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2010 - 04/29

UCAP Meeting of 04/29/2010


agenda status: not approved


University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, April 29, 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 April 1, 2010 Minutes

    3. Comments from the Chairperson

    4. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

    5. Request to Lower the Total Credits Required for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Engineering Sciences from ‘128 to ‘120’ and Require a Combined GPA in Computer Science and Engineering 231 and 260 for the computer Science Concentration .........(Attachment)
      Tom Wolff, Associate Dean, College of Engineering
      Jon Sticklen, Director, Applied Engineering Sciences Program
      Amanda Idema, Director, Academic Advising, College of Engineering

    6. Election of 2010-11 UCAP Chairperson, Vice Chair and representatives to other University committees by 2009-10 UCAP members

      1. UCAP Chairperson
        (one year term--also represents UCAP at Executive Committee of Academic Council [meets one Tuesday per month from 3:15 – 5 PM] and at Academic Council [meets one Friday per month from 3:15 – 5 PM]

      2. UCAP Vice Chair (one year term, represents UCAP at ECAC and Faculty Council if Chairperson is not available)

      3. UCAP designated member to Academic Council
        [meets one Tuesday per month from 3:15 – 5 PM]

      4. UCAP faculty liaison to Athletic Council
        [meets one Thursday per month from 7:30 – 9 AM]

      5. UCAP liaison to University Committee on Liberal Learning

      6. UCAP liaison to Military Education Advisory Committee
        (meets once each semester, dates to be determined)

    7. Course Repeat Policy Update

    8. SIRS Subcommittee Report
      R. Sekhar Chivukula, Subcommittee Chairperson

    9. Class Ranking & Transcripts

    10. Roundtable: All Other Business

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of 09/16/2010

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 04/29/2010

University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, April 29, 2010, 2010
Board Room, 4th Floor, Administration Building

Attending: Paul Abramson, Gillian Bice, Crystal Branta, R. Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Lisa Cook, Marty Crimp, Laura Dillon, Doug Estry, Anita Ezzo, Fred Fico, Kathleen Hoag, Matt McKeon, Christopher Noffze , Helene Pazak, Ron Perry, John Reifenberg, Henry Reinart, A. Mahdi Saeed, Christopher Scales, Mike Shields, Jim Smith, Mary Kay Smith, Dan Tratt,

Not Attending: Jon Beaulac, Melanie Helton, Michael Ly

The agenda was approved.

The minutes of the April 29, 2010 were approved.

Comments from the Chairperson
Chairperson Crimp informed the committee that the Academic Council passed the updated academic governance bylaws at its April 2, 2010 meeting. The bylaws become effective in the first full semester following approval by the MSU Board of Trustees.

Professor Crimp welcomed incoming UCAP members. He thanked the 2009-10 committee members for their conscientious work in a demanding year. He noted that A. Mahdi Saeed and R. Sekhar Chivukula were ending their terms and thanked them for their service.

Comments from the Associate Provost
Associate Provost Estry thanked committee members for expending the thought and effort required of members. He thanked Sekhar Chivukula and Marty Crimp for serving as chairs of the committee.

Professor Estry reported that the Neighborhood concept would begin as a pilot in the Hubbard Hall complex in the fall. He also noted that UCAP would be asked to review interim changes to integrative studies program as several groups work to redefine integrative studies at MSU. Dr. Estry also noted that Federal regulations changes affecting financial aid for students who are on probation would likely require a review of MSU’s academic probationary policy, a topic that would require review by UCAP.

Request to Lower the Total Credits Required for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Engineering Sciences from ‘128 to ‘120’ and Require a Combined GPA in Computer Science and Engineering 231 and 260 for the Computer Science Concentration
Tom Wolff, Associate Dean, College of Engineering
Jon Sticklen, Director, Applied Engineering Sciences Program
Amanda Idema, Director of Advising, College of Engineering

The committee granted voice to Drs. Wolff, Sticklen, and Idema.

Associate Dean Wolff, thanked the committee for its recent efforts on repeat credits and on academic dishonesty. He thanked the committee in advance on anything done to improve integrative studies in the future.

Associate Dean Wolff stated the Applied Engineering Sciences major was unusual in the college and university in that is an interdisciplinary major built on the foundation of engineering with the requirement that a concentration in supply chain management or telecommunications be completed by student majors. He noted that after Dr. Sticklen was appointed Director of the program, a comprehensive curriculum review was undertaken. It was determined the curriculum needed more courses in engineering with a coherent systems theme. As degree requirements were reviewed and in the spirit of the Provost’s request to increase flexibility in curricula, it was determined that the credits required for degree completion could be reduced from 128 credits to 120 credits and likely still achieve its intended outcomes.

