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March 7, 2001 Minutes

Senators Present:   M. Blanda, F. Blevens, M. Brennan, J. Hays (chair), A. McKinney, B. Peeler, M. Reese,  O. Renick, R. Sawey,  B. Scheuermann (substituting for M. Gillis), E. Skerpan-Wheeler, T. Stimmel, B. Stone,  J. Stutzman

Deans Present: J. Beck, T. Chahin, R. Cheatham, A. Ellis, S. Israel, R. Juarez, D. Smart, M. Willoughby

Others: B. Gratz (VPAA) V. Luizzi (Council of Chairs), B. Mooney (Academic Standards Committee)  R. Smallwood
(AVP), P. Cassidy (AVP)

Call to Order:  4:05 p.m. By VPAA Gratz

Proposed Change in Repeat Policy:

Senator Hays explained the senate concerns and issues related to the problem of students excessively repeating courses.
The Senate's new proposed policy would prevent a student from repeating a course more than twice.
Chair Luizzi indicated that the Council of Chairs did not support the proposed change. The council believes that the policy is
un-necessarily punitive for students.

AVP Smallwood distributed an excel printout which indicated that only a very small number of students ever repeat a course
more than twice supporting the contention that a change in policy may be unnecessary. (See Attachment A)

Dean Cheatham expressed concerns about the necessity for a change in the policy since the number of students involved
appears to be very small and that he believes that those students repeating the courses are generally doing it in good faith.

Senator Stimmel and others expressed concerns about the accuracy of the data presented by Dr Smallwood. The numbers
seemed abnormally small based upon faculty experiences.

Dr Mooney was called upon to represent the position of the Academic Standards Committee and why they advocated the
proposed change. He stated that SWTís drop policy seems to be more liberal than most of the institutions that we like to
compare ourselves to and that it communicates a lack of academic concern to the student body.

After considerable general discussion, no resolution of the issue was achieved. Consideration of the proposal will continue.

Proposed change in the withdrawal without academic penalty date:

Senator Hays introduced the proposal to move the last date a  "W" can be assigned from the 13th week of the semester to the
9th week of the semester. It is believed that the earlier date will indicate the serious nature of the commitment involved in
signing up for a course.

AVP Smallwood introduced an excel spreadsheet which showed the number of W assigned to students by the date of
withdrawal. (See attachment B)

Several senators raised issues about the amount of work involved in grading and counseling students that do not make a
serious effort to complete the course. Concerns were also raised about the accuracy of Dr Smallwoodís data since some of
the drops appeared to be occurring on dates when it would not have been possible for a student to drop a course

Chair Luizzi expressed that the Council of Chairs also opposes this change in policy. The council feels that the change is an
unnecessary infringement on the prerogative of individual faculty to assign grades.

Dean Beck expressed concerns that a student may not have sufficient data to make an intelligent decision about withdrawing
at the 9th week. In many courses a student would have only one test grade at that point.

After much general discussion, no resolution of the issue was achieved. Consideration of the proposal will continue.

New Faculty Evaluation Instrument Pilot Project:

Senator Hays expressed concern over the fact that neither the Faculty Senate nor the faculty at large had been included in the
discussion of piloting a new student evaluation instrument. The senate has serious concerns about the choice of instruments,
the lack of consultation, the costs involved, had existing SWT instruments been effectively studied before the decision and
the danger of over emphasizing the IDEA instrument. (For information on the IDEA instrument please see the Informational
Items section.) The senate clearly supports the position that the evaluation of teaching effectiveness can only be
accomplished through the use of multiple measurement systems.

VPAA Gratz expressed the position that neither he nor the president was committed to the use of the IDEA instrument. The
administrations interest in the instrument was based on the fact that it had the advantage of nationally normed data sets and
that it had a very strong diagnostic component.

Dean Juarez suggested that the current plan called for asking departments to volunteer as subjects then piloting the
instrument in those willing departments.

Senator Blevens opposed the concept of volunteering on the "departmental level". He stated that the fair procedure would be
to ask individual faculty if they wished to participate within the department and only administer the instrument to those
individuals who volunteered.

Dean Ellis raised the issue of using different instruments on faculty that were at critical stages in their careers (third year
reviews). What would be the ramifications of having one evaluation instrument for the first two years and a different
instrument for the third year?

A general discussion of the problems associated with piloting the IDEA evaluation instrument ensued. There was a
suggestion that the pilot sample should use both the old evaluation instrument and the new IDEA instrument. Several
senators and deans both expressed reservations about the studentís reactions to taking multiple evaluations.

General discussion also ensued on the timing of the pilot project. Should it be conducted this semester as planed or should it
be delayed to the fall semester to try and resolve some of the concerns that had been raised in the discussion?

No resolution of the issue was achieved, consideration of the proposed pilot study will continue.
Problems with the Faculty Dinning Facilities

RTA when additional time is available

Joint Session Closed: 5:20 p.m.

Separate Senate Session Called to Order 5:25 p.m.

Old Business: None

Informational Items:

Information on the IDEA survey instrument is available at:

New Business

Senate needs to appoint two representatives to the tenure and promotion document revision committee. Bring suggestions to
the next meeting.

Minutes for 02/28/01 - (approved as corrected)

Adjourned:  5:52 PM