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2002 - 02/21

UCAP Meeting of 02/21/2002


agenda status: approved


                University Committee on Academic Policy
                  Meeting of Thursday, February 21, 2002
                  10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

2. Approval of Minutes of the February 7, 2002 meeting ...........................................(Attachment)

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Telecommunication Proposed Name Change..................................(Attachment)
        (additional materials were distributed for Jan. 24 meeting).........(Attachment)

6. Guidelines for Documentation on Unit Changes...............................................(Winston Wilkinson)

7. Computer Requirement Follow-up

8. Roundtable

Attachment: February 7, 2002 Draft Minutes
Feb. 4, 2002 Sticklen to Abeles Memo re: Telecomm Proposed Name Change

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

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 02/21/2002

Approved 3/14/02
University Committee on Academic Policy
February 21, 2002

Members Present: Bridget Behe, Henry Beckmeyer, Lucinda Davenport, George Cornell,
Steve Dilley, Jim Gallagher, Ryan Hedstrom, Shaun Phillips, Jon Sticklen
Juli Wade, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson, Celia Wills, Cameron
Wooley, Maija Zile

Others Present: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost), Mark Levy (Chair, Department of Telecommunication) Associate Dean Thomas Baldwin, Communication Arts & Sciences (CAS), Ms. Anne Hoffman, Director of Advising, CAS; Associate Dean Tom Wolff, College of Engineering, Associate Dean Anthony Wojcik, College of Engineering, and Phil McKinley, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Chairperson Jon Sticklen called the meeting to order at 10:20 am.

1. Approval of Agenda: Agenda item #6 was moved ahead of item #5 to accommodate the faculty of Telecommunication and Computer Science and Engineering who were to arrive later. Agenda was approved with amendment.

2. Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the February 7, 2002 meeting were approved with one minor correction.

3. Comments from the Chairperson: Professor Sticklen provided a handout summarizing the main points of a memo he sent to the Executive Committee of Academic Council (ECAC) on February 4, 2002 regarding UCAP recommendation NOT to accept the proposed name change for the Department of Telecommunication. The next subcommittee report should be the Importance of Instruction subcommittee. The Computing subcommittee should provide a brief synopsis of their work as there has not been a recent update on this work. There remains a concern about connectivity for off-campus students.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost: Dr. Steidle commented regarding SOCT.
a. UCAP student members are to try the system; Ryan Hedstrom agreed to do it.
b. Patty Croom would like a subgroup to go over the text that accompanies the displays.
c. The system is expected to be functional by the end of February – beginning of March.
        Sticklen: UCAP should plan to discuss SOCT at a later meeting regarding commentary from faculty (duplication; extra work to do two forms, etc.). Discussion by UCAP members (need to put forms on web; how to obtain input from students, how to sample student responses).
5. Guidelines for Documentation on Unit Changes: Subcommittee report by Professor Winston Wilkinson (Chair of subcommittee), Wilkinson provided handouts (pp 3-4 of 1992 document containing Part C); and the subcommittee draft of 2-20-02 of the changes recommended in the 1992 document, with major changes recommended in Part C. Wilkinson stated that the subcommittee incorporated all UCAP suggestions from previous meeting; 1992 document has major overlaps, redundancy, inconsistencies, lacks clarity, conciseness, needs to be revised. The subcommittee recommends the following for UCAP deliberation:
a. That UCAP recommend a single document covering dissolution/creation of programs AND administrative units.
b. Revisions in the document: Standardize the numbering system; Change “disbandment” to “dissolution”; Parts A & B okay except make enumeration consistent.
c. Major changes recommended in Part C (see handouts) as follows: Committee considered need for time tables, consultants, consultations with all interested, provision for opportunities to learn about proposal, hear, discuss it, provide input etc.
d. Recommend that UCAP consider, accept and use the new/revised Part C on Procedural Guidelines when requested to review proposals for disbandment of academic programs and administrative units.
        Discussion opened by Sticklen:
        Steidle noted that the original task defined by UCAP for the subcommittee was to establish a list of the kinds of items/evidence it would like to see when a proposal to disband is brought to the committee. She then explained the administrative position in regard to disbandment of different types of units. Discussion of the proposals by the subcommittee should recognize that the Provost did not invite UCAP’s rewriting of the document. (The disbandment process document was reviewed by UCAP at the Provost’s invitation in 1992.) Administrative unit dissolution is an administrative prerogative; the Provost has consulted with UCAP on a number of such proposals.

        Sticklen brought up three issues by the subcommittee – 1) Per the current situation, UCAP can’t replace the 1992 document, as revision of it is not our charge; 2) The broader issue: UCAP should request input in both academic program and administrative unit dissolution/creation and construct a proposal to change how academic governance works; 3) procedural guidelines to be revised.

