Final approved March 30, 2006
Meet and Confer
March 2, 2006
Admin: Michael Spitzer, Kristi Tornquist, Mitchell Rubinstein, Rex Veeder, Anne Zemek de Dominguez
Faculty: Judy Kilborn, JoAnn Gasparino, Jayantha Herath, Susan Motin, Bill Langen, Steve Hornstein, Balsy Kasi, Polly Chappell – Note taker
Admin: Perhaps we should begin.
Approval of Minutes
Meet and Confer Notes of February 2, 2006—approved.
Meet and Confer Notes of February 16, 2006—approved.
Admin: The first item of business is to approve the minutes of February 2 and February 16th.
FA: And we’re ready to do that at this point.
Admin: So accomplished. Okay.
1. Attendance Policy (Admin) (9/08/05)
Admin: Attendance Policy.
FA: Yeah. We’re still waiting for the committee’s recommendations on the statement for faculty.
Admin: It’s going to be a short meeting.
FA: It’s going to be a very short meeting if we keep this up.
2. Task Forces on Diversity (a.k.a. Motion from Teacher Development) (FA) (9/22/05)
Admin: Task Forces on Diversity.
Admin: Both of them?
Admin: Yeah, both of them.
Admin: COE has another meeting scheduled for the 16th of March. The university-wide task force, we called for schedules and tried to organize a meeting, and we’re having very sporadic responses. I think it’s the time of year, and everything else. So, we backed up, okay, and we’re going to ramp up. We’re having informal conversations with people involved, with the representatives. I asked Frankie today, in an email, if it were possible to have a meeting with the original group that put the plan together, to talk about other ways of getting people together so that we can proceed. We’re still organizing, but we’re moving forward with it.
Admin: Do we want to keep that on the agenda?
FA: That’s a question.
FA: Yeah, is there anything you can report of what’s happening? We hear they’re working, but we haven’t heard anything about them.
Admin: It’d be nice if there were some sort of report given to the college.
FA: Just about how they’re organizing. What they’re going to do.
Admin: At the first meeting I was present. And a lot of people couldn’t make that meeting, as well. It’s sort third—third—third, it looks like. So, we’ll maybe have to have separate meetings. Otherwise, there was a lot of discussion at that meeting about the parameters of the discussion and how to proceed. And I believe there was consensus that we needed to talk about those parameters some more, so there was an understanding of some sort of ground rules under which we’re going to proceed. I felt there were a number of faculty there who were new to the situation, and therefore the context was difficult, and so I think it would be helpful if… Let’s put it this way, we also referred them to all the documents that are available on the climate and all those things. I feel that it’s going to take a little while to situate that group, in terms of everybody getting on board, in terms of context.
FA: I was wondering when that got set up if there’s a place for hearing faculty concerns, or if all that is contained in the documents?
Admin: No. One of the discussions was that we’re going to want to be hearing from people with particular concerns. And I’m sure there will be constituencies within the college, which come forward and present sort of a report about their perspectives. And that’s part of the plan.
FA: To encourage that?
Admin: To encourage that.
FA: Okay. That’s helpful information, and if you can keep us updated that would be good. If you could maybe get permission from that group to share some information and so forth.
Admin: I’ll talk with the group on the 16th. We’ll see if we can come up with some sort of notes that can come forward to people with requests on what’s going to be happening.
FA: Even if that weren’t on a regular basis, it would be good if it were from time to time.
3. Template on Teaching Schedule/Office Hours (FA) (10/20/05)
Admin: Okay. Template on Teaching Schedule and Office Hours.
FA: Executive Committee talked about it last Tuesday.
FA: We got a draft statement.
FA: We have a draft statement.
FA: From John Palmer.
FA: At Executive Committee last Tuesday, the Executive Committee had some responses to the draft statement, which John and I’ll be taking back to the whole group to work on. There’s been a draft, there’s been a response, and there’ll be some more talk.
Admin: We haven’t brought it to our committee at all because we didn’t know if we were just deciding within our little committee or not. But we would not have any response from anybody other than Roland.
Admin: Can you send whatever response to Kristi and Roland so we can look at them in our Senate?
FA: I think our perception is that we are still in the process of developing a statement. We had a draft statement. EC responded to it, and had some concerns, now we need to go back and monkey with it. So I don’t think the group, I wasn’t even at the first meeting, but I don’t think the four of us have a statement that we agree on yet.
Admin: I understand that.
FA: When we have one…
Admin: All right. You want us to wait until you have agreed upon—?
FA: Yeah. Because we have enough stuff to wrangle with before bringing others in to wrangle with it.
Admin: I just thought when you shared it with the Executive Committee, I was afraid you were coalescing on something that we haven’t seen.
FA: No, no, no, no. We have feedback.
FA: We did understand that that was a draft; that that was not something being put forward as something that was finished.
Admin: Right. Okay.
4. Academic Freedom Committee Report Recommendations (FA) (02/02/06)
Admin: Academic Freedom Committee Report Recommendations.
FA: We need to wait until after next Senate to bring forward the composition of that task force. And hopefully we’ll be able to do that at Meet and Confer next time.
