I. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the October 3, 2006 meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved as amended.
II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
III. Report of the Student Senate President
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Association
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
Provost Prabhu commented on the rededication of Dutcher Hall. He noted new air conditioning for the theater and great improvements in access for persons with disabilities. He further commented on the exciting renovations to Wickersham Hall.
Associate Provost for Academic Administration
Associate Provost Burns reminded faculty that proposals for UNIV179 courses are due to GERC by November 29.
Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
Dean DeSantis noted current initiatives in the media targeted at recruiting graduate students.
Interim Assistant Provost
Interim Assistant Provost Redmond from the Division of Academic Support Programs and Learning Services reported that Millersville’s Upward Bound Program has submitted their Classic Upward Bound Program grant for continued funding. They have also submitted a new grant for the Upward Bound Math and Science Program Grant. Both applications are under review by the U.S. Department of Education.
VI. Reports of Faculty Senate Standing Committees
(1) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
BA, BS, and BSE MATH, Actuarial Science option. Proposal to add ECON 102 to the Required Related Courses block.
(2) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
MATH 100. Proposal to change pre-requisite to a C- or better in MATH 090 or appropriate score on the math placement test.
(3) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
ENGL 483: Politics, Film and Electronic Media, 3 credits. Proposal to create course exploring the relationships between media, history, politics and people during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
(4) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
BA ENGL, Film Studies option; ENGL minor, Film Studies option; ENGL minor. Proposal to add new ENGL 483 course to majors and minors as appropriate.
Senator Mowrey reported that, after review, there appear to be only about 70 DL courses that missed proper departmental and institutional review. The Provost has extended the time for approval of these courses to January, 2008. Department chairs and deans will be sent a list of courses that need to resubmit for this review process.
The question was raised about whether this review applies to 100% DL courses or also blended courses. It was noted that it applies as specified by the local agreement which is that 100% DL courses are called Online, and courses with no more than one third of face-to-face meeting are called Blended.
Senator Warmkessel thanked Senators for feedback at the special meeting and noted that more topics will be brought to future meetings.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
Dr. Kathy Schreiber requested that Senate approve sending the proposal for establishing an Honor Code at Millersville to the Faculty for evaluation. She noted that a period of educating faculty about the Honor Code would be undertaken prior to a vote being held. A Blazer/Hendrick motion to send the Honor Code proposal to the Faculty for evaluation was made. A suggestion was made that approval of this proposal should be dependent on an affirmative vote from the majority of eligible faculty members. Since it can be difficult to conduct voting at a single site for all faculty, it was suggested that a more complete response would be gathered if voting could be handled within departmental meetings. A Hendrick/Mowrey motion to amend the motion on the table to state that voting be conducted within departments with Senate conveying results to the Honor Code Committee was made.
Discussion was held regarding the desire to see honor established as a stronger part of the Millersville culture. A question raised was whether putting an Honor Code in place could actually make this a reality. Dr. Schreiber noted that the initial focus would be to make sure faculty understand the program and would want to initiate it. She also noted that there has been little discussed on campus while the proposal was reviewed by APSCUF for approval. A question was raised regarding specific plans for education prior to a faculty vote on the issue. Dr. Schreiber suggested that the Honor Code Committee could host Brown Bag Lunches for discussion and post relevant materials on a website. A suggestion was made that visits to departmental meetings might be helpful.
A comment was made that noted an honor code would work best when students sense there is something real to lose by not following the code. It was suggested that MU students vary widely and may not easily understand what they have to lose by not acting honorably. It was pointed out that other similar state schools have successfully implemented honor codes. Again the need for a vigorous education process was stressed. The suggestion was made that freshman seminar courses would be an ideal place for discussions of related ethics. Another question related to how we effectively transfer this sense of academic honor to students. It was noted that these core values are present across religious tenets and are part of the foundations of civilization, making the standards uniform for everyone. However, another issue raised was the differentiation between a culture of guilt where behavior is based on not feeling bad about our actions versus a culture of shame where behavior is based on not being caught. The key question was defined as determining our strategy to develop this sense of academic responsibility in our students. There was concern expressed about some student mentalities towards the importance of personal responsibility and integrity.
A question was raised about what level of student input has been used to develop the proposed Honor Code. It was noted that there is great need for their input since their participation in the process will be critical for developing and implementing an Honor Code. There was a concern raised about imposing an Honor Code on students without their support for the concept.
The Hendrick/Mowrey motion to amend the motion on the table to state that voting be conducted within departments with Senate conveying results to the Honor Code Committee was approved without dissent. The amended Blazer/Hendrick motion to send the Honor Code proposal to the Faculty for evaluation with voting to be conducted in departments was called to count. The motion was approved with 22 votes in favor, 0 votes against and 1 abstention.
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
Discussion was held regarding the proposed policy to dismiss graduate students receiving an “F” or three “C” grades. It was noted that some faculty do not view a “C” grade as failing. Concern was raised that this contradicts the requirement for students to maintain a “B” average. Senator Mowrey responded that this would be an additional policy that would be effective along with the requirement for a “B” average. Senator White expressed that the Mathematics department felt that dismissal for a third “C” was harsh. The proposal to instate a policy to dismiss graduate students receiving an “F” or three “C” grades was approved with 1 abstention.
IX. Faculty Emeritus
X. Continued Discussion on Diversity Courses
Questions were raised about the course approval process, including whether approval of UNIV179 will permanently include review by GERC and whether a D designation would be granted by a specific body. Senator Warmkessel commented that the current UNIV179 approval process is linked to the pilot status of the program. She noted that the permanent approval process is not yet clear but that it is expected that approval of D courses would work like current Gen Ed labels. Senate would likely play a role in defining the qualities that would be considered in evaluating courses for D status.
The informal dialogue on Creating Caring Communities was highlighted. The first of these discussions is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m.
XI. Other/New Business
Aimee L. Miller
Faculty Senate Secretary