Minutes of the Meeting of the Undergraduate Council
November 17, 2011
Attending: Kathleen Bratby, Janet Clarke, Donna DiDonato, Sarah Fuller, Rick Gatteau, Jeff Ge, Kane Gillespie, Norman Goodman, Deborah Machalow, Joe Mitchell, Anne Moyer, Scott Sutherland, Katie Watt, Alice Q. Wong
1. The minutes of the meeting of October 20, 2011 were reviewed and approved as revised.
2. The minutes of the meeting of November 3, 2011 were reviewed and approved as revised.
3. Discussion re: Non-Recorded Grade Option (NRO).
Issues that need to be resolved include (1) what would the addition of an NRO option be intended to do? (2) what should students be able to do with this option? (3) how often would a student be allowed to exercise this option? and (4) at what points in the semester would students be able to exercise this option? Examples of similar models used by institutions like Columbia, that involve the option of “uncovering” a letter grade in a class that was initially taken on a P/NC basis, were discussed. Issues considered included the extent to which various models: provide incentives for students to put effort into their courses; represent a “soft withdrawal;” may be morally objectionable because they involve moving the goalpost after the fact; may increase burdens on faculty members being pressured by students to adjust grades; may result in administrative or technical burdens; or could result in confusions regarding academic standing. The Committee resolved that it was in favor, if possible, of allowing a three-tiered Grade/Pass/NC (G/P/NC) system. It was suggested that a subcommittee consisting of Diane Bello, Kane Gillespie, Deborah Machalow, Scott Sutherland, and Katie Watt be formed to develop a proposal. Scott Sutherland will contact Charlie Robbins regarding his level of enthusiasm for this idea.
4. An upcoming issue on the schedule is likely to be a presentation regarding a language placement process because of the removal of languages from the Regents exams.