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2003 - 04/10

UCAP Meeting of 04/10/2003


agenda status: approved

University Committee on Academic Policy
Meeting of Thursday, April 10, 2003
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the March 13, 2003 meeting.........................(Attachment)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. ATL Mission and Departmental Name Change...............(Attachments)

6 Telecommunication Name Change..............................(Attachment)

7. Proposal to Establish the School of Construction Management....................(Distributed Hard Copy Only)
and Built Environment

8. Academic Integrity

9. Roundtable

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

Attachment: March 13, 2003 Draft Minutes
6 documents to support ATL Mission & Departmental Name Change
January 31, 2003 letter from Dean James D. Spaniolo
School of Construction Mgt. & Built Environment Materials (item not being posted to web)

minutes status: not approved

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 04/10/2003

Approved 4-24-03

University Committee on Academic Policy
April 10, 2003

Members Present: Henry Beckmeyer, Bridget Behe, Betty Cheng, George Cornell, Steve Dilley, Jim Gallagher, Jerry Ludden (for Sharon Senk), Patricia Mullan, Folu Ogundimu, Georgia Padonu, Rod Phillips, Gary Stollak, Winston Wilkinson, Maija Zile

Others Present: Assistant Provost June Youatt

1. Agenda was approved, with modification to the sequence of items.

2. Minutes of March 13, 2003 were approved, as written.

3. Comments from the Chairperson: Bridget Behe announced the new MSU Mediation Service Program (MSP). The MSP is supplementary to other university procedures for mediating and resolving conflicts for faculty and staff. Behe also mentioned that the Provost circulated a report showing the representation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in academic governance (University Affirmative Action and Diversity Within Community Report). She wanted UCAP to know the report is available for review.

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost: None.

5. Telecommunication Name Change
      College of Communication Arts & Sciences (CCAS), Dean James S. Spaniolo, and Associate Dean of Graduate Education & Research, Tom Baldwin, presented the case for renaming the Department of Telecommunication (TC) as the “Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media”. The proposed name better reflects the focus and emphasis of courses taught at the department, with an overwhelming number of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels having information studies in them. Information studies represent 1 of 3 thrusts of the department, they said.

      In response to earlier comments by UCAP on the proposed name change, CCAS conducted a survey of recent graduates and current students in the Department of TC, finding that a majority of the respondents thought the proposed name more accurately reflects courses taught in the department. The undergraduate student body, ASMSU, did not offer any response to the proposal. The College of Business offered its support for the proposed name change. The Chairman of the Department of Computer Science indicated that although the department expressed concern last year about “information” being used as a free-standing noun, the department no longer has this concern.

      After much discussion, motion to approve a name change for the Department of Telecommunication, with a new name of Department of “Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media” was carried.
6. ATL Mission and Departmental Name Change
      Dean Wendy Wilkins, College of Arts & Letters presented the case for a name change for the Department of American Thought and Language (ATL), and for the department to expand its mission in the university. Specifically, the College of Arts & Letters seeks four substantive changes, as follows:
i) Change the Department name to Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, (WRA).

ii) Authorize the Department to offer degree programs, starting at the undergraduate level.

iii) Authorize the use of the prefix WRA by the Department for courses currently prefixed “ATL” and for AL-prefixed undergraduate writing courses (but not for AMS-prefixed American Studies courses), effective Fall 2003.

iv) Change the catalog description for the Department (as per Appendix A, Attachment) to reflect its expanded mission, its changed faculty identity, and its new degree programs, effective Fall 2003.
      Additional to the narrative outlining the rationale for the proposed changes – as provided in the documents attachments – Wilkins said the proposed changes will allow the College of Arts & Letters to better utilize faculty expertise within ATL for current degree programs, as well as for new degree programs within the proposed Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. She said that ATL faculty are “highly research-active”, and although their profile is not different from those of other faculty at MSU, their instructional effort in the past was anchored on the preferences and dictates of other departments. The proposed changes will rectify this situation by allowing administrative structure to catch up with the de facto status within the college. Other key points of merit about the proposed changes include:
(i) New BA degree in Professional Writing has writing as its focus, the pedagogy is content-driven, with its primary emphasis on content that is heavily infused with American culture.

(ii) The proposal does not affect the unit’s commitment to the Tier 1 writing requirements of the university. All the Tier 1 writing requirements will still be met with the creation of the new department. And the proposal does not affect the Tier 2 writing courses because those courses will remain across all academic departments.

(iii) New degree in professional writing has already been through university curriculum review.

(iv) All course revisions for the undergraduate program are done.

Clarifications provided by Wilkins to UCAP questions include:

· Acknowledgment that the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the new department of WRA are brand new. Folding the existing M.A. & Ph.D. (currently listed as AL programs) programs in American Studies into the new department is considered impracticable because some faculty of American Studies feel the inter-disciplinary option offered by the present program is preferred.

· Acknowledgment that over time, there might be more graduate assistants teaching Tier 1 writing courses because of the Ph.D. program. Presently, the doctoral program is too small to make a significant difference. Growth of temporary or contract faculty teaching the Tier 1 courses is not anticipated.

· Acknowledgment that although “Rhetoric” features prominently in the name of the new department, there is no faculty expertise in oral communication, but there is a growing interest in this area. Also, mentioned the possibility of cross-disciplinary cooperation, including with the department of Theatre.
      After much discussion, UCAP agreed to table the discussion until after a careful review of the documents submitted with the request for approval of proposed changes. Committee members would also like closer scrutiny and answers to:
· Questions raised by consultants’ report regarding Tier 1 teaching.

· Evaluation of impact of degree program in WRA on the delivery of Tier 1 courses.

· Concern that if approved, the new department does not replace its primary emphasis of providing service courses to the university with servicing departmental interests over time.

7. Proposal to Establish the School of Construction Management
      Proposal was discussed. UCAP members wanted more time to study the documents on the proposal. It was agreed that the matter should be tabled until the next UCAP meeting.
8. Academic Integrity: Not discussed.
    9. Roundtable: June Youatt promised to send the website address for procedures for the disbandment of academic programs.
Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Next Meeting: April 24, 2003.
Respectfully submitted,
Folu F. Ogundimu