I. Minutes of previous meetings
II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
III. Report of the Student Senate President
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Organization
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
Provost Prabhu commented on implementation of new contract language retroactively. He noted that faculty help and support is especially critical regarding changes in Distance Learning specifications. Most current DL courses do not meet the new criteria of being at least 80% online. Faculty must adjust their remaining course schedule to align with this in order to qualify for DL pay. Dr. Prabhu noted that the MU Online Advisory Group has helped provide clarity in the past and may aid in meeting an immediate need for an appropriate evaluation instrument to use this semester for DL courses.
Associate Provost for Academic Administration
Associate Provost Burns shared that the MU Online Adviosry Group met last week and is considering DL issues relevant to the new CBA. A minor change course proposal has been suggested to allow faculty teaching blended courses this semester to quickly get approval for changes needed to meet the new 80% online level. Dr. Prabhu highlighted that faculty teaching blended courses now would have several options, including adjusting planned face-to-face meeting times to fit the 80%, switching some course work to an interactive TV (ITV) format (broadcasting of on-campus teaching to an alternate site) or keeping their current plans as a course that would no longer be compensated at the DL rate.
Discussion was also held regarding the fact that the DL student evaluation instrument must be administered online to be consistent with the teaching mechanism. A question was raised about the projected date for availability of an evaluation tool for DL courses. It was noted that there is no certain date yet, but that Information Technology has been helping with implementation issues, particularly how to ensure security and anonymity. Senator Edeh Herr indicated that an evaluation tool compatible with the new student evaluation form being implemented is available. A question was raised about whether this tool has been approved by the faculty. It was noted that it may need to be used this semester on an emergency basis until approval by the faculty can be arranged.
Dr. Burns also reported on the beginning of Millersville’s self-assessment process to prepare for Middle States review. He indicated that Dr. Helena Tuleya-Payne has been appointed as Faculty Chair for this process. The next step will be to establish a Steering Committee and Sub-Committees for each standard that will be reviewed. Dr. Burns emphasized the need for broad faculty input and requested that senators serve as contacts for keeping the general faculty informed and involved. He pointed out the opportunity to increase our collective knowledge about university goals and function.
VI. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
(1) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM BSE ENGL. Proposal to revise required related courses to meet 120-credit limitation.
Senator Mowrey indicated a need to expand and clarify the Academic Honesty segment of the graduate catalog. She noted finding at least three different variations of related language from several sources. Dr. Burns responded that he will review these and advise the committee. Dr. Prabhu commented that providing better coherence in areas like this reduces the liability the university bears in holding students accountable to academic standards.
Discussion was held regarding the proposal to offer students credit for course work completed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or Certificate program. A comment was made about objections to the blurring of lines between high school and college curricula. Dr. West responded that each department will be able to review the curriculum in their field and determine whether or not credit is appropriate. The proposal to award course credit for high examination scores in higher-level International Baccalaureate courses, as approved by the relevant department, was approved with two no votes.
Chair Ward reported that GERC is supporting implementation of the revised General Education curriculum and that their evaluation of the process indicates that the overall goals for revision were met.
He clarified that FYI courses are intended to be 3-credit courses and that the Revised General Education Curriculum approved last spring by the Faculty should have indicated “0 or 3 credits” rather than “0-3 credits.” He also reported that the changes made to the expedited review document by APC were approved by GERC and could be considered by Senate.
Dr. Ward also distributed a proposal for Guidelines and Expedited Review for Cultural Diversity and Community (D) courses, including an evaluation form to use for the expedited review. [see Attachment #1] In response to a question, it was stated that courses seeking a D designation should meet all of the specifications listed. Discussion then turned to the need for improved clarity in the meaning of “meaningful oral and written components” in order to help faculty and UCPRC appropriately evaluate when a D designation is appropriate. Several persons commented that the oral and written components statement refers to the course being broader in pedagogy than lecture. It was emphasized that it is critical for everyone across the board to understand these criteria. A vote was held to determine whether the D proposal could be acted on as is with further clarification to come later (15 votes) or if clarification was needed before action (6 votes). Dr. Foster-Clark noted that APC and GERC will be reviewing similar language in P course guidelines as well.
The Proposed Revision to First Year Inquiry (FYI) Guidelines was approved without dissent. The proposal for the Writing Course Expedited Review Process and evaluation form was approved without dissent.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
IX. Faculty Emeritus
X. Educational Workshops (EDWs) and Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
The issue of a new environment in this market was raised, and it was asked whether counting courses towards a graduate program would be more appealing. Dean Bray responded that the design of these workshops is different than other graduate courses but that some other programs do allow a limited amount of credit to count towards a degree. A suggestion was made to offer EDW credits at a discounted rate since they do not educationally match graduate credits. Another suggestion was to have some 1-credit EDWs. Dean Bray agreed that there could be merit in bundling several courses to earn credits. A question was raised about how to address specific PDE standards if a course covers a comprehensive set of standards. Dean Bray responded that faculty could indicate either broad coverage of standards or target a specific standard.
XI. Other/New Business
Meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.
Aimee L. Miller
Secretary of the Senate