I. Eulogy for Bhushan L. Wadhwa (Mathematics)
II. Approval of the Agenda
III. Approval of the Minutes of the December 1, 2004 Meeting
IV. University Faculty Affairs Committee (Report No. 14, 2004-2005)
V. University Curriculum Committee
VI. Admissions and Standards Committee
VII.University Faculty Affairs Committee
VIII. Student Life Committee and the Committee on Athletics
IX. University President’s Report
X. New Business
PRESENT: E. Anderson, Angelova, Atherton, Berlin-Ray, W. Bowen, Boyle, Dean, Dobda, Droney, Ekelman, Forte, Gelman, Ghorashi, Gorla, Govea, Hanlon, Hanniford, S. Hill, Hoffman, M. Kaufman, S. Kaufman, Konangi, Kuo, Larson, Lazarus, Lehfeldt, Margolius, McCahon, Nuru-Holm, O’Malia, Ozturk, L. Patterson, Poznanski, L. E. Reed, Reichert, Rucker, M. Schwartz, Shah, Silberger, Slane, M. Smith, Sparks, Spicer,
E. Thomas, Visocky-O’Grady, L. C. Wang, Ziolek.
ABSENT: C. Alexander, Bauer, A. Benander, Cherry, Dillard-Mitchell, Doerder, Gross, Hinds, Hoke, Humer, L. Keller, Li, Lopresti, Makridis, McClain, McLoughlin, Mills, O’Donnell, Perkins, Rosentraub, Saunders, Sawicki, Scherer, Spiker, Steinglass, Tewari, Thornton, Tumeo, Walton,
ALSO PRESENT: Deering, Meiksins, Steinbacher.
Senate President Vijay Konangi called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M.
Professor Chet Jain delivered the Eulogy for the late Professor Bhushan L. Wadhwa. His remarks follow.
“Bhushan joined CSU in the Fall of 1971 after obtaining his Ph.D. in mathematics from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He was quickly promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1974 and was a full professor since 1984. He also served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics, 1996-1998.
“As a mathematician, peers and colleagues respected him as a researcher of considerable repute in his area of Functional Analysis. His many scholarly publications in the professional journals bear testimony to this distinction.
“His passion of course was teaching math. He had the special skill that removed the fear of math-learning, be it from the under-prepared kids that came to CSU or from the aspiring dedicated individuals desiring to become or advance in careers as primary/secondary school teachers in our neighborhoods and community. In 1988, Bhushan spearheaded efforts to create EPIC (Enrichment Program in Calculus), a program mostly to encourage minority students to do well and remain in calculus-based majors, e.g., engineering. It required many hours of one to one work far beyond his formal assignment. At least one measure of its success: a student from EPIC today is not only a successful physician in Chicago, but has become an advocate and a strong role-model for others. The program has been recognized in National meetings and emulated elsewhere.
“He was invited by the U.S. Department of Education, (1990-1992; 1996-1998) to serve on boards to select grant recipients in efforts to improve minority performance in calculus.
“He served on numerous other committees among those, Faculty Senate, and the Board Committee on Honorary Degrees, Citations and Recognitions. As chair of the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee, he was able to accomplish a very challenging task of semester conversion and the adoption of a radically simplified set of college graduation requirements. His hallmark was consensus building through collegial discussion, getting the job done and not worrying about who gets the credit. He was instrumental in the creation of the Indian Scholars Program, the endowment which has grown to over $350,000. Several renowned Indian scholars, among them Dr. Nagaraj Rao and most recently Dr. Vasant Joshi, spend a semester teaching not only credit courses but offering many workshops and lectures for the enrichment of our community at large. Bhushan was also a very active member of the Indian Community Organization and has been credited with the creation of Project Seva (helping the poor) and Salute to Graduates, a program to promote higher education.
“In recognition of his many years of dedicated service, the university awarded Bhushan the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service in 2003.
“Bhushan was a humble man, a very sincere and compassionate individual. He was a man of simple tastes and simple bearing with a huge heart. He could relate to people of any age from little babies to adolescents to adults to the seniors and the very fragile. He could play with them like a kid, teach, counsel, engage fiercely in hot political or social issues of the day, show Indian style reverence to the generation of our parents or bring comfort to the infirm, as appropriate. He could just as easily talk to the homeless as he could with people of wealth or power or high social status. He was a very proud and supremely self-assured man.
“Bhushan was an avid outdoors man. He loved to walk. Over the years, he walked in the Metro Parks, to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, to the Sierra mountains, to the trails in Alaska, to that special hike in New Mexico, to the Appalachian ranges, to upstate New York, to Nantucket, and all the way to the remote areas of Vermont and Maine. The more challenging the hike, the closer he was drawn to it. Rain or shine, snow, sleet or freezing rain could not keep Bhushan confined indoors.
“Above all, Bhushan was a man of unimpeachable integrity. He was a deeply religious man minus the trappings, a person of strong convictions and family values. A very proud father to Sandeep & Sunil; a doting grandfather to Nikhil, Ethan, Jenny, Maya, Natalie and Adri. But the love of his life was Tripta. They made for an enviable couple. From college sweet-hearts to the following 38 years, theirs was a relationship of true love and respect for each other, never wavering and always in synch.
“My family and I are grateful for the 34 years of close personal friendship with such a gracious man.
“Good bye my friend, my brother.
May you rest in peace.
Senate President Vijay Konangi asked that everyone observe a moment of silence in honor of Professor Bhushan Wadhwa.
Acceptance of the Agenda for February 9, 2005 was moved and seconded. Professor David Larson moved to amend the Agenda to include a proposed resolution from the University Faculty Affairs Committee concerning Ohio Senate Bill S.B. 24 as item number IV. The Agenda was approved as amended
Acceptance of the Minutes of the December 1, 2004 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Professor David Larson, chair of the University Faculty Affairs Committee, noted that the Committee’s proposed resolution had been referred to UFAC by the President of the Faculty Senate for the committee’s consideration. First, Dr. Larson made a slight correction in the material before making the resolution. It says, “the Ohio Senate has introduced S.B. 24”; obviously that should read, “A bill has been introduced in the Ohio Senate, S.B. 24.” Beyond that, the background to this resolution is that under the influence of a movement started by David Horowitz there has been a national movement to pass an academic bill of rights. Under the pretense of neutrality and the pretense of seeking openness and tolerance in academe, in effect it seeks to impose a particular ideology upon faculty and to limit faculties’ choices when it comes to their professional decisions in hiring, teaching, promoting, and other kinds of things. So the University Faculty Affairs Committee discussed this and arrived at the resolution included in the meeting materials. Everyone should have the bill, a copy of an article in which one of the movers of the bill discusses his motives in moving the bill which reveals more clearly than even Dr. Larson needs to know about what his motives are and that the pretense of neutrality is a pretense of neutrality and not a genuine one. Professor David Larson, chair of the UFAC, then moved the following resolution:
“WHEREAS, S.B. 24 (to establish a bill of rights for higher education) has been introduced into the Ohio Senate for consideration, and
WHEREAS, S.B. 24 has as its motivation a political agenda, and
WHEREAS, S.B. 24 would supersede already-existing and well-tested university procedures for consideration of violations of academic freedom, and
WHEREAS, the integrity of higher education in Ohio and elsewhere depends on the ability of the academy to seek and disseminate knowledge unencumbered by political interference,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT, The Faculty of Cleveland State University opposes S.B. 24, and urges the administration and the Board of Trustees to join in an effort to prevent this bill from becoming law in the State of Ohio.”