Admin: Moving right along. (Laughter)
5. Last Date of Attendance (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: Last Date of Attendance. I have some material that I wanted to hand out to you on that. This is something that Steve was going to address, particularly. And I have to admit that I’m not… I can’t fully explain everything that’s on this material, at this point. He couldn’t be here because there was some emergency meeting he had to attend in regard to University property. But, anyway if you just look at the top of this, what it indicates is that the total number students on this list of students who got these various grades, there were about 160 of them. And of that number we will have to return funds to the federal government for 100 of those students because we haven’t gotten adequate information about when these students had their last date of attendance. The memo that’s attached is the one that was sent out by Sue Bayerl, requesting information. And there’s a number of students for whom we’ve gotten no response, and that’s partly why this is the case.
FA: Maybe there is something that I don’t understand. There’s something definitely I don’t understand here. Is the problem that there was no information for them from their instructors about attendance, or was it that…? I thought you’d need to return funds when it was established that either A: it was established that the student had not attended classes; or B: it was not established, there was no information available, and so the assumption was this student has not attended any classes. Am I wrong?
Admin: I think you’re correct. And I think that this refers to the students for whom we didn’t have information. There were 100 students about whom we don’t know whether they were in class or not, and we have to assume that they were not because we were not provided with information.
FA: So there could be some others that we do know didn’t attend class.
FA: And that would be 100+.
Admin: That’s my guess.
FA: Okay. Thank you for that.
FA: And so…
Admin: Again I apologize because Steve and I spent a very brief amount of time going over this. My Alzheimer’s got in the way.
FA: So the assumption is, then, that if we had gotten information on this 100, at least some of those we would not have had to pay the funds back, right?
FA: Okay. I’m wondering, Michael, if it would be worthwhile to jump to something that’s related in New Business: Maintaining Class Records?
FA: Since that’s sort of related.
3. Maintaining Class Records (Admin) (03/02/06)
FA: Okay. So New Business, item three.
Admin: Okay. This is something that I wanted to ask the faculty to address, and maybe develop a policy that describes what kind of records and how long faculty should keep records for student performance in a course. So that if a student completed a course last year, and an issue comes up where the student is inquiring about the grade and the faculty member doesn’t have a record of it, or if it was an adjunct faculty member who is no longer here, or somebody who is retired, how do we address that issue? We don’t have records in the department office on that student’s performance. So I would request that the faculty consider this particular issue and propose a policy on how we deal with it.
FA: Do you have any sense at all, given this last date of attendance, any sense at all of how that’s impacting what we’re able to do there?
Admin: Well, I think to the extent that we developed an attendance policy that might help with that issue. But this is a slightly different matter. And it really has to do with being able provide responses to students who have issues that come up after the semester has ended. And they got a grade, or they come back to the school two years later and say, I got an incomplete, and I didn’t know why. The faculty member who issued that grade is not there. If you look at this list of grades, of the things you’ll see is there are a number of students who never showed up who got Is.
Admin: Which sort of goes against logic.
FA: Well, is it possible though that you could be checking for people in spring 05 and not be getting information because of classes taught by an adjunct or somebody who retired and is no longer here?
Admin: That’s possible.
FA: And so that really could have…
Admin: Yeah, that’s right. I think we need to verify this information more quickly in the future, and I think we thought we had done it, and then somebody came back, some auditors came back, and said you need to do more, and that’s why this came up when it did, going back a year ago.
FA: I think perhaps a lot of times, I’ve seen faculty just automatically… I’ve know quite a few faculty that just sometimes don’t want to give an “F,” they want to give an “I,” hoping that it will automatically turn to a “F.” That’s happening more and more.
Admin: I understand that. But that’s not the purpose of the “I” grade.
FA: But it happens.
Admin: You, generally speaking, give a student an incomplete to a student who is doing passing work at a particular time in the semester. If the student’s not there, then the incomplete doesn’t apply.
FA: And actually, if somebody knows students are getting incompletes for invalid reasons, it will encourage other students to ask for an incomplete for invalid reasons, also. I’ve had students who expected me to give them incompletes for invalid reasons, who were surprised because I wouldn’t.
Admin: I know some departments have individual policies about these things, both in terms of record keeping and in terms of incompletes. It stuck in my head somewhere that there was 2/3 completed course…
Admin: Who was discussing that?
Admin: I have no recollection of that. That you had to complete a certain percentage before... But, I don’t know if this is just an informal thing that got passed around a department or whether it was…
FA: I never heard that one.
Admin: You never heard that one either? We must have gone to different departments. (Laughter)
FA: Well, let me preface what I’m going to say by telling you straight up that I’m not a big fan of what I’m going to suggest. But there are some models that are used by school districts where there are electronic grade books and they are flexible enough that people can shape them to the kind of assignments they want. And if we could find a way that departments could use that where faculty were protected from, you know, evaluation type stuff. So somebody couldn’t go in there and yank that stuff back out. That might be a way to have that stuff all in one place on a server, so when somebody needs to get at it, it’s there. You know, and it would come up by class rather than by faculty member or by section. And if we’re serious about preserving that kind of information, other than just the grade, the final grade, I think you’re going to end up having to do something with that because you’re just going to get all kinds of strange stuff.
Admin: You know, we do preserve the final grade.
Admin: But, what we don’t preserve, and I think there should be a limit on how long you have to do that for, even thought I have grade books that go back to 1968 (laughter), so if a student wants to know why they got that grade, I can still tell them. But, three years seems to be a reasonable amount of time. And I think if the student has a grade appeal, is there a time limit on how long they can appeal the grade, Mitch?
Admin: I think the bulletin says the second week in the following semester.
Admin: But we’ve had lots of instances of appeals that come in afterwards. People who come in and say I want a medical withdrawal because I was in the hospital. I was in a coma for 18 months and I couldn’t come in before now. (Laughter) It happens.
FA: Well, we can certainly take this back to Senate and get a recommendation that we could bring back.
Admin: I would appreciate that.
Admin: On the electronic thing. Do any of you teach with D2L? It does have components for grade book options there. I just want to caution, none of those can be protected so that they wouldn’t be accessible once it’s electronic, so that somebody can’t get into them. So, we can’t promise that there’s some way to lock it out. We can promise that we won’t go in unless there’s a necessity.
Admin: You have to have it so they can’t change the grades.
Admin: Another thing that we’d have to see is that it would take some server space, and I’d have to check into how much…
FA: It was an idea off the top of my head.
Admin: It’s not a bad idea, actually.
FA: Well, I know one faculty mentioned being able to get information out of D2L. But of course that’s one of the problems with D2L that everything’s in there. And they have to go down through the whole thing. So I don’t know if that’s an option or not really. But it’s something to discuss.
Admin: I’d have to do some investigating on this.
6. Report on Capital Budget Requests (Admin) (02/16/06)—not discussed.
Admin: Let’s skip number six until Steve is here to report on that.
7. Drop for Non-Payment (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: I don’t know if this is a proposed policy or a policy that has already been approved. This drop for non-payment, I have a feeling that it’s already been approved. If not, I would suggest that the IFO consider the ramifications of it. Because basically what it says is that 10 business days before the start of a semester, a student who has not paid or made arrangements to pay tuition has her or his registration dropped. And there’s potential for complexities of various kinds, and a number of issues are significant as a consequence of this. There’s also the likelihood that we’d lose a significant portion of our enrollment. There are issues that I think have to do with student teaching, because if we’ve got arrangements made for student teaching with a school district and the student has dropped and doesn’t show up to that assignment, that puts us in an uncomfortable position visa via the local school district. There are classes that are closed, and then students are dropped, other people will move in, the students who were initially dropped pay money, they want to come back, they need the course for graduation. These are all potential outcomes of this policy. So, I wanted you to be aware of it. And if it’s within your capacity or interest to have a conversation with anybody at MnSCU about this, you may want to discourage the said policy.
FA: I’ll be at Meet and Confer tomorrow, and I can certainly ask about the status of this.
Admin: I’m sorry. I don’t remember if this one was passed or not.
Admin: There’s another policy that will have significant consequences for our students. It’s further down on the list.
FA: Um hum.
Admin: I don’t know if you want to talk about that one at the same time?
FA: We could. We actually have two more, don’t we?
FA: We have Course Placement and—
Admin: But that one’s not as important or relevant as the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. And I can give that one out to you.
4. Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy – 2.9 (Admin) (03/02/06)
Admin: Most colleges and universities have policies that deal with the students’ academic performance and progress for a degree and requirements, generally speaking, for achieving a certain grade point average after accumulating a certain number of credits so that in some cases the student is allowed to, let’s say, have a 1.5 in the first 15 or 16 credits, going to 1.8 for the next 15 credits, until it gets to 2.0 or above in order for the student to graduate. The federal financial aid requirements are different… And we’re not sure exactly where the number comes from, but if you look at the table attached on the last page, you can see that there’s a satisfactory academic progress policy requirement in order to continue to be eligible for federal financial aid. And in some cases, and we happen to be one of those, our academic requirements for satisfactory academic progress are not identical with financial aid requirements for satisfactory academic progress. This policy says they have to be identical. And, this, too, I think, is a proposed policy.
FA: Yeah. Yeah. For sure it is. We talked briefly about it last Meet and Confer. I believe it’s on the agenda for tomorrow.
Admin: You can see that a lot of the institutions, particularly the two-year institutions, have the same policies, and they are in compliance. And institutions that tend not to be compliance tend to be the universities, for whatever reason. I have to find something with some other information on it. Mitch, do you know why the… we were talking earlier about the 67%. What that means if the student has 12 credits and drops two courses—six credits—that student would no longer be eligible for financial aid in the next semester.
FA: And, so that also means then, let me just translate here a minute, if I say now that I’m in the middle of a term, I’m a non-trad student, I have a child who goes in the hospital, and I can only maintain two courses—
FA: —that I would lose my financial aid for the next semester, but, I also, with this policy, would not be able to come back.
Admin: You’d be put on suspension or probation.
Admin: Yeah. Depends. You could be on probation, but I think you don’t get financial aid—
Admin: —during that period of time when you’re in that status. I think Mitch had a conversation with Frank Loncorich and I’m going to read an email he sent me a little while ago about this: there were 662 who did not receive financial aid, who would have failed to meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress needed for financial aid satisfactory progress. Is that understandable? Did I say that clearly enough? That would mean the 662 students would not be permitted to enroll the following semester, and we would lose that enrollment.
FA: System-wide or for St. Cloud State?
Admin: For us. For our campus. Just for us.
FA: So, we’re talking about real money.
Admin: Yeah. There are 166 of those students whose GPAs were below the requirement. There were 259 who didn’t complete 2/3 of their courses. And 237 met both of those qualifications, or lack of qualifications. About 250 students receiving financial aid fell below the current criteria. So this would have a very serious impact on our enrollment. And, again, I think if this is a proposed policy, the FA may want to consider commenting on it.
FA: A couple questions.
FA: I’m assuming that cumulative GPA of 2.0 of two—
FA: —and the cumulative completion of financial aid requirement comes from, is that federal guidelines or state guidelines? Where does that come from?
Admin: That’s what Mitch and I were talking about.
Admin: The 2.0 comes from state statute regarding eligibility for financial aid and refers to a C-average. And system procedure for financial aid, they also refer to a 2.0 average, which could give the option… gives campuses the option to scale that. The 2.0 would work itself into 1.5, up to 2.0 for the first two years. I haven’t found any reference to a 67% course completion rate. The federal regulations for financial aid infer institutions must have a completion rate that they use. But, they don’t mention the rate. The statute that I cited, does not even include a course completion rate. Our own system-wide procedure that accompanies this policy also refers to that an institution must have a completion rate, but it doesn’t specify. So, I still don’t know where the 67% comes from. It might be out there. I just haven’t found it.
Admin: The procedure doesn’t specify what the number should be, but there clearly is an effort that all campuses be consistent, and use the same standards.
Admin: Well, internally consistent.
Admin: And with one another.
Admin: Well, we’re consistent.
Admin: Well, when you look at the numbers of institutions that have the exact same standard, you see the direction that they’re going.
Admin: It might be unstable.
Admin: Michael, I’m sorry.
Admin: You can see the direction that the system is heading when they give you a list like this, that it says 2.0, 67%, 2.0, 67%, 2.0, 67%. You get the feeling that they want 2.0, 67%.
Admin: Even though they may not specify that.
FA: I don’t know how far along this thing is. All of these have notes. I wonder if we’re pushed that way, within our notes or catalog, we can put something about dealing with students with special kinds of needs: someone’s child is in the hospital, someone who does it because of life circumstances. So, yeah, we might have the numbers there, but whatever the note says, it might say that upon counseling with X, Y, and Z, this could be reinstated, or something like that, so that we give them the student number that they want, and continue to protect our students.
Admin: Well, what we distributed is the proposed policy. There’s also a procedure that goes with it, that we didn’t distribute that’s available on the MnSCU website, as the Procedure Policy for 2.9, and that gives a little bit more information about how to set this up. But, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t specify what numbers to use. There seems to be an implication.
Admin: The lower the numbers, the better.
FA: President Saigo commented a couple weeks ago about the Board of Trustees motto “just make it happen,” that you’re going to have to do more with less, which is, to my way of thinking, one of the stupidest things that anyone has put into English. If you have less, you will do less. But anyway, then we get policy on top of policy, which in addition to the promise of funding us at a lower level, makes our life more difficult on top. So, this is just perplexing.
Admin: Life is not fair, Bill.
FA: No it’s not. I had two years of theology in Catholic college… (Laughter) Yeah…
Admin: So you know.
FA: I know all about that. There were many tumbling days there, but this is surrealistic.
Admin: There seems to be an interest in having everybody do the same thing, and, then, simultaneously, the last strategic goal the system has generated wants institutions to innovate.
FA: Yes, but at least it should rise to the level of arithmetic competence that I have to use when I balance my checkbook. (Laughter)
FA: Oh, Bill, you’re great. Well, do you think there is a possibility then that maybe when we see all the state universities we’ll seem more in alignment? And maybe we can get them to say there’s two ways to do this? Have the technical and community, and then have the state, as the possibility?
Admin: It’s certainly worth trying.
Admin: This is from last April, and it’s from the Business Practices Alignment Committee chair explaining what they are working on. So I assume that this is settled. The one on Satisfactory Academic Progress, so they relate what they view the discrepancy is, and then they have the status, what they’re planning to do. So, a year ago in April, it was a new item. And the committee does not yet have a preliminary suggestion or circulation of this conversation. A lot of these things suggest that this needs to be taken care of. They weren’t suggesting aligning at that point, but somewhere along the line they got to this.
Admin: Well, just Business Practices Alignment Committee.
FA: Do you have any sense why, on this particular one, that community colleges and technical colleges are aligning and we’re not? What differences are there with the academic policies that would… I mean some other ones I could figure out. This one I can’t quite figure out.
Admin: I could make a wild guess. And that is perhaps the community colleges have a system-wide policy for encouraging carry over.
Admin: That’s only a guess.
FA: That would make sense, actually.
Admin: It may also have something to do with certificates and non-degree programs as well.
Admin: I can pass this around the room if anybody’s interested in looking at it. It lists all the things that they are planning to do.
FA: Well, we’ll see what we can do.
8. Academic Calendar (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: Academic Calendar is our next item.
FA: Actually I have some materials in here I need to find. The Committee on the Institution did have a chance to look at this. And what you’re looking at are two things really: the recommendations, which have been reaffirmed by the Committee on the Institution. They came to Senate and were approved in May 2003, which provides some guidelines for what we’d like to see happen in the calendars; and the calendar, obviously, that we took a look at didn’t follow all of these criteria. And the second page shows a schedule that includes, or follows the kind of guidelines that the Senate would like to have followed, including evening out the examination or the instructional days, including a fall break, a study day, and so on. And, so, that’s what we’re presenting to you.
Admin: You list here the number of instructional days, but do you have any notion of how many Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Tuesday-Thursday sets there are?
FA: They didn’t.
Admin: To me that is more important than the number of instructional days.
FA: I have no idea what those look like for this schedule. And, literally, they just met on this the other day. I just got this today. So I wouldn’t have had time to figure it out.
Admin: This calendar that we’re looking at will be the last opportunity we have to settle on a calendar.
FA: Although, you’ll notice it’s closer to the uniform start state than you folks. (Laughter)
Admin: The reason why we were off this last year was primarily because of when Labor Day falls. And, so, each year you get a day different as the calendar goes forward. But we’ll look at this and see if we can manage something along these lines. My guess is that it’s going to be very hard to do, but one of the things I want to look at is the number of days compared to how we offer our classes, not just the number of days in the semester.
FA: I think they did. I think, Judy, you can contact Tracy. I remember vaguely when they presented this in Senate that that came up, and they said, yes, they did look at that. So you might want to ask her.
FA: But she doesn’t address that specifically in this memo.
FA: No. No.
FA: Or on the list or the draft calendar. And certainly, in recommendations in the future we can remind the Committee on the Institution that Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Tuesday-Thursday configurations are important to look at. So, if I remember correctly, Mitch, doesn’t this need to be done in mid-March?
FA: So you’re going to be having to make decisions on this before we Meet and Confer, actually.
Admin: But, I see that you haven’t followed all of your recommendations.
FA: Which one are we missing?
Admin: Well, the first one I notice is starting spring semester after Martin Luther King Day.
FA: If possible. When possible.
Admin: Well, all of them are possible. But, so that’s one that was not met.
FA: I think that I saw that, too. If you look at the last grading day, it’s December 26th. And I think all of that is that we have to attend our policies we are working towards, as best we can. But the vagaries of the calendar from year to year are going to push us off a day or two, here or there. So, in any case, this is where we want to head. And we’ll do the best we can without being goofy about it, you know, which is why on those couple of days it happens that way. Ordinarily, we’d like to start after Martin Luther King Day, we’d like everything to be done before the 25th if we could, you know? When it can’t happen, it can’t happen. But that’s where we should be working toward.
FA: And actually the committee indicates in the final statement in this memo: “a draft calendar, in which we attempted to meet the above recommendations.”
Admin: You know, I’m just going through this right now. If you moved your fall break to be a Thursday and Friday that would be better than... right now it’s a Friday and Monday, I think.
Admin: It looks like it’s a Friday and Sunday.
Admin: Oh, it’s only one day instead of two days. Oh, I’m sorry. That’s good. Because Veteran’s Day does land on a Monday this year, so that can eat up a lot of Mondays that you’re missing.
Admin: Well, we’ll look it over, and see what we can do.
FA: Thank you.
1. Upper Division Writing Requirement Status Report (FA) (03/02/06)
Admin: Upper Division Writing Requirement Status Report. Mitch will talk a little about that.
Admin: I guess what I understand is the Upper Division Writing Requirement Committee doesn’t exist, or the appointments are no longer valid because they were appointed for one year and that year is up?
FA: Right. The year expired before their work was completed. And, we could resuscitate the committee, but the question is: do we need to or do we want to?
Admin: And there is the question of: what are the alternatives? Because we’re still at a point where we’re developing the Upper Division Writing Requirements for the programs and departments. And one of the components in that activity is having a plan for Assessment in place. We need to evaluate assessing those requirements. So, one way to do this would be to revive the Upper Division Writing Requirement Committee, or assign that responsibility elsewhere.
FA: And actually the members of that committee were asked if they would be willing to serve again, and they said they were. Part of the reason I asked that this be back on the agenda is because there was some confusion. I thought at Meet and Confer, we had agreed that you were going to meet with UCC, which you did, and start working on the approval process. And, apparently at UCC, somebody was there from the Upper Division Writing Requirement Assessment Committee and thought they were still meeting. And there was some confusion about that that came through the Senate. And part of the reason I’m asking that this be on here, then, is to just clarify where we are at, which is, right now, we don’t have that committee meeting. And, the question is, then, we decided that we’d take care of the process for approving first and then we’d decide on the Assessment. We’d certainly be willing to look at the Assessment now, but I want to be giving a clear message to the committee whether or not they should do anything.
Admin: It seems to me that part of the process of approving has to do with the requirement having the mechanism for Assessment, and that it would be difficult to approve an Upper Division Writing Requirement that didn’t have that, or that was perhaps inadequate, in some way. And I think that when the NCA comes, the Higher Learning Commission comes for a site visit, they’re going to look at how are we measuring when we say we have an Upper Division Writing Requirement, and that we’re trying to determine that our students can achieve in their writing at a certain level, how do we monitor that? How do we know that they’re accomplishing it? And that’s where that Assessment element comes in. So it seems that the Upper Division Writing Requirement needs to have some learning outcomes specified and then some indication of the way in which those are measured. If we have that, then we’re fine. But if we don’t have that, or if we wait until after the requirements are defined, then we don’t know what we have.
FA: It seems to me that we have a process that needs to work in two directions at the same time. Now, perhaps some departments have this stuff done. But I’m not sure that anybody has it in their catalog copy, yet. I don’t know how many folks actually have it there. And I know lots of programs do not have catalog copy.
Admin: There’s only one statement in the catalog that addresses it.
Admin: For the University as a whole.
FA: Okay. So, whether or not it needs to be in programs, or whether or not it needs to be part of new programs, that’s another story. That’s a UCC issue. The UCC has never looked at Assessment Plans, and that’s not their world to do that. So it seems to me that we ought to set this up so that if it’s done it just gets put away, and I suggested this to Mitch two weeks ago, that it comes to him, he sends one piece off to UCC, the Assessment piece goes off to the other spot, or perhaps the program gets approved through the UCC, then goes on to the Assessment Committee, gets approved, and it’s done. But, they really are separate issues, and they need to be kind of done at the same time, but it’s not UCC’s job to approve Assessment Plans. And we have to have both of those things done. It is UCC’s job to approve all program changes, which is what some of these might be.
