Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2008-2009‎ > ‎

2008 - 08/28

UCAP Meeting of 08/28/2008


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, August 28, 2008
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

  1. Approval of the Agenda

  2. Welcome and Introductions
    R. Sekhar Chivukula, Chairperson, UCAP
    Doug Estry, Associate Provost Undergraduate Education

  3. UCAP: Purpose and Purview
    R. Sekhar Chivukula, Chairperson, UCAP

  4. Calendar Review (move 9/11 meeting to 9/18 and 10/9 meeting to 10/16)

  5. UCAP Business Review and Preview

  6. Elected Committee Positions: Discussion

  7. Committee Operating Procedures

  8. Approval of Minutes of the April 24, 2008 Meeting

  9. Committee Positions: Elections
      1. Vice Chair
      2. Second member for Academic Council
      3. Athletic Council liaison
      4. Military Education Advisory Committee liaison
      5. University Committee on Liberal Learning liaison

  10. Subcommittee Formation

  11. Freshman Welcome and Academic Year Start Date

  12. UCC Comprehensive Proposal – Discussion

  13. 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.

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 09/18/2008

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 08/28/2008

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, August 28, 2008
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, Administration Building
Minutes, Approved as Amended

Attendees: Mary Jo Arndt, Dennis Banks, R. Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Rick Hallgren, Doug Estry, Mandalyn Griffin, Linda Jackson, Chris Kline, Carolyn Loeb, Brad McDonald, Matthew McKeon, Jerry Punch, A. Mahdi Saeed, Michael Schechter, Parita Shah, Sharif Shakrani, Jim Smith, Thomas Volkening

Absent: Marty Crimp, Caroline Hartig, Michael Shields

Motion by Linda Jackson passed unanimously:

        The secretary for the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education shall attend Committee meetings and prepare minutes for review and approval by committee membership.

Chairperson Chivukula suggested the committee follow formal meeting rules, but in matters such as approving the meeting agenda and minutes do so by general agreement. There were no objections from the committee.

The Agenda was approved.

Welcome and Introductions
Chairperson Chivukula welcomed new and returning members to the committee. Members introduced themselves providing details of their experience in other academic governance committees.

UCAP: Purpose and Purview
Professor Chivukula provided an overview of the purpose and purview of the committee, including a discussion of UCAP bylaws. In addition, he summarized the proposed changes to the committee’s structure as recommended in Academic Task Force I. Committee members were urged to review the Taskforce I document and provide comments and corrections, as there are still opportunities to provide feedback and to shape the document.

The committee reviewed the draft revision to the 2007-08 programmatic questions. The revised document would be provided to those making presentations regarding programmatic changes to the committee. There were no objections to adoption of the revised document.

Calendar Review
Chairperson Chivukula asked the committee if there were any objections to his calling a special meeting of the committee without polling the committee. There were no objections to granting this permission.
There were no objections to cancelling the September 11 and October 9 committee meetings and replacing them with meetings on September 18 and October 16.

UCAP Business Review and Preview
Dr. Chivukula recapped four of the long-standing issues dealt with by the committee in 2007-08 that may require additional follow-up this year.

1. Revision of the student policy on Religious Observance
Responding to an ASMSU bill, the committee formulated a revised policy that has moved forward for review by other governance committees. The intended result is that the policy revision will be ready for action by Faculty Council by end of the academic year.

2. Academic Integrity Policy
The committee moved forward a revision to the All-University Policy: Integrity of Scholarship and Grades, along with recommended changes to the Academic Freedom Report (AFR). The undergraduate AFR defines due process in cases of academic dishonesty and is the purview of the University Committee on Student Affairs.

3. Policy on Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULA)
Noting the lack of a policy defining practices regarding Undergraduate Learning Assistants, the committee created a policy to provide a framework for the use of ULAs. Administration has reviewed the policy document and requested it be revised to create a one-page policy summary with a separate document providing guidelines and best practices.

Dr. Chivukula requested that Rick Hallgren and Jim Smith be reinstated as the ULA subcommittee to complete the requested revision for review at the next committee meeting. A motion by A. Mahdi Saeed to reconstitute the ULA subcommittee with two members, Rick Hallgren and Jim Smith, was passed by acclamation.

