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2010 - 01/14

UCAP Meeting of 01/14/2010


agenda status: approved


University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, January 14, 2010
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

    1. Approval of the Agenda

    2. Approval of the December 17, 2009 Minutes

    3. Request to Amend the December 3, 2009 Minutes

    4. Comments from the Chairperson

    5. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education6. Course Repeat Policy7. Request to Require a Minimum Grade-Point of 2.00 in Selected Courses in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre.........(Attachment)
    Kirk Domer, Acting Department Chair, Department of Theatre

    8. Roundtable: All Other Business

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 01/28/2010

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 01/14/2010

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, January 14, 2010
10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

Attendees: Paul Abramson, Jon Beaulac, Gillian Bice, Crystal Branta, Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Lisa Cook, Marty Crimp, Doug Estry, Anita Ezzo, Fred Fico, Melanie Helton, Matt McKeon, Ron Perry, Henry Reinart, Mahdi Saeed, Christopher Scales, Mike Shields, Jim Smith, Mary Kay Smith

Not Attending: John Reifenberg

The Agenda was approved.

The Minutes of the December 17, 2009 meeting were approved.

Request to Amend the December 3, 2009
The committee had received a request from Associate Dean Book, College of Education to amend the UCAP minutes of December 3, 2009 regarding her presentation and subsequent committee discussion of the request for a moratorium on admission to the Deaf Education emphasis area of the BA degree in Special Education. Committee members discussed the precedent that would be set by amending minutes once approved by the committee.

Motion by Ron Perry passed unanimously.
Any proposed changes to already approved UCAP minutes will, upon acceptance by the committee, be added as an addendum to the minutes in question.

A motion was made and seconded to accept Dean Book’s corrections as an addendum to the December 3, 2009 UCAP minutes.

After discussion, the committee thought Dr. Book should be provided the opportunity to submit her corrections in the form of comments that would become an addendum to the December 3 meeting. The committee will notify Dr. Book that it is willing to consider her changes as an addendum to the minutes of the December 3 meeting.

Motion by Jim Smith to table the motion until the next UCAP meeting passed unanimously.

Comments from the Chairperson
Chairperson Crimp reported that ECAC discussed the guidelines for minimum class enrollment at the request of an academic dean who asked that the minimum enrollment guidelines be doubled. The consensus was that class enrollment is an issue for the faculty in the college to decide.

Professor Crimp reported that health care insurance changes would become effective July 1, 2010. PHP will no longer be an option. A similar option will be available at a lower cost to the University.

The UCFA concluded discussions regarding the request to amend the MSU Anti-Discrimination policy. He suggested that Fred Fico present the feedback to the committee during Roundtable discussion.

Comments from Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Associate Provost Estry provided an update on the changes resulting from a revision of the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades policy effective fall 09. The faculty reporting form as part of ESAF had been implemented. He noted that the information in this form was restricted to Dean’s offices, faculty who generated a report, and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. The required educational program, created as an online course, began the first week of Spring Semester 10. Dr. Estry might consider forwarding a request to UCC to create this course as a 1-credit remedial course that would not count toward graduation since the course is costly to manage. A number of issues regarding confidentiality have arisen, such as colleges sending letters to students regarding reports of academic dishonesty via the ESAF confidential message system. The committee’s sense was that a report of academic dishonesty was not to become a scarlet letter but an opportunity to educate a student about academic integrity. When the APUE office receives a notice of academic dishonesty, a hold is placed on a student’s record that prevents the award of their degree. The hold is released when the student satisfactorily completes the Academic Integrity class but the academic dishonesty report is not expunged from the ESAF record. Dr. Estry is considering using a portion of the Academic Integrity class material to create an educational experience for students when they come to MSU. Dr. Estry said he would continue to update the committee with data and information about the Academic Integrity class.

Committee members suggested that a reminder about the academic dishonesty report available in ESAF be sent to faculty – possibly once per semester.

Associate Provost Estry clarified that, if a faculty member had indicated that a situation had been resolved and requested the academic dishonesty report be removed from the student’s record, the report would be entirely removed. The record would be irretrievable as it would be if a student appeals a faculty decision and wins and the record is expunged.

Course Repeat Policy
Professor Cobbett stated that MSU has a clearly stated, easily found policy on course repeats. Finding policies and clarity in the policies of our sister institutions is difficult. Once found, comparisons are difficult to make. He suggests that the course repeat policy rests on the issue of fairness. What is fair to students and faculty? He remarked that although now may not be the optimal time for a policy change due to the financial considerations that might result from a change in policy, he would encourage the committee to be proactive and to recommend a better, more effective policy.

Motion by Gillian Bice to form a taskforce to review the course repeat policy and make recommendations to the committee regarding next steps passed, with one committee member abstaining.

Ron Perry, Henry Reinart, Gillian Bice volunteered to serve on the taskforce.

The course repeat policy taskforce charge is:
      Examine the proposal put forward by Peter Cobbett and to determine whether a proposal should be put forward to the full committee. If the taskforce determines that a proposal should be forwarded for full committee consideration, the taskforce would provide the committee with a proposal. The taskforce will provide its report and recommendations to the UCAP at its February 11, 2010 meeting.
Committee discussion centered on the following;
    • Associate Provost Estry reminded the committee that, on this issue, the committee is consultative to the Provost.
    • The committee needs a rationale for moving forward on course repeat policy revision.
    • Where is the evidence that current policy is adequate or insufficient? What problem is the committee trying to solve? Why would we propose a change based on only the committee’s opinion?
    • A student poll could be administered to find out what students think about the course repeat policy.
    • Reexamination of the course repeat policy is a response to programs that are requesting a minimum grade point average for admission, progression, or graduation.
    • Wouldn’t liberalizing the course repeat policy would result in the committee’s inability to challenge requests for a grade or grade point average requirement for admission, progression, or graduation?
    • ASMSU is working on a bill recommending a change in course repeat policy.
    • The charge to the taskforce is to examine the proposal put forward by Peter Cobbett and determine whether a proposal should be put forward to the committee. If it is determined that a proposal be forwarded for committee consideration, the taskforce will provide the committee with a proposal.

Request to Require a Minimum Grade Point of 2.00 in Selected Courses in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre
Kirk Domer, Acting Department Chair, Department of Theatre

The committee granted voice to Professor Domer.

Professor Domer described the two Bachelor’s level major programs offered by the Department of Theatre, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree open to all students and a selective Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Among its admission requirements, the BFA requires an audition/portfolio interview to get in to the program. This audition/portfolio interview, once administered after the first year, is now administered prior to matriculation. Additionally, the BFA course requirements constitute 60 credits of the 120 credits required for graduation. He described the BFA as a highly selective, pre-professional training program. He noted that UCAP had already approved a 2.0 grade requirement to all courses related to the major concentration. The Department now requests expanding the 2.0 grade requirement to all courses in the BFA. He explained that students not meeting the 2.0 course grade requirement in the BFA would be eligible to continue their undergraduate work in the BA program and that no course in the BFA program is restricted to BFA students only.

After committee questions of clarification, Professor Domer’s voice was withdrawn.

Motion by Gillian Bice, was approved by a vote of 11 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstentions
      The University Committee on Academic Policy recommends the request to require a minimum grade of 2.00 in selected courses in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre be granted.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther