Undergraduate Academic Council

Meeting Date:
Thursday, February 12, 2004, 9:45 AM-11: 20 AM.

Bob Andrea (Guest), Deborah Bernnard, Gerald Burke, Richard Collier, Sue Faerman, Robert Gibson, Anne Hildreth, Reed Hoyt, Trudi Jacobson, Clarence McNeil (Guest), Sue Phillips, Joan Savitt, Helene Scheck, Joshua Smith, Greg Stevens

Minutes from the February 5, 2004 meeting were reviewed and corrections acknowledged. The minutes, with required updates, were approved.

Revision of Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Dick Collier mentioned a SUNY Senate presentation on the Michigan case where references to both disability and sexual orientation were omitted. Marti Ellermann of SUNY System indicated we are allowed to mention both in our Admissions Policy. The Council agreed to add a sexual orientation reference in the “Personal Attributes and Ability to Contribute to the University” section and elsewhere where applicable. A disability reference is already included.

Bob Andrea mentioned the majority of the applicant pool of incoming freshmen fall into the general category. The 10% admit with consideration group gives us the opportunity to shape classes. Their inclusion adds variety and diversity to the academic setting. Bob mentioned many of these students present themselves better than those on the wait list. Before a student is placed in the wait-list category, a review determines the possibility of placing them in the special admit category. Currently no student is wait-listed based on the current pool of freshmen candidates. The first sentence in the “Wait-list” portion of the policy was revised to read: “Reflecting an overall academic and personal record comparable to though less compelling than students from the above categories.”

In the admission as a transfer section, no category “to admit as a scholar” exists. Is it possible to offer a scholarship after the student transfers? Perhaps a yearly review could be completed where money is not involved but perks are offered. Any consideration for a future inclusion in the admission as a transfer section would require a separate policy being adopted by both the Council and Senate. The Council acknowledges the need for future consideration of this addition. Rewarding high achieving transfers would result in an academic policy, not an admission policy.

English language proficiency is required for all international students, even those transferring from another U.S. institution in the new bill. Students may be admitted provisionally to study at Albany’s Intensive English Language Program after which they would be tested for English language skills. If a student is strong in their academic material and has passed the academic test, they need only shore up their English skills. No international students with marginal academic skills are admitted.

It was noted that “Section V. Report to Committee on Admission” is a new addition. The role of governance in admissions decisions and policies was previously not included in the admissions policy. Since admissions criteria change yearly, the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing would review proposed academic criteria for each admissions cycle. Additions may be made yearly to the policy.

Bob Andrea distributed a handout entitled SUNY Selectivity Matrix. We are under the guidance of SUNY for admissions. The MOU has expired. The previous effective period was three years. From a Senate point of view, some issues, such as MOU/Mission Review, require examination by more than one committee. Dick Collier doubted anyone on the Senate wanted to give up the goal of “most selective”.

The “quality of students” issue was discussed. Students may be taking less strenuous, less demanding high school courses than in the past. SAT scores in the database may not reflect true intellectual capacity and life experiences.

The updated Undergraduate Admissions Policy, with required updates, was approved by the Council.

Course Action Form Requests

The ROTC courses are upper level Junior/Senior classes. The Council previously approved Freshmen/Sophomore lower level classes for the Pub Adm policy. Although it is claimed students will be allowed to register for these classes even if they eventually are not able to be commissioned as an officer, the wording of Pad 480 and 481 seemed to conflict with this. Changes in wording were suggested for both courses. Since PAD 380, 381, 480, and 481 are not currently able to be read as “applied electives,” Dick Collier will author updated wording and present it to Council next week and will ask Public Administration about the Pad 480 and 481 wording.

Upcoming Issues/Items to be Discussed
- English issue will re-emerge.
- The Chair requested each committee Chair to contact her regarding policies being reviewed and when they will be submitted to Council.
- ROTC class re-wording by Dick Collier for PAD 380, 381, 480, and 481.

The next Undergraduate Academic Council meeting will be held Thursday 2/19/04, 9:45 AM, LC-31.

Notes taken by Joanne Baronner, Undergraduate Studies