Admin: When a course is reviewed by UCC, doesn’t UCC expect it to specify learning outcomes?
FA: Outcomes, yes. Assessment tools, no.
Admin: Well, if it has learning outcomes, then it’s not very difficult to move on that.
Admin: To how those outcomes will be assessed.
FA: Right. But UCC does not consider themselves to be experts on that and does not recommend based on how it’s assessed. They just look to see that the outcomes are indeed there. That’s why I’m saying we really do need to split the processes and which directions it goes…
FA: Didn’t the new curriculum forms, correct me if I’m wrong, start to have the assessment piece in there? I thought that was part of the reason we redid it.
FA: It has to be clear as a plan. But they don’t review the plan.
FA: But UCC’s not reviewing the plan?
FA: I don’t think so. Assessment is.
FA: It would it be fairly simply to restart that committee. All we need to do is ask.
FA: But we’d have to be able to give them a charge. And we need to be able to clarify what they do as opposed to what UCC does. And I believe the Assessment Committee thought that, at least for a while, they needed this committee to help them with this. That was the original plan.
Admin: Well, it sounds like from what we’ve said so far, the UCC would review the course proposals and the Upper Division Writing Requirement as specified with the learning outcomes. And they could send it to the Assessment Committee, which could then certify that piece of it, and then the course gets approved, and the requirement gets approved.
FA: That’s means you have to back up and ask the departments to do that. And some of them are going to complain because they’ve sent stuff here and there in the past. It’ going to be reformatted some way. And there’s a degree we can help them with some of that.
Admin: In the listing of requirements, do we have any information in that database on which ones have Assessment Plans?
Admin: I don’t recall, off hand.
FA: So the process would be these would go to UCC, who would sign off on the fact that there is an Assessment Plan, but not sign off on the Assessment Plan?
FA: I don’t think… We’d have to look at the new forms. I don’t even think they’re looking at Assessment Plans. Because they never asked them to do that, they don’t consider themselves to be experts who make judgments on Assessment.
FA: But they would look to see if that was checked.
Admin: We do have a list of requirements that have been identified, at least, by some programs.
Admin: As the Upper Division Writing Requirement.
FA: Right. Right.
Admin: Those could then go to the other committee.
Admin: For review.
Admin: And for the ones for which we don’t have, we can ask to develop them, and then they would go through the same process.
FA: Okay, so in other words, we do have some people who have been through UCC, some programs that have been through UCC and have been approved, right? For the Upper Division Writing Requirement, is that right?
Admin: I don’t think so.
Admin: The Upper Division Writing Requirement has been identified, I think, by some of those programs.
Admin: I also don’t know if UCC is going to require that existing courses receive approval as designated for the Upper Division Writing Requirement. I think only new courses will have that designation.
FA: That was my question, does it even need to go through UCC? How much of this actually needs to go to UCC?
Admin: Well if it’s an existing course, I guess it doesn’t need to. Unless, if it’s changed, does it have to get approved?
FA: If it is changed more than 25%.
Admin: If it is an existing course, and it’s been identified as Upper Division Writing Requirement, at least by the department or program, that’s step one. We still have to validate or approve the Assessment component.
FA: I have a suggestion. I think in principle we agree with what needs to happen. We just don’t know the details, right?
FA: And, so, I’m wondering if we couldn’t have a smaller meeting to map out the details, maybe with you, Mitch, and Therese from UCC, somebody from the Assessment Committee, and whoever was chairing Upper Division Writing Requirement before, to kind to sort out the details of this, and maybe then we can get a report back after you’ve had a chance to sort out the details. And, in the meantime, if you’d like, I can put Upper Division Writing Requirement on notice that they will be convened at some point after we determine what needs to happen.
Admin: Were there five individuals you suggested?
FA: Well, there would be you, Therese Sheehan from UCC, and the person chairing the Assessment Committee is Neil—I think it is Neil—and then the chair of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Committee. There was a chair at some point. I could find out who it was.
FA: Judy Litterst.
FA: Okay. Just those four people. And once you know something, then maybe we could have a report back so we know what’s happening.
Admin: Mitch, I’m going to suggest that you get that set up quickly so we have something in place when we have our NCA visit. And then we’d have a track record of having done some of this. Okay?
FA: Before we move onto the next item, we should maybe point out that the President isn’t here. We thought he would be here for a short while, and he did let me know about this ahead of time. He’s going out of town, is that right?
Admin: I think it was a meeting in the Cities that he had to attend. I think it had some legislative significance.
FA: And we thought he would be here. He was going to be coming in late. Or we would have announced this at the beginning.
2. Request for Annual Data on Sabbaticals, Promotion, and Tenure (FA) (03/02/06)
Admin: Request for Annual Data on Sabbaticals, Promotions, and Tenure. It’s your item.
FA: Yeah, we did get, last time, of course, the list of information on sabbaticals. And we did, at one point, have a regular cycle of reporting on this sort of information. And we’d like to start that again. And specifically what we’d like is every year we’d like information about sabbaticals, about promotions, and about tenure. And in terms of sabbaticals, we want to know how many people apply, who gets the sabbaticals, and when they get them in terms of number of years since their last sabbatical.
