II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
III. Report of the Student Senate President
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Organization
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
Provost Prabhu noted the spring semester will be busy and that labor negotiations will continue as the contract runs out this summer.
Associate Provost for Academic Administration
Associate Provost Burns commented on the ongoing review of academic policies as part of finding commonalities to be used in the SAP administrative system being introduced at PASSHE schools. He noted that APC will be bringing a number of items to Senate for consideration. He indicated that the goal is to move to consensus or best practices among all the schools. Dr. Prabhu noted that four schools will be running the campus management component of SAP this fall and MU is already using the HR and Finance modules. He indicated that development of SAP is already costing schools and will be more costly if individual schools require additional programming. He noted that 80% of best practices being adopted match current MU policies. He urged Senate to be open to making small or trivial changes so that we can focus more on big issues.
Dr. Burns also reminded senators about the Pennsylvania legislation regarding a transfer articulation requiring universal transfer of 30 credits among PASSHE schools and community colleges. He indicated that he is chairing the subcommittee on math and sciences and will be contacting departmental chairs as information is brought forth. A question was raised about incompatibility between 3-hour lecture science courses and 4-hour combined lecture/lab courses. Dr. Burns responded that the goal is to maintain consistency among all schools and this may be met through general education courses rather than courses in the majors. Dr. Prabhu commented that the Oversight Committee is under tight deadlines for at least defining standard criteria. Another question raised was whether minimum competency tests could be instated in cases where the transferred course serves as a pre-requisite. Dr. Prabhu responded that the legislation came out of concerns from parents and the public that higher education is not adequately facilitating students moving from community colleges into other schools. The question of transferring D grades was raised. The response was that the current policy to accept those grades would remain in place. Concern was expressed that students bringing in low grades continue to do poorly in classes. A suggestion was made that departments might identify their courses that would best fit the idea of universally transferable. Dr. Burns responded that he has been working from a list of the most commonly transferred courses at MU since these have already been approved by departments.
VI. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
(1) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL 363: Medical Microbiology, 3 credits. Proposal to create a course to study medically important disease-causing microorganisms.
Senator West distributed a proposed change to the Withdrawal Policy as part of the Campus Management Commonality Actions [see Attachment #1]. This would change the withdrawal period from 9 weeks to 10 weeks. Dr. West noted that this change matches current financial aid practices which is also why the date had been moved to week 9 several years ago. A question was raised regarding whether language about no limit to the number of courses a student could withdraw from would conflict with the limit for 3 repeats. Dr. West clarified that this referred to number of courses overall rather than to the number of times from a single course. A comment was made that the late withdraw date is unfortunate since some students wait until that time before getting serious about a course.
Senator Warmkessel indicated that a coherent proposal for Gen Ed reform will be presented at the special Senate meeting on January 30. She expressed thanks for the five working groups that labored over break to find coherence. She requested that senators encourage fellow faculty to attend. Questions were raised about the format of the meeting and whether the proposal would be available prior to the meeting date. Dr. Warmkessel responded that GERC would be presenting the plan first and would then distribute the proposal document. Open discussion will be invited after the presentation.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
(1) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
GEOG 306: Environmental Impact Assessment, 3 credits. Proposal to create course introducing requirements and methods for putting together federal environmental impact statements was approved without dissent.
(2) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
ESCI 440: Space Weather and Environment, 3 credits. Proposal to create course to study space environment between Earth and the Sun was approved without dissent
IX. Faculty Emeritus
X. Election of Senate Officers
Dr. Ana Börger-Greco was nominated to serve as Faculty Senate Chair. An Igyor /Saunders motion to close nominations and elect Dr. Ana Börger-Greco as Faculty Senate Chair was approved without dissent.
Dr. Melinda Rosenthal was nominated to serve as Faculty Senate Chair Pro-Tempore. A Saunders/West motion to close nominations and elect Dr. Melinda Rosenthal as Faculty Senate Chair Pro-Tempore was approved without dissent.
Dr. Aimee Miller was nominated to serve as Faculty Senate Secretary. A White/Mata motion to close nominations and elect Dr. Aimee Miller as Faculty Senate Secretary was approved without dissent.
XI. Other/New Business
The meeting was adjourned at 4.54 p.m.
Aimee L. Miller
Faculty Senate Secretary