Professor David Forte indicated that he had a statement. Professor Forte said, “I do not speak in favor of this bill but I do speak close to this resolution. The bill comes from multiple sources. The most major source is that throughout the country legislatures and many opinion-makers believe that there is a problem in academia, and I think they are right. The fact is that academia is mostly liberal to far left, and by doing that it necessarily becomes an establishment. Like all establishments they don’t like to be challenged, and like all establishments they have their own particular ideology. What is the result? The result is our students do not receive across the curriculum a wide spectrum of approaches and values from which to develop their own opinions. Now, I don’t think it’s appropriate for the state to dictate that within a course all kinds of views should be put forth. In fact, I think a good teacher tries to do that, and I think such a bill like this would actually destroy academia. But, the fact is, across this academic culture, we have almost a univocal viewpoint – an ideological viewpoint. I think we should try to see whether we can have the diversity of views across the curriculum. That is what students are entitled to. Let’s take the Affirmative Action Program that we all support. We want diversity in terms of gender, in terms of race and ethnic background because it brings enrichment to the intellectual spirit of atmosphere in the university. But, if intellectual diversity is what we are seeking, why don’t we look for it in its own currency – in hiring for example. Many women and minorities can look back to the time when things were beginning to open up and a few were hired and they became tokens. Tokens are convenient; they show that you are not intolerant, but you don’t take them seriously. They don’t change the culture of the place. Today, in many businesses and in law firms there is said to be a glass ceiling but in the university area, there is a glass door. It looks open to candidates with different points of view but it is not.
“Let me wash a little dirty laundry. Over twenty years ago when Walter Waetjen was president of this institution, at a public meeting a prominent member of the Black community said to him, ‘Do you know that there is a serious problem between the Black communities.’ And, President Waetjen said, ‘I don’t think there is a problem.’ and he ignored the opportunity. That statement lead to some hard years between us and one of our important constituencies. The people of Ohio, through their representatives, pay our salaries, build our buildings, and fill our libraries. If they say there is a problem, and we do not in good faith inquire whether there is a problem, they will take action. To be unaccountable is the hallmark of an establishment. That was our problem with so many previous administrations in this very town. Let us learn from that mistake. If we disdain the legislature, if we say, you are only being political, we shall reap the whirl winds of their reactions. We are not born to the purple. We are not a privileged aristocracy. The people of Ohio are our bosses and if they, through their representatives think that we are not doing our job, we owe them an honest explanation.
“Two years ago, the Law College faced a similar situation because the legislature thought we were not doing well enough on the bar exam. I can tell you that some members of our faculty said, ‘Don’t bother us, that’s not our job. How dare you question what we do in our academic environment.’ Fortunately, the majority of the law faculty saw otherwise and we embarked on a very serious inquiry as to why so many of our students were not passing the bar as we thought they should be. This led to an extraordinary reformation of the law college. We have reduced the number of students in the incoming class. We have increased standards. We have more rigorous grading standards. We have increased scholarships, and we’ve vastly increased academic assistance. We met the problem. Now we don’t know whether that will solve the problem, but the legislature knows that we honestly sought to respect their opinion and to deal with the problem. If this motion passes in its form, it will increase the votes in favor of the bill because it will say, we’re privileged and we disdain you even though you have a complaint, and we won’t talk to you about it. And therefore, Mr. Chairmen, if it is appropriate, may I offer a substitute motion?”
Senate President Konangi responded that Professor Forte could offer an amendment. Professor Forte indicated that he preferred to state it in the form of a substitute motion.
Professor David Larson indicated that a substitute motion would be in order.
Professor Forte read his substitute motion:
“WHEREAS, Cleveland State University is committed to open-ended scholarly inquiry, with providing students with a broad range of views and methodologies across the curriculum, with encouraging civil discourse, and with guaranteeing protection for the expression of diverse viewpoints, and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 24 (to establish a bill of rights for higher education) has been introduced into the Ohio Senate for consideration, and
WHEREAS, the provisions of Senate Bill 24 will not accomplish its stated goal of providing students with “access to a broad range of serious scholarly opinion pertaining to the subjects they study” but rather will interfere with the efficiency and independence of the university,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, THAT
1) The Faculty Senate of Cleveland State University opposes Senate Bill 24
and urges the Ohio Senate not to approve it, and
2) The Faculty Senate of Cleveland State University will establish an ad hoc Committee on Intellectual Diversity within the University to investigate all aspects of the learning environment at Cleveland State pertaining to intellectual diversity and report back its findings and recommendations for guaranteeing and expanding opportunities of intellectual diversity to the Faculty Senate.”
Senate President Konangi asked for a second. Professor William Bowen seconded the motion. Senate President Konangi asked for discussion.
Professor David Larson stated that first of all he would like to point out that the original motion was very carefully crafted so it does not take some kind of extremist position offending the legislature. We do not oppose some of their remarks. Some of their remarks, in fact, are straight out of AAUP. The problem with the bill is not that some of the principles are wrong – some of them are fine. The problem with the bill is that the method proposed would in fact set up a tribunal outside of our regular forums that would have a chilling effect on academic freedom at this university and at any university in this state. He agreed with Professor Forte about not offending the legislature unnecessarily and about not phrasing this in such a way that the legislature can see that this is proof that what they say is true. And, the original resolution has been carefully crafted so that it does not, in the view of the Faculty Affairs Committee, do any of those things. The fact is that SB 24 does have a political agenda; one that the author makes it perfectly clear in his comments, and that’s a fact. It would supersede existing and well-tested procedures for considerations of violating academic freedom. Those systems do exist. It is possible that they should be reviewed and revised although this is not the place to decide to do it or the method of doing it. Dr. Larson stated that he doesn’t see that any responsible legislature would see this as thumbing our nose at them; it is not intended to do that. It is intended to be reasoned defense of academic freedom. It is indeed much less strong than some others that have been passed throughout the state. He would oppose the substitute motion because of the second half of it. This is not the place, in his opinion, to set up a committee to investigate the state of academic freedom at Cleveland State University. That is a major decision and it implies at least a large agreement that there is a problem. It should go through normal procedures which means going through sub-committees, getting discussion, etc. He doesn’t want some kind of tribunal set up at a Senate meeting without having gone through the procedures. So for those reasons, just speaking for himself, the other faculty members of UFAC can speak for themselves – those who are members of the Senate. Dr. Larson said that he would oppose the substitute motion.
Dr. Rodger Govea, a member of the University Faculty Affairs Committee, raised a couple of points that are worrisome in terms of the author of this particular bill. The problem is that this bill is based on a couple of premises that he thinks are incorrect. One is that because academia has a professoriate that is probably predominately liberal that somehow those views translate into indoctrination. Dr. Govea thinks it is a problem when you can call it an establishment or call it whatever you will. But, the assumption is that somehow this is what we do in class – somehow we reflect these personal beliefs. Dr. Govea thinks this is incorrect. Second, the author, Senator Mumper, has stated that universities are in this position of having essentially young impressionable minds that have yet to make up their minds and somehow they are being swayed by this university instruction. Dr. Govea considers this to be an insult to our student body. He is not sure it is critical whether we accept the substitute motion, but he prefers the motion as stated. He doesn’t feel that the differences are gigantic, but he does have a problem with the bill and it is important that we recognize that the bill is unnecessary. And, he is not sure what effect it will have on the person who has authored the bill. He is not sure that the substitute motion wouldn’t also be seen as a slap in the face simply because the person who has authored the bill has essentially enunciated his own opposition to the state of the universities in Ohio as they stand. Dr. Govea stated that he is not sure there is any way of satisfying Senator Mumper.
