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2002 - 04/25

UCAP Meeting of 04/25/2002


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, April 25, 2002
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the April 11, 2002 meeting.........................................(Attachment)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Review of APERTIF

6. Completion: Guidelines for Group Work.........................................(Celia Wills)

7. Completion: Guidelines for Documentation on Unit Changes......................(Winston Wilkinson)

8. Importance of Instruction Subcommittee.....continued....................(Rod Phillips)

9. Crises Response Subcommittee....continued...............................(Attachment)
                      (Ryan Hedstrom)
10. Election of Officers for 2002-2003

Attachment: April 11, 2002 Draft Minutes
Crises Response Subcommittee Report

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 04/25/2002

Approved 9/12/02
Revised 8/29/02
University Committee on Academic Policy
April 25, 2002

Members Present: Bridget Behe, Paul Coe, Lucinda Davenport, Steve Dilley, Ryan Hedstrom, Jon Sticklen, Rod Phillips, Shaun Phillips, Juli Wade, Jeanne Wald, Winston Wilkinson, Cameron Wooley, Maija Zile

Others Present: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost), Betty Cheng (new member), Patricia
Mullan (new member), Georgia Padonu (new member)

Chairman Jon Sticklen called meeting to order at 10:22 a.m.

1. Approval of agenda: The agenda was approved without changes.

2. Approval of the minutes of the April 11, 2002 meeting: The minutes were approved as printed.

3. Comments from the Chairperson: During some initial conversation about the work stoppage by teaching assistants Jon Sticklen commented that central administration wanted unit administrators, not faculty, to keep track of which teaching assistants were performing their duties.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost: Barbara Steidle commented that information relevant to the teaching assistant’s strike was available on the MSU crisis website. A mediator is scheduled to meet with the parties involved tomorrow.

5. Review of APERTIF (Admission Policy Entrance Requirements Task Force): Steidle clarified several areas the provost would like UCAP to evaluate as part of a 5 year review of this report that attempts to measure the academic preparedness of freshmen in reference to courses specified for admission. Discussion followed. Several committee members expressed interest in the sampling scheme where students were stratified by ethnicity and concerned that some of the strata contained few subjects. APERTIF retains the federal ethnic classification categories (which are likely to change). Rather drastic percentage differences were noted for some groups (large drop in English scores for Mexican males compared to an increase for Mexican females). MSU adopted the specific course requirements to convey to the schools what it considered important preparation for college-level work. It may use the information generated in this report to alert high school counselors to trends that might impact students’ success in their first year of college.
    6. Guidelines for Group Work: Steidle commented that the draft presented by the sub-committee clarified some of the original points of concerns but a major question to be considered involved student participation in the grading process (“Peer Evaluation” page 3, point #2 of draft document). After a discussion period, the committee agreed that it is the sole responsibility of faculty to evaluate student performance. Any use of students in the grading process should be undertaken only with great caution. There was related discussion as to students' ability to evaluate themselves or their classmates. Learning such a skill might be a valuable educational outcome; however, use of student input in grade determination requires very careful definition of the project..
Recommended wording changes to the section on Peer Evaluation reflected the discussion summarized above. Point 3 emphasizing that faculty have ultimate responsibility for grading was moved ahead of the section on Peer Evaluation.

Motion (Dilley) with support (Wooley) to accept the draft as amended passed by voice vote with no opposition.

The amended document will be forwarded to the provost for inclusion on the website and possibly distribution to new faculty and inclusion in the Faculty Handbook. Committee members felt the addition of examples where student evaluation of peers has worked and/or failed would be instructive for faculty considering the use of this technique. They suggested that the website might be structured to invite faculty to share such examples.

7. Crisis Response Subcommittee: Discussion on this report resulted in suggested changes to correct dates and improve clarity in item 1 that recommends the development and maintenance of a website dedicated to disseminating information in the event of a crisis. Such a University website is up and running and now just needs to be linked to other university sites and maintained. The committee then rewrote Item 2, dealing with what should happen when a crisis eliminates computer access.

Motion (Wilkinson) with Support (Dilley) to accept the report as amended passed
by voice vote with no opposition.

8. Subcommittee for Computing: Jeanne Wald reported there had been no progress on the issues UCAP wished to address and suggested that the work would have to pass on to next year’s committee.

9. Guidelines for documentation of Unit Changes: Considerable discussion took place over the general tone of the report presented. Many committee members felt the document sounded too autocratic and demanding and should be re-written in a more conciliatory tone. It was suggested that the principle of applying the same criteria for review of academic program and units proposed for dissolution that were forwarded by the Provost be adopted. Other suggestions included stating simply and forcefully that unit representatives were expected to provide full documentation on the processes of consultation that had preceded the proposals and on the impact of the proposals on students. Discussion went well over the allotted time with no clear solution forthcoming.

Motion (Wald) with support (Wilkinson) to table consideration of subcommittee reports on Guidelines for Documentation of Unit Changes and Importance of Instruction passed by voice vote without opposition.

10. Election of Officers: The following nominations were presented.
      For Chairperson, Bridget Behe
      For Vice-Chair and 2nd Representative to the Faculty Academic Committee for the first term only, Julie Wade
      For MEAC Representative, Winston Wilkinson

      Nominations were closed.
Motion (Wilkinson) with support (R. Phillips) to accept Bridget Behe as Chairperson by acclamation passed.

Motion (Wilkinson) with support (R. Phillips) to accept Julie Wade as Vice-chair by acclamation passed.

Motion (R. Phillips) with support (Wade) to accept Winston Wilkinson as MEAC representative by acclamation passed.

Thanks to Jon Sticklen (departing chairperson) and Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost) for the hard work they put into this committee during the past year. Steidle stated that in addition to continuing work on the tabled subcommittee reports, issues very likely to come before UCAP next year include grade inflation and academic integrity.

Chairperson Sticklen adjourned the meeting at 12:03 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Paul Coe