Senate Bill No.: 0304-09
UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Introduced by: Undergraduate Academic Council
Date: November 20, 2003
REVISION OF THE CRITERIA FOR DEAN'S LIST AND
DEAN'S COMMENDATION FOR PART-TIME STUDENTS
IT IS HEREBY PROPOSED THAT THE FOLLOWING BE ADOPTED:
1. That the GPA minimum criterion for both the Dean's List and the Dean's Commendation
for Part-Time Students be 3.25 for a student's
first matriculated semester at the University and be 3.5 thereafter, without regard to whether the student's basis of admission was "freshman" or "transfer."
2. That this change become effective for all undergraduates matriculating in
3. That the bill be referred to the President for approval.
The current Dean's List and Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students policies state the GPA minimum for a "freshman*" is 3.25, while the minimum for every other matriculated undergraduate is 3.5. The asterisk, for each policy, defines "freshman" as follows:
"For the purposes of this policy, 'freshman' is defined as a student whose admissions status is freshman and who has completed no more than two full time semesters of study in the fall or spring semester at the University at Albany."
Whatever the current policy may have intended, this definition states that as long as a student admitted as a "freshman" (vs. a "transfer") remains a part-time student, that student will never need higher than a 3.25 to receive the Dean's Commendation. If, later on, perhaps after having completed 90 credits in ten 9-credit semesters, the student decides to go full-time in the senior year, then that senior still needs only a 3.25 for those two full-time semesters to make Dean's List. The UAC does not believe this could have been the spirit of the policy and believes this result to be undesirable and unfair.
The Council can appreciate the desire to encourage a new student with a lower threshold but does not consider a second semester freshman to be a "new" student. The Council also does not see a justification for setting a lower goal for a first semester freshman admit (some of whom bring in a year's worth or work or more in Advanced Placement or other pre-freshman credit) but not for a first semester transfer (some of whom bring in less than a semester's worth of work). It is also the consensus of the UAC that a first semester transfer often has at least as many adjustment problems, and thus would also benefit from an encouraging "break" of a 3.25 minimum for the first semester.
Neither the previous records system (SIRS) nor PeopleSoft can handle the definitions in the current policy. While the UAC has consistently opposed changing academic policies simply to facilitate the workings of whatever computer systems the University is currently employing, the proposed revisions, perhaps because they are simple and rational, can be handled by PeopleSoft. If these revisions are approved, the UAC recommends that the definitions of Dean's List and Dean's Commendation cutoffs be printed on the DARS audit.
Finally, the UAC recommends eliminating the definition in these policies of full- vs. part-time based on a student's registration as of "the last day for adding semester courses." This is not a valid definition, cannot be checked by either SIRS or PeopleSoft, and this limitation has not be used in recent years to determine recipients of these honors
No other changes are recommended in the current policies. The full wording
of the revised policies is provided on the following page.
Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students