calendar: The issue of a Fall Semester break was discussed. ASMSU favors strongly the insertion of at least a one day break in the middle of the semester. Many supported the idea. UCAP had previously discussed this matter and the conclusion was mixed. Among the concerns is how to not adversely effect classes that meet once (or twice) a week and thus, would lose an entire week if the missed day landed on the class meeting day. Also, for multi-section courses, or lab courses, an unequal number of meetings could result. Originally the number of class days in the fall and spring semesters were equalized. Already changes have resulted in two additional days in the spring semester. So this may not be much of an issue. There has been some concern about shortening the semester – both internally and from outside the university. It is difficult to shorten the breaks between semesters due to academic administrative work that needs to be completed prior to the beginning of the spring semester. There is a national trend toward shorter semesters, which is evoking mixed commentary. It is expected that ASMSU will forward a bill endorsing a fall semester break, which will be forwarded to UCAP for discussion at future meetings.

The meeting was adjourned at noon.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jeanne Wald

UCAP minutes1.10.02.doc