The minutes of the June 20, 2006 meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved as written.
II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
A DeCaria/Warmkessel motion to schedule a special Senate meeting on October 31, 2006 to discuss Gen Ed issues was approved without dissent.
III. Report of the Student Senate President
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Organization
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
President McNairy welcomed the Senate back and reminded Senators of the annual Garden Party this Friday. She reported that fall enrollments are solid but with slightly fewer graduate students. Dr. McNairy then introduced the new Executive Assistant to the President, Dr. James McCollum. She also expressed gratitude for faculty members who participated in new student orientation events. She then asked Dr. Bob Thomas to address two recent incidents involving MU students.
Vice-President for Student Affairs Thomas
Vice-President for Student Affairs Thomas shared that an online source recently reported that an MU student was charged with aggravated assault, biased crime and possession of a weapon in relation to a summer altercation with off-duty police in Sea Isle, NJ. He indicated that the school is awaiting confirmation of details regarding this situation that would determine what action might be taken by MU against the student. Dr. Thomas then reported on an incident that occurred on campus Friday night at a dance party in the SMC. A fight erupted that resulted in an injury to a university police officer who responded to the situation. Investigations are underway to gather information that will be used in holding responsible students accountable for any violations of the law or the MU Student Code of Conduct.
Dr. Thomas also echoed appreciation of faculty members who participated in both summer orientation and opening weekend activities that help students in their transition to the MU community. He noted that many students will be involved in the Day of Caring sponsored by United Way this Saturday.
Provost Prabhu welcomed Senators and commented that he will be returning to Senate this fall with a number of issues for consideration. He then introduced the new Associate Provost for Academic Administration, Dr. Thomas Burns.
Interim Assistant Provost Redmond
Interim Assistant Provost for Academic Services Redmond welcomed Senators and also offered his appreciation for faculty members assisting with summer orientation and fall convocation.
A question was addressed to all administrators regarding the standard course of action taken when students or parents contact the President Office or the Office of the Provost with an academic issue. It was noted that some students seem to see this as a way to expedite a resolution in their favor. Dr. McNairy responded that the President's Office takes only initial information and refers the issue to the Office of the Provost to be forwarded to the appropriate level. She noted that the President's Office does not resolve academic matters and encourages students to address any issue at the appropriate level. Dr. McNairy stressed that faculty members should not feel pressured to go against their established academic standards and policies but indicated that, in some cases, more thoroughly explaining policies to the student may help resolve a situation.
Dr. Prabhu responded that further information is gathered from persons referred to the Office of the Provost from the President's Office, and the issue is then passed to the appropriate Dean's Office. The Dean then makes the direct contact with the student, faculty member or department chair. He noted this approach is meant to avoid making faculty members feel intimidated by involvement of the Provost. Dr. Prabhu indicated that most issues are adequately resolved in this manner, but if they are not, his office will check into where the issue stands. He did highlight the fact that FERPA regulations stipulate that student information cannot be discussed with parents. Dr. Prabhu commented that he supports the established policies and recognizes the importance of getting students to deal directly with their professors. It was noted that across campus we should be encouraging students to use proper channels to address academic issues, beginning with their professors.
VI. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
In response to the overwhelming number of curriculum items brought to UCPRC and Senate at the very end of last year, Dr. White distributed a proposed timeline for the process during the 2006-2007 year [see Attachment #1]. The schedule is based on the UCPRC guidelines for Preparation and Approval of Proposals. It was suggested that this timeline could be converted to relative dates for use in future years as well. Although, concrete dates are certainly helpful for faculty members trying to meet these deadlines.
A question was raised about whether this was a recommendation or a policy. It was noted that there might be unique situations requiring an extension but that most new proposals are expected to meet the proposed timeframe. Dr. Prabhu noted that last-minute considerations of curriculum proposals also affect review by Deanís Council, incorporation into the registration system and the ability to adequately communicate changes to students. Discussion continued regarding the options for expediting the course approval process. One idea was that higher committees could begin their review of proposals while waiting for a final approval from the preceding committee. This has occurred previously but requires careful communication. Another concept that had been considered before was to implement some sort of online tracking system to monitor the progress of individual proposals. However, it was noted that the faculty proposing the course already has the responsibility to guide it through the various steps. Dr. McNairy suggested that a student might undertake a research project analyzing the process to create an appreciation for the typical timeframe and to identify places where efficiency might be improved. Dr. White noted that delays can be minimized if proposers respond quickly to requests for information or clarification from curriculum committees.
Dr. White encouraged Senators to attend the upcoming luncheon focused specifically on General Education assessment to be held on Thursday, September 28.
Dr. Mowrey distributed a proposal to reduce the number of allowed graduate transfer credits from 12 to 9. [See Attachment #2] She noted that rolling admission for graduate students has reduced the need to transfer in credits taken at Millersville while waiting for admission. She also pointed out that two recently approved MU graduate programs, MSW and MSEM, have a 9-credit cap, following national trends.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
Dr. Kathy Schreiber brought a report from the Honor Code Committee indicating that development of an Academic Honor Code at Millersville is both feasible and advisable. [see Attachment #3] She reviewed a summary document for Senators [see Attachment #4] and indicated that adoption of an honor code can result in a reduction in academic dishonesty when students are educated about the policies and strong sanctions are enforced. Dr. Schreiber pointed out that APSCUF requires that faculty members have options regarding how to address cases of academic honesty in their classes. She will return to Senate at the next meeting to answer questions about the recommendation. If approved by Senate, the proposal would be considered by the whole faculty for adoption.
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
(1) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
ESCI, BS Oceanography. Proposal to rename to BS Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies and revise options.
Dr. Yin Soong and Dr. Andrew Muller were in attendance to address questions raised regarding pre-requisites for this proposal. They noted that appropriate changes to the pre-requisites have been approved by Dean Shane. A DeCaria/Luek motion to approve the revised proposal to rename to BS Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies and revise options was approved without dissent.
(2) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL 360: Histology, 4 credits. Proposal to create course to study cellular architecture and cell and tissue function in mammalian systems was approved without dissent.
(3) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
WSSD 390: Athletic Training Techniques with Surface Anatomy, 3 credits. Proposal to create course to introduce fundamental principles and basic techniques used by Certified Athletic Trainers was approved without dissent.
X. English Department Composition Committee
IX. Faculty Emeritus
X. Committee Elections
An Igyor/Wismer motion to close nominations was approved without dissent.
A Mowrey/Luek motion to unanimously elect all unopposed candidates was approved without dissent.
XI. Other/New Business
Meeting was adjourned after voting was completed.
Aimee L. Miller
Faculty Senate Secretary