The meeting was called to order at 4:06 p.m. All departments were in attendance except Academic & Student Development, Athletics, and Business Administration.
I. Minutes of previous meeting
II. Proposed Courses and Programs
III. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
IV. Report of the Student Senate President
V. Report of the Graduate Student Association
VI. Report of the Administrative Officers
President McNairy expressed appreciation for faculty efforts on the Middle States process and reported that MU is in compliance on all standards. Dr. McNairy also announced that MU is working to purchase the building in downtown Lancaster currently occupied by the Pennsylvania Academy of Music. She commented on the involvement of faculty from arts departments in consulting on this decision and the building’s potential as an alternate site for teaching courses now at Liberty Place. Dr. McNairy also noted the ground breaking last week for the new Visual Arts building on campus and how the new acquisition would complement institutional needs. She indicated that the COT supports the purchase provided the building become financially self-sufficient within a few years. Dr. McNairy emphasized that funding for this purchase is coming from capital funds or legislative measures rather than campus funds. Mr. Bruszewski shared about the process of identifying viable funding options to make this purchase possible. He noted that current plans would allow MU to move into the building in mid-June and be ready for use in fall. Mr. Bruszewski commented on development of a business plan for the building, appointment of an interim director, and recruitment of a director.
A question was raised about transportation between campus and downtown. Mr. Bruszewski indicated the nearby location of stops for the Route 16 Red Rose Transit bus and also noted that negotiations for parking options is underway. It was noted that greater communication with the general public would be beneficial, particularly to clarify that funding for the purchase is not connected to increases in student tuition and fees. The impact of this acquisition on plans for the Visual Arts Center was questioned. It was emphasized that the building would not be a replacement for campus space but serve complementary needs.
Associate Provost for Academic Administration
Associate Provost Burns reminded faculty of the undergraduate honors and awards ceremony to be held on April 24. He reported that the rebuttal letter responding to the Middle States site visit is nearing completion.
Mr. Stephen Anspacher, Director of Distance Learning & Off-Campus Education, reported on the process of switching from Blackboard to Desire2Learn for course management. He urged faculty to recover all materials from Blackboard before mid-June when access is closed. Mr. Anspacher also noted awareness of the bad timing for faculty and indicated that a transition team is working to address problems. He indicated that Spring 2010 courses would be archived after the semester ends and that organizations will be migrated as well. Orientation continues for faculty and will be planned for students making the transition.
It was noted that while materials are there, the organization of courses is not maintained in the transfer and that the complexity of the process is daunting. Mr. Anspacher stated that master courses hold the materials for a course that need to be dragged into the shell course that students will ultimately see. He also noted that staying with Blackboard would also have required transitioning to an updated version with a similar learning curve for use. Concern for ways to adequately communicate to graduate students was expressed. It was suggested that other strategies besides e-mail be used for students who may need to recover portfolio content from their courses. The need for a help line during the transition was noted. Mr. Anspacher indicated that a help desk program, PerceptIS, will be available to address technical needs. He also reminded faculty of the opportunity to attend the RECAP conference in May at West Chester which will focus on D2L use.
Dr. Dennis Downey attended as chair of the task force on interdisciplinary studies. He was asked to share thoughts on the value of the concept of combining current minors in different fields to adequately train students in an interdisciplinary field. He responded that seasoned faculty are working to develop a set of principles and framework for innovative curricula and student-centered programs that would be enriching for students. He noted some programs are already doing this well and that the task force will be inviting input from the broader faculty.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
(1) NEW GRADUATE COURSE
PSYC674: Assessment of English Language Learners, 3 credits. Proposal for course to prepare school psychologists and mental health practitioners to work with English Language Learners and make educational recommendations.
(2) CHANGE TO UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
CHEM465: Analytical Chemistry, 4 credits. Proposal to add a W label.
(3) CHANGE TO UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
CHEM392: Advanced Laboratory II, 1 credit. Proposal to require CHEM251 a pre-requisite only rather than allow it as a co-requisite.
Senator Smith noted that new course proposal forms will be available soon. AOAC
Dr. Schneller reminded faculty of the upcoming assessment luncheon.
VIII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
IX. Faculty Emeritus
X. Report on D-Course Survey
XII. Other/New Business
Meeting was adjourned after elections (5:30 p.m.)
Aimee L. Miller
Secretary of the Senate
Action SummaryReturn to Faculty Senate Home Page