Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2007-2008‎ > ‎

2008 - 04/03

agenda status: approved



University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Special Meeting of the Committee
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Academic Integrity Policy Discussion
    Peter Cobbett, Subcommittee Chair
  3. 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 04/10/2008

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 04/03/2008

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, April 3, 2008
10:15 A.M. TO 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, Administration Building

Attendees: Dennis Banks, Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Marty Crimp, Doug Estry, Ruba Farah, Richard Hallgren, Caroline Hartig, Linda Jackson, Carolyn Loeb, Helen Mayer, Ralph Putnam, Henry Reinart, Michael Schechter, Parita Shah, Michael Shields, Jim Smith, Tom Volkening

Absent: Jeremy Harrison, Brad McDonald, Jerry Punch, Chris Wenstrom

The Agenda was approved.

Academic Integrity Policy Discussion
Peter Cobbett, Subcommittee Chair

Dr. Cobbett described the key points in the Academic Integrity Proposal to be discussed:

    • Lowers the threshold for reporting instances of academic dishonesty.
    • Adds requirement to track all instances of student academic dishonesty.
    • Adds requirement for mandatory academic integrity education for first offenders.
    • Achieves consistency by centralizing responsibility for adjudication in the Office of the Provost, or the Provost’s designee. Dr. Cobbett suggested that two Provost designees could be assigned, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.

In addition, Dr. Cobbett defined the use of the terms “score” and “grade” in the document. “Score” describes a student’s result for effort on a single assignment and “Grade” describes a student’s result for effort in an entire class (the result of more than one score).

Chairperson Chivukula opened the discussion by asking the members to provide comments on the larger issues in the proposal. The discussion centered on the following issues:
    1. Where responsibility for adjudication of academic dishonesty would reside--central administration or college deans, and
    2. Timing and process for student appeals.

The ensuing discussion revealed opposing views of the appropriate administrative location for adjudicating cases of academic dishonesty and the effect the administrative location would have on the appeals process. In addition, the committee discussed the need for a student to have the opportunity to appeal the initial accusation of committing an act of academic dishonesty.
The committee agreed to revise Item 3 of the proposal to add, “This written notification will be forwarded to the provost designate for action.” after the first sentence in the paragraph. The additional sentence would indicate the flow of information that would trigger participation in the educational program requirement. The committee agreed that the sentence, “This written notification will remain in the student’s file.” would be deleted since records will not remain in a student’s file if an appeal of the accusation of academic dishonesty exonerates them.

Professor Putnam recapped the elements of the proposal on which all committee members agree:
    • Lower reporting threshold.
    • Action after student’s first offense.

Professor Schechter suggested adding a third document to explain the rationale for the committee’s motivation to change the current policy would be an important addition to the proposal package, citing the following topics for inclusion in the document:
    • Lowering the threshold for reporting acts of academic dishonesty.
    • Need for central record keeping of acts of academic dishonesty
    • Education
    • Cumbersome and opaque nature of the current policy

Chairperson Chivukula asked the committee consider what proposal to send out of the committee. Did the committee want to propose modifications to current policy on those items on which all agree or as the proposal is written, including items on which the committee cannot find consensus? Another option would be to pass the policy revision without implementation guidelines. He reminded the committee that policy implementation issues were part of the AFR, which is the purview of Student Affairs. The policy could be forwarded with the suggestion that the AFR be revised to reflect a well-defined process that can be easily understood and followed.

After discussion, the committee arrived at a consensus to report out a modified policy incorporating only the elements on which there was unanimity – namely, incorporating the lower “threshold” for reporting instances of AD, adding “tracking” to the current system, and requiring “education” of first-time offenders. Dr. Cobbett agreed to compose a revision to the current policy on Academic Dishonesty for action at the April 10 meeting. Following Dr. Schechter’s suggestion, Dr. Chivukula agreed to draft a report on the committee’s rationale for changes to the current policy on Academic Dishonesty, including a description both of the aspects in which there was general agreement and those on which there were differences to be forwarded with the proposal.

Chairperson Chivukula stated the April 10 meeting agenda would include discussion of a proposed change in the start date of the academic year in Fall 2009. The Provost asked for comment and feedback from the committee. Information regarding UCAP’s proposal for a Fall Break and other related materials were distributed to the committee. ECAC has postponed fall break discussion until the issue of academic year start date is settled but the committee will consider whether to recommend other alternatives to the academic year start date based on including a fall break in the academic year. In addition, the registrar will provide information regarding instructional days and weeks to inform the process of evaluating the effects of the proposal.

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

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther