Minutes of the Meeting of the Undergraduate Council
December 18, 2008
Present: Brian Colle, Cynthia Davidson, Donna DiDonato, Sarah Fuller, Rick Gatteau, Jeff Ge, Kane Gillespie, Norm Goodman, Beverly Rivera, Scott Sutherland.
- The Minutes of 12/04/2008 were approved as emended.
- Refreshments were provided courtesy Donna.
- The discussion of prescribing minimum standards for undergraduate teaching assistants was resumed. The members unanimously agreed that there should be minimal academic standards imposed; after significant discussion, it was agreed that UTAs should have at least U3 standing (that is, completion of at least 60 credits) and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 should be required.
Furthermore, it was agreed that a student who had a grade of Q currently on the academic record or a notation regarding academic dishonesty would not be elligible to serve as a UTA. A grade of Q which has been resolved (and thus no longer appears on the record) would not be disqualifying.
In addition, there was discussion regarding whether unresolved grades of I would be disqualifying, but it was decided they would not.
It was emphasized that we should make it clear that these are minimal standards; departments can (and are encouraged to) add additional requirements or strengthen these as they see fit. For example, a department might insist on completion of specific courses or a higher GPA in certain subjects.
Furthermore, it was suggested to ask each department that uses UTAs to produce a specific list of the requirements for being a UTA in that department and to make these public. It was suggested that they should be posted on the web, as well as filed with the Dean's office.
- The issue of allowable duties for UTAs was deferred until our next meeting in the spring semester, scheduled for January 29 at 4:15pm.
- It was pointed out that there was a case of an instructor who was holding office hours via Instant Messaging. Consequently, the following change of language to the Minimal Instructional Responsibilities was approved:
Instructors must schedule and maintain regular office hours to meet their students' needs, minimally three hours per week in the instructor's office or another officially designated space on campus at times convenient to the schedules of as many students as possible. The instructor may choose to augment these hours with electronically based communication.
- We were reminded that a survey of departmental practices for implementing the Upper-Divising Writing Requirement was conducted at the end of Spring 2008. We need to discuss the responses to this survey in the Spring semester.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10.