        Wilkinson and Cornell said BUT – Unit dissolution may involve faculty. Many units involve programs and faculty. More discussion followed.
        Discussion on difference between Units and Programs (centers, institutes, programs); should there be a change in Bylaws for Academic Governance to include administrative unit dissolution for UCAP consideration; focus only on students is not sufficient as units/programs also involve faculty.

        For purposes of moving the discussion ahead, it was agreed that the subcommittee focus initially on the internal guidelines and present their recommendations at the next meeting on March 14. (NOTE: UCAP members are to review the recommendations and bring them to the next meeting. The recommended changes are incorporated in the revised draft of 2-20-02 document handout, see Part C.) The discussion of the broader issues (UCAP role in unit matters and change in academic governance) will be postponed to a later meeting.
6. Telecommunication Proposed Name Change: At a prior meeting, UCAP voted NOT to recommend the name change as requested (see Sticklen memo to the Executive Committee of Academic Council [ECAC] 2-4-02). ECAC referred the matter back to UCAP for a second review, in light of the committee’s comments in the response. Faculty were present from Telecommunication and from Computer Science and Engineering – Sticklen invited concerned parties to present their case.
        Telecommunication Presentation: Mark Levy reported that they have responded to all requests made by UCAP, i.e. conducted consultation with other schools (Business, Journalism); they consulted with their students – nobody voiced concerns; all agreed with name change. There is not going to be any negative impact in the future, e.g. curriculum changes. The term “information” needs to be added so as to provide sufficient information to students as to what the department offers. They agree that they have no exclusive claim to the word “information”. Anne Hoffman said the students were thrilled with the name change and the change should make it easier for students to make transitions and obtain jobs. Associate Dean Baldwin provided handouts on the description of Telecommunications courses. He noted that many courses already have the word “information” in them, while Computer Science and Engineering do not use this word in their course titles.

        Computer Science and Engineering presentation: They do Information Processing; do not deal with other related areas, e.g. information policy. The term “information” is used in broad terms, e.g. in education, and it also comes up in various fields, e.g. information science, library and information science. The term is generic, too broad to use by itself in this department name; it would likely cause considerable confusion.

        Levy indicated he would support the inclusion of “information” in their name if Computer Science and Engineering would want to include it at some future time.

        UCAP questioning: Was there consultation/assessment of opinions from students in Computer Science and Engineering, other departments, ASMSU? Did you only consult with your students and not students outside your department? UCAP needs this information. Levy responded that they did not assess other departments’ students. There is no way to assess students systematically. He asked what else they need to bring to UCAP. Steidle asked whether there was a possibility for using “information” as a modifier to some other word or with an adjective? Levy asked “Telecommunications Information Technology and Media”?
        Computer Science faculty said the use of the term “information” in the name would be confusing to students. Levy said their students are missing jobs because employers do not obtain correct information from the current department name; this would be ameliorated with “information” in the title. UCAP members suggested they use the word “information” as an adjective in course descriptions. Also, they could provide surveys to student groups and send back feedback on assessment.

        The visitors then left the meeting, and the discussion proceeded. The general consensus follows: Telecommunication did not provide adequate response to UCAP requests. Interviewing students in their own department is insufficient assessment of student opinion/concerns. They should at least have consulted ASMSU. It was noted that the word “information” is NOT in many Telecommunication course titles. We should not judge on presentation but only on merits of the case. Putting the term “information” in the title might be taking unfair advantage over other departments. This term should not be used in isolation. Is anyone presently disadvantaged by the current name for the Department of Telecommunication? Professional advisors can provide guidance to students to select appropriate major/department. The preemptive claim to the word “information” ignores the evolution of the “Information Technology” specialization being sponsored by Engineering, Business, and Communication Arts and Sciences. Shaun Phillips reported having talked to Computer Science students; they felt the name change would be confusing.

        Sticklen said there is an interdisciplinary program coming, a combined effort input, in response to need and reflecting the State initiative. There might be a concern regarding incoming students if the word “information” is in both titles. Steidle said the Department of Telecommunication has moved to place more emphasis on technology and they probably want to represent that. She suggested that “information” may not be the right word. Perhaps “Telecommunications, Technology and Media” might serve their purpose.

        Summary comments included:
a. It is not trivial how a department is perceived via its name.
b. Word “information” is the root of the computer science field in technical sense.
c. The generic term “information” belongs to all
d. While this name change has presently focused on students, UCAP should also be concerned about its impact on other academic programs.
        UCAP members asked – have future course offerings been addressed? In what programs? Has there been sufficient consultation at those levels? Does Computer Science and Engineering want to keep the term “information” reserved in the case they want to use it? It’s important to recall that an integrated program in the field is in the making.

        A vote was taken on the following recommendation: “UCAP recommends to ECAC that the proposed name change of the Department of Telecommunication NOT be approved; and that UCAP include an explanation for its recommendation in the response to ECAC”. The motion passed by a large margin.

        Meeting adjourned at 12:15 pm

        Minutes prepared by Maija Zile.

        UCAP MINUTES2.21.02