Joint ASC and A&S Faculty Meeting, December 12, 2013, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Representatives present: Michela Ardizzoni, FRIT; Reece Auguiste, FILM; Daniel Barth, PSYC; Giulia Bernardini, HUMN; Paul Beale, PHYS; Brian Catlos, RLST; Cathy Comstock, RAPS; Bert Covert, ANTH; Damian Doyle, PWR; Francoise Duresse, AAH; Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, THDN; David Grant, MATH; Asunción Horno-Degado, SPAN; Alison Jaggar, WMST; Daniel Kaffine, ECON; Chris Kopff, HNRS; Catherine Labio, ENGL; Bhuvana Narasimhan, LING; Greg Odorizzi, MCDB; Mark Pittenger, HIST; Mike Radelet, SOCY; Matthias Richter, ALC; Elisabeth Root, GEOG; Rob Rupert, PHIL; Bianca Williams, ETHN
Representatives not present: Deane Bowers, EBIO; Jack Burns, APS; Cynthia Carey, IPHY; Diane Conlin, CLAS; Vanja Dukic, APPM; Weiqing Han, ATOC; David Jonas, CHEM; Susan Moore, SLHS; Greg Tucker, GEOL; Beverly Weber, GSLL
Also present: James Cowell, FRIT/LING; Steven Leigh; Rob Tubbs, Miramontes
Catherine Labio called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM, thanking all for attending.
Robert Boswell, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement
Vice Chancellor Boswell responded to questions and comments from the members in attendance. These and VC Boswell’s answers can be summarized as follows:
Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin let the Council know that this is her last meeting and Erika Randall will be replacing her for the spring semester as Theatre and Dance’s representative.
Motion by the Curriculum Committee to approve a name change for the B.A., B.F.A., and M.F.A. degrees conferred by AAH—discussion and vote, Rob Rupert
Text of the pending motion: ‘The Curriculum Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences hereby moves that the Department of Art and Art History’s proposal to change the name of their conferred B.A., B.F.A., and M.F.A. degrees from “studio art” to “art practices” be approved.’
Professor Rupert let the council members know that this change offers a broader umbrella for the different areas of art.
The motion was approved unanimously: 24-yes; 0-no; 0-abstentions.
Online education guidelines drafted by the Curriculum Committee—further discussion and vote, Rob Rupert
Professor Rupert reminded the Council members that they had been asked to bring the set of online course guidelines to the departments for feedback. This document is meant to give people who may never have considered online instruction, resources for development.
Feedback from the ASC members:
Andy Cowell from French and Italian talked about his department’s experience with online courses. Along with online courses they have hybrid systems. He is concerned that the question of resources hasn’t been addressed; it takes twice as much time to develop and teach an online course. Who will protect the faculty? Will different course loads be developed? There is a radical difference between videotaping your lectures and teaching an interactive language class online. FRIT is also concerned with sustainability: a faculty member could spend department resources to develop a class and then leave the university with no-one to teach it. Can graduate student be rotated into all online courses?
It is critical that all courses, whether they are in a traditional classroom, online or a hybrid, cover the same materials and have the same learning outcomes. In FRIT, in an Italian language course, the same book was used in the online course as was used in the classroom course; those students entered the next level class with the same skills as the students coming from a traditional classroom. In a French online course, they used materials developed specifically for online courses; those students didn’t do as well as their classroom peers when they went on to the next level.
The FRIT instructors who teach the online courses have degrees in online education. The students in the hybrid classes have a high retention rates.
Professor Rupert noted that some members on the Curriculum Committee are opposed to online education and wanted it known the guidelines are not an endorsement. A friendly amendment was added to the end of the first paragraph stating:
The Curriculum Committee’s formulation of these guidelines should not be interpreted as an endorsement of on-line education.
The Guidelines were approved unanimously with the following vote: 24-yes; 0-No; 0-abstentions.
Dean’s Remarks, Steven Leigh
Dean Leigh has charged a committee chaired by Prof. Norman Pace to conduct a review of the core curriculum. If this committee recommends revision, that will be taken on as a separate issue.
Unlike last year, the college is not expecting a budget cut. The continuing operating budget was cut by $1.5M last year because of an enrollment shortfall of slightly less than 500 students. The actual budget this year is higher because of the tuition increase. AY14 budget is $132.6M. The college still needs to look at areas where we can be more efficient.
A&S is larger in terms of tenure track faculty than it has ever been; this year rostering 724. Instructors and senior instructors have increased to 206, and lecturers and adjuncts to 204, for a net growth of about 33. Staff positions are now 373, down 5 from last year. These numbers are important as they comprise the largest fraction of our budget.
Dean Leigh strongly recommends that the faculty engage the Academic Quality Initiative. As a result of ASC report, the campus has adopted an 80 percent six-year graduation rate as a goal.
Various committees across campus are working on the issue of retention and graduate rates. The Dean’s Advisory Council (made up Chairs and Directors) has moved onto to other issues. Dean Leigh is concerned that the campus-wide committees that are studying graduation rates do not have many faculty members on them and hopes that the Planning and Diversity committees of the ASC will elect to continue working on retention and graduation rates.
Andy Cowell noted that the Dean’s Advisory Council has looked at students who are leaving because of academic issues and at students who are leaving for other reasons. Academic problems show up quickly and a robust system of advising in the first semester would help identify those students. For students without academic problems who leave, there are lots of statistics that show that certain groups of students are far more likely to graduate, including women, students with higher high school GPA’s, students with higher family incomes, and students in a RAP, Honors or PWR program, are all more likely to graduate. It may be advisable to focus our efforts on students who do not belong to these categories. Out-of-state students are less likely to graduate; they are generally not academically as prepared. Fellowship money should be spent with a view to remedy this discrepancy.
Dean Leigh thanked the ASC for their work and wished everyone a good break.
Chair’s Remarks, Catherine Labio
Only a few minutes remained. Professor Labio mentioned that there is a gap between the ASC bylaws and ASC practice and that she would like the Council to look at the bylaws in the spring.
Professor Labio relayed a faculty member’s request that the ASC consider passing a resolution to ban cellphone use in the classroom. Dean Leigh expressed concern that such an outright ban would interfere with the emergency notification system. Other objections were raised, including the fact that faculty can already decide what electronic equipment students may or may not use in the classes they teach and that an ASC ban would still have to be enforced by individual faculty members.
A motion to adjourn was seconded and approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.
Minutes submitted by Janice Jeffryes