Undergraduate Academic Council


Meeting Date:

Monday, October 3, 2005, 9:30-10:31 AM.




Jeanette Altarriba, Seth Chaiken, Richard Collier, Sue Faerman, Robert Gibson, Anne Hildreth, Carolyn Malloch, Karin Reinhold, Lisa Trubitt




Minutes from the September 26, 2005 meeting were reviewed and corrections acknowledged. Those minutes, with required updates, were approved.


Chair’s Report:


Bob Gibson agreed to chair today’s meeting due to J. Philippe Abraham’s inability to attend.


The Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing has not convened to review the proposal of standards for social work education but plans to do so fairly soon.


Advisement Policy:


UPC has met and completed some extensive discussions but believes this important issue could not be completely discussed in one setting. Discussion will continue at their next meeting.


The section entitled “Ongoing Oversight” under item #F on page 5 was discussed. Is there a place where a direct relationship with UAC and the advisory board should be noted? Should the policy be amended to include the phrase “ongoing oversight and maintenance”? The established group would complete the nuts and bolts portions of the policy, would include experienced advisors, oversee all groups that advise, etc. By changing the name to working group, it emphasizes that the group is not only advisory but also a working group.


The question was raised as to who maintains the materials that subgroups work on. The group would be charged to review on-going action items. A member mentioned that maintenance is still an issue. It was noted that the group would be permanent, would be informed of on-going issues, would draft language, etc. The Council agreed to change the title for item #F to “Ongoing Oversight and Support” since the word “support” would denote constant on-going work.


How would the group be formed, order maintained, etc.? The proposed policy states that both the Undergraduate Academic Council and the Provost would convene the group. The group would report to UAC, draft language, and improve techniques used in advisement by the University. One member mentioned trying to understand the spirit of the committee being formed and how it was conceived. The main priority of the proposal is to oversee advisement over all departments, schools, etc. and not just ASC. It was mentioned that the connection to the Provost relates to enforcement of the policy. Whose job is it to maintain resources? Since the policy does not state who is responsible, this is still a concern. It was suggested that the Council agree to suggest to the Provost a 2-year plan for all departments, schools, etc. This is used as an example of the type of work the group needs to accomplish.


UAC Minutes, 10/3/05

Page 2 of 3


The group should be focused on continuous improvement for advisement on this campus. The process would be a quality improvement type of situation. Data would be gathered and accessed, and compared to work already completed. The group would be recognized as an independent group. The Senate recognized the problem of departments, colleges, schools, etc. not properly advising faculty members on student advisement. The vision for the established group is one as being a permanent on-going group.


Enforcement can happen via the Provost. The message needs to be sent to all deans that the advisement policy is not being enforced and that channels of communication are not thoroughly developed. We need a channel between the provost, advising groups, etc. Dean Faerman mentioned that the concept of this group is for them to go back to the deans and inform them when more work needs to be done.


Wording on academic advisement practices should be included. The language is vague on who does this work, but it does place out front that someone must complete this work. If the group is run properly, some years they will have more work than other years. The group’s composition would most likely change every couple years. Best practices have been reviewed and discussed. The Council agreed to change “shall convene a group” to “advising practices group.” On the second page, change “advising policy” to “ongoing advising practices group.”


A single document from both UAC and UPC will be submitted. Wording changes will be completed and forwarded to UPC. Any changes UPC has completed will be reviewed by the Council. The Council approved the policy, as amended.


Honors College:


Dean Faerman is still completing work on the honors college proposal and hopes to make a presentation to the Council next week. Vivien Ng forwarded budget information, and Dean Faerman will also be reviewing this material.


Seth Chaiken mentioned that Dan Wulff in Biology informed him the Biology honors program in no longer active. Their undergraduate program consists of lab research where the student presents results. The honors program should be reviewed for research in labs so students may receive credit for this type of work. Biology still has an honors program in their major. Dick Collier mentioned that Psychology has the same problem. Students are encouraged to complete A Psy 397/497 research with faculty in lieu of the additional credits of the structured seminars. Jeanette Altarriba pointed out that in some cases it is the students who do not wish to do the extra work.


Dean Faerman spoke to Dean Leonard in the School of Business. It is reasonable to accommodate students in the honors college to complete projects. She questioned how can we ensure students in a department without a honors program can be placed in the honors college. It was noted that some students’ tight schedules cannot accommodate an honors program while other students have no desire whatsoever to be a part of the honors college program.


The original honors arrangement allowed for 12 credits of upper level seminar and project work above the student’s curriculum, but most programs have changed their programs so students can count most or all of major honors credit toward their major. Students should not be forced to choose between research and enrolling in an honors program. It was mentioned that we need to point out to the Provost guidelines for departmental honors. Wording may need to be revised.

UAC Minutes, 10/3/05

Page 3 of 3


Optional S/U Grading:


At last week’s meeting, the Council agreed to the wording update. Material collected by Carolyn Malloch was not discussed. The Chair will be sent a message inquiring whether the Council should discuss those results at next week’s meeting.


Next Meeting:


The next Undergraduate Academic Council meeting will be held Monday, 10/10/05, 9:30 AM, LC-31.


Minutes Taken:

Notes taken by Joanne Baronner, Undergraduate Studies.