Minutes of the Undergraduate Council, Nov 16, 2010

Joe Mitchell, Sarah Fuller, Scott Sutherland, Anne Moyer, Bev Rivera, Rick Gatteau, Arlene Feldman, Theresa Geckle, Norman Goodman, Kane Gillespie, Jeff Ge, Cynthia Dietz, E. K. Tan, Donna DiDonato

The minutes of November 2, 2010 were approved.

There was discussion about the remaining meetings this semester: The UGC meets on November 30 and optionally (depending on need and availability) on December 14, 2010.

  1. Scott reported that Admissions would like to meet with the UGC regarding the program of providing classes in selected high schools, taught by selected high school teachers.  The program needs to be evaluated.  There is a debate whether or not the program should be expanded substantially.  (The UGC recalled that there were concerns about the start-up with European languages, which ended up offering courses in four high schools after deliberations with the UGC.)  The UGC suggested that discussion of this issue be postponed until February, after the first full semester in the high schools has ended, so that more data are available on how the program is progressing.

It was also noted that only recently (early November) the enrollment process was completed for students currently in the program; there were various issues with the website and the forms used for enrollment.  Decisions for fall 2011 need to be made in the spring.  The program brings in $250 in tuition per student per course; this is a "bargain" for the students taking the courses for credit.

  1. The remainder of the discussions were focused on the Bulletin Board report (revised and updated), presented by Kane.  A subgroup including Kane, Donna, Scott, Kathy and Beth met 3-4 times in order to refine the wording and the policy specifications.  The subgroup strongly recommends that some number of hard copies continue to be printed, for use by advisors, students, and departments.

"The focus group agrees that the university should be prepared to deliver [N x 1000] copies [in whole or part to be determined] by mid-May and Mid December each year for orientation purposes, beginning with May 2011."

    Sarah suggested to revise to:

"The focus group agrees that the university should be prepared to deliver [N x 1000] copies [in whole or part to be determined] by mid-May and Mid December each year for orientation, general advising and administrative purposes, beginning with May 2011."

    It remains to determine exactly how many copies should be printed and which portion of the Bulletin to print.

    Refer to the latest circulated version of the report, dated November 17, 2010.

    Kane reiterated the concern that the search engine is currently inadequate.  The UGC concurs.

The UGC discussed the distinction between policies attached to majors, versus rolling policies (e.g., the retake policy).  The UGC emphasized the importance of structuring the Bulletin so that students see very clearly which policy applies to them.

Scott reported that when he attended the Executive Committee of the Senate, there was push-back on the issue of what policies apply when.  There was some disagreement within the Executive Committee on the issue of whether or not it is within the UGC's mandate to make these decisions.  Scott suggested that the issue may need to go to the Senate but added that clarifying these policies is likely to spur debate.

Kane noted that "actual policy does not match actual practice," and Donna agreed, saying that there will continue to be a mismatch between policy and practice.
There was a general discussion about which requirements apply when and the concept of a "requirement term", as discussed in the report.  Joe suggested that there should be direct links to relevant policy and versions of the Bulletin that automatically appear when a student logs into SOLAR, rather than relying on the student to read and interpret policy in order to determine which policy applies to her/him.

Donna expressed discomfort with wording in part B (page 6 of the report) of "Which Major and Minor Requirements apply to me?"  She is concerned that incoming students are placed into majors using information in their applications, expressing interest in certain majors and subjects; should we use that date as the date that the student enters the major?

“B. Students who declare a major or minor at the point of application without initial consultation with the department or program director must consult with the department or program director during their first semester of matriculation. Failure to do so could delay graduation. Students in this category must satisfy the requirements as published in the official Undergraduate Bulletin for the first semester of matriculation."

Scott asked if we should allow a student to "undeclare" a major (prior to having earned 45 credits).  It was noted that 80-85% of students arrive with a major.

Kane emphasized that a significant policy change is highlighted in yellow within the report, in part E, on page 6:
 "This consent must be transmitted to the registrar in an approved format [to be developed]."  For degree-audit to work properly, the registrar will need this information.

 It was suggested that the members of the UGC read the report carefully and give feedback at the next UGC meeting.  Scott will distribute the latest version of the document prior to the next meeting.

(3)   There was discussion about the need to set a meeting time for Spring, 2011.  Scott will set up a poll and request input from the UGC to determine the best days/times to meet.

Minutes of Nov 16 are scribed by Joe Mitchell.