Draft to be approved 11/16/11
The Metropolitan State College of Denver
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
3:20pm – 4:50pm
Tivoli 320 A, B & C
Attendees: Aubrey, Badwan, Bahl, Balogh, Capps, Cook, Corash, Curran, Davinroy, Davis, Delaney, DelCastillo, DeMuro, Denn, Doe, Drake, Duburguet, Dyhr, Elkins, Ethier, Evans, Flemon, Forgash, Fustos, Ghosh, Gibson, Grevstad, Gurka, Hagen, Hallam, Hancock, Hasley, Hathorn, Hernandez-Julian, Izurieta, Jackson, Jacobs, Karris, Kent, King, Kitzman, Klimek, Komodore, Kuhlmann, Lamb, Liu, Lubinski, MacDonald, Matthews, McVicker, Meloche, Mollenhauer, Moroye, Murphy, Odell, Ortiz, Pleis, Posey, Pozzi, Preuhs, Pytlinski, Quinn, Rengers, Reyes, Ropp, Rucki, Sahami, Saxe, Shopp, Sidelko, Snozek, Stephens, Sundeen, Svonkin, Vowles, Wanberg, Weber, Worster, Yeh, Guests: Golich
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Previous Meetings Minutes (at Senate Website), VOTE.
Vote called Approved.
- The SCoB still needs an RTP Alternate. If the school is looking outside of the Senate, the representative must be a tenured faculty member.
- The Elections Committee will hold an election for the vacant FACT seat. Senator Hutto will be sending out the solicitation next week.
- The Homecoming Committee needs a Faculty Senate rep. The committee meets every Monday at 1:00pm. Please email President Sahami with names of candidates.
- The Senate Executive Committee has been discussing how to formalize the process of communication between the Faculty Senate and Administration. The Rules Committee has been charged with developing the procedure.
IV. PRESENTATION and QUESTIONS: Curriculum policy changes in catalog without faculty approval. GUEST: Provost V. Golich w/ Sen L. Worster [Time certain: 5 min. Presentation + 5min. for questions]
Vice-President Worster reported that the Senate received an email on 9/16 regarding General Studies policy that changed in this years’ catalog. He researched how it had happened that the 2009 catalog gave one list of General Studies requirements and the 2011 gave different requirements. He began his search for how and where this change occurred by reading the Faculty Senate minutes for the last three years, interviewing a variety of people including Dean Joan Foster and found that the source of the accidental change was an ad hoc General Studies Completion Task Force.
The Executive Committee developed the following motion:
He read the motion into the record:
The academic or curricular policy in the catalog should not be changed without proper vetting by the faculty according the procedures stated in the applicable bylaws, handbooks, and procedural manuals. These policies need to be developed by the appropriate committees and vetted by the Faculty Senate. In order to maintain mutual accountability, the changes that were made in the catalog and not vetted by the Faculty Senate will be examined by the Faculty Senate General Studies Committee and proposals for presentation to the Faculty Senate for vetting will be developed. These policies include but are not limited to the requirements for completion of Level I General Studies (Oral, Written, and Quantitative Literacy requirements of the General Studies 2012 program) and enforcement policies for student non-compliance with General Studies policy.
Vice-President Worster read the last two sentences of the Provost’s emailed statement:
“..It has recently come to my attention that an inaccurate policy statement was published in this year’s Catalog regarding when students need to complete their “Level I General Studies” and the penalties for not doing so. It is the responsibility of my office to publish an accurate catalog. I apologize for the error and have taken steps to make sure this should not happen again.”
The Faculty Senate General Studies committee is now considering what the General Studies completion policy should be.
A discussion was called. There were no comments from the Senate. President Sahami confirmed that the 2009 rules are still in effect with minor changes in nomenclature.
Senator Grevstad commented that the General Studies committee understands the importance of this issue and they will be asking for input system wide.
V. PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION and MOTION: Language in catalog pertaining to General Studies prerequisites – Curriculum and General Studies Committees – Sen. R. Hernandez-Julian
Senator Hernandez reported that an audit in the Office of the VPAA found that there are more than 250 existing syllabi using “Level I General Studies” in prerequisites language. A blanket motion has been suggested to fix this problem. As well, this problem was found in program description language.
