Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment A

Faculty Senate Minutes

7 February 1995

DATE: 1/18/95
TO: Faculty Senate
FROM: Don Eidam
RE: Report for 2/7/95 meeting

On 11/1/94 you directed me by motion to provide a written report answering certain questions regarding "Admiision to the Major" administrative policies by 2/795, on which date this matter was to be returned to our agenda. This item constitutes that report.

The background for this information was obtained in conversations with the President, the Provost (particularly), and others, as well as from a Deans' Council meeting and as a byproduct of a now-dissolved ad hoc task force on which I served. Although some of the information is second-hand, I take sole responsibility for its accuracy.

How and by what official(s) are caps determined?
Until now caps for different majors and programs have been established by a variety of means, with no uniform algorithm for obtaining approval for capping. There is a consensus that the University needs to have a clear and consistent procedure for gaining approval for and removing capped status, one which will enable the Offices of Admissions and Academic Advisement as well as the rest of the academic community to be informed.

Effective immediately, only the Provost will authorize the Admissions Office regarding capping or removing caps for any programs. An administrative policy will be initiated during the Spring 1995 semester, the need to distinguish between "admission" to MU and "acceptance" into programs will be clarified in this procedure.

What programs are currently capped?
According to the Provost, as of this date the following are capped: Elementary Education major, Biology major, Psychology major and minor, and Criminal Justice option in Sociology major.

Are admissions into majors for new students currently limited, and, if so, how?
In general there is no target number for the desirable number of majors. That is, there exist neither capacity maxima nor ranges for enrollments in a major. Hence if a major is not capped, all students who meet regular admission requirements are admitted into that major, if they so desire, without limit. Thus it is possible that M new students could be admitted to a major previously at N which has a desirable upper limit less than M + N. As a part of the Academic Master Plan and in preparation for the 21st century, the University will determine 'desirable numbers of majors' for given departmental resources.

With respect to capped majors, in cooperation with Departments and School Deans the Office of Admissions has limited the number of new admits by either an absolute numerical maximum or by minimal GPA/SAT numbers recommended by the department.

May internal admissions (admissions from UND and from other majors) into uncapped majors be limited in any way other than the approved criteria?

Enrollment in entry courses in some majors are precisely constrained by physical resources (e.g., by the number of lab stations or computer stations). Admission to many majors impacts on resources outside the major department (e.g., Sec Ed admissions impact on EDFN courses, BIOL admissions impact on MATH courses, graduate/certification admissions impact on certain undergraduate courses). There is no process which addresses these impacts, but there is a consensus of those to whom I spoke that these impacts need to be analyzed. As a result of meetings between the Provost and the Faculty Senate chairperson, the Deans' Council has initiated discussion on how to administratively resolve this issue as well.

What does "Permission of department chair" mean? Based on what criteria? May a student be denied admission on the basis of, say, a "low" QPA?
Since there are currently neither University policies nor guidelines for the implementation of this requirement, each deparmtent chairperson or her/his designee interprets the "Permission" statement on an individual basis, with no uniformity. Hence there are multiple definitions of this phrase. If space is available in a program, the chair's approval signifies official acceptance into the program.

Some examples of current interpretations follow. In Psychology, if space is not available, the chair uses established written qualitative criteria to determine which students to accept when requests exceed available space. In Elementary Education, the chair may interview students to determine the extent of the student's potential for success in the major based upon academic preparation, and inform the student that should she/he be admitted into the capped program, the student is obligated to strive for success. While in practice the "Permission..." phrase has taken on multiple definitions, ultimately the administration expects chairs to base their decisions on approved criteria.

Although this phrase appears on every blue sheet, I can find no reference to it in Senate minutes or in the Governance Manual. It was evidently added to the Admission-to-the-Major criteria at the time of administrative implementation of the general policy, most probably for informational/departmental accounting reasons, and presumably could be altered or deleted administratively. An alternative that was suggested is "Signature of department chair."

If there is additional info you think I might be able to provide before our next meeting, please get in touch: email=deidam@mu3, home=293-9888, office=3004; as always, please feel free to call me at home evenings and weekends--we do not have call-waiting!

At its 1/17/95 meeting, SPARC discussed and edited the current draft of this report, primarily written by Mrs. Suskie with input from a number of ad hoc subgroups. Its purpose is to update Middle States "on what has happened at Millersville during the past five years since the Self-Study, what our current situation is, and what our plans are for the coming five years".

APSCUF-MU President Sheridan and I recommended that, rather than distributing a copy of the (ca.) 150-page draft to each member of Rep. Council and Senate and each department chair, two copies be sent to each department, one for the chair and one for circulation. In addition, copies will be on reserve in Ganser by 2/10/95. "Hearings" will be held to solicit recommendations for changes, one will be scheduled immediately before a Senate meeting.

As our minutes indicate, on 11/15/95 I announced that elections needed to be conducted on 2/7/95 for chairpersonships of the Unviersity Honors Program and International Studies Curriculum Committees. Both are three-year terms beginning fall '95; only the first position must be filled by a Senator.

The published agenda for 2/7/95 omitted this announcement. We will decide at the beginning of our meeting whether to conduct these elections as scheduled or defer until 2/21/95.

I now have the second (and more nearly complete) draft of the Course Articulation Matrix for the eastern half of the state. Senators who want submatrices for particular disciplines may contact me.

cc: President
Deans' Council

Return to Faculty Senate Home Page
Return to MU Home Page