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2002 - 11/21

UCAP Meeting of 11/21/2002


agenda status: approved

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

1. Approval of Agenda

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

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Request for changes in ESL courses: UCAP policy questions.....................(Attachment)

6. Discussion on Computer issues (continued)......................David Gift

7. Sub-Committee on Grade Inflation...........................George Cornell

8. ECAC Request for review of proposal to include gender identity............(Attachment)
in the MSU Anti-Discrimination Policy

9. Roundtable

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

Attachments: November 7, 2002 Draft Minutes
Request for Changes in Status of ESL Courses
Report to ECAC on the ASMSU Proposal to Include Gender Identity in the MSU
Anti-Discrimination Policy

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 11/21/2002

Approved 12/5/02
University Committee on Academic Policy
November 21, 2002

Members Present: Bridget Behe (Chair), Henry Beckmeyer, Paul Coe, George Cornell, Kathryn Day, James Gallagher, Chelsea Hasenburg, Okey Iheduru, Patricia Mullan, Hillary Noyes, Shaun Phillips, Georgia Padonu, Sharon Senk, Jon Sticklen (for Betty Cheng), Winston Wilkinson, Maija Zile

Others Present: Barbara Steidle (Assistant Provost), June Youatt (Assistant Provost) Susan Gass, Director of the English Language Center, Patricia Paulsell, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Assistant Vice-president David Gift.

The meeting was called to order at 10:17 a.m

1. Agenda was approved.

2. Minutes of the November 7 meeting were approved after a modification in item 3 regarding Juli Wade’s replacement and a modification in item 7 in which the last sentence was deleted. Also the first sentence in Item 6 was reworded.

3. Comments from the Chair: Bridget is seeking a replacement for Juli Wade as Vice-Chair. She also called for input to the sub-committee on Importance of Instruction and requested that comments be sent to Jim Gallagher ( prior to the next meeting. The Chair also noted that this is Barbara Steidle’s last meeting as Assistant Provost.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost included: As UCAP continues its monitoring of the SOCT system, the committee should be aware of a growing concern about proliferation of evaluation forms that are consuming an excessive amount of student and faculty time. As student outcomes assessment measures become more widely used, this situation will be further exacerbated. Possibilities to consider might include combining forms and/or using electronic forms that could be filled out outside of class time.
    Academic integrity – Increased enforcement of regulations by academic units is noted. As this occurs, some inconsistencies in the Academic Freedom Report become evident. In regard to a suggestion that the Assistant Provost’s Office temporarily impose and monitor the status of warning probation at the behest of a college, there was a distinct preference to await recommendations that might deal with such gaps from the subcommittee on Academic Integrity.

    A memo regarding the University policies and practices from a professor was distributed. This memo dealt with a particular instance of violation of academic integrity and raises a number of concerns that should enter into the deliberations of the Academic Integrity subcommittee.

    Enforcement of the policy on final examinations continues to be a problem. The Associate Deans raised a question as to whether the concept of the final exam, per se, should be revisited in view of changing practices; and, if so, whether that suggested any changes in policy. For the present, it was pointed out that some faculty arbitrarily are shifting final exams to the last week of classes. This creates serious scheduling problems for students and conflicts in meeting obligations of the last week of classes.

    To conclude the discussion on Guidelines for Submission of Documents for Unit and Program Changes, the chair was charged to submit the final committee draft to the Provost. In light of the reductions in budget portended by the Provost, and the possible increase in the number of unit and program changes proposed, the committee was reluctant to suggest modifications, but acknowledged that the document was being forwarded to the Provost as a recommendation. There could well be requests for expedited actions. The Assistant Provost noted again that changes in academic programs are in UCAP’s purview under the Bylaws for Academic Governance, whereas unit reorganization, per se, is not.

    June Youatt, Professor of Family and Child Ecology, was introduced as the new Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and members of the committee
    likewise introduced themselves to her.
5. Request for changes in ESL Courses: Susan Gass, Director of the English Language Center (ELC), and Patricia Paulsell, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, presented the request for changes in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Courses in ESL have been non-credit courses according to University policy at the 090 level. The request is to make the ELC (ESL) 094 through 095 courses into 300 level, credit-bearing courses.
    Professor Gass noted that the Graduate School and International Studies and Programs supported this change, in the context of the review of the English Language Center. Most other Michigan universities already provide credit for such courses. These courses are for international students and are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Agencies that fund students object to supporting students in non-credit courses. There is no tuition consequence for the proposed change as tuition is charged for both credit and non-credit courses. Questions were raised about the move from the 090 level to the 300 level. According to the guests, the level is based on comparisons with the linguistic and cognitive tasks in courses in foreign language departments. A shift from remedial status is a significant part of this change. Courses at the 300 level are not, in normal circumstances, countable for graduate credit.

    The key questions that need to be addressed are the following:
· Should these courses be moved from non-credit to credit-bearing?
· What pre-requisites or restrictions on eligibility should there be?
· Is the shift of course level from 090 to 300 appropriate?
· If the courses are to be offered at the 300-level, how much credit (if any) credit is appropriate toward the 300-400 level requirement for the baccalaureate degree?
· If these courses are moved to a credit-bearing category, what should be the limit on the number of credits for these courses to be applicable for degree purposes.
    Due to time constraints, discussion and action on this item were deferred.
6. Discussions on Computer Issues: David Gift presented information in several topics:
    E-mail SPAM – There are two types: marketing messages and objectionable messages such as pornography. Apparent senders may not know that they are being used for this purpose. These are difficult to filter. A new system will be phased in next semester to keep up with increased load, which is more than 1 million per day. Protection from viruses may be done centrally more cost effectively.

    Choices of filtering will be left to individuals. However, it is not imminent. A question was asked about MSU “selling” phone and e-mail lists. Barbara Steidle emphasized the University’s long-standing policy against this, by any means. Gift described how commercial groups can access this information themselves.

    Rising cost of internet service fees
    Volume of e-mail and computer use has increased 10 fold in the last 2 years. Some of the increase is due to the availability of 100 megabyte/sec access. The computer requirement may not be part of the problem. Life-science Corridor will come on line in 2003 which will affect traffic.

    We buy from Merit that serves all Michigan educational institutions. Now, the cost is $1.55 million; next year over $2 million. Merit network costs are not passed on to students. About 50% of the costs of the network come from student use in residence halls. If costs were to be passed through, then they would be assessed equally. If passed through, it would be part of the housing cost, which is monitored to keep costs in line with inflation.
Faster off-campus conductivity
    MSU cannot serve all parties off campus because we cannot become a vendor for legal and tax reasons. The telecom industry has not been cooperative for economic reasons. National light rail would require larger investments.
Student access to web on campus such as micro-labs
Perhaps we need more hallway machines. However, student representatives stated that hallway machines do not work reliably. Wireless services have some promise with added mobility in class work. However, low band-width and lack of security are problems. Moreover the cost to users is significant.

7. No discussion occurred on agenda items 7 through 9
    The Committee members acknowledged their gratitude for the excellent service that Barbara Steidle has provided to UCAP. They also welcomed the new representative from the Provost’s Office, June Youatt.
Meeting adjourned at 12:07 p.m.

Next meeting December 5.

Respectfully submitted,
James Gallagher