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ASCRC Minutes 2/2/09

Members Present: J. Bergman, I. Crummy, J. Dempersmier, S. Lodmell, J. Luckowski, S. Smillie, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto, K. Unger, R. Vanita, G. Weix, K. Zoellner, D. Zolmikov

Members Absent/Excused: M. Nielsen, P. Silverman

Ex-Officio Present: D. Micus, S. O'Hare, A. Walker-Andrews

Chair Weix called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.

The minutes from 12/2/08 were approved.

Communication

 

·          The two new student members (ASUM Vice President Smillie and Daniel Zolmikov) were welcomed to the committee and members introduced themselves.

·          Sharon O'Hare is the interim Director of the new Office for Student Success and will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.  Her position is responsible for coordinating efforts of various academic student service efforts such as Study Jam, Tutoring, and the Writing Center.

·          Registrar Micus announced that he accepted a position at the King Abdullah University of science and Technology in Saudi Arabia beginning in March.

·          Next week the General Education Committee will report on the review of information submitted to appeal courses that were not approved for general education during the fall review.   It is meeting on Monday, February 2nd.

·          The Writing Committee's first meeting is on February 9th.  The deadline for submission of writing courses is February 6th.   It is hoped that the Writing Committee will have a list of approved courses to ASCRC by March 3rd that will be presented to the Faculty Senate on March 12th.  This should allow for processing prior to pre-registration April 13-24.

 

Business Items:

  • Normally spring semester ASCRC conducts the rolling review of general education courses, but this is now the responsibility of the general education committee and will not take place this year due to the revisions of general education. Therefore, spring business may be light after the general education appeals, writing course review, and pending curriculum items are dealt with. Chair Weix would like the committee to consider outreach efforts to communicate the importance of the committee's function, explain procedures and policies, and recruit members for next year. Chair Weix has discussed the possibility of combining these efforts with the strategic plan discussions with Carol Brewer, Chair, Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.
  • Chair Weix asked for volunteers to serve on a joint workgroup with the members of the General Education Committee to draft implementation guidelines that will include instructions for students to meet old general education requirements under new groups. A translation document will need to be created to inform students. ASUM Vice President Smillie and John Dempersmier volunteered. It was recommended that a representative from the Registrar's Office also serve on the workgroup.
  • The workgroup should determine the letter designations of the two new perspectives. Registrar Micus recommends that the current letters remain the same rather than change to the group numbers.
  • ASCRC revisited the Add / Drop policy and unanimously approved the previous language that set the deadlines for both adds and drops at 15 days. The change to ten days for the add policy was recommended by ECOS and was not adequately analyzed. Any change in policy should be based on evidence. A thorough review of the catalog will need to take place to make sure there are no discrepancies related to the policy.
  • Concerns relating to the Graduation Appeals Committee have been discussed in ECOS and within the Appeals Committee. ECOS considered limiting appeals. It did not want to allow appeals for general education requirements. Also, there have been issues of inconsistencies. The Registrar suggested the possibility of appeals determined by the registrar with strict guidelines. Too many exceptions loosen the expectations of the catalog. The committee hears approximately 200 appeals per year.

    It was argued that students need to have the right to appeal and must document extenuating circumstances appropriately. Committee work with membership turnover is an inherent part of governance. Granting degrees is the responsibility of faculty and therefore the Graduation Appeals Committee should remain a faculty committee. The committees' decisions are based on the collective judgment of its members and often involve problem solving on the behalf of the student.

    There have been cases when Appeals Committee' decisions are appealed. To address this, the Committee developed a policy that allows appeals to be resubmitted with additional documentation and review by the Registrar's Office. In the past the Committee was reviewing cases that pertained to students' mental or medical condition. These are now being routed through the Curry Health Center first. There have also been appeals that were caused by poor advising. There should be accountability on the part of faculty for accurate advising information. It was suggested that workshops be available to faculty. It would also be helpful for the Graduation Appeals Committee to send its procedures to academic chairs and as information to the Faculty Senate.
  • Dormant courses have not been reviewed by ASCRC for several years. Registrar Micus suggests that the process be streamlined. The Registrar's Office sends a notice to departments regarding courses that have not been offered for three years and explains that the courses will be deleted unless the department supplies a justification for retaining the course. This information is then provided to ASCRC for processing. It is likely that justifications provided by departments will be adequate to retain the course; therefore Registrar Micus suggests that ASCRC simply be informed of the dormant courses deleted from the catalog. Omnibus courses frequently are flagged for not being offered and should be evaluated. It is false advertising to have courses in the catalog that are not offered at least once in three years. Courses not offered in three years that do not have a justification should automatically be deleted from the catalog.

    It was suggested that ASCRC establish a policy to this effect. Professor Unger and Weix will draft language in consultation with Registrar Micus for the committee to consider.
  • Twelve disciplines have been approved for common course numbering. These will be implemented for the fall catalog. There will be a web site that lists old and new courses. CyberBear and One Stop will have a link to this. The schedules printed for advisors will include an index of old and new courses and there will be training workshops. There are four or five disciplines on schedule for implementation next spring. Professor Bach will be invited to ASCRC to give an update.

Good and Welfare

  • Items listed on the agenda as general education follow-up are mostly removal of prerequisites that should be considered by the curriculum subcommittees rather than the General Education Committee. It was clarified that ASCRC grants exceptions to prerequisites for general education courses. One of the general education subcommittees approved courses with prerequisites based on departments' intent to use consent of instructor to allow prepared students to take the course for general education. These exceptions are granted by ASCRC and must be justified.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.