J. Philippe Abraham, Jeanette Altarriba, Scott Barclay, Seth Chaiken, Richard Collier, Sue Faerman, Ingrid Fisher, Robert Gibson, Anne Hildreth, Zia Liang, Crystal Rion, Lisa Trubitt
from last semester’s
- The Chair mentioned his need to depart early from the Council meeting due to the fact that he
had been called unexpectedly to attend another function. Scott Barclay will assume the Chair’s responsibilities.
- A list of volunteer Council members and Chairs for UAC’s subcommittees was distributed by
working group that met during the summer to discuss honors issues, resources,
university-wide framework, etc. will meet this coming Friday (
Educational Studies Minor Revision Proposal:
Discussion on Change in Senate Charter:
Seth Chaiken asked whether the proposal to make both the Director of Advisement Services and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in charge of Honors Programs ex officio members of the Council should be discussed after obtaining the revised advisement policy proposal. He mentioned that the advisement proposal would specify the constituency of the advisory committee. It was observed that the issue of a new committee and the ex officio proposals might not need to be considered together. He agreed to complete a draft proposal for submission to the Council next week.
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Optional S/U Grading:
several duties, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews requests for
exception to opted S/U deadlines. Students may use S/U grading twice (two
optional “S’s” can be used in lower 100/200 level courses). The original theory
behind S/U grading was to allow students to experiment with courses they
normally would not consider (e.g., taking an unfamiliar foreign language they
have a desire to try such as Russian, etc.) S/U grading has now become a
continuous problem. Many students believe opting for a S/U is necessary.
Some students utilize the S/U grading late in their career. At times students
obtain an excellent grade and petition the Committee to revert to a letter
grade since they desire a higher GPA for graduation purposes. In other cases, a
graduating senior who took a course S/U does C- work or lower (= “U”) and seeks
to have the option changed to A-E in order to graduate. Dean Faerman questioned
whether the Committee could provide stats for review
ing. Perhaps Dan Smith can provide data on
numbers of petitions. Bob Gibson mentioned the Registrar’s office may be
able to locate statistics via Gail Richardson from Institutional Research.
Scott Barclay, Chair of the subcommittee on Academic Standing, was questioned on the Committee’s proposal for S/U grading. He replied that the Committee prefers elimination of the S/U grading option. Jeanette Altarriba suggested that students not be allowed to use the option in the junior or senior year. Another Council member mentioned that we should consider keeping the policy simple by placing a limit on S/U courses and not allowing students to petition for a reversal to a letter grade. It was stated that students could take all lower level classes via a S/U grading. Some graduate, law, and medical schools look unfavorably on the S/U grading option by translating the “S” grade to a “C” letter grade; if students are freely able to change back and forth, it is likely more persons reviewing a transcript will assume the “S” represents “C” level work. A higher GPA student choosing a S/U grading could thus result in their GPA being pulled down, as calculated by a graduate or professional school. A suggestion was made that advisors should inform students of the implications in choosing a S/U grading option.
It was agreed that after Scott obtained stats, he would present the S/U grading option to the Council for discussion at a future meeting.
next Undergraduate Academic Council meeting will be held Monday,
Notes taken by Joanne Baronner, Undergraduate Studies.