Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2007-2008‎ > ‎

2007 - 11/08

agenda status: approved



University Committee on Academic Policy
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Board Room, Administration Building

  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Approval of the October 25, 2007 Minutes
  3. Comments from the Chairperson
  4. Request to Establish a Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Require a Grade-Point Average
    Michael Mazzeo, Associate Dean, Eli Broad College of Business .....(Attachment)
  5. Request for GPA change for admission to Bachelor of Music in Music Education
    Curtis Olson, Associate Dean, College of Music
    Cynthia Taggart, Chair, Music Education .....(Attachment 1, Attachment 2)
  6. Religious Observance: Update
  7. Undergraduate Assistant Subcommittee Report
  8. Academic Dishonesty Subcommittee Report
  9. Planning and Prioritization (added in meeting)
  10. 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.

    1. October 25, 2007 Draft Minutes
    2. Request to Establish a Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Require a Grade-Point Average
    3. Request for GPA Change for Admission to Bachelor of Music in Music Education
    4. E-mail Response from Curtis Olson, Rationale for GPA Change for Admission to Bachelor of Music in Music Education

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 01/10/2008

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 11/08/2007

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, November 8, 2007
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, Administration Building

Attendees: Rania Badin, Dennis Banks, Matthew Caramagno, R. Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Marty Crimp, Richard Hallgren, Linda Jackson, Carolyn Loeb, Helen Mayer, Matthew McKeon, Jerry Punch, Ralph Putnam, Michael Schechter, Michael Shields, Jim Smith, Amanda Venettis, Chris Wenstrom

Absent: Doug Estry, Caroline Hartig, Thomas Volkening

Agenda was approved with the addition of Planning and Prioritization as a discussion item.

Minutes of the October 25, 2007 meeting were approved.

Comments from the Chairperson
Chairperson Chivukula reported that ECAC had referred the UCAP Fall Break proposal to several other committees for feedback by the end of September 2007. It appears that none has done so.

In the last ECAC meeting, Provost Wilcox mentioned a Wharton School survey of student support services on campus and that the results of the report will be referred back to ECAC.

Professor Chivukula stated that per our comments to UCC, they would resubmit only the request to specify that a minimum of 15 credits be required for a minor to UCAP. In accordance with the committee’s decision in its 8/30/07 meeting to allow conducting committee business by email, Professor Chivukula proposed that the committee consider this request and vote by email. Documentation will be provided with a request for responses to the following questions:

    1. Do you object to attending to this matter by email?

    2. Do you support UCC’s request to change the minimum number of credits in a minor?

Chairperson Chivukula indicated that, after their November meetings, ECAC and Academic Council do not meet again until January. Given that UCAP has two meetings prior to January, if sequenced appropriately, we can add UCAP proposals to the January docket.

Request to Establish a Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Require a Grade-Point Average
Michael Mazzeo, Associate Dean, Eli Broad College of Business

The committee unanimously granted voice to Associate Dean Mazzeo.

Associate Dean Mazzeo indicated that the request under consideration is consistent with operating procedure in other specializations in business and that the requirement of a 2.0 GPA in all concentrations is published in the Eli Broad College policy. Professor Mazzeo clarified that the requirement of a 2.0 GPA average is in the courses in the specialization.

Committee members discussed catalogue language, suggesting that revisions be made to make clear that the 2.0 GPA requirement is an average 2.0 GPA in all the courses in the specialization not a 2.0 requirement in each of the courses...

Motion by Michael Schechter passed unanimously:

The committee endorses the request by the Eli Broad School of Business to require a Grade-Point Average in the Specialization in Entrepreneurship.

Request for GPA Change for Admission to Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Curtis Olson, Associate Dean, College of Music
Cynthia Taggart, Chair, Music Education

Associate Dean Olson and Chairperson Taggart provided the following rationale for the department’s request.

    Rationale for 2.75, which is a change from 2.5
    All students in music education must also be admitted to the College of Education in order to pursue their degrees in music education. The College of Education requires that students have a 2.75 GPA to be admitted to the College of Education. Therefore, it is consistent and important that music education require the same GPA. Otherwise, music education students will not be admitted to the College of Education, which is a separate but parallel process from being admitted to Advanced Standing in the College of Music. Music Education agreed with the College of Education when they, in the recent past, increased their GPA to 2.75, because the higher standard is more commensurate with the skills and knowledge expected of developing teachers. However, the Department of Music Education is catching up in terms of the documentation placing music students on a parallel track.
    Rationale for minimum grade of 2.0 in courses utilized to assess entrance into Advanced Standing in Music Education
    The skills developed in the courses included in the grade point for Advanced Standing in Music Education are essential for success as a music teacher. Students receiving less than a 2.0 in any of the courses indicated would result in having musical skills that are too weak for success in teaching. This requirement would not permanently exclude a student from being a music education major because they would have an opportunity to take the course again, develop an appropriate skill and knowledge level, and do better in the class in terms of a grade. This change is also necessary because classes for aural skills, skills essential to teaching, represent only one credit which, when averaged with grades of other courses having more credits, have little effect on overall GPA and occasionally result in the progression of students who have aural skills that are inappropriately weak for music teacher candidates.