Admin: By who, you mean the names?
FA: Um hum. Um hum. And, in terms of promotion and tenure, we’d like to know who applied and who’s been granted for promotions and tenure.
Admin: I can’t tell you that one yet.
FA: We’re in process but…
FA: … but if we can get on an annual cycle of that information. We’ve gotten it in the past, and we’ve asked for it from time to time. So that would be good. We would appreciate that.
Admin: Judy, just because I don’t remember, were you getting it in that level of detail in the past? Or was it a summary: 15 people applied and 3 were… I don’t know…?
FA: Actually, we would get lists of who was promoted and who was tenured.
FA: And last year I asked for it. Especially with promotions and tenure, it’s not like we’re going to publish a list of people who haven’t been tenured or promoted, but it’s always awkward when people don’t know. And we would like to be able to say congratulations, so the actual names are useful.
Admin: Giving you the names of those who were promoted or tenured is okay. I don’t know about the ones who aren’t.
Admin: Because if your membership is saying, yes, we want our names put out there.
FA: We aren’t intending on… Let me reread how I said it.
Admin: All right.
FA: We want to know who’s applied, and then we want to know who’s been granted. We haven’t asked for a list of those who haven’t been granted, although we could read between the lines. (Laughter)
FA: Last year I sent out a celebratory thing for those people who got promotions, and people really appreciated that.
Admin: Is your membership is going to be disturbed by that?
Admin: We don’t have that information until June, actually.
Admin: So, you wouldn’t get it until later.
FA: I published it in the fall.
FA: The sabbatical information… one of the things we’re interested in, that we’ve not been able to split apart over time, is when people are getting sabbaticals. Anecdotally from what I’ve seen, more folks are getting them before the 10-year mandatory. But we don’t have any breakdown nor do we know, you know. The last time it was reported to us, it gave us seven-year and 10-year. Well, they obviously weren’t all at seven. Some of them were at eight, some of them were at nine. So we just wanted to start to see some of that data because we just have no idea.
Admin: I broke it down that way simply to differentiate between those who were sort of mandatory and those who were not.
Admin: So some of them were seven, some of them were eight, some were nine.
FA: And some of us read it that way. And some of us said, no, there weren’t any eights and nines.
Admin: There were. I don’t like using the word mandatory when it comes to sabbaticals. (Laughter)
FA: We can actually take that one off. And we can maybe spend a few minutes at the end, and see which ones come off and which ones do not.
3. Maintaining Class Records (Admin) (03/02/06)—discussed above.
4. Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy – 2.9 (Admin) (03/02/06)—discussed above.
5. Course Placement Policy – 3.3 (Admin) (03/02/06)
Admin: Course Placement Policy. This is another one of those policies. And actually I have two that I wanted to give you. This one is strange, and I’m not even sure we need to pay much attention to it. Because it’s this whole long policy that talks about having to provide placement testing for students in writing, math, and reading. So they give us this whole long thing about how we have to do all this stuff, and they stick that at the end, that it doesn’t apply to universities.
FA: If it’s contradictory, how can that work?
Admin: Well, it’s for the colleges.
Admin: It’s for the community and technical colleges.
Admin: But, I do think that if we opt to do assessment in those areas, I believe we have to use their instrument, that’s what it is saying.
Admin: And we’ll have to use whatever instrument the system adopts for math competence.
FA: Are they shifting from Accuplacer?
Admin: I don’t know.
Admin: It’s under discussion.
FA: It’s also somewhat contradictory right in part three, at least as I read it. It says the “college and university shall develop and implement a course placement policy that addresses how student knowledge and skills shall be assessed for course placement decisions,” and the next line says “the chancellor shall select the system-endorsed placement instrument.” So the colleges get to decide on how we’re going to assess, but the chancellor’s going to select the instrument.
Admin: It says we have a policy, and you have to use the chancellor’s method for—
FA: Yeah, but the previous one says we get to select the method.
Admin: Yeah, the one that the chancellor tells you to use.
FA: Yeah, okay.
FA: Okay. So, do you know where this is in the pipeline, because I actually went to the MnSCU website, and they didn’t have it on that?
Admin: It says the date planned for the first reading is April 18, 2006, and the second reading is May 17, 2006. Comments will be accepted until final action by the Board, which is planned for May 17, 2006.
Admin: This one has been under discussion for several years now.
Admin: I do have something that we forgot to put on the agenda, which is another policy.
7. Assessment of Prior Learning Policy and Procedures (Admin) (03/02/06)
Admin: It’s the Assessment for Prior Learning Policy and Procedures, that’s been to the Senate.
Admin: Can we look at that? Can we add that impromptu?
FA: Sure. We have time.
Admin: We don’t want to set any records.
Admin: There were a couple of changes that were made to this draft. I think this initially came from faculty.
FA: I do know that it went back to the faculty again recently.
FA: And they made the changes in italics.
Admin: Maybe I can clarify. I sent it to the faculty without any of these strikeouts or underlines. And then what came back, I included in non-italic font. There was some strikeouts and some underlining. Go down, under the heading: Assessment of Prior Learning [Draft Policy] and, then, language was added in “such as that” and striking out “such as,” and so forth. So, where you see the non-italicized changes, these are the suggestions that came back from the Faculty Senate. They continue on through the next page. What happened meanwhile was we had some other feedback. And these suggestions appear also as strikeouts and also underlining. But these suggestions are in the italicized fonts. And, so, I took these, I incorporated all the suggestions from Faculty Senate, but then sent these others, essentially two items. The top of the second page, item four, striking out the reference to graduate instruction. And then toward the bottom of the page, changing, modifying the language. We felt we didn’t change the meaning of that sentence.
FA: I’m wondering why graduate credits were omitted? I know we wondered why graduate credits were in there in the first place.
Admin: I can’t speak to that. This was some left over business.
FA: Okay. So, I guess the question is can you get assessment of prior learning if you are a graduate student based on this policy?
Admin: Not the way it’s presented.
FA: It doesn’t mention graduate credits at all.
Admin: By inference.
FA: Um hum.
Admin: But the policy refers to undergraduate instruction in the lower division or upper division. So by inference. One can infer it does not apply to graduate education.
Admin: So, will there need to be a separate policy?
Admin: I’m not familiar with any.
Admin: I don’t know of graduate programs that offer credit based on prior learning.
Admin: No technical graduate programs do, I wonder?
Admin: I’m not familiar with any.
Admin: Applied programs?
Admin: But, that doesn’t mean there might not be some.
Admin: I’m not aware of any.
Admin: Okay. I’m just wondering as we move into the idea of applied programs in the different kinds of degrees that we’re looking at, at some point there may be something to consider there.
Admin: I don’t know.
FA: There are some venues, I know people in my department in the past, someone comes in and they’ve done something that looks like it is worthy of graduate kind of work, they might then let the person sign up for an independent study or that kind of thing.
Admin: So they’re taking credit but massaging their prior experience.
FA: Yeah, the work might have been done before.
FA: So do you want to take this back one more time to Senate? Or do you think these are just cosmetic enough that we can just go ahead and say we’re fine with this?
Admin: I think you ought to caucus on that. (Laughter)
Admin: We haven’t had a caucus today.
FA: You want to caucus?
FA: What the heck, I think we should say, the only thing you’re saying is different is and that we’re reading are the two changes, which we just discussed: the graduate and we all agreed we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; and then the other one, you’re right, the sentence doesn’t change the meaning. All the rest were approved by Senate, I’d say that we’d say we’ll approve it.
FA: This is the kind of stuff that people waste time on, and if they want to beat us for doing it, we’ll get beaten up. In the meantime let’s just go ahead and do it.
FA: I can take this forward then as an announcement?
8. Audit of State University Faculty Compensation
Admin: I’m deliberately sticking something in that we talked about before that’s not on the agenda, and this is just informational. This has come up before. It’s to let you know that MnSCU is conducting an audit of faculty compensation. And originally they were going to focus on 224 duty days. But then they decided to look at compensation for faculty earning in excess of 133% of their base pay. And MnSCU has decided that St. Cloud State would be the test site for this. (Laughter)
FA: And tell me how Melissa feels about this.
Admin: Well, I don’t think she cares. She was going to do it regardless. So this is taking place now, and I know she interviewed me about some of this. We’ll see what happens with it. We do have a number of faculty whose salaries are in excess of 133%, and I think what she’s looking at is at how well that is documented, why that’s the case. You have the list, too, don’t you Judy?
FA: Yes. We asked for the list from HR.
FA: And we’ve got that list.
FA: Which is interesting reading.
Admin: Yes. I know.
FA: I have copies for you.
FA: I’m attending a meeting of the negotiating team—wow! wow!—tomorrow. This has come to the statewide attention. If I may say, this was an item for negotiations, and we were trying to couple, what we perceived as something approaching a wild west in areas of overload, particularly online courses. And on the other hand, trying to get some compensation for faculty who regularly, semester in and semester out, have to take students in order to get them through the major. Taking them on an independent study basis. And our counter-parts, they said they perceived no problem there, and they didn’t want to touch independent study. So, this is going to be a subject of a discussion tomorrow afternoon at the state level from our side. So we’re looking at it in those terms.
Admin: Okay. I just wanted to let you know this was happening—
FA: Thank you. I appreciate that.
Admin: —and share that information.
6. Director of Assessment (FA) (03/02/06)
Admin: Last item is Director of Assessment. The current University Director of Assessment has submitted a resignation. So we need to solicit another person for that position. I think the last time we did this we had a screening committee, consisting of four faculty. So, I wrote to Judy, asking to provide the names of four people. I have a position description, which is the one we sent out two years ago when we filled the position before. And if it’s okay with you folks here, I will use the same thing to get it out and try to solicit, and encourage people to apply for this as soon as possible, just changing the dates.
Admin: And if I remember correctly we worked together, the Faculty and the Administration, to put this particular call out.
Admin: I mean we spent some considerable time crafting this, working out any misunderstandings.
FA: What date are you planning on using, for the record, in case people…
Admin: For the closing date?
Admin: I put down April 7th.
Admin: The earlier we can get this settled, the easier it will be to make the necessary adjustments for assignments.
FA: The Executive Committee’s agreed to the four. And we’re going to try and get representation that’s across campus, but, as you know, it’s an awkward time to ask, and so hopefully we’ll be able to get some names to bring forward to you the week after break. That’s what I’m going to push for.
Admin: Yeah. That would be great. In the meantime, I ask everybody who thinks that you know somebody who might be able to do this work, to encourage them, or nominate them, get them to apply. That covers the items on the agenda.
FA: It does.
Admin: Is this a record?
Admin: I think we’re close to a record.
FA: Could you put down when we ended?
Adjourned at 4:23 p.m.