Meeting of the Faculty Senate
Unapproved Minutes
December 8, 2015

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

  1. A motion was made to approve the minutes from the meeting of October 20, 2015. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
  1. Jerry Verbrugghe, on behalf of the Academic Policy Committee, presented the following courses for approval.


Course number

Course Title

Credit Value


Africana Studies


Learning Abroad





Introduction to Digital Humanities



Women’s and Gender Studies


Sexual Identity and American Popular Culture



Women’s and Gender Studies


Gender and Sexuality in Film



Women’s and Gender Studies


Women and Fine Art



A proposal was made to table the courses submitted by Women’s and Gender Studies for further consultation, as the requested courses appear to be similar to courses already offered by other departments on the Master Course list. Since Women’s and Gender Studies was not represented at the Senate meeting, Jerry Verbrugghe agreed to reach out to its director for input. Senators discussed putting into place a mechanism that would flag duplicate courses before their presentation to the Senate for approval, and expressed the need for departmental representation at Senate meetings when departments are requesting approval for new courses.

The courses proposed by Africana Studies and English were approved unanimously by voice vote.

NOTE: Jennifer Thiel will contact the Registrar’s Office about loading onto Degree Navigator all newly approved courses for the Master Course List. The Senate would also like Department Chairs to follow up with the Registrar and Advising to confirm when courses have been added, edited, or removed.

  1. To promote our students’ success, Shauna Shames proposed prohibiting them from easily taking more than five courses per semester. Senators discussed her proposal, raising the following points: (1) because financial aid no longer covers summer or winterim courses, students are more likely to take more courses during their fall and spring semesters; (2) students assume overloads for financial reasons, i.e., in order to graduate more quickly; (3) if students drop a course from their full-time load, they lose their financial aid. Consequently, students may enroll in more courses at a semester’s start simply in order to give themselves some leeway; (4) the new program of “Bridging the Gap” should ease new students’ financial burdens and reduce their outside work commitments; (5) more jobs on campus would help our students who need to work while attending school; (6) in the Natural Sciences, students can have 21 contact hours, while only taking 15 credits; and (7) the 120 credit requirement is set by state and national accreditation agencies.

A motion was made to the Academic Policy Committee and approved unanimously by voice vote to provide the Senate with more concrete information and data on: how many students are taking overloads; where students stand in their academic career; which courses they’re enrolling in when they take overloads; their financial aid status; policies at other colleges and universities, as well is in our schools of Nursing and Business; minimum GPAs for permission for overloads; and the number of credits per semester on average for college students in general.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Present (Senators):  Andrew Lees, Janet Golden, Laurie Bernstein, Eric Klein, Jongmin Nam, Kate Cairns, Osama Hamed, Paul Bernstein, Nick Kapur, Debashis Kushary, Haisheng Li, Tim Knievel, Shauna Shames, Bill Whitlow, Brandi Blessett, Chinyere Osuji, Richard Stansfield, Kenneth Elliott, Kenneth Hohing, Julie Still

Absent:  George Kumi, Guy Kortsarz, Joseph Barbarize, Keith Green, Aaron Hofstetter, Margery Amdur, Prospero Garcia, Ana Laguna, Susan Mokhberi, Julie Still,  Will Lee, Nicole Karapanagiotis, Richard Jimenez, Wayne Chan, Joseph Cutuli, Stephen Danley, Cyril Reade, Wayne Glasker, Jean-Louis Hippolyte,

Present (Invited Guests): Jennifer Thiel, Gerald Verbrugghe


Respectfully submitted by:

Laurie Bernstein, Secretary of the Faculty Senate