Professor Wolff asked that UCAP recognize the possibility of the need to reinstate the 128-credit requirement if it were found that Applied Engineering Sciences graduates were disadvantaged by the lower number of credits required. Examples of disadvantage would be poor placement rates or feedback from employers that the MSU graduates from this program were not prepared enough. He asked that UCAP place in its record its agreement that it would respond favorably to such a request if the College of Engineering determined that requirements for the major should be increased in order for its graduates to be competitive in the workplace. A straw poll was taken and the committee unanimously agreed.

Associate Dean Wolff noted the Applied Engineering Sciences curriculum had been revised adding two new concentrations, technical sales and computer science. The computer science concentration duplicates the current grade point requirement to enter the restricted computer science minor. This grade point restriction to enter the computer science concentration would insure that students taking 300-400 level courses would have had preparation in the first two computer science courses similar to that others in the class would have had.

Professor Wolff recalled that in 2008, UCAP had approved the minor in computer science that put into place the GPA average in the two courses. At that time, UCAP expressed concern that students would not be allowed repeat the course if they achieved a grade of 2.0 yet would not have a chance to meet the GPA required for entry into the program.

Committee questions centered on the impact of the change in the number of credits required on time to degree and the nature of courses that had been eliminated from the program.

Motion by Gillian Bice passed unanimously.
      The University Committee on Academic Policy endorses the request to
      lower the total credits required for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Engineering Sciences from ‘128 to ‘120’ and require a combined GPA in Computer Science and Engineering 231 and 260 for the Computer Science Concentration.

Associate Provost Estry explained that in the current bylaws and the bylaws being considered by the MSU Board of Trustees, UCAP has delegated authority on grades in undergraduate education. UCAP considers all requests for a GPA or grade requirement. He also noted that the new bylaws state that UCAP (or its successor committee) will make recommendations to the University Curriculum Committee on any new program or any significant change in an existing undergraduate program that contain any policy or grade considerations.

Election of Officers and Representatives
      Chairperson: Gillian Bice
      Vice Chairperson: Jim Smith
      UCAP designated member to Academic Council: Mike Shields
      UCAP liaison to Athletic Council: Anita Ezzo
      UCAP liaison to UCLL: Matt McKeon
      UCAP liaison to MEAC: Fred Fico

Course Repeat Policy Update

Dr. Bice recalled the last time the UCAP committee discussed Course Repeat Policy; the committee indicated in a straw poll that it wanted to move the proposed Course Repeat Policy revision forward for comments and feedback. Associate Provost Estry had provided a course repeat credits study. The only new data is the projection of seat requirements if we allowed students who earned above a 2.0 in a class to repeat courses. Courses selected for the projection were those that have a high-level of repeats already.

Associate Provost Estry explained that the data assumptions that went into the report regarding the possible affect on the course capacity. Of all the students who could repeat a course, only 83% actually chose to repeat. There are many students who receive a 1.0 or 1.5 choose not to repeat a course. This information was used to see what would happen if this were extended to multiple repeats.

Dr. Bice expressed her concern that if the committee did not take action, the progress made in the current year would be lost and the same issues discussed over the past several years would begin again. She suggested that a straw vote be taken to see how many committee members would like to send the current recommendation forward so that ECAC and other committees might comment.

Associate Provost Estry noted that the proposed revision to the course repeat policy might be only consultative to the Provost followed by the mandated report of such consultation to ECAC or other academic governance committees.

Dr. Bice discussed the responses provided to the Office of the Registrar. The responses are found on the attached document send to the Office of the Registrar.

Associate Provost Estry discussed the summary of comments from the colleges and the Office of Financial Aid. He noted that students repeating a course could lose Pell Grant aid. Given that repeated courses do not count toward full time study students might lose their financial aid.

Dr. Bice stated that although she supported the completely liberalized policy drafted by the taskforce and the subcommittee the prior year, she was prepared to distribute a document suggesting a compromise based on the input received from stakeholders.

Professor Fico requested that the straw vote be taken whether or not the committee would like to proceed with the original proposal. The voting results were: 17 voted to proceed, 1 opposed, 1 abstention.

Professors Crimp and Bice will prepare the documentation to be forwarded to the Provost and to ECAC.

SIRS Subcommittee Report
Professor Chivukula stated that 20 courses would be participating in the online SIRS pilot test.

Class Ranking and Transcripts
This issue will be moved to the fall 2010 agenda.

There were no roundtable comments.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by
Sandra Walther