September 13, 2011
Senators Present: Jeannette Moore, Co-chair; Roy Borden, Keith Edmisten, Montserrat Fuentes, Bruce Hammerberg, Al Headen, David Zonderman.
Unable to attend: Dimitris Argyropoulos, Co-chair; Scott Townsend
1. Approval of the minutes from the August 30, 2011 meeting
Minutes were distributed to the committee electronically and were approved with no changes.
2. Old Business
a. Senator David Zonderman: Update on the status of the Undergraduate Student Success report (relative to the mention of a General Studies Degree)
David spoke briefly with Sarah Ash, who chaired the implementation task force on student success for the Strategic Plan. Their task force has written its report, and the report is now in the Provost's Office. Sarah said the task force recommended further study of the idea of an undergrad degree in general studies, drawing on several models at other universities, but made no specific recommendation for what such a degree would actually look like.
Senator Borden expressed concern about students who enter into one major, but can't complete that major. There is a barrier to intracampus transfers, and General Studies would be a place for the students to go. What is the conclusion of other universities who have implemented a General Studies degree? This is a critical problem. Students need to be able to change out of a major they are not successful in.
The APC discussed this topic, and will re-open discussion after hearing more about what is being done via the October 4th general faculty meeting.
Status: This topic remains open for discussion.
b. Senator Jeannette Moore: Update on the Global Knowledge question raised by Hans Kellner and David Auerbach
This question was briefly discussed at the Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting on September 8th. David and Hans did not have more for us to discuss; the disagreement about Study Abroad courses meeting the Global Knowledge co-requisite was a disagreement about the decision, not about how the decision was made. The Global Knowledge / Study Abroad issue was discussed by the Council on Undergraduate Education (CUE), the Associate Deans, and this committee last year.
Status: This issue is closed.
c. Senator Roy Borden: Update on the Reading Days issue
Original Issue of Concern wording: "Could the effectiveness of the reading days prior to final be examined again. I teach non-traditional students in a once-a-week, 3-hour format. Our final exams have conveniently been the week following the last class at the same time and place. The Monday & Tuesday reading days postpone this for half our classes. This also subjects students who may be moving/changing jobs to some additional delay." Issue of Concern was submitted to Faculty Senate Chair Hans Kellner by a faculty member
The APC discussed this briefly at the August 30th meeting, and all were in agreement that Reading Days had been requested by students. Senator Borden agreed to look into the matter further, and contacted David W. Parish, Ph.D. (Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, College of Engineering) and received this response: "Reading Days (at the end of the semester) was an idea that was put forth by students way back in 1992, but seems to have gotten approval by the Faculty Senate sometime in 2008. I think the final setup was arranged by the Calendar Committee in March 2008. It appears that the first time it was incorporated into the academic calendar was Fall 2009.
This site gives some idea:
Quote from the minutes at the above URL: "Reading Days and the University Calendar
Students brought a recommendation for the addition of Reading Days at the end of each semester to the University Standing Committee on Registration, Records and Calendar. Two possible calendar’s were approved by that committee, however professors of multi-section lab courses raised an issue of concern to the Senate with respect to the reading-day calendar. The Academic Policy and Executive Committee’s of the Faculty Senate have been working with the students, the registrar, and professors of such large multi-section lab courses in an effort to develop a calendar that can accommodate both reading days and affording the maximum number of contiguous-day weeks necessary for laboratory course offerings."
The APC discussed this issue and agreed the process to create the Reading Days was appropriate, and we don't see any evidence that the policy needs to be revisited.
Status: This issue is closed.
d. Senator Dimitris Argyropoulos (in absentia): Update on status of the Student Grievance Policy (Dr. Argyropoulos provided this information to the committee via email)
From Sarah Lannom, Office of General Counsel: "Revisions to the Grievance Procedure were undertaken last spring and completed this summer. There are now two separate grievance procedures--one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students. These regulations were approved last month. Here are the links to the two regulations:
Grievance Procedure for Undergraduate Students
Grievance Procedure for Graduate Students
We hope your committee finds these to be helpful. If I may be of any other assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks, Sarah"
Status: This issue is closed.
3. New Business
a. Grade Exclusion Regulation (modification of the First Year Course Repeat Policy) is in place
The Grade Exclusion Regulation was enacted after this semester started, and there was concern about the timing (in part because students who applied for graduation could not invoke it) and there were some other questions. Louis Hunt and Michelle Johnson held an information session on September 7th, and all questions were answered to the apparent satisfaction of those present (including the person who indicated this was an Issue of Concern). Louis Hunt did announce that an exception would be granted this semester for students who had already applied for graduation (because of the timing of the implementation).
The changes that resulted in the Grade Exclusion Regulation were discussed at length in the Associate Dean's Council last year, and this topic was also discussed at the APC last year. The APC discussed the issue again, and decided that no further action is necessary.
Status: This issue is closed.
b. Lack of maternity/paternity policy for graduate and undergraduate students: Issue of Concern referred to the Academic Policy Committee from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Senator Montse Fuentes is willing to head up this discussion.
Some issues affecting students include:
1. Students might be afraid to raise the issue. If a student has a baby and takes a leave of absence, the student loses health insurance.
2. Graduate students: To keep status as full-time (maintain financial support, health insurance, visa for international students), graduate students can't take a leave of absence. For RA's, NIH and NSF will continue support if the institution has a policy (which NCSU does not). At UNC, the Provost and Graduate School are providing the financial support for TA's (6 weeks).
