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2013 - 03/14

UCAP Meeting of 03/14/2013


agenda status: approved



University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, March 14, 2013

10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Boardroom, 4th Floor, Administration Building



  1. Approval of the Agenda (Action Item)
  1. Approval of the February 21, 2013 UCUE Minutes (Action Item)

  2. Comments from the Chairperson

  3. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

  4. Request to Change the Admission Requirement for the Specialization in Information Technology (Action Item)
    John Wagner, Associate Dean, Eli Broad College of Business
  1. Grief Absence Policy Proposal (Discussion Item)
    Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Grief Absence Policy

  2. Roundtable


minutes status:  approved

approved at meeting of 03/28/2013

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 03/14/2013

University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, March 14, 2013

10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

           Boardroom, 4th Floor, Administration Building         


Attendees:       Eric Aronoff, Mark Axelrod, Emily Bank, Henry Beckmeyer, Jan Brady, Laura Dillon Justin Droba, Doug Estry, Fred Fico, Phylis Floyd, Mitchell Goheen, Chris McClain, Coretta Patterson, Ron Perry, Matt Pontifex, Lynmarie Posey, Ashton Shortridge, Cynthia Taggart, Mark Tran,
Absent:            Henry Beckmeyer, Nicole Dandridge, Seung Hyun Kim, Anne Rabello, Ryan Sweeder, Abraham Wheeler


The agenda was approved.

The minutes of the February 21, 2013 meeting were approved.

Comments from the Chairperson

Chairperson Dillon welcomed two new representatives to the committee, Phyllis Floyd, Arts and Letters, and Mitchell Goheen, ASMSU.


Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Associate Provost Estry commented that Acting Provost Youatt constituted committees in four areas: data, technology, teaching and learning, interdisciplinary work, healthier campus, and closing the graduation gap. These groups are to create focus at a high level, such as best practices, new institutional ideas to work on, and programs to put in place. This information will be used to create further programming in the future.


Request to Change the Admission Requirement for the Specialization in Information Technology
John Wagner, Associate Dean, Eli Broad College of Business
D. Harrison McKnight, Associate Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems


The committee unanimously granted voice to Associate Dean Wagner and Associate Professor McKnight.


Dr. McKnight explained that the specialization in Information Technology is a collaboration of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, the College of Engineering and the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media. Administration is housed in the Accounting and IT department.  Admission is restricted to students in the three colleges. The requested change results from an initial request from the specialization’s advisory board for more technical knowledge in the graduates of the program and comparison of the program with that in other like institutions. Those institutions have a major and minor whereas MSU has only a specialization. In response to the request and the assessment of programs in other institutions, the specialization will add two requirements, CSE 201 and CSE 231 to provide the students with the information needed.

The committees questioned the ability of the students to enroll in courses that are already oversubscribed. Dr. McKnight stated the administrators of the specialization had been working with Matt Mutka in Engineering on the issue of seats in the courses. Associate Provost Estry observed that the College of Engineering and had approved the request indicating the commitment to accommodate the additional student enrollment in the two CSE courses.

The committee also expressed concern about the mathematics requirements. If the students were to be required to enroll in the programming courses, it might be important to increase their knowledge of mathematics, especially those courses that require a logical, mathematical approach that is necessary for success in programming thinking. Students need to know how to write proofs to be good programmers. Further questions arose regarding the need for quantitative literacy or mathematics training. Associate Provost Estry suggested that over time, the specialization could analyze the prerequisites in order to determine which is necessary to promote student success.

Voice was withdrawn from Associate Dean Wagner and Associate Professor McKnight.

A motion was made by Dr. Aronoff to approve the request without concern. The motion was seconded. In discussion, the committee was concerned about the issue of handling math prerequisites. Associate Provost Estry suggested the committee could approve the motion and add a recommendation.

Dr. Aronoff revised the motion, which was approved unanimously.

The University Committee on Undergraduate Education, in its consultative capacity to the Provost, has no concerns about the request to change the admission requirement for the specialization in Information Technology. However, the committee questioned whether MTH 124, MTH 132, or some alternate MTH course would best serve as the appropriate foundation for CSE 231. UCUE recommends that, over time, further discussion and study be undertaken in this regard


Grief Absence Policy Proposal
Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Grief Absence Policy

The Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Grief Absence Policy presented a proposed policy and supporting materials for the committee’s review. The Ad Hoc Subcommittee recommends that the responsibilities for the administration of the policy be split between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. Ms. Bank stated the goal of the policy was to provide uniform treatment for students and streamline the process for students and faculty.

The committee’s discussion brought forward issues that require further consideration and comment by the Ad Hoc Subcommittee.

 ·         Strengthen verbiage about professor’s requirement to make an accommodation.

·         Who should be making these determinations?

·         Differentiate between the policy and the process.

·         Check with IT Services to see if the technical aspects of the proposal are doable.


The committee further surmised there are two distinct issues that must be dealt with in the policy. The first is notification and verification by the student of the faculty. The second is the accommodation. It may be the case that an automated system would be put in place for students to notify and to inform faculty and other existing processes could ensure the appropriate accommodations were made.

Associate Provost Estry indicated that there are multiple accommodations that could be made but the policy must state that an appropriate accommodation must be made. If a student does not believe the accommodation was appropriate s/he could be directed to the grievance process, which is already in place.

Associate Provost Estry will provide comments to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee for further review.



Associate Provost Estry has asked the leaders of the integrative studies assessment program to make a presentation to UCUE. Learning outcomes assessment is becoming a larger component of curriculum review and, by example, the committee could see how this is developing around general education and integrative studies. He noted this is particularly important in preparation for MSU’s 2015-16 NCA accreditation review.

Dr. Brady, UCUE representative to the Athletic Council, reported that the NCAA has proposed amendments that will hold head coaches much more accountable for the actions of their assistants and anyone who reports to them.

Dr. Posey inquired whether a system existed for e-portfolios. Associate Provost Estry responded that the new learning management system, D2L, has the ability to use e-portfolios. He indicated that MSU does not have a plan for a co-curricular transcript. He noted that the question has been raised about how MSU could begin to develop a co-curricular means to demonstrate competence besides grades and credits.

Chairperson Dillon drew attention to an upcoming talk, on March 22, by Rane Johnson-Stempson from Microsoft Research regarding Human Trafficking and Technology.

The meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted by

Sandra Walther