Professor William Bowen stated that this discussion is great. It is exactly the kind of discussion that is very healthy for a Faculty Senate to have, and he applauds Professor Forte and the Faculty Affairs Committee for bringing it up. He would move to table the discussion and to seek a compromise resolution to be negotiated between the two Davids – David Forte and David Larson.
Professor Michael Spicer stated that he would support that. It does seem to him that if we are going to pass a resolution, it should have as broad support as possible among our faculty. It should not go through in a controversial way with a significant number of faculty not being uncomfortable.
Professor Rodger Govea said that he didn’t have any objection. Whenever someone moves to table something, he gets nervous about it. He would also like for our response, whatever it is, to be timely so that it can be worked out. He really doesn’t want this to be dragged out. He would like for this Senate to take a stand and take it soon. He quite agrees with those comments about inclusiveness, and he believes that the motions are essentially compatible so they should not be a big problem.
Professor Sheldon Gelman stated he is against the substitute. He hasn’t heard one single incident described which would justify the formation of a commission, and the formation of this commission would seem to suggest that we think there is a problem. He has not heard one single reason to think that there is except that there is that one person who says that there is. Once more, he doesn’t understand the parallel between the legislature, a possible political majority in the legislature, and the groups that were compared to women and minorities. It seems to him to be completely different, and so he doesn’t even understand the basis for the substitute motion and he would oppose it.
Professor Stephen Lazarus asked, “What kind of time frame would we be talking about here? If there was something set up delaying our vote until the next meeting, would that mean that whatever we resolve would be ineffective in terms of the discussion in the legislature?”
President Michael Schwartz stated that he suspects that there is more than enough time to do this. This legislation is not exactly going to go whizzing through this legislature.
Dr. Bill Napier, Senior Advisor to the President, stated that there is plenty of time. It may come as a surprise to learn that increasingly term limits have produced a much more conservative legislature than we have seen over the years. It may also come as a shock that some of you think that some of these really conservative members think university faculties have pretty strong leanings to the left. Senator Mumper and three of his colleagues have put Senate Bill 24 into the hopper. Now Senator Mumper represents the Marion Campus of Ohio State University. That is in his Senate district. One of the students up there told him that he was very active in the Bush campaign and as a result had felt that his grade was impacted because the professor wasn’t in tune with that viewpoint. How could he know one way or another, but at any rate, Senator Mumper put the bill in. By the way, Senator Mumper is a retired teacher. He spent 30 years in the classroom and also as a coach. But, the bill isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to be held in committee. It may get one perfunctory hearing, but the legislature isn’t inclined to pass this. There are people who agree with Larry, but won’t support his bill. They do believe that there is a bit of a problem here. Dr. Napier stated that he thinks the legislature is going to leave it up to the institutions to work out some kind of solution rather than pass this bill. Still, it is an important issue and a chance for the Senate to make a point on an important issue. He feels that a resolution of some nature would really help. There is plenty of time to have the debate and to see what we want to send down there because this isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. If the resolution is passed, he would work with the leadership to make sure that it gets into the hands of the people that we think should see it.
Senate President Konangi noted that since we have a substitute resolution on the floor, we must first vote on that, and based on the disposition of that, go back to the main motion.
Professor David Forte pointed out that the motions have been tabled until further discussion. Dr. Rodger Govea added that when a motion is tabled, that means the discussion is postponed indefinitely.
Dr. David Larson noted that if the motion is tabled, he cannot bring it back to Senate. Professor Forte advised that someone from the Senate floor can bring it back. Professor Larson noted that only someone from the winning side can bring the motion back.
Professor William Bowen commented that this is a terrific issue, and it’s one that he cares a lot about. He will take the responsibility to bring the motion back next time. He asked if it can be done that way.
Dr. Peter Meiksins stated that this whole discussion is out of order. There is a motion on the floor to table the resolutions.
Senate President Konangi stated that the motion to table is not debatable so let’s vote on the motion to table. The motion to table the proposed resolution was approved.
Professor David Larson added that this only suggests that the bill is unnecessary.
A. Proposed Master of Science Degree in Software Engineering (Report No. 15, 2004-2005)
Professor Peter Meiksins, chair of the University Curriculum Committee, presented the proposed Master of Science Degree in Software Engineering. He noted it comes to the Senate first from the Colleges of Business and Engineering and also was reviewed by the Graduate Council prior to its being reviewed by UCC. In the meeting packet, there is material describing the program as well as information about the relationship between this program and other programs in the university. Because this is an interdisciplinary major between two programs which have existing degree programs, the Graduate Dean discovered that it does not require going through the two-step PDP followed by a full proposal process. Therefore, this is not a program development proposal – it is a final proposal. So, if we were to approve it today, that would constitute final approval for the program. It would then have to go to the Board of Trustees for their approval but that would then be the last step. The UCC discussed it and inquired extensively as to the relationship between this program and the existing Computer Engineering program in the College of Engineering and existing programs in Computer and Information Science. The materials provide a summary of the distinctions among the programs. The UCC was satisfied that these programs do not compete with one another to the point that they are redundant, and the UCC was satisfied as well that they are not competing for the same pool of students. Professor Eugenio Villaseca is at Senate today. He did a very good job of answering the UCC's questions. The degree requires no new courses and no new resources. It builds on existing courses, and it is essentially a repackaging of things that are currently being done. It is a new program. For all of these reasons, the UCC recommends it to the Senate.
Professor Barbara Hoffman noted that Dr. Meiksins had also included in the meeting materials an email from Professor Santosh Misra that has a set of concerns outlined in it that she did not find answers to. Professor Meiksins responded that that was included because it was raised at basically every level of the discussion. It was raised in the Graduate Council of which he is a member, and it was raised as well in UCC. Professor Misra was invited to a UCC meeting and talked with the committee and the Colleges of Business and Engineering. Essentially, the UCC was satisfied that the resource issues are not a problem; that the overlap issues aren’t a problem; and that therefore the questions Professor Misra was raising were not substantial enough to warrant opposing the program.
There being no further discussion, Senate President Konangi asked the Senate to vote on the proposal. The proposed Interdisciplinary Master of Science Degree in Software Engineering was unanimously approved.
B. Proposal for three New Majors in Communication (Report No. 16, 2004-2005)
Professor Peter Meiksins noted that the second proposal from the UCC is a proposal for three new major programs in Communication. He reported that this is the second go-around for this program. These proposals went through the Program Development Proposal first step last year and were approved by the University Curriculum Committee and sent to Columbus for approval. OBOR had a look at the proposed programs, made comments, and sent them back. The comments were responded to and some of that material is reflected in the packets everyone received. The proposal then made its way through the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The UCC then reviewed them and felt they were fine as when we initially looked at them last year. The UCC thinks that the School of Communication has done an admirable job of responding to the comments they received from Columbus and, therefore, the UCC recommends that these programs be approved.
There being no discussion, Senate President Konangi asked the Senate to vote on the proposal. The proposal for three new Majors in Communication was approved unanimously.
Dr. Roberta Steinbacher, chair of the Admissions and Standards Committee, reported that the Committee has three proposals for Senate approval.
A. Proposed Comprehensive Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy (Report No. 17, 2004-2005)
Dr. Roberta Steinbacher went through the new text briefly and pointed out to Senate what is different from the other two policies from which this policy has evolved-- the Repeat Course Policy and the Freshman Forgiveness Policy. This proposal would allow an undergraduate student to repeat any course in which a D or below was earned and affects the grade point average. Previously this could have been done with a C grade. Secondly, a course may not be repeated more than twice, and that is the same as before. The new part of this proposed policy is that only the letter grade earned in the most recent attempt is included in cumulative credit totals and grade point average. Formerly, you would take the one that was the highest. The course that has been repeated is not included in the cumulative credit totals and a grade point average is not applicable toward graduation requirements. The other difference is, formerly we took the repeated courses off the transcript. If a student took a class three times and the fourth time got what he/she wanted, we would eliminate the other three grades. Removing these courses from the record caused a serious problem since they could have been paid for by Financial Aid. That is one thing this policy is hopefully going to fix. This leaves all of the grades on the transcript, and they will be flagged that these courses have been repeated. There is no limit on the number of courses a student may repeat. There is no set period in which to do it. Formerly the Freshman Forgiveness had to be done within the first 30 hours.
Professor Jennifer Visocky-O’Grady stated that she was curious as to why it has been determined that after 30 hours students should still have the option to repeat classes. She just wanted the thinking of why it is no longer a freshman thing. Dr. Steinbacher replied that formerly anybody could do a course repeat so when we merged them, we got rid of the 30 hours. That is her understanding. They didn’t want to have two parellel policies.
Mr. Eric Kost, Assistant Registrar, explained that the difference is that there are actually two policies. The Freshman Forgiveness actually deletes the course off the transcript. The Repeat Course is open the entire time the student is enrolled. Students can actually do one or the other. But now they will just have the comprehensive Course Repeat policy.
Professor Visocky-O’Grady asked if there is a limit to how many different courses a student can continue repeating. Dr. Steinbacher responded that there is no limit on how many courses can be repeated.
Professor William Atherton asked if this is an automatic process because there is no form; there is nothing required by the student other than to repeat the course. Dr. Steinbacher said that he was correct. She continued stating that it is supposed to be automated. They ran into a snag in the Admissions and Standards Committee as well as in the Academic Steering Committee about special topics courses that have the same number. That will be fixed.
Professor William Bowen inquired what the rationale was behind changing the C provision. It used to be that you could repeat with a C and now it is only a D. Professor Steinbacher replied that it was presented to the Admissions and Standards Committee as part of tightening up the admissions requirements.
Professor Beth Ekelman noted that this does have implications for some professional programs that have a minimum GPA. You have to keep a certain GPA in order to stay in the program, and arguably, if someone gets two Cs, they are out. But, we might say, we will readmit you if you get another grade. They can still retake that course – is that correct? It just doesn’t substitute the grade on the transcript? Dr. Steinbacher wondered if Professor Ekelman was talking about undergraduate as well. Professor Ekelman responded that she was talking about undergraduate and graduate. Dr. Steinbacher noted that this doesn’t apply to Graduate School. Professor Ekelman stated that her situation does apply to undergraduate programs. Professor Steinbacher reported that the committee discussed this. The deal is that if somebody has a C and it has to be a B or whatever in your own department, they better get out or give them a D so they can take it over. Professor Cheryl McCahon stated that this is a problem with the use of a C- which is equivalent to anything below 75%.
Dr. William Bowen stated that he wasn’t very satisfied with that rationale. It seemed to him that it would be a good idea to tease that out a little bit more. If you get a D, you can go back and take the course again and get an A, so you have an A in your transcript. But if you get a C, which means that you did better than the guy with a D, you can’t go back and repeat the course and you don’t have the possibility of getting an A on your transcript. That is a general kind of response saying it is all part of raising up the standards around here.
Professor Mehmet Ozturk noted that it contradicts with the policy that a student can retake as many courses as possible as they wish. So in some respect we are limiting the number of courses with making it high to a C, but on the other hand, we are allowing them to get as many courses as they want so these two policies kind of contradict each other. Senate President Konangi explained that this policy only applies to computation of the GPA. If the students so choose to repeat the course, they can repeat the course but the GPA is not going to change.
Dr. Ozturk commented, what he is saying is that a student can repeat ten courses with Ds but a student with one C cannot repeat that C. It sounds unfair to him.
Professor Peter Meiksins said that the principle at least for the students he teaches is to raise their overall GPA which they can do as easily by raising a C to a B as they can by raising a D to a C. He feels that people might want to think a little bit more about whether this particular way of approaching it makes sense.
Dr. Alan Reichert noted that it will not affect the GPA according to the number of hours students are repeating.
Dr. Peter Meiksins commented that if a student takes a course and gets a D and then gets a C the second time, the C counts.
Professor Eileen Berlin-Ray asked, “Let’s say hypothetically that we have a student who gets a lot of Ds and some Fs, retakes the courses one and two times, gets mostly As and a couple of Bs, is he/she then qualified to graduate with honors?”
Ms. Marian Sofish, Associate Registrar, said yes. While our graduation honors policy is based on residency requirements of 60 credit hours now and a GPA of 3.30, what a student did prior to that would not be looked at. Only the final cumulative grade point would be considered.
Professor Eileen Berlin-Ray commented, “But that includes the highest grades, right?”
Ms. Sofish said, “Yes, but we set a cap. The policy states that there will be no more than two repeats of the same course although there is no limit on the number of courses that can be repeated.” She noted that she thinks the question is, if the student went from a D to… We have seen this in the past when the student got the same grade so you won’t change the GPA.
Professor Eileen Berlin-Ray noted that Ms. Sofish was right, but the student who has apparently unlimited funds and just keeps taking classes and re-taking them until they get their Ds up high enough, conceivably could end up in a position where a GPA that is based on the last time they took the course puts them in the position where they could graduate with honors. Couldn’t they? It is possible.
Dr. Rodger Govea stated, “Well, why stop there. The difference between a B and an A is about the same as between a C and a B so it is going to be a little preposterous. The original proposal is working under the assumption that Ds and Fs are to be repeated because they represent truly substandard performance. So, I think we can escape the absurdity of everyone being able to retake everything for whatever reason by simply approving this proposal as presented.”
Professor Beth Ekelman referred back to the implications in the professional programs. We do have a minimum professional GPA. If the students fall below a B average, they are out. And, there might be reasons that she would like to be able to consider on a case-by-case basis whether to allow somebody to be readmitted. So, if there is a way for them to be able to re-take something, a petition process or something would satisfy her.
