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2005 - 03/17

UCAP Meeting of 03/17/2005


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, March 17, 2005
10:15 a.m., Board Room

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the February 24, 2005 meeting..........(Attachment)

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Assistant Provost

5. Discussion of Human Ecology...............Acting Provost Hudzik

6. Review of the Integrative Studies Task Force Report ..........Norman Graham
7. Round Table discussion

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

Attachment: Minutes of February 24, 2005

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 03/31/2005

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 03/17/2005
Approved as Amended 3/31/05

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Bridget Behe, Renée Canady, Kurt Dewhurst, Rebecca Henry, Jennifer Hodges, Helen Mayer, Folu Ogundimu, Rodney Phillips, Sharon Pocock, Ralph Putnam, Kurt Stirewalt, Maija Zile

Members Absent: Henry Beckmeyer, Steve Dilley, Jeremy Hernandez, Kyle Martin, Sulema Medrano, Karthik Prasad, Sharon Senk, Cynthia Taggart, Peter Tomchuck, Alex von Eye

Others Present: June Pierce Youatt (Assistant Provost and Dean), John Hudzik (Acting Provost), Norm Graham (Associate Dean, James Madison College)

1) The meeting was called to order at 10:20 AM and the agenda was approved.

2) The minutes from the February 24, 2005 UCAP meeting were approved, pending the following corrections: Line #1 of the second paragraph in section 6 should read “regarding UCAP needs on a policy. . .” Line #3 of section 7 should read “how other universities may control. . .”

3) Comments from the Chairperson: Folu Ogundimu reminded the committee that the Executive Committee of Academic Council (ECAC) will be asking for UCAP’s recommendations on the Integrative Studies, Writing, and Quantitative Literacy task force reports later this semester.

4) Comments from the Assistant Provost: June Youatt announced that while the Working Group to Improve Undergraduate Education has not yet convened, its membership roster has been formalized. The roster includes: William Allen (Political Science), Cynthia Taggart (Music), Rod Phillips (James Madison), Wellington Ow (Mathematics), Richard Enbody (Computer Science), and Kurt Stirewalt (Computer Science). At-large members will include Ned Jackson (Chemistry), Sandi Smith (CAS), and Antionette Winkler-Prins (Geography). William Allen will convene the group, and a chair will be selected at the group’s first meeting.

5) Discussion of Human Ecology: Acting Provost Hudzik provided the committee with an overview of the history of Human Ecology at the University, noting that the name and the focus of the program have evolved over the last century. In the 1990s, the College divided into “three diverse departments”: Family and Child Ecology, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Human Environment and Design. In 2004, citing declines in research monies and faculty positions, Provost Simon suggested a reorganization of HE programs to other areas of the University in order to provide HE with “stronger intellectual ties and a stronger resource base.”

In the year since this reorganization has been undertaken, the faculty of Family and Child Ecology have requested a transfer to the College of Social Science, a request that was accepted by Social Science. This change is now working its way through the governance process, and may be acted upon by June 2005, allowing programmatic changes by Fall 2005. Action is currently underway to transfer departments currently housed in Food Science and Human Nutrition and Human Environment and Design to new homes in the Colleges of Communication Arts and Sciences, Arts and Letters, and Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The result of these changes will be that the College of Human Ecology will be “empty as of July 1, 2005.” Acting Provost Hudzik advised UCAP that a request to close the College of Human Ecology will be brought to University governance committees in September 2005, and pending approval, to the MSU Board of Trustees in October of 2005. Pending approval of the Board, the College will be closed effective July 2006.

Discussion followed, with UCAP members expressing concern that graduating HE students might prefer to have their “new” college listed on their diplomas rather than HE. Others expressed their wishes that the University not lose sight of the historic role of Human Ecology, especially in light of its historic importance to women. Members of the committee thanked Acting Provost Hudzik for his remarks, and for the transparency with which the administration is handling this matter.

6) Review of the Integrative Studies Task Force Report: Norm Graham, Chair of the Integrative Studies Planning Committee, provided a brief overview of his committee’s work in reviewing the effectiveness of the current structure of the Integrative Studies Program. Currently, the IS Program is housed in three centers in the University: Social Science, Natural Science, and Arts and Letters.

While the task force finds that the Integrative Studies Program is functioning well under the current organization, and that it enjoys “a fair degree of national visibility” among universities nationwide, there are organizational reforms that could improve its performance. While no members of the task force favored “extreme centralization” of the three IS centers, two main options for a higher level of cooperation / centralization are now being considered:
      Option A: The creation of an Advisory Committee providing more cooperation between the three IS centers in regard to goals, curriculum development, and faculty participation.

      Option B: In addition to the creation of an Advisory Committee and greater cooperation between the three IS centers, this option also envisions a central director who would oversee the operation of the program and report to the Assistant Provost.
Currently, Option B seems to have the support of a majority of Task force members.

Discussion followed, including questions regarding the possible impact on IS if and when the College of LS and A becomes a reality. Other UCAP members explored curricular concerns, and raised concerns about whether faculty currently teaching in IS are able to find an “identity” within the program.

Assistant Provost Youatt reminded the committee that the next step in this review process is for the IS report to be examined in connection with the other task force reports, as a means of examining undergraduate education at the University as a whole.

Folu Ogundimu asked that UCAP members forward their remarks on the IS report via e-mail no later than March 24.

7) Roundtable Discussion: Renée Canady announced that there will be an additional meeting with staff from Olin Health Center to discuss issues related to the Center’s policy on providing students with written excuses for illness. This meeting will take place on April 20.

8) The meeting adjourned at 11:50 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Rod Phillips