Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2009-2010‎ > ‎

2009 - 09/10

UCAP Meeting of 09/10/2009


agenda status: approved



University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, September 10, 2009
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

  1. Approval of the Agenda
  2. Welcome and Introductions
    Mary Crimp, Chairperson, UCAP
    Doug Estry, Associate Provost Undergraduate Education
  3. UCAP: Purpose and Purview
    Marty Crimp, Chairperson, UCAP
  4. UCAP Business Review and Preview
  5. Elected Committee Positions: Discussion
  6. Committee Operating Procedures
    1. Voting via email by committee approval
    2. Giving voice to visitors
  7. Approval of Minutes of the April 30, 2009 Meeting
  8. Committee Positions: Election
    1. Athletic Council liaison
  9. Programmatic Change Questions
  10. Subcommittee Formation
  11. Roundtable: All Other Business

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 09/24/2009

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 09/10/2009

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, September 10, 2009
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

Attendees: Mary Jo Arndt, Peter Cobbett, Marty Crimp, Doug Estry, Anita Ezzo, Fred Fico, Melanie Helton, Matthew McKeon, Henry Reinart, Christopher Scales, Mike Shields, Jim Smith

Absent: Paul Abramson, Michael Bagdasarian, Gillian Bice, Lisa Cook, John Reifenberg, A. Mahdi Saeed, Sharif Shakrani

Motion by Henry Reinhart 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.

The Agenda was approved

Welcome and Introductions
Chairperson Crimp welcomed new and returning members to the committee. Members introduced themselves.

Associate Provost Estry welcomed the UCAP members. Dr. Estry reported that the transition of students to MSU was good this year. The new academic orientation program, fall welcome, and “Spartan Spectacular” were well organized and well attended by students. The changes in these programs for 2009 appear to have begun to change the student culture. Dr. Estry added that the Board of Trustees would provide input into whether the revised calendar will be followed for 2010.

UCAP: Purpose and Purview
Chairperson Crimp provided an overview of the purpose and purview of the committee, including a discussion of UCAP bylaws.

Business Review and Preview
Chairperson Crimp recapped the actions of UCAP in 2008-09. A policy on Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULA) was passed, a Religious Observance Policy had been forwarded to the Provost for his review, a new Integrity of Scholarship and Grades Policy (ISG) had been passed. Remaining as possible items of committee business are changes to the academic calendar and repeat policy. He also added that the committee would need to decide whether to continue to examine the Course Repeat Policy that had been under review for the past two academic years. In addition, the Academic Calendar will likely be on UCAP’s agenda as Faculty Council considers changes.

Associate Provost Estry showed an example of the new ISG report form for faculty to report instances of academic dishonesty. The form should be available for use around September 15, 2009.

Professor Estry commented that, regarding Religious Observance, the situation(s) that had that precipitated the committee’s review of the policy had diminished, due in part to the Provost’s fall letter to the academic community sent in the last two years. The Ombudsman annual report notes that problems stemming from religious observance classroom policy had markedly diminished in the last two years.

Dr. Estry reported that the Provost asked for extensive review of all curricular programs at MSU and admission to the major at sophomore standing. He noted that the University Committee for Liberal Learning had been asked to recommend how integrative studies requirements at MSU, without moving away from the current IS mode, could be made more flexible. The University will be reviewing policies that guide programs to see if changes could be made that would support more flexibility. All recommendations will move through academic governance. (See

Chairperson Crimp noted that all University units had been asked to find models for reaching the University’s financial reduction goals.

Elected Committee Positions: Discussion
Chairperson Crimp reviewed the committee positions and the names of those who were elected to fill the positions for 2009-10. Dr. Crimp reminded the committee that a representative to the Athletic Council still needed to be selected. Dr. Melanie Helton volunteered to serve and elected by acclamation.

Committee Operating Procedures
Chairperson Crimp suggested that, after reaching consensus on a matter in the committee’s regularly scheduled meeting, the committee use email as the means to formalize language for communication of the committee’s recommendation and the approval of those documents. In these cases, if any committee member objected, the approval of the text of the already agreed upon action would be added to the agenda of the next meeting.

Motion by Fred Fico passed unanimously:
      The committee agrees to allow the flexibility to take votes by email on issues already discussed with the provision that, if any one member objects, the issue will return to the agenda at the next meeting.

All committee meetings are open to the public but there is no voice for anyone except those on the committee and those recognized or given voice by the committee. In these cases, Chairperson Crimp would formally ask the committee to allow the person voice and then after the person has spoken, state they no longer have voice.

Minutes from the 4/30/09 meeting were approved.

Committee Positions: Elections
The Athletic Council liaison will be Dr. Melanie Helton

Programmatic Change Questions
Professor Crimp noted that in the past, the committee had been concerned with majors/programs requesting grade point requirements that restrict admission or progression in a major. UCAP had created a questionnaire asking for specific information from the requesting unit prior to meeting with the committee. UCAP has become inclined to reject barriers to student access to majors or programs. This year, UCC has added the programmatic change questions to the curriculum change process at the entry point.

Associate Provost Estry recalled that last year, committee members voiced concern with the variability of the quality of information provided by departments as justification for the requested changes. The tenor of the committee has been to disapprove these requests because they limit student flexibility and access to the majors with no compelling evidence to warrant that restriction. Professor Estry projects that UCC requests of this nature will increase based on the current budget climate that might drive consolidation or elimination of programs.

Committee members introduced themselves.

Meeting adjourned at 11:45 am.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther