Undergraduate Council                                          
Minutes for the meeting of Jan 29, 2009
Present: Scott Sutherland, Adam Kent, Cynthia Dietz, Sarah Fuller, Rick Gatteau, Jeff Ge, Arlene Feldman, Beverly Rivera, Norman Goodman, Brian Colle, Kane Gillespie

  1. Minutes of 12/18/08 were approved as emended. 
  2. Kane, who had to leave the 12/18 meeting early, noted that the revised policy on Minimal Instructor Responsibilities may negatively impact online courses.  The members decided to leave the policy as approved on 12/18 and treat online instruction as an exception to the rule.
  3. SoMAS: request to expand their offerings of Marine Science courses to more courses and to other high schools. 
    Approved.  The Council agrees that this is a good model for other HS programs, and asks that SoMAS let the Council know how it goes.
  4. Final Exams
    [ background: delete from minutes ??] On October 7, 2008, the University Senate approved University Academic Calendars, effective Fall 2009 thru Spring 2015.  The new calendars included a six-consecutive-day final exam period encompassing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Pursuant to the approval, Kane and Bev developed a final exam schedule for Fall 2009 and asked the Council today to discuss the new six day format before promulgating it to the campus. 

    Although members found advantages in expanding to a six day format and the final exam schedule that Kane and Bev developed based on the new calendar parameters, some members of the Council were concerned that finals are to be held on Friday evenings and Weekends.  The concern was primarily for potential conflicts for those faculty and staff who observe religious services on Friday evenings and Saturdays before sunset. Holding Sunday exams would not be a problem in most members’ view.

    The Committee, although not unanimous in its decision, recommends
    (a) modifying the Fall 2009 calendar by eliminating the reading day on 12/14/2009,
    (b) holding final exams on Monday 12/14 through Friday 4:45pm 12/18 and Sunday 12/20.  The resulting change would eliminate exams on Friday evening and Saturday.
    (c) opening discussion to revise the final exam periods for Spring 2010 and beyond.
    (d) revising the statement at the bottom of the Final Exam schedule that reads:

It is the student’s responsibility to plan a class schedule that avoids exam conflicts and too many exams in the same day. Students taking evening classes must be especially careful to avoid exam conflicts between their midterm evening course exams and the final common exams. Instructors are not obligated to give makeup examinations to students.
The Council asked Scott to write to the Provost regarding Friday and weekend final exams. 
Respectfully Submitted,
Kane Gillespie