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2004 - 02/12

UCAP Meeting of 02/12/2004


agenda status: not approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, February 12, 2004
10:15 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the January 29, 2004 meeting..........(Attachment)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Proposed Change to Policy of CR-NC Limitations..........(Attachment)

6. Discussion of Peterson Resolution on Undergraduate Research..........(Attachment)

7. Discussion of Policy Revisions to Exam Distribution..........(Attachment)

8. Report from Grade Inflation Sub-committee

9. Report from Academic Integrity Sub-committee

Please phone or E-Mail Robin Pline (353-5380; if you cannot be present and send a substitute in your place.

Attachments: January 29, 2004 Minutes
CR-NC Limitations Proposal
Peterson Resolution Materials
Exam Distribution Policy Revision Materials

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 02/12/2004

Approved 2/26/04
University Committee on Academic Policy
February 12, 2004
Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Bridget Behe (Chair), Bhavisha Bhalsod, Janet Bokemeier, Betty Cheng, Jared English (for Ernest Drake), Jeremy Hernandez, Jennifer Hodges, Tom Morse (for Kyle Martin), Patricia Mullan, Folu Ogundimu, Georgia Padonu, Helene Pazak, K. Ramesh, Sharon Senk, Cynthia Taggart, Alexander von Eye, Dan Weber, Chris Wheeler, Maija Zile

Others Present: Assistant Provost June Pierce Youatt

Members Absent: Henry Beckmeyer, Rod Phillips

1. Meeting was called to order at 10:18 am.

2. Agenda for February 12, 2004 was approved.

3. Minutes of January 29, 2004 were approved with minor revision.

4. Comments from the Chairperson:
a. The Chair encouraged faculty to attend upcoming Lilly seminars on teaching.
b. Dan Weber volunteered to take notes at the next UCAP meeting.

5. Comments from the Assistant Provost:
a. The Assistant Provost reported that Karen Klomparens and members of the University Graduate Council (UGC) want to work with members of UCAP on revising the Code of Teaching Responsibility, particularly with respect to language related to syllabi, submission of grades in a timely manner, and the XF grade for academic dishonesty.
b. The Provost will be making a statement next week about new initiatives on campus. UCAP is likely to have to consider some related issues.

6. Proposed change to policy of Credit-No Credit Limitations:
Dr. Youatt noted that last year UCAP approved a policy about grades on transcripts for MSU students participating in co-sponsored programs abroad. This was also approved by Deans and other governance committees, and is now MSU policy. However, recently some colleges have raised concerns because the grading practices abroad are often inconsistent with practices at MSU. After discussion about what a proposed change to the current policy would mean for students, advisors, autonomy of units, transcripts, and other issues the following motion was approved, seconded, and passed.

Replace the current text in Academic Programs 2002-04 with the following text.
4. Limitations:
a. No undergraduate student may enroll in more than a total of 20 credits on the CR-NC system in all semesters.

7. Discussion of Peterson resolution on undergraduate research:
The Chair shared some background information on a proposed resolution from Professor Richard Peterson for the Faculty Council that was sent to UCAP by Professor Jon Sticklen, Chair of the Executive Committee of Academic Council. There was a short discussion of both the purpose of the resolution and its specific language. Concerns were raised regarding the proposed resolution's overlap with the university's mission statement, the ambiguity of terms used in the resolution, and the difficulty of operationalizing some of the terms. The following motion was proposed, seconded, and approved.

UCAP declines to act on the resolution proposed by Professor Richard Peterson because of the ambiguity of its objectives and the possible interpretation of the terms used.

8. Discussion of Policy Revisions to Exam Distribution:
Student representatives of the ASMSU reported on problems that arise when tests given in classes are not secure. Some of these problems occur because of clear instances of cheating; others occur because some faculty members continue to use the same tests or questions over and over. Comments were made about responsibilities of both faculty and students in such instances, and suggestions were offered about what might be done to ensure greater fairness to students without burdening faculty with additional work.

A motion was made, seconded and approved to refer this matter to the Subcommittee on Teaching Importance.

9. Report from Grade Inflation Sub-committee:
The sub-committee has drafted a report that will be presented to UCAP members at the next meeting.

10. Report from Academic Integrity Sub-committee:
Patricia Mullan reported that when she recently did a web search of the term academic integrity at the MSU web site, the first 50 hits were about academic integrity in specific courses. The sub-committee members would rather see an official positive statement about academic integrity be the first to appear. Such a statement exists on page 108 of Spartan Life, but poor indexing and other technical difficulties make this hard to find.

The sub-committee would like guidance from UCAP and the Provost on whether to go ahead with a survey of faculty about prevalence of violations in academic integrity on campus.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 before any action on the above could be taken.

Respectfully submitted by,
Sharon Senk