Dr. David Larson pointed out that anything can be petitioned. The easiest thing here instead of petitioning is to re-take the course and raise the grade. You’ve got the petition to let them in in spite of your standards because you have other reasons to let them in. The fact that you have a standard doesn’t mean that you cannot, in individual cases, where you have good reasons, make exceptions to that standard. That is what petitions are for. Dr. Larson noted that he is not persuaded by the professional argument. He is more sympathetic to the notion that why should you be able to repeat a D and not a C because in the matter of justice, that makes sense. On the other hand, much of this is fantasy. Students do not get Fs and Ds and then suddenly get Bs and As unless they got the Fs and Ds because they weren’t doing anything which it seems to be exactly what this is for. Now we no longer have Freshman Forgiveness because for the first year they are partying and drinking and are re-admitted and suddenly turn into good students. He would want them to have options. A marginal student is not somehow, because he has repeated the same course even 20 times, going to suddenly turn a low C into an A. It does not happen. So, he would like at the least for the discussion to focus on the probable and the real and not the implausible and the unlikely.
Dr. Cheryl McCahon commented that in the professional programs, going back to what Professor Ekelman said, our nursing standard is that students can re-take one course once and if they fail that course a second time, they are out of the program. This proposal infers that they can take any course again. Now, do we have petitions for two failures and do we approach those petitions student by student? Of course we do, but it sets up a real problem for us as does changing the GPA.
Professor Jennifer Visocky-O’Grady pointed out that in the second paragraph of the new text it says, “This policy applies to any undergraduate course that does not have an alternative repeat policy stated in its course description”, and asked, does that mean that we have loopholes in our syllabi? Dr. Larson pointed out, not in the syllabi but in the bulletin. Professor Visocky-O’Grady noted that this would be a solution in the professional programs. Dr. Larson stated that we are allowed to control it as he understands it.
Professor Visocky-O’Grady stated that she would love this thing to be about Freshman Forgiveness. She has a real problem with seniors and juniors getting Ds and Fs in classes and then being able to repeat them over and over again because it seems to her that at some point, as we are pushing for responsibility in the student body, this is an issue. Other universities that have done this in the past have had it as a freshmen forgiveness. She added that she would prefer that.
Professor Jeffrey Dean noted that a number of points have been addressed. To go back, one of the goals was to make this in accord with best practices so the question would be, “Does best practices have something to say about repeating Cs as opposed to Ds? That is just a general question. The second thought was that as written, you are prevented from re-taking a course if you have received a C in it. It is clear that the student who has been here repeatedly taking a course because he/she has Ds, is apt to get a C or a B at some point before they jump to the A, or as Professor Larson has pointed out, there may be other reasons why the student performed poorly in which case it might be a late withdrawal petition. There are other reasons for which you could grant an exception. However, you might want to allow people to re-take a course but then not drop the C or the B from the GPA but leave it in there and use an average. Let both grades count towards the GPA so that you could increase the GPA by getting an A after a C, but you wouldn’t move it up so fast as you would making a C disappear entirely. So the GPA, in a sense, would represent an average of what the performance has been over the whole study.” He added that the first question is the best practices. He asked if it states anything about Cs.
Dr. Roberta Steinbacher responded that when the Registrar presented this proposal to the Admissions and Standards Committee, he had information from AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers). She noted that she has been on the Admissions and Standards Committee for two years. Every time data is presented to our committee it comes with the message that we are the only university that does this kind of thing.
Senate President Konangi asked the members to vote since there was no further discussion. The proposed Comprehensive Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy was approved.
B. Graduate College: Proposed Elimination of S/F/I Grade and Addition of S/U/I Grade (Report No. 18, 2004-2005)
Dr. Roberta Steinbacher noted that this item is from the Graduate College. It is a proposal to eliminate the S/F/I Grade and add the S/U/I Grade which is really an expansion of the S/U/I. The Graduate College already has the U grade but it is limited to mathematics courses for folks who need to make up a course to get into a higher math course in the Graduate College. So they want to extend this basically to help the international teaching assistants who take English courses and get the S/F/I grade because the S/U doesn’t work there. The reason we have three letters together such as the S/U/I is because that is how it is in PeopleSoft. The three have to all be together. The bulletin language extends the U Grade and gets rid of the F Grade.
There being no discussion, Senate President Konangi asked members to vote. The Graduate College’s proposed elimination of the S/F/I grade and the addition of the S/U/I grade was approved unanimously.
C. Graduate College: Proposed Visiting Student Classification (Report No. 19, 2004-2005)
Dr. Roberta Steinbacher noted that the final proposal from the Graduate College is to create a Visiting Student Classification. She noted that this already exists in the undergraduate program so it is not something that we haven’t tried already.
Dr. Steinbacher covered some of the highlights that show how this differs from existing classifications. Visiting status would require a different enrollment request, and there would be no admission fee for this classification. Students are permitted to enroll (with permission) only in those course specifically designated as open to visiting students especially where there is a limit on enrollment. They may not earn a graduate degree, certificate, or license awarded by the university. If they wish to do that later, they may only transfer in four (4) credits out of this status. They are not eligible for GAs or TAs or tuition grants.
There being no discussion, Senate President Konangi called for a vote. The Graduate College’s proposed Visiting Student Classification was approved unanimously.
Proposed Revisions to Graduate College Bylaws (First Reading)
(Report No. 20, 2004-2005)
Dr. David Larson, chair of the University Faculty Affairs Committee, pointed out that the proposed revisions to the Graduate College Bylaws is a first reading today so there is no vote today. There will be a vote on this proposal at the next Faculty Senate meeting on March 9, 2005. Unfortunately, Mark Tumeo, the Dean of Graduate Studies, is not here today, and he is the one who can answer questions.
Professor Larson noted that these revisions to the Graduate College Bylaws have been approved by the Graduate College itself. They came from the Graduate College to the University Faculty Affairs Committee. The UFAC looked at them primarily from the point of view of whether they seem to infringe on faculty rights, not thinking it was our business to tell the Graduate College how to run itself. The UFAC didn’t see any problems there so the Committee is bringing them to Faculty Senate as a motion for approval of revisions to the Bylaws. Again, there won’t be any vote until the next Senate meeting but there can be some discussion at this meeting because the Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Bill Bailey, is here. Professor Larson said he will defer almost all question to Bill Bailey.
Since there were no questions, Senate President Konangi noted that Senate will have a second reading at the next Senate meeting on March 9, 2005 at which time we will vote on the proposed revisions to the Graduate College Bylaws.
VIII. Student Life Committee and the Committee on Athletics
Proposed Missed Class Policy for University-Sanctioned Activities (Report No. 21, 2004-2005)
Professor Lynn Deering, chair of the Student Life Committee, noted that the Student Life Committee and the Committee on Athletics are submitting for adoption a proposed Missed Class Policy for University-Sanctioned Activities. They are defining students as all undergraduate, graduate and Law students. The intention of this policy is to provide clear guidelines to help insure partnership between faculty, students, and the sponsors of the university-sanctioned activities including academic, service, co-curricular and extra curricular activities. The policy also provides an appeal process.
Senate President Konangi asked for questions and discussion on the proposal.
Professor Stephen Lazarus stated that he doesn’t have any real objections to the portion on the last page under “Appeals” that says that the student in the situation should seek resolution of the problem at the appropriate lowest level of authority – the lowest level being the individual faculty member. He takes that merely to be a problem in writing. But, what he does object to on page 2 is where it says the faculty member “shall.” There are a number of things there that he thinks interfere with faculty discretion in an area where that discretion should not be interfered with. For instance, if there is a particular type of absence that’s covered by these procedures, what happens in a situation where a student, due to some recent sickness, for instance, has missed a large number of classes and he has spoken to the student who said, “I’m really sorry that you missed so many classes but if you miss one more class you really haven’t had enough exposure to remain in this course.” And then the student has one of these supposedly legitimate excuses or something that would be legitimate under these provisions, and this would seem to indicate that I have no choice, I have no discretion, but I must accept that. He noted that he wouldn’t have any problem with what is stated under “Faculty Roles” if instead of “faculty member shall,” it said, “the faculty member should attempt to” because most of these things make sense most of the time. But he really does object to the word “shall.” And, in the next to the last bullet on the last page where it says, “In the extraordinary circumstance where it is not feasible to offer a makeup examination, some acceptable alternative must be provided.” he would move to eliminate that sentence.
Professor David Larson asked if Professor Lazarus was making a motion. If so, he will second the motion.
Professor Lynn Deering stated that the Student Life Committee and the Committee on Athletics would accept that as a friendly amendment. She did want to point out that the language in saying “shall” does leave opportunity for the faculty to judge the validity and have the freedom to say that this is not appropriate. We also set up this policy so that this information must be provided at the beginning of the semester. If it comes to a point where, all right, now there is an illness, part of this is to have students take the responsibility as well. This is a policy that they need to follow and now they know that they have submitted their absences and those are the ones that have been accepted with this policy.
Professor Lazarus noted that Professor Deering had no objection to the two things he mentioned, in other words, to take out that last sentence in the next to last bullet and also to substitute the words “should attempt to” for the word “shall”. He would propose those two things as an amendment.
Professor Steven Slane stated that he was in favor of this policy beforehand, but now he might defect as not in favor of this policy. The issue here is to put a little teeth on the side of the students in negotiating for some relief in certain circumstances and to make it say, “Should attempt to” is to basically say faculty can continue to do whatever they have been doing. Professor Slane felt that this simply allows what we have seen as problems for students where they have to attend activities that are sponsored by this university. This continues the current situation; in other words, it becomes really no policy at all. He is in favor of keeping the language, at least the “shall” part of this language as it is. He noted that he formerly was a member of the Committee on Athletics. If Professors Deering and Sparks have accepted the proposed wording change as an amendment, he is saying that he is probably going to vote against the proposed policy now.
Professor Sheldon Gelman commented that he has changed his mind since he first saw this proposed policy. For one thing, it seems to privilege students who are absent because of participation in activities over students who are ill for example. So if he reads the policy correctly, and there are two students who have missed seven classes, one of them because of illness and one of them who attended a university-sanctioned event, he has obligations toward the student who missed class on account of not illness reasons which seems to him to get it backwards. There should be faculty obligations to make up absences. He doesn’t know why illness is treated differently from anything else. He is also confused about the “shall” and the “should”, etc. The general tendency of it seems to be that students have a right to participate in these outside events which deal with our constituencies and there doesn’t seem to be any limit on the number of absences. There is a procedure for revealing these absences. It is also not clear to Professor Gelman what is a university-sanctioned activity. He wonders if a Law School organization with a faculty advisor, is such an organization or rather a class. Suppose that in a Law and Psychiatry class I decide that the students should spend every single day of every single week at the mental hospital and then their other instructors receive a notice that they are going to miss one hundred percent of their classes because of this participation in a university-sanctioned activity. It doesn’t seem right to him. He wonders about the sense of this policy which is that extra curricular activities take precedence over academics provided that the appropriate form is filled out at the appropriate time before the end of the second week. So, even though he didn’t find anything objectionable when he first read the proposed policy, he is now just opposed to it.
Professor Deering stated that part of this policy is to actually clarify and make the students more responsible. It is not just directed towards faculty. Part of this is within the course offerings that we bring many students into who, as part of their whole university experience, have to perform in a concert on a set date. The concert is totally dependent on that student being there. We are giving them guidelines so that they will then go to their professors and let them know ahead of time and there can be an agreement between the faculty member and the student. The student needs to participate in whatever this university-sanctioned activity is. In addition, this policy states clearly that the professor will make his/her own absence policy on the syllabus. At the beginning of the semester, the student then brings in the form that he/she has two performances on two set dates and there is an agreement made between the faculty member and the student. The syllabus takes care of the other absence policies.
Professor David Larson stated that his understanding, when he asked this question in Steering, was that the teacher has the authority still to say that one can only miss x number of classes in my class and these excused absences count as part of that x number of classes that can be missed. This does not trump the syllabus that says you may only miss three or four sessions. The student may not come in and say, “I have six course events and six concerts, and I am going to miss twelve sessions.” Then you can say, “No, you’re not, you’re going to fail.” So, that is his only reason for supporting it. Dr. Larson then asked: “But is that true?” Professor Kenneth Sparks said that what Dr. Larson stated was true. This was one of the things that was discussed in Steering, and the professor still has the right to state what that limit is. That is why there was not a particular number in there. We had reviewed several policies similar to this from other universities, and some did have numbers in there up to ten or twelve absences. We didn’t think that that was appropriate. You still have the right to say what is appropriate in terms of your own coursework. We are not taking that from the professor.
Professor Lazarus stated that he accepts Professor Sparks’ view of what he had intended to say and do, but he doesn’t think the text, as it is written now, reflects that.
Professor Sparks replied that the intent was to provide the students with guidelines in terms of what the procedure was to be. Right now, there is no policy, and he is sure that many faculty get things brought in from coaches or from other organizations saying that the students are going to miss class or whatever. There is no appeal process or anything the student has to do. They are kind of caught in the middle right now and there is no process for them to be able to rectify that and this proposed policy provides them an opportunity.
Dr. Elizabeth Lehfeldt noted that Professor Sparks stated that the instructor can set his own absence policy, but she wondered if the instructors also set their own make-up policy. For example, she has courses where she does not allow making up quizzes. There are too many and too many students, and she can’t keep track of them. So this policy does not obligate her then to allow a student to make up something that she wouldn’t let anyone else make up just because it was a university-sanctioned activity. Professor Sparks stated that Professor Lehfeldt was correct.
Professor David Larson referred to the first part under “Class attendance.” Under “(A)” it says, “The individual faculty member has both the responsibility and the prerogative for managing student attendance. The faculty member’s policy regarding attendance for each course should be written in the course syllabus and communicated to students during the first week of the semester.” Dr. Larson felt that this is fairly implicit about the fact that the professor sets the policy.
Professor Lehfeldt commented, “Unless you take to be implicit that your policy on absences influences your policy on make-ups.” She would accept the spirit of the policy on absences.
Dr. Barbara Hoffman stated that the language in “(B)” is the language that needs a bit of tweaking to make it clear that the professor’s policy trumps this policy, particularly, the last sentence: “This policy recognizes participation in University-sanctioned activities, approved by the appropriate University authority as a legitimate class absence.” This sounds like an excused class absence. She suggested that Professors Deering and Sparks might want to make it clear that because it is legitimate, does not necessarily mean that it is excused, but whether or not to excuse it is up to the professor.
Senate President Konangi commented that this proposed policy, he believes, clarifies that.
Professor Peter Meiksins echoed what Professor Sheldon Gelman stated earlier today that the definition of university-sanctioned activities is not sufficiently precise here. He wonders, for example, if there is a distinction between the scholarship athlete who is required, as a condition, to participate in a basketball game or a wrestling match and a student enrolled in a sociology corrections course is given the opportunity to attend a prison. In the second case, they are not required to and in the first case they are, but there is nothing in this policy to distinguish between those two situations. When students have been offered the opportunity to go on a field trip, it prevents them from attending the rest of their classes that day and this is used to request a make-up. There is very little in here that the instructor could use to say, “No, you have to make a decision – you have to make the choice – that is not required and my exam is.” Dr. Meiksins noted that this situation is not addressed by this policy.
Professor Lynn Deering stated that they had spelled out the rules. Number one is the sponsor of the university-sanctioned activity. So, they are playing a role in it as well, and it was felt that it addresses that in that the faculty member says to the student, “This is not an appropriate absence – I don’t see this as a legitimate absence.” The student would then go back to the sponsor of the activity and state that this has not been accepted by a faculty member. Part of this is that there has been communication between those two parties, not just leaving the student in the middle and saying, well, the faculty member says this, and this person says this. We are actually trying to legitimize some of the activities that go on as well. She doesn’t think that it means this policy is going to be used for everything. This is a pretty extensive process that students have to go through with many signatures, etc. that they are going to have to get verified.
Professor Steve Slane commented that the more he listens to the discussion on the proposed policy, the more confused he gets. He thought he understood the policy. The goal was to hold students in these situations harmless because of their participation in these activities which we believe we sponsor as part of the operation of this university. What he has heard for example from Professor Lehfeldt, is that that isn’t the case if the student is not allowed to make up that quiz. At least he would not interpret it that way. He would interpret this policy as trumping Professor Lehfeldt’s policy. We have three or four different versions of this policy at the moment. He is hearing one thing from the committee and something different from Professor Lazarus, and he is not sure where we are. He sees this as a fairly strong policy that says faculty have some obligation on this side to try to hold the students harmless when there are sponsored events. And the conversation is, how can we get out of that. For example, no absence is the number he wants which to him sets aside the entire policy if we are allowed to do that. He would like to ask Mark Gefert of Athletics, to give Senate a couple of examples of some of the things that our colleagues have – the kinds of games that get played on the students around here that we think need support. That is really, to some extent, the source of this proposed policy.
Mr. Mark Gefert, Coordinator of Athletic Academic Advising, stated that in general, all of our student athletes average around a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Let’s look at our softball team. Our softball team has a number of days students miss classes because they are traveling. And these students that have 3.5 or 3.7 GPAs in Education have been told if they miss another class after missing two classes, we are going to drop you a letter grade. Well it doesn’t make any difference how the students perform. The students may be at A level work all the way through up to the time they are supposed to receive their grades, but ultimately, will end up getting a D in the course. We have had situations that did occur. But that doesn’t really accurately represent how the student did in the class, and that is a drastic example of what happens. We make the student responsible for making up all course work they have along the way. But the coaches, in the past, have students stay and take examinations and drive them wherever they need to go or take them to their flight and arrive late for whatever game that might be. That is just one drastic example of how things affect this particular population. The unfortunate part is it really affects those students who are doing excellent work academically at the university. Then there are students who cannot participate in that particular activity because their grades will be affected.
Professor Miron Kaufman commented that labs are offered in Physics and those labs just cannot be made up. The department policies are that if more than one lab is missed, that is the end of the class. He stated that he hopes this proposed policy doesn’t ruin this.
Dr. Elizabeth Lehfeldt agreed with Professor Slane about holding students harmless, but it becomes a question of which students do you hold harmless. The student who has child care issues and misses a quiz in my class – is that any more or less legitimate than a student who misses a class because of a university-sanctioned activity? Lots of people think that she is just really mean and scary. On her syllabus she does not allow make-ups but she also drops the lowest grade so there is sort of a built-in opportunity for everybody to have that unforeseen emergency or university-sanctioned absence.
Dr. Rodger Govea said that he is hearing the need for too many clarifications so he moved to refer the proposed policy back to committee. Dr. David Larson seconded the motion. It appears that on one reading of this policy, he could pass it, but on Steve Slane’s reading of the policy, he could not pass it so he doesn’t know which way to go.
Senate President Konangi asked the Senate to vote on the motion to send the proposed Policy for University-Sanctioned Activities back to committee. The motion was approved.
President Michael Schwartz began by thanking so many people for sending emails and cards to him. His wife Joanne and he are very grateful for that and very deeply touched as well.
President Schwartz brought up the issue of spam. He said that some of it is really quite offensive. He noted that Vice President Mike Droney reported that maybe as many as 80% of our emails are spam. That is just an enormous waste of our resources. Mr. Droney has purchased a new product that promises to alleviate this matter. It won’t destroy spam entirely but it will sure help. The best part of this product is that it will leave each of us in control of what gets through and what doesn’t which is the best of all possible worlds. We decide what gets in, and the rest of it gets deleted.
Vice President Mike Droney reported that CSU has initiated a pilot program called MailFrontier to deal with spam. If we talk to any of our colleagues at other universities that might be running it, it is one of the best products out there in our opinion. Primarily a bunch of them are just spam control, but over the Web we will be able to set our level of control. That was the issue we were wrestling with most because some of you didn’t want us to potentially edit a message and call it spam when it was a valid message. He noted that 2.8 million messages/emails come into this university within a month on average and 70% to 80% of them or over two million are definitely spam. This program will be turned on when the second piece of hardware is received, hopefully by the end of this month or early next month. Emails will be sent out informing everyone when the program is running. It will be turned on with an average setting for everybody when it is rolled out because the majority of us are going to want it. We will have an opportunity to adjust where we want that setting to be on the internet. It will be real easy for us to do over the Web. Another thing we will be able to do – for example, his wife has a tendency to send him emails here on campus, about one per week, but she doesn’t put a description in the subject matter and this spam agent identified that email as spam. So, once per day or every other day, we will receive an email from the computer software that says here is everything I thought was spam. We can then click on one and say, from this point, don’t treat this as spam and the program will allow it through. It is that friendly. Everyone will have to be a little patient. It’s going to be new, but everyone will like it a lot.
President Michael Schwartz reported that a visiting team from the NCAA was here for about two days, and their job was fundamentally to recertify our athletic program. It is the same as an accreditation review. They left today leading us to believe, and he has every reason in the world to believe them, that this program will not only be recertified but it will be recertified at the highest possible level of recommendation. There are some people who worked very diligently for close to a year to prepare this report that got such very high marks. It was lead by former Vice President Joe Nolan who organized this entire effort and he, in fact, came out of retirement for the last two days to be here as our representative to meet with that committee. Other people from the university who have served on the committee are of course Lee Reed, our Athletic Director, Alice Kohl, the Associate Director of Athletics, Sue Ziegler who has been our faculty athletics representative for a long time, Bill Shorrock from the Provost’s Office, Brian Cook who is the Associate Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance and the Controller, Ron Bowman, the Registrar, Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm, Vice President for Student Affairs and Minority Affairs, Professor Ed Thomas from the College of Business, Dean Louis Brownlowe, the student member was Jamie Boyer who is a volleyball player, Sonali Wilson, University Legal Counsel, Professor Doug Steward from the Economics Department, and Professor Steve Slane of the Psychology Department. The one person who put in an enormous amount of time editing this report is Louis Barbato of the English Department. We owe all of them a very great debt because this thing was brilliantly done. Anybody who would like to see a copy of the report can stop by the President’s Office and pick it up.
President Schwartz commented that presidents often lose a certain amount of sleep over their athletic departments. It is not unheard of. But since Lee Reed came to CSU as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, at least this President hasn’t lost any sleep at all because of the program. It is not just tidy. The whole program is run with enormous integrity. And we have every right in the world to be very proud of the work that Lee Reed and his associates have done in the two years that he has been here. We are grateful for his presence.
President Schwartz stated that he had wanted to introduce Dean Mary Jane Saunders from the College of Science, but she didn’t make it to Senate today. She is off doing science.
President Schwartz reported that there is a lot going on in Columbus. Somebody asked him if he was going to comment today on the Governor’s budget, but he won’t do that because he hasn’t had a chance to look at it. It will not be released until tomorrow. He will say, however, that as it was reported in the popular Press this morning, he was just a bit disappointed in what the Governor did say about higher education. If one takes into account the kinds of budget cutting that has been going on in this state, year in and year out, it is perfectly reasonable to say that the state has not met its real responsibilities to these institutions financially. And when you consider that enrollments have been growing dramatically in the public system, somehow we have been managing to educate more and more students every year as a system with fewer and fewer dollars per student. To suggest that this is an inefficient system that can do better by more collaboration is something that boggles. This system cannot collaborate itself into prosperity of any kind. Also, by the way, it ignores an enormous amount of collaboration among institutions that is already ongoing. He stated that he does think it would be good to hold tuitions down to the point that that is possible, but it takes money to run these institutions. President Schwartz said he was surprised that the Governor said those things. He didn’t think that this was a fair description of how institutions have been behaving in difficult times. So it seems to him that if this is the popular view in Columbus, we really have an enormous amount of work to do. It also seems to him that term limits don’t help one bit. They clearly just keep making this thing worse and worse all of the time. We’ll know more after the budget itself is released. President Schwartz stated that he thinks the Governor’s budget is not going to be the budget. The Governor’s budget may propose even a little bit more money for the system. If that is the case, he suggested that we watch the flow of those dollars which he suspects will be to the community colleges. And there may be some reallocation of other money – university dollars – to those same institutions. We are not through yet, and he is going to be visiting some newspaper editorial boards with the other presidents and spend a little more time in Columbus. This has gotten to the point that we must get the attention of the people of this state every bit as much as we have to get the attention of the people who they elected.
Mr. Patrick Seamus O’Malia stated that he is a Senator from the College of Education as well as a student representative to Faculty Senate representing the SGA. He is here with his cohorts Senator Omar Morales and Senator Rick Starr. He extended his thanks to Dr. Rodger Govea for his continued patience and dedication to the student body through his efforts in the SGA.
Mr. O’Malia stated that the purpose of his taking the floor of Senate is to bring to the Senate’s attention a rather disturbing event that was brought to the Student Government Association’s attention four weeks ago. A group of education students came in and began to inform SGA about some unfair stipulations that were added to their graduation requirements. What this basically entails is that CSU is the only state school that has put this mandate on their graduation policy. At least two people who expected to graduate within this semester were told that before they are able to take their student teaching course, they have to pass the state certification. As he said, CSU is the only institution that has mandated this. Kent State has it but it has been passed on to the freshman class so they know how to plan for this. Prior to this, the education students were not required to take this test to teach. He stated that this is extremely unfair just in this instance. But, there are a couple of other things that compounded the situation. The students were not given adequate information about this. His belief is that these students were not told up until this semester that they are required to take the exam which makes this inherently unfair to them. These people are expecting to graduate within this semester and are now told that they have to take a test which will delay them, at the very least, one semester. It was also not done in a timely fashion, and the education senators are the people who have the ability to resolve this issue. When these students asked to speak to the Dean of the College of Education, they were told that they had to submit each and every question that they wanted to ask him in writing which is just inherently unfair. He stated that he comes to Senate today to ask for help in addressing this sensitive issue. The students involved in the education program are becoming very restless about this. They don’t feel that the SGA is taking action quick enough, and, at the last meeting, they discussed perhaps taking this issue to the media and also perhaps involving litigation. We, as a student body, recommended that they did not do that but there is, of course, no guarantee that they won’t. The members of SGA are simply exhausted with this issue. They have tried very had to go out and generate support for this issue. He noted that Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm has been a big advocate for helping them with this. But instances like having the Dean of the College of Education require the students to submit all questions in writing has really compounded the problem and made it seem, to the students anyway, that we simply aren’t being heard. They would like to get the Faculty Senate’s help with this issue before it does go to the media because it could really damage CSU’s public image. He stated that he is open to any suggestions that Senate may have. The education students involved with this issue have brought it to him because they would like this test to be waived and to be placed on the sophomore class so that the students can plan for it in the future.
President Michael Schwartz commented that there have been interminable meetings. Two Vice Presidents are prepared to say something about this. However, because these students have engaged counsel, and, as far as he is concerned, that is a threat of litigation instantly. He wants to be very careful about anything they are going to say about this. The students have access to all kinds of processes within this institution. They ought to make good use of that, but we are not going to increase our liability and legal exposure in this room. That is just foolishness that we are not likely to engage in. Addressing Mr. O’Malia, President Schwartz warned him to be careful that this is not another Plain Dealer newspaper problem.
Mr. O’Malia said that he wanted to point out again that those students are just considering legal action, and he has no proof one way or another. It was simply brought up in a meeting that these students were thinking about taking this issue to a lawyer. He has no idea whether or not they actually have done so.
Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm reported that the Provost and she were in a meeting this morning with Legal Counsel on this matter. They have seen documentation that does indicate that communication was sent to the students related to the issue of passing the Praxes beginning in Spring 2004, and that there was some documentation back as far as 2002 because it was delayed. It was something different – taking it versus passing it. A petition process has been put in place that individuals can exercise. It is possible to petition to graduate, but it would be graduating without the license which does require passing the Praxes test. So, there are things that have been put in place, and individuals have been able to talk to the Associate Deans about it. She understands the issue, but she is not at liberty to say anything else. Again, Legal Counsel has been retained, and we have been meeting with our attorney. But based on the evidence that she personally saw this morning, there is much more communication, and there was also evidence of multiple forms of communication.
Provost Chin Kuo echoed what President Schwartz and Vice President Nuru-Holm just said. He would encourage that everyone be patient and wait for a while for the attorneys to handle this particular situation. Based on his preliminary information, he can see there is enough evidence to explain what is going on there. As in everything else, there are always two sides to the story. So, again, be patient to hear the two sides of the story, and then we will see what happens. No more comments.
Dr. David Larson commented that he does understand the rule that has been in effect for some time now that in order to teach, students must pass the Praxes exam and we have been working with the Education College and English to try to help our students pass it more easily. But that is a whole and separate issue he would think than the question of whether students must pass the test in order to graduate. He noted that Professor Meiksins suggested that this raises the question of catalog rights for one thing. If these students came in under a catalog that didn’t require that test for graduation, your licensure is up to the state. For graduation, it raises the issue of whether or not students can be bound by something that wasn’t in that catalog. As far as the Senate is concerned, he has never heard anything from the Admissions and Standards Committee or the University Curriculum Committee about a new requirement for graduation in Education coming to us. So it does seem to him that there are some genuine processes, to say the least, that should be looked into by various people in the administration to see whether due process has been followed for graduation.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:50 P.M.
Susan Kogler Hill
Faculty Senate Secretary
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