He read the suggested language changes and discussed possible exception procedure.
A discussion was called. The Senate had no questions or comments. President Sahami asked the Senate to review the proposed motion and send any alterations to the chair of the Curriculum committee, Senator Hernandez.
VI. PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION and MOTION Comprehensive grade policy – Academic Policies Committee – Sen. G. Denn+APC committee members
Senator Denn gave highlighted points of the distributed report. The committee considered feedback from the last meeting, emails, and visits to the Student Government Association. Adjustments were made in the form of clarified language.
A discussion was called.
Senator Kent, Anthropology, expressed the confusion he and his department experienced about what remains on the transcript after the class is repeated.
Senator Rengers, Health Professions, congratulated the committee on a fabulous job and his department would like to change 18 to 12.
Senator Svonkin, English, commented that the student requirement to request that grade replacement be applied would be a challenge to some students because the majority of them have no idea how bureaucracy works and the end result of it would be that the students may not understand the process in time. He believes that this change will create a huge amount of bureaucracy for faculty and staff. He does not see purpose for the change and asked whose suggestion it was to do this.
President Sahami offered to have straw polls to learn Senate majority preferences.
Senator Lubinski, Theatre, asked if the policy would apply to current or past students’ records.
London McDonald, Modern Languages, asked why a student would have to apply to have a grade change affected when they have taken a class a second time and how can departments have their own rules about the number of credits allowed for grade replacement.
Further comments were made by London McDonald on the concept of grade replacement.
President Sahami gave a relevant example where a student failed all their 1010s.
London McDonald commented that the department has the responsibility to do the appropriate advising and the plan discussed does not seem like responsible counseling for graduation completion.
Senator Hernandez asked if catalog rules apply for academic policies the same way that major requirements do or do rules change for the student as they progress through their degree.
Senator Hancock, Biology, commended the committee for the work they have done and asked how, in respective departments, it affects the final product and will it make a significant change in the success of departments’ missions.
Vice President Worster believes these policy changes have the success of Metro students in mind.
Senator Grevstad commented that most Math and Computer Sciences classes are four credit hours. He asked if the intent was that classes with more credit hours can be retaken fewer times. He did not agree with the committee’s answer.
Senator Svonkin commented that he thinks the situation is going to get worse due to the financial climate. Students will be experiencing higher stress levels and empathy with them should be maintained. The Faculty Senate may need to have a broader discussion on the challenges facing students.
Senator Ptylinski, Art, reported that her department remains unconvinced about the policy changes. She asked how the assertion that repeating a class is of no help to a student was arrived at and wants to hear input gathered from the Access Center. She asked for more information on the support for advising students and the infrastructure.
Senator O’Dell reported that the HPS department was very happy with policy. Metro has free resources and students must learn accountability.
Senator Izurieta, Modern Languages, remarked that the intent is not to create more bureaucracy but to help students succeed with more frequent advising and have follow-up on their progress.
Senator Hernandez, Economics, stated that since speaking with his department members he would support the motion; however, he offered improvements.
Senator Meloche commended the committee on making the transcript a more transparent and honest document. He believes that there are practical matters that need considering. If the policy is implemented, it must be communicated very clearly to students about making those deadlines.
Senator Fustos asked if the committee did any impact analysis. He gave his department’s statistics on classes that were repeated. His department has minimum grade requirements for graduation. He asked the committee to do the same kind of analysis. He spoke of the burden that the change would bring to the department chair.
Senator Delaney, Art, asked when the advising would begin for students. She observed that there were two discussions going on: transcript transparency and what kind of system Metro has to support their students. She asked what will be done as a preventative measure to support failing students.
Senator Hagen agreed with Senator O’Dell and gave a student example of class repetition in Immigration History.
Senator Ethier, Mathematics, agreed with the spirit of the changes but not the negative language used.
Senator Hasley, CIS, commented that students have challenges and he doesn’t think it is fair that they would be knocked out of possible college opportunities. Letters of recommendation will help.
President Sahami asked the Senate to send recommendations to the committee; perhaps a survey could be developed. There is no reason to rush this change.
Vice President Worster commended the Senate on the number of members that had discussed this topic with their departments and brought back their comments. He was very impressed. Senator Denn thanked the Senate for their thoughtful discussion.