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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes   #11

September 29, 2010

1. The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 in the second floor conference room in the Alumni Center, Chairperson Swallow presiding. All members were present.

2. The Minutes from previous Executive Committee Meetings: #7, August 31, 2010; #8, September 14, 2010 were approved, pending Provost DeHayes' review of the portion of #7 relevant to his meeting with the FSEC.

Following discussion, a number of substantive changes were proposed for the Minutes of Meeting #9, September 20, 2010. Ms. Grubman agreed to redraft portions of the Minutes based on the discussion and to resubmit them at a subsequent meeting.

3. Announcements/Correspondence.

a. Chairperson Swallow announced that Dean Farmer is retiring and the FSEC has been asked to appoint two faculty members to the Search Committee for the Dean of GSO. He said that the Executive Committee has also been asked to appoint two faculty members to the Search Committee for the Dean of the Graduate School.

b. Chairperson Swallow reported that it was his understanding that President Dooley planned to report on the proposed budget for FY'12 at the Board of Governors' meeting on October 4. This budget will reflect some of the recommendations of the Strategic Budget and Planning Committee (SBPC).

4. The Executive Committee discussed Faculty Senate Meeting #1, September 23, 2010. Chairperson Swallow reported that he had followed up on Provost DeHayes' comments at the Senate Meeting by visiting the GLBTQQ students at the Library and had received a note in response.

The Executive Committee agreed to send the formal charge to the UCGE Committee with regard to 4-credit courses and a new General Education Program. (The charge to the UCGE Committee is attached to the Minutes of this meeting.)

5. The Executive Committee considered the following matters remaining from the 2009-10 academic year:

a. Confucius Center Review: Senator Honhart said that Professor Ordonez had sent a draft report to the ad hoc committee for review and expected to have a formal recommendation for the October Faculty Senate Meeting.

b. Future of the Library: The Executive Committee agreed to discuss with Provost DeHayes their recommendation that the Faculty Senate Library Committee, perhaps with the addition of other members, be charged to conduct the review of the future of the Library.

6. The Executive Committee discussed the charge to the Joint Committee on Academic Planning. It was agreed that some consideration be given to whether the JCAP should assume the role of the JSPC with regard to reviewing new academic programs.

7. The Executive Committee agreed to the following topics for their October 6 meeting with Provost DeHayes:

a. The Provost's concept for restructuring four units into an "Excellence for Teaching and Learning" area.

b. A preliminary discussion of the need for additional support for the Faculty Senate Office and members of the Executive Committee.

c. The FSEC's draft charge to the Library Committee.

d. Preliminary consideration of how the faculty or Faculty Senate could play a role in facilitating allocation or reallocation of resources to academic priorities.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Sheila Black Grubman




Addendum

Chair Hicks and UCGE Committee,

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is aware of your efforts over the past few years to consider alternatives to the current general education program. We encourage you to continue those efforts in the coming year, since it has become clear that the adoption of a 4-credit curriculum model by even a small number of departments and programs will have profound impacts on the University as a whole, especially for General Education courses. In light of this situation, the FSEC has two (somewhat intertwined) requests for the UCGE Committee for the coming year.

1) The FSEC would like to use this opportunity to see a concrete proposal ready for adoption by the Faculty Senate by the end of the spring semester 2011. Having a first draft of this proposal for discussion by the December or January Faculty Senate meeting would be desirable. The FSEC does not wish to hamper the UCGE Committee's effectiveness with an exhaustive list of conditions on a new General Education program. However, the following lists of necessary and desirable features may help the UCGE Committee structure its ideas. While the UCGE Committee is explicitly allowed to make whatever proposal it feel best, the FSEC believes the following are areas that the Faculty Senate will wish to see addressed in any proposal.

The proposal should be able to (in no specific order):

  • Meet the requirements of NEASC
  • Remove the "first two year" model of General Education
  • Work well with the most restrictive colleges and programs
  • Allow for 3-, 4-, and other-credit courses
  • Support dynamic, interdisciplinary courses to attract and engage students

To the extent that it is possible, the proposal should:

  • Be universal -- credits/courses accepted in one major should be acceptable in all
  • Be both consistent and flexible enough to fit all majors and to allow students freedom to move between majors and colleges
  • Focus on learning outcomes
  • Include a schedule for implementation and suggest incentives for faculty making the transition

2) While the proposal in point 1 is being developed, the Faculty Senate needs to address the place of four-credit courses in the current General Education program during the fall semester. Before departments which contribute large numbers of courses and sections to the General Education program adopt a four-credit model for their curricula (should they wish to), there needs to be a way for students to take these courses without exceeding credit limits or requiring impossible mixes of classes. Since several programs are attempting to move forward with four-credit options, this is an urgent matter. The FSEC encourage you to develop an interim solution to the four-credit issue and to make a proposal to the Faculty Senate for a vote no later than the December Faculty Senate meeting.

The FSEC