The committee noted that the documentation received from UCC as an attachment to the October 19, 2007 request from Linda Stanford did not indicate the request to require a minimum 2.0 grade for courses used to determine advanced standing as a program change (see item 3 on page 4 of 5 under “Teacher Certification Options, Admission as a Junior). With input from Associate Dean Olson and Dr. Taggart, this change was deliberated.

Motion by Michael Schechter passed unanimously:

The committee endorses the requests by the School of Music to change the grade-point average in the admission as a junior statement in the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and to add the requirement that students achieve a 2.0 in each of the Music courses used to determine advanced standing status.

Religious Observance: Update
Ralph Putnam, Subcommittee Chairperson

Professor Putnam asked the committee for its direction whether the subcommittee should continue its work in drafting a proposal for a new Religious Observance policy. He indicated that, according to the University Ombudsman, there has been a decrease in student complaints about religious observance policy this semester that he attributes to the Provost’s letter to faculty in August ’07 focusing attention on the importance of a fair and respectful accommodation of students’ requests for absences in order to observe religious holidays.

After discussion, the committee members indicated the subcommittee should continue to work toward a proposal for Religious Observance Policy.

Undergraduate Assistant Subcommittee Report
Jim Smith, Subcommittee Member

Professor Smith indicated the committee’s decision to give the name “Undergraduate Learning Assistant (ULA)” to the undergraduate student position indicated in past committee work as Undergraduate Teaching Aides, among others. Professor Smith indicated that, although there are many undergraduate assistant positions at MSU, the draft policy proposal currently being created by the subcommittee would apply only to the MSU student job title/description “Teaching Aides”.

The committee has begun their task by reviewing policies at other universities and addressing the concerns of the University Ombudsman as indicated in his response to the draft proposal of last year’s subcommittee. The early-draft proposal distributed to committee members for review is the subcommittees’ initial attempt at providing a policy containing operating principals for hiring and training Undergraduate Learning Assistants and additionally, implementation guidelines or best-practices for creating unit-specific duties, training, evaluation, and mentoring for ULA’s.

Chairperson Chivukula suggested three questions that will need to be addressed, in addition to the specifics of the ULA policy itself:

    Where should this policy go (for review and discussion)?
    Where will the policy reside (in the University’s policy documents)?
    What administrative unit will be responsible for the policy?

Professor Chivukula asked for volunteers to review the entire draft and to provide questions and comments at the next meeting of the committee.
Volunteers: Linda Jackson, Jerry Punch

Academic Dishonesty Subcommittee Report
Peter Cobbett, Subcommittee Chairperson

Subcommittee Chairperson Cobbett reviewed current University policy on academic dishonesty and reminded the committee that a proposal passed by UCAP in 2006-07, included mandatory discipline.

Professor Hallgren presented and discussed changes he proposed to the draft proposal that had been distributed directly to committee members by the Academic Dishonesty Subcommittee, reiterating the question that, as a matter of principle, does the committee want to add language to the proposal regarding specific disciplinary measures for academic dishonesty.

Chairperson Chivukula summarized the committee’s discussion in the following points:

    What should be the threshold of further disciplinary action (now a 0.0 grade)?
    Is there a need for a centralized record keeping of instances of student academic dishonesty?
    How do we insure consistency since the current administrative process can happen at many different levels?
    In what manner does the University indicate a firm stance on academic dishonesty? How does it demonstrate that academic dishonesty it will not be tolerated? Are specific sanctions required?
    Academic Dishonesty is an educational issue in an educational institution.

Professor Chivukula commented that the issues of specific sanctions and firm response appear to be impediments to moving forward on a proposal. He suggested that the committee consider creating a policy proposal that does not include specific sanctions, but indicates that appropriate sanctions must be given, taking into account severity and/or number of instances of academic dishonesty.

Planning and Prioritization - Discussion

Chairperson Chivukula suggested that, in order for the committee to bring pending issues to completion within the academic year, it consider the timeline needed to move issues forward to ECAC. It appears that ULA, an important example of an issue that needs to be reviewed by other committees, should be the top priority for consideration at the next meeting. He suggested that the Religious Observance Subcommittee provide a document for committee review with the goal of having a revised policy completed by the end of the academic year. Academic Dishonesty seems to need more thorough committee discussion before it is ready to proceed with a formal recommendation, suggesting that the committee review more closely the draft document provided to the committee at the meeting on November 29.

According to the committee’s decision at its August ’07 meeting, UCC minor request will be sent for email response and will not be on the docket on Nov 29.


No comments from committee members.

Meeting adjourned at noon.

11/16/07 Addendum

In response to the memo from Dr. Gillian Bice to Dr. Doug Estry, dated Nov. 6, 2007, UCAP considered the UCC recommendation to specify that a minimum of 15 credits be required for a minor.

Based on discussion in the committee's Oct. 25 and Nov. 8 meetings, and according to the guidelines adopted by UCAP for the 2007-8 academic year, UCAP conducted an e-mail vote on this issue from Nov. 9 - 15, 2007 and endorsed the UCC recommendation by a vote of 15 – 1.

Members of UCAP remain concerned, however, that the issue of double-counting of credit between a student's major, and their specialization or minor, is still confused -- and urge that these additional issues be resolved as soon as possible.

Respectfully submitted
Sandra Walther