Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2007-2008‎ > ‎

2008 - 02/21

agenda status: approved



University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, February 21, 2008
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

        1. Approval of the Agenda
        2. Approval of February 14, 2008 minutes
        3. Comments from the Chairperson
        4. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
        5. Religious Observance Policy Discussion
          Ralph Putnam, Subcommittee Chair
        6. Academic Integrity Policy Discussion
          Peter Cobbett, Subcommittee Chair
        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: approved

approved at meeting of 03/13/2008

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 02/21/2008

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, February 21, 2008
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, Administration Building

Attendees: Dennis Banks, R. Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Doug Estry, Ruba Farah, Richard Hallgren, Caroline Hartig, Linda Jackson, Carolyn Loeb, Helen Mayer, Brad McDonald, Jerry Punch, Ralph Putnam, Henry Reinart, Michael Schechter, Parita Shah, Michael Shields, Jim Smith, Thomas Volkening, Chris Wenstrom

Absent: Marty Crimp

The Agenda was approved.

Minutes from the 2/14/08 meeting were approved.

Comments from the Chairperson
Chairperson Chivukula introduced the new ASMSU representatives to UCAP: Henry Reinart, Parita Shah, Brad McDonald, and Ruba Farah.

Professor Chivukula met with Eric Hinojosa of ASMSU to discuss the status of two ASMSU bills forwarded to UCAP for consideration, Religious Observance and Fall Break.

A reporter from the State News mentioned to Professor Chivukula that students report that some faculty change the terms of the course by modifying the syllabus well into the course. This topic may come before the committee in the future.

Ralph Putnam attended the Faculty Council meeting in the Chairman’s absence.
Professor Putnam reported that a vote was taken and passed to establish a steering committee that will include the standing committee chairs. There was debate about changing the role of ECAC to a steering committee. Based on practice at some other universities, the Taskforce I proposal recommends that ECAC be replaced by a smaller, faculty committee that facilitates communication rather than setting the agenda for Academic Council and Faculty Council. In this scheme, committee chairs would no longer be part of the Executive Council. The current proposal would have one undergraduate student and one graduate student serving on the committee.

Chairperson Chivukula noted that, in his absence, Ralph Putnam would chair the March 13 UCAP meeting.

Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Associate Provost Estry reported that the Undergraduate Learning Aides (ULA) proposal, passed by the committee, was discussed in the Provost’s Associate/Vice Provost staff meeting on February 20. Dr. Estry, unable to attend the meeting, will report on the discussion at the next meeting of UCAP.

Religious Observance Policy Discussion
Ralph Putnam, Subcommittee Chair

Professor Putnam distributed copies of the proposed Religious Observance policy reflecting changes recommended at the last meeting.

After brief discussion, the matter was deferred to the March 13 committee meeting.

Academic Integrity Discussion Policy Discussion
Peter Cobbett, Subcommittee Chair

Dr. Cobbett distributed the current University policy on Academic Integrity, the proposal brought to committee in a November meeting and a document reflecting changes to the proposal this academic year.

Professor Cobbett reviewed the history of the policy review, initiated by a request from the Provost to comment on a prior UCAP proposal recommending a permanent marker on a student’s transcript in cases of academic dishonesty.

He also reviewed the differences between current policy and the proposal:

    In current policy, a 0.0 in a course due to academic dishonesty triggers action. In the policy proposal any penalty grade OR a 0.0 in a course due to academic dishonesty triggers action.
    The policy proposal includes mandatory AD education on the first offense, opening the question of who provides the education.
    In the policy proposal, an assumption of guilt moves the matter to the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (APUE). At this level, additional sanctions (beyond education) can be considered and imposed. The policy proposal suggests that the APUE will have a small committee to adjudicate these issues.
    The appeal to a decision by the APUE would be to the Provost.

Chairperson Chivukula stated that UCAP can propose to change the policy on the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades but the AFR, which governs judicial process, is handled by Student Affairs.
He urged the committee to think of the Academic Dishonesty proposal as a first step. There would need to be interaction with Student Affairs regarding the AFR, and the committee in collaboration with ASMSU would have to think about how to change the culture at MSU.

Other discussion centered on:
    Education about academic integrity
    Possibility of providing a position paper for distribution to other committees and groups for discussion and feedback. The position paper would clearly define the goals and suggest practice.
    Concerns regarding language in the proposal, specifically the use of the term academic integrity when in fact the document focuses on academic dishonesty. There is a need for consistent terms and clarity in the proposal’s purpose to create a firm policy.
    Educating students about academic dishonesty. There may be a need to develop a communication and marketing plan to educate not just those who violate academic integrity standards but the entire campus community.
    Tracking repeat offenders.
    What kind of appeal process will be possible? How can a student appeal the grade?
    Level at which the hearing of a case occurs (department, college, university level)

Dr. Cobbett asked that the new student representatives consider serving on this subcommittee. With the departure of the Fall student representatives, there is no student representation on the subcommittee. Further discussion was deferred until the March 13 meeting.

No comments.

Meeting adjourned at 11:15 am.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther