Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate

Unapproved Minutes

February 4, 2014 

The meeting was called to order at 12:25 p.m.

Faculty Senate President Tyler Hoffman noted that a majority of the members were not yet present and a quorum had not been reached.  The group discussed the Writing Board proposal as additional faculty arrived at the meeting. 

Discussion prior to quorum regarding the Writing Board:

A motion was approved by the faculty senate some years ago to establish a writing board, in order to promote writing, and vet Writing Intensive courses which might be proposed by various departments to satisfy the new General Education requirement.  The formation of the board  had been very delayed.  Some senators expressed concern that the original motion establishing the Writing Board provided for only three members of the faculty of Arts and Sciences to be included.  It was proposed to double that number to six so that more departments and all divisions of the faculty could be represented.

Tyler Hoffman moved that the number of faculty representatives on the board be increased from three to six.  The floor was opened for discussion.  Cyril Reade proposed five or an odd number of voting members.  A second question arose as to whether the Writing Director would be counted among the five or be a sixth person on the Board.  Further discussion ensued.

Tyler Hoffman pointed out that all departments had the potential to develop WI courses, so that  all divisions, if not departments, should be represented on the board.  The Writing Director expressed the hope that every department might develop at least one WI course, so that their majors can learn writing conventions within their disciplines. 

A question was posed regarding the language in the proposal “to develop a well articulated policy that CAN be adopted by the department.”  Does this mean the department has the option to not approve this policy?

Bill Fitzgerald explained when this proposal and language had been approved by the Faculty Senate two years ago, it was suggested that while the Gen Ed process continued, departments could propose some way of handling a W requirement within their majors other than a traditional  W course e.g., examination by portfolio or some other collection of written material.  The Writing Board could receive such proposals and endorse them as an alternative for the students in such a major or department.  The Writing Board would still have to approve the course for it to carry a “W”.  Bill said that there were currently no criteria or learning goals  for “W” courses, nor any oversight beyond the departments.  The Board was created to help identify goals, objectives, outcomes, procedural consistency, and evaluation and to meet discipline-specific needs.  

A count of senators in attendance was taken and it was noted that a quorum was present.  A motion was made to change the number of faculty representatives from three to five, including Head of the Writing Board. 

Discussion followed, led by Bill Saidel, who said that there are distinct subject matters which are vastly different, and representatives from each should be included on the Committee.

A separate motion was made to increase the committee from three to six, including the Writing Board Director, with representatives as follows. 

  • 1 arts
  • 1 in natural sciences
  • 1 in mathematical sciences
  • 1 social sciences
  • 1 humanities

The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote. 

  1. A motion was made to approve the minutes from the October 22, 2013 meeting, as previously circulated.  The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote, with one abstention due to absence at that meeting.
  2. A motion was made to approve the list of the January 2014 graduates.  Tyler apologized for just getting this list to the senators and he would make every effort in the future to send this list out sooner so that senators can discuss the candidates with their department chairs.  Jennifer Thiel explained that all the chairs had received this list and certified the list prior to it being submitted to the Faculty Senate for approval.  The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
  3. Bill Fitzgerald, on behalf of the Academic Policy Committee, presented courses for approval. 
    • Biology – New course – The Clinical Aspects in Human Genetics
    • Chemistry – New Course – Pharmaceutical Chemistry
    • Computer Science – New Course – Optimization Methods
      The above courses had been approved by a majority of the members of the APC.   A question asked about the biology course: would it be restricted to nursing majors?  Bill Fitzgerald explained that most of the students would be nursing majors, but there would also be students in the newly approved health sciences major.  Carol Singley asked if it could serve as a course or elective for other majors and also wondered why there was no biology department representation at this meeting when the course was being proposed.  Senators were reminded that they could hold off on the vote if there were questions that Bill could not answer.  Tyler reminded all that the APC had vetted these courses. 

      A motion was made to accept the courses as proposed for Summer or Fall implementation.  The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote. It was also suggested that the departments proposing new courses be encouraged to have representation at these meetings when the courses are up for approval.  

  4. Bill Fitzgerald, on behalf of the Chair of Economics, presented the BA/MBA Program in  Economics.  It had gone through several stages of review between the School of Arts & Sciences and the Business School.  A Joint Memorandum of Agreement between the two schools had been signed.  The proposal, MOA, and a template of course sequences were attached for review.

    The question was posed about how the MBA requirements for students in this program compared to those of MBA students not in this program.  Bill replied that the requirements were the same, and that students would be accelerated through the 4th year of their undergraduate program, allowing them to take graduate level course work towards their MBA while still undergraduates. 

    A motion was made to approve the new BA/MBA program in the Department of Economics, as proposed.  The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.

  5. TZ grade discussion, on the agenda, was tabled.    It will be resubmitted as an agenda item in a future meeting.
  6. Tyler Hoffman proposed the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Faculty Senate to review the committee structures and by-laws.  He explained that the by-laws currently in operation were from 1995.  Participation in committees is lacking and recruiting is very difficult.  Comments and questions made: Perhaps there are too many committees and they need to be streamlined?  The Ad Hoc Committee would exist only in an advisory capacity to make recommendations to the full senate.

    A motion was made to create an Ad Hoc Committee to the Faculty Senate.  The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:17 p.m.

Present:   Paul Bernstein, Grace Brannigan, Courtney Cavanaugh, William Fitzgerald, Joseph Gerver, Carla Giaudrone, Jean-Louis Hippolyte, Tyler Hoffman, Aaron Hostetter, Simeon Kotchoni, Beth Rabinowitz, Cyril Reade, Carol Singley, Ira Roseman, Bill Saidel,  Louis Tuthill

Absent:  Margery Amdur, Alsia Belanger, Laurie Bernstein, Kenneth Elliott, Kate Epstein, Michael Fortner, Siqi Fu, Rajiv Gandhi, Prospero Garcia, Wayne Glasker, Osama Hamed, Katrina Hazzard-Donald, Kenneth Hohing, Howard Jacobowitz, Haisheng Li, Charlotte Markey, Alexander Samokhvolov, Carol Singley, Julie Still, Lorrin Thomas, Melissa Yates,