4. Academic Year Start Date.
Dr. Chivukula deferred description until later in the meeting (an agenda item).

Chairperson Chivukula previewed upcoming committee business.
1. UCC programmatic change requests to be acted upon as they occur.

2. UCC Comprehensive Proposals, to be discussed later on the agenda.

3. UCAP has been asked to help facilitate communication between the athletic program and the faculty. UCAP has a liaison to the Athletic Council. Dr. Chivukula pointed out that Task Force I has addressed this issue by suggesting that the head of Athletic Council join Academic Council as a member.

4. The recently passed Higher Education Act (HEA) mandates that universities demonstrate efficacy and provide value-added metrics to public. An initiative started by universities, the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) has begun to standardize the reporting of these data. To the extent that accountability has to do with academic standards and performance, Chairperson Chivukula recommends that UCAP examine the current status of VSA at the university and be involved in shaping thinking University reporting.

Elected Committee Positions: Discussion
Associate Provost Estry and Chairperson Chivukula provided information on open committee positions and the requirements of those positions.

Committee Operating Procedures
Dr. Chivukula explained that, although all meetings are open and publicly announced, only committee members have voice to speak in a meeting -- all others must be formally granted voice by the committee. He suggested continuing the practice of formally granting and withdrawing voice to visitors.

Minutes of the April 24, 2008 meeting were approved.

Committee Positions: Elections
Vice Chair: Jim Smith was nominated and, in the absence of other nominations, elected by acclamation.

Second member of academic council: Dennis Banks agreed to stand for election and, in the absence of other nominations, elected by acclamation.

Athletic Council liaison: Marty Crimp agreed to stand for election and, in the absence of other nominations, elected by acclamation.

MEAC: Linda Jackson agreed to stand for election and, in the absence of other nominations, elected by acclamation.

UCLL: Matt McKeon agreed to stand for election and, in the absence of other nominations, elected by acclamation.

Subcommittee Formation
The ULA subcommittee was formed during the Business Review and Preview agenda item.

Freshman Welcome and Academic Year Start Date
Dr. Chivukula pointed out this item should have been titled Fall Welcome and Academic Year Start Date.

Dr. Chivukula summarized the recommendations in UCAP’s April 11, 2008 response to the Provost’s April 1, 2008 proposal to ECAC to shorten fall welcome from 4 days to 2 days by changing the academic year start date.

Professor Chivukula further reported that, at the Faculty Council planning meeting on Tuesday, August 26, Senior Associate Provost Youatt stated that University administration intends to move forward with shortening fall welcome and changing the academic calendar on a trial basis for fall 2009 even though the academic calendar review has not yet begun. Dr. Youatt asked that responses from academic governance regarding the proposed change be forwarded to ECAC by the end of September 2008.

The committee reviewed its draft response to the proposal. Discussion centered on the following issues:

    • Need for thoughtful, empirical assessment of the impact that shortened fall welcome has on students’ transition to the University. What baseline data will be used for comparison?
    • Need to accommodate programs that utilize the extra days of fall welcome for community service and in-depth program orientation to allow continued extended fall welcome.
    • How will the university assess whether shortening fall welcome solves the problem of celebratory behavior in order to determine whether the trial should be made permanent?
    • Need for examination of the effect that changing the fall calendar would have on professional programs and accreditation issues.
    • Need to consider how a shortened semester might undermine the integrity of fall semester courses.

Motion by A. Mahdi Saeed passed unanimously.
      The draft response to Trial Changes in Academic Year Start Date and Fall Welcome is, in principal, satisfactory. The committee authorizes the Chairperson to incorporate changes and edits recommended by the committee into the draft and to forward the final document to Academic Governance without further committee review.

UCC Comprehensive Proposal – Discussion
Chairperson Chivukula reviewed the UCC Comprehensive proposals with the committee. A list of members’ questions regarding the curricular regulations was distributed.

Discussion centered on the following issues:
    • Information about the proposals is not rich enough to make informed decisions.
    • Disappearance of the specialization proposal creates more confusion concerning the proposal about minors.

Due to the lack of time remaining in the meeting, Dr. Chivukula recommended that committee members send any additional questions to him for consolidation and forwarding to Dr. Stanford and the new UCC chairperson for comment at the next meeting of UCAP.

There were no Roundtable comments.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther