|From:||Robert K. Wismer, Chemistry Senator|
|Date:||2 March 2004|
|Re:||Administrative Proposal Review|
I respectfully request that Faculty Senate investigate and set guidelines for administrative review of proposals. There have been numerous instances during the past years when a proposal has been approved by Senate and not been acted on by the administration for considerable time. A recent example from my department is probably the most extreme case.
On 27 August, the chemistry department passed a proposal to require, as prerequisite for CHEM 111, either passing a placement test or a grade of C- in CHEM 110. This proposal codifies the practice of the department during the past twenty years, except that it raises the grade from D- to C-. We wished to codify the practice so that Banner could check these prerequisites, rather than our having to check them by hand.
The proposal was received by the Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics on 2 September; his resource implications analysis was received on 23 September. The proposal was received by the Curriculum Committee of the School of Science and Mathematics on 29 September; passed on 7 October. It was received by Undergraduate Course and Program Committee on 16 October; passed on 11 November. It was presented to Faculty Senate on 18 November; passed on 2 December.
I know the proposal was received by the administration because a copy of an e-mail from the Provost, dated 10 December, states that the proposal was sent from Joel Piperberg "on 12/4". The administration plans to act on 3 March 2004. Notice that in 98 days the proposal passed three faculty committees in addition to obtaining the Dean's analysis. In contrast, it has taken the administration 89 days to not act. This may be because the proposal was misplaced, an occurrence that the faculty track minimizes by having a "proposer" identified with each proposal.
In the fall of 1996 when the current "two-track" approach to proposal consideration was instituted, it was assumed that action by Dean's Council would be coincident with that of Faculty Senate. A memo from me as chair of UCPRC dated 28 February 1997 alludes to that arrangement: "the proposalproceeds through both tracks: (1) to Dean's Council and (2) through UCPRC to Faculty Senate." Faculty were assured at that time that the second track would be used to address the resource implications of the proposal, and would not cause delay. The second track seems to have become the administration's final stamp of approval on a proposal. In several instances, this final approval has significantly delayed proposal implementation.
I am no expert on the contract, but I believe that it gives the faculty the power to make curricular changes. That is my understanding of why the Provost no longer chairs UCPRC. The current situation in which the administration has final approval of proposals and can delay that approval without accountability, cedes that power to the administration.
I suggest that a proposal be approved automatically once it passes Faculty Senate, unless the administration communicates substantive reasons why the proposal should not be approved within a month or by the next Senate meeting, whichever is sooner. The reason for the relatively short objection time is that the administration has had the proposal since it was submitted to the appropriate school dean. That is how the dual track approach was supposed to work.
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