Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2006-2007‎ > ‎

2007 - 04/12

agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy
Meeting of Thursday, April 12, 2007
10:15 a.m., Hannah Administration Bldg. Board Room

  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes of the March 29, 2007 Meeting
  3. Comments from the Chairperson
  4. Comments from the Associate Provost
  5. Academic Integrity Policy
  6. Undergraduate Instructional Aids Subcommittee Update
  7. Roundtable

Phone or e-mail Sandra Walther (353-5380; if you cannot be present. Please remember that you are asked to send a substitute from your college.

minutes status: not approved

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 04/12/2007

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Present: Dennis Banks, Peter Cobbett, Doug Estry, Richard Hallgren, Yen-Hwei Lin, Helen Mayer, Philip Moon, Tony Nunez, Ralph Putnam (by phone), Daniel Roth, Brandon Sethi, Jon Sticklen, Alex von Eye

Absent: Renée Canady, Sekhar Chivukula, Lauren Doherty, Edmund Outslay, Colleen Tremonte, Bruce Vanden Bergh, Amanda Venettis, Connie Zheng

Guests: Stanley Soffin, University Ombudsman
Sandra Harley, Office of the Ombudsman

The Agenda was approved.

The Minutes for March 29, 2007 were approved.

Comments from the Chairperson

Professor Putnam reminded the committee that the last meeting of the 2006-07 academic year is April 26. New 2007-08 members will be invited to attend the meeting. New and continuing members will elect the committee chair and other positions for the 2007-08 academic year.

Putnam reported that, after consideration, Faculty Council returned the Religious Observance Proposal to UCAP for further review. Among the issues raised by Faculty Council were faculty’s right to establish class attendance policy and that a secular institution should not have a policy that offers special privilege to the religiously observant student.

Comments from the Associate Provost

Associate Provost Estry reported that he had contacted University Counsel for comment on the Religious Observance Proposal.

Academic Integrity Policy

Motion to give voice to Stan Soffin, University Ombudsman and Sandra Harley, Office of the Ombudsman passed unanimously.

Stan Soffin and Sandra Harley provided comments on the two academic integrity policy proposals:
      Proposal II appears to be similar to our current policy and practice with a bit of change regarding second offense.

      Current university policy treats graduate students differently than undergraduates relative to disciplinary hearings. Do both proposals intend to treat all students the same no matter what level?

      Proposal I seems more complicated in terms of changes required to existing policy: having to clearly define the nature of offenses covered in the policy and then to delineate the penalties for each offense.

      Proposal I seems to equalize acts of academic dishonesty, regardless of the nature of the offense. Penalties would be given based on the number of occurrences (first, second, third) rather than by the seriousness of any particular occurrence.

      Either Proposal I or II account for falsification of academic records and falsification of admission records that are also examples of academic dishonesty.

      A recommendation for a university-wide hearing board for academic dishonesty was included in the annual report from the Office of the Ombudsman last year. The report recommended that in the case of a university-wide hearing board, faculty would recommend action rather than decide. Because students are in several colleges/departments, they may cheat in each and receive different punishments for similar acts. The establishment of a university-wide hearing board would level the playing field in that the various colleges treat academic dishonesty quite differently and issue widely varying penalties.

      The Ombudsman agrees with the proposal that faculty should report any instance of academic dishonesty whether it results in a 0.0 course grade or a lowered grade on an assignment.

      It would be important under both proposals to lay out the steps for student appeal very clearly. Students must be able to appeal a decision and then have an opportunity to argue against an additional penalty that may have been given.

Discussion of Proposals I and II centered on the following key points:
      Creation of a university-wide Academic Dishonesty hearing board.
        Would the university-wide hearing board determine sanctions (if so, would those sanctions be prescribed?) or be flexible as currently outlined in the AFR?

        How would the university-wide hearing board be trained? An advantage would be the need to train a single hearing board rather than multiple college-level boards.

        How would the establishment of a university-wide hearing board affect the ability of a student to appeal the accusation of academic dishonesty and/or appeal a penalty judgment?

        Could the existing university-wide Academic Integrity hearing board take on this role? If it did, what body would serve as site for appeals to its decisions?

        Would university-wide hearing board more fairly adjudicate issues such as a student’s removal from a program or dismissal from the university?
      Should there be a distinction for severity and/or nature of academic dishonesty in Proposal I?

      What is the role that education or re-education about academic dishonesty would play in either proposal?

Professor Putnam distributed the written comments about the Academic Dishonesty Proposals sent by Sekhar Chivukula and Colleen Tremonte by email to the committee. Both indicated concern with any prescribed set of consequences that would run the risk of not taking account of the specific issues of a case.

Professor Putnam asked the committee to indicate which proposal they favored by a show of hands.
Proposal I – with specified sanctions: 5 indicated this preference.
Proposal II – with hearing board: 6 indicated this preference.

Consensus was that the vote was too close to select one proposal over the other since eight voting members were not in attendance at the meeting

Professor Putnam requested more information and recommendations from the Office of the University Ombudsman regarding the establishment of a university-wide hearing board.

Jon Sticklen and Richard Hallgren stated they would revise Proposal I for presentation at the next meeting of the committee.

Undergraduate Instructional Aids Subcommittee Update

Professor Hallgren suggested that further discussion and action on Undergraduate Instructional Aids policy be delayed until fall 2007.

Professor Putnam reminded the committee that review of the Undergraduate Instructional Aids Policy was a UCAP initiative and urged the committee to make progress on the topic early next fall.

Round Table

No Round Table comments.

The meeting was Adjourned at 12:03pm.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther