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Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs Committee
Year-End Report

Membership: Chair, Kevin Dickson; Senator Bruce Hathaway; Senator Don Jung; Senator Carol Veneziano, Senator Jan Ward; Peter Chanthanakone; Emily Scharf; Karl Suhr; Lucinda Swatzell

Action Items Completed This Year

1.Five Year Calendar and Fall Break. The five year calendar was updated through 2015, a bill was passed by the Senate, it has been approved by the President and the Board. Task Complete.

2.Pandemic Academic Contingency Planning. A document with recommendations was produced by the committee, approved by Senate, and forwarded to the Pandemic planning committee. The document has been reviewed by the committee and minor adjustments were made. The document is to be forwarded to the administration as part of the committee's report. Academic Affairs has completed its work in this area. Task complete.

3.Textbook Services Electronic Resource Availability. Senator Hathaway reported on his conversation with Textbook Services. They are able to work with any of the textbook alternatives that we requested information about and Senator Hathaway presented a report covering each of these options. He also passed out a draft FAQ that Textbook Services put together and requested that committee members contact him with any suggestions about this document. This document has been placed on the Textbook Services website for faculty access and distributed to faculty by e-mail.

Some other issues from this discussion were that Textbook Services can negotiate with the publishers for additional items to reduce cost to the student. They would appreciate extra notice to allow time for negotiation when possible. Also there is a textbook requisition form that has a place for these types of additional requests that is handed out to all departments. Hardware and software requirements for webinars were discussed. The minimum number of books needed for a custom textbook order was discussed. The addition of the FAQ into TEW was also recommended. Task Complete.

4.Social Media Guidelines for Classroom Usage. Members of the committee served on the Social Media Guidelines Task Force. Senator Jung gathered information from other colleges and universities. This task force presented a final draft to Administrative Council and it was approved. Task Complete.

Action Items Potentially Continuing to Next Year:

1.Intellectual Property Policy for online classes. Revisit this policy to determine if there have been any concerns and review how they have been handled. The committee determined that this could be done by asking senators to forward any concerns from their departments to the committee and to request details from the Provost's office about any concerns that have been raised with that office. No concerns have been raised at this point. Completed for Spring 2010, could revisit in Spring 2011.

2.SB389 faculty ratings posted online. These are available currently through the AtoZ page of the university website, but require a SE-Key login. There were no current complaints or concerns about the system. This could be reviewed at a later date.

3.Attendance Reporting Procedures. A new e-mail system for this reporting is working well. Financial services repeatedly expressed their appreciation to the faculty for their quick responses to these e-mails. Before financial aid reporting for students who stopped attending classes was not being completed until right near the deadline. With the new system they are usually completed two weeks early.

Financial services brought up the question of the current use of attendance reporting data, since it is no longer used by their office. The committee has followed up with many offices on campus and to date none of them have a use for this data. Kathy Mangels' office is looking into any additional offices that may be using the data and should have a report shortly.

The Attendance Reporting FAQ has not been updated yet, but it is a priority to do so and when updated they will bring the draft to the committee for comments and suggestions. Whether or not this needs to be updated will depend on whether it is determined that this process needs to be continued. This could be followed up with in the fall.

4.Instructor Initiated Drops. The committee reviewed this process with Sandy Hinkle for clarification. Instructors are encouraged to use these during the 2nd week of class for students who do not attend during the 1st week. The committee suggested that this form be placed online and Sandy Hinkle responded that she would look into implementing this suggestion. This could be followed up with.

5.Student evaluation of instruction sub-committee. This sub-committee which contained members from Academic Affairs has completed their work and a bill was passed by Senate in Fall 2009 addressing the use of student evaluations in tenure and promotion documents. The bill was tabled at the last Board meeting due to Student Government concerns. The Senate has been meeting with Student Government to resolve these concerns.

6.Course Redesign Task Force. The chair of Academic Affairs has been identified to be part of this task force looking at increasing efficiencies in course delivery. The committee should be involved through the chair in this process during the next academic year.

7.F and X Grade Usage. Senator Wang sent an e-mail requesting clarification of the use of F and X grades. After committee discussion it was decided that significant confusion existed and that the committee should follow up on this issue and potentially make recommendations. Sandy Hinkle attended our March 10th meeting and clarified the use of these grades. This information should be communicated with faculty.

Submitted by,
Kevin Dickson, Chair Academic Affairs 2009-2010