3. Time to graduation is another issue for graduate students because courses expire (in other words, students must finish the degree within a specified amount of time). A policy would extend the clock.
4. For undergraduates, financial aid is an issue. We have less control of Federal Aid. The student could lose their federal financial aid if they take a semester off.
There is a maternity/paternity policy at UNC. Only the primary parent caring for the baby can invoke the policy, and it only applies to graduate students (not undergraduates).
A question was raised about numbers. How many students are impacted by not having a policy? Reply: Several societies have data on the impact not having a policy has on women faculty. There was also a letter to Science in the September 9, 2011 issue that was titled: "Hope for Graduate School Childbirth Policies." See:
Discussion: When the Provost provides funding, it is funding that is withheld from Deans. It is not additional money. There is an issue with TA's, especially at this time where TA's are in short supply. How would a TA be replaced?
A question was raised about how to proceed with this topic. Shall we address graduate students and undergraduate students simultaneously or sequentially?
Comment: The UNC policy is only for graduate students on stipend support. They don't support students monetarily if they were not already on financial support. For undergraduates, it would be tremendously helpful if the undergrads could still be eligible for health insurance. It was noted that health insurance may be out of our control because the university might have to re-negotiate. It was noted that NCSU undergraduates have the option of choosing to purchase or not purchase maternity coverage.
Question: Do they have to be married? Answer: No for UNC.
Suggestion: Since UNC is in the same system we are, let's look at their policy and see if it would work here. Question: Would our committee propose a resolution? Reply: We will discuss this issue, get more data, and refer it to the Faculty Senate Exec Committee. Some Issues of Concern do result in a resolution being proposed.
Senator Fuentes will forward to the committee:
This issue will be on the agenda for the next APC meeting. Prior to that meeting, the APC members will read the materials forwarded by Senator Fuentes.
- The UNC policy
- Her writeup (summary of the situation)
Status: This issue remains open.
c. Issue of Concern: Proposed new Syllabus regulation
At the May 11, 2011 University Courses and Curricula (UCCC) meeting, the minutes indicate that the proposed Syllabus Regulation changes would be shared with college curriculum committees. See the last item (Other New Business) at: http://www.provost.ncsu.edu/governance/standing-committees/courses-curricula/2011-2012/minutes/2011minutes05-11.php
Quoted from the minutes: "Syllabus Reg Revisions; CHASS Priv/Sharing proposal - A motion was made to table the proposal with the provision that it be addressed by the first of the Fall 2011 with a deadline of Oct. 1. Majority voting, 1 no. No abstentions. Many members hope to allow time for members to take this back to discuss with college curricula committees; faculty; Seconded. Some discussion on if the UCCC committee members had any other further comments/revisions. Suggestion of a deadline/timeline by which colleges need to submit their feedback, with the understanding that this be looked and reviewed and that this will be coming back more definitely by say Oct. 1 or the second meeting in Sept. for UCCC."
This resulted in UCCC members sharing the proposed Syllabus Regulation changes (see attached document) with their respective college curricula committees. It was reported at the Faculty Senate Exec Committee meeting on September 8th that quite a few faculty were upset about more details and regulations being required in each syllabus. This was raised as an Issue of Concern, and Hans Kellner referred it to the APC. The concern is about overload of wording that is required in every syllabus, but there is also a concern that the posted Syllabus Regulation does not contain many of the items faculty are already being forced to incorporate into their syllabi if a course action form goes through the UCCC. The attached document of proposed Syllabus Regulation changes from UCCC indicates that many changes have already been accepted, but these changes are not reflected in the posted regulation. See:
http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-20-7 (last modified in 2003)
Dr. John Ambrose (via a phone call to Jeannette Moore) asked that we wait until after the October 5th UCCC meeting to further discuss the syllabus regulation.
Senator Borden: Six faculty members from Engineering asked him to present to the committee that there is significant opposition to requiring all of the university legal terminology in the syllabus. Senator Zonderman: CHASS faculty are in agreement with that sentiment. Senator Moore: The CALS committee is sending a memo to John Ambrose requesting that all of the university language that is applicable to all courses be moved out of the syllabus and into MyPack Portal. Students would then have to certify (through MyPack Portal) they have read and understand the policies; this would have to be done each semester before the student would be allowed to register for classes. (This is similar to what faculty do each semester to certify they have read and will abide by FERPA.)
This topic will be on the agenda for one or more future meetings.
Status: This issue remains open.
4. Other Business (if any)
APC members are on several university committees as Faculty Senate reps:
David Zonderman: CUE (new this year)
Jeannette Moore: Evaluation of Teaching (rollover from last year)
Al Headen: University Standing Committee on Commencement
Bruce Hammerberg: UCCC (rollover from last year)
Keith Edmisten: Admissions (rollover from last year); Elected to the Council on Athletics\
5. Adjourn 4:50
Future APC Meetings (3:00 to 5:00 pm in 125 Polk Hall):
Sep 27, Oct 11, Oct 25, Nov 8, Nov 22, Dec 6, Jan 17, Jan 31, Feb 14, Feb 28, Mar 13, Mar 27, Apr 10, Apr 24Attachment: Proposed course syllabus regulation changes (UCCC shared with college curricula committees)