Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2007-2008‎ > ‎

2007 - 09/13

agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy
Meeting of Thursday, September 13, 2007
10:15 a.m., Administration Bldg. Board Room
  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the August 30, 2007 Minutes
  3. Request to Add an Academic Standards Statement in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences..... (Attachment 1, Attachment 2)
    Kathy Doig, Director, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program
  4. Academic Dishonesty: Current Policy and Guidelines
    Stan Soffin, University Ombudsman
    Sandra Harley, Assistant University Ombudsman
    Doug Estry, Associate Provost Undergraduate Education
  5. Religious Observance Updated..... Ralph Putnam, UCAP Vice Chair..... (Attachment 1, Attachment 2)
  6. Roundtable: All Other Business
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.

    1. August 30, 2007 Draft Minutes
    2. UCC Req Add Acad Stndrds BS Clin Lab Sci 8_17_07
    3. Addendum Clin Lab Sci Progression Standard 8_17_07
    4. Rel Obs Provost Ltr
    5. Memo ECAC~RELOBS Policy 2_23_07

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 09/27/2007

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 09/13/2007

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Attendees: Rania Badin, Dennis Banks, Matthew Caramagno, Peter Cobbett, Marty Crimp, Doug Estry, Richard Hallgren, Caroline Hartig, Linda Jackson, Carolyn Loeb, Matthew McKeon, Jerry Punch, Ralph Putnam, Michael Schechter, Michael Shields, Jim Smith, Amanda Venettis, Thomas Volkening

Absent: R. Sekhar Chivukula, Helen Mayer

The Agenda was approved.

Minutes from the 8/30/07 meeting were approved.

Comments from the Vice Chair

Vice Chair Putnam announced that he would chair this meeting and the September 27 meeting due to Chairperson Chivukula’s travel schedule.

Professor Putnam introduced Carolyn Loeb, the new committee member from the Residential College for Arts and Humanities.

Professor Putnam reported that according to the Office of Academic Governance, a quorum is half of the elected voting members plus one and that substitutes do not count as part of the quorum.

Request to Add an Academic Standards Statement in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Kathy Doig, Director, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program
Karen Hess, Clinical Coordinator and Academic Advisor, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program. The committee unanimously granted voice to Dr. Doig and Ms. Hess.

Dr. Doig provided the rationale and background for the request.
      The Clinical Laboratory Sciences program has found a positive correlation between high grades in certain courses and performance in clinical rotations and on national exams.
      In the past, the program required a mastery level score of 75% in certain course examinations as the cut-off to determine whether students were ready for clinical rotations. Students who scored below that level were remediated until they could reach the 75% score. Students who attained the knowledge necessary to score 75% or above on these exams, generally did well in clinical rotations and on the national certification exams.
      In (approximately) 2001, the program was required to remove the provision of mastery level before entering clinical rotations. The result has been poorer performance in clinical rotations and more students opting out of or performing poorly on the national exams.
      As a result, the program requests the approval to implement a progression policy to identify students who are underperforming in classes and to work with them prior to clinic rotations to be adequately prepared. Adequate preparation is defined as receiving at least an average GPA of 2.0 in selected clinical courses (MT 417, MT 434, MT 324, MT 435, MMG 463, MT 416). Students who could not meet the requirement would not be eliminated from the program but would be eligible to choose the Medical Technology major option.
Dr. Doig discussed the graph that documents the correlation of Certification Scores with Core GPA. She noted that students who have not attempted the certifying exam are not included in the graph data.

An additional handout provided to the committee highlighted the courses in which poor performance indicated likely lack of success in clinical rotations and the national certification exam. Monitoring these courses would identify students who should not be progressing to help them make decisions about how to approach their education. Those students would not be dismissed from the program but counseled either to retake the course or to choose the Medical Technology major option.

Dr. Doig pointed out two other concerns: a) when students do not do well in clinical rotations, the willingness of medical facilities to continue to take our students is negatively affected; b) reaccreditation of the program takes into account the success of MSU students on certification exams.

After discussion, the committee recommended that the proposal be considered further after considering the following:
      What other programs in the University have similar requirements
      Reviewing the student grievance that drove the original change to the program
      Review historical information on UCAP decisions in similar requests
      Justification for particular courses to have higher grade standards
      Consultation with the Office of the Ombudsman prior to submission of the revised proposal

Committee discussion on the topic centered on the following concerns:
      Are there courses that are more important in indicating success in clinical rotations and national examinations? If so, why not require a 2.0 in those courses? It was noted that the committee had denied a similar proposal several years ago.
      Need for committee review of University policy, UCAP history, and University practice to establish guidelines regarding the requirement of grade point averages in courses or overall GPA’s in order to progress in a major.
      How does this proposal compare with practice in similar institutions?
      What happens if a student has used up all repeat credits? Would they be released from the major?

Academic Dishonesty: Current Policy and Guidelines
Dr. Stan Soffin, University Ombudsman
Dr. Sandra Harley, Assistant University Ombudsman

The committee unanimously granted voice to Drs. Soffin and Harley.

Associate Provost Estry introduced the presentation by pointing out that Dr. Soffin and Harley were asked to present and clarify existing policy, providing the basis for further Committee action on the topic.

Dr. Harley presented two flowcharts (appended to these minutes) describing current University policy and procedure in cases of allegations of academic dishonesty from the viewpoint of a faculty member. The first flowchart, Allegation of Academic Dishonesty: No Disciplinary Action (defined as no additional sanctions requested by the instructor or the Dean).

The flowchart labeled “Disciplinary Action” reflects the steps that would be followed if, in the case where a 0.0 was given in the course for academic dishonesty, the faculty member or the Dean determines additional sanctions are necessary. The flowchart labeled “No Disciplinary Action” represents the student’s appeal process when no additional sanctions are requested by the faculty or the Dean takes no additional action (this applies to either a failing grade in the course or a penalty grade on an assignment or test.

Committee discussion centered on the following points:
      There are no records kept of instances of academic dishonesty failure unless a 0.0 given in a course.
      No university standard of what constitutes academic dishonesty or appropriate sanctions that are applied uniformly.
      Tracking – how do those instances tracked reach the level of an appropriate person’s review?
      In the case of a disciplinary hearing (where additional sanctions are pursued), students lack the option to appeal their guilt or innocence at the beginning of the process. In this case, the student is guilty until proven innocent.
      What do we want to do as a point of education? How do we determine the degree to which instances of academic dishonesty are intentional or due to lack of understanding?
      Need to clarify the AFR.

Dr. Soffin commented that the Office of the Ombudsman had 100 contacts regarding academic dishonesty last year from faculty and students. Of those, less than 20 went to a hearing board. He thinks that an uneven playing field is a significant problem for students.

Dr. Soffin recommends:
      All instances of academic dishonesty should be reported to dean of student’s major with an explanation of the accompanying action.
      Students should be able to defend themselves at the hearing in disciplinary cases(see “Disciplinary Action” flowchart). He suggested that it would be better if guilt or innocence in the original allegation were determined before the college pursues any additional sanctions.

Religious Observance Update

Vice Chair Putnam suggested and the committee agreed that the Religious Observance Update be moved to the next meeting due to time constraints.

The meeting was Adjourned at 12:00 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther