Undergraduate Academic Council

Meeting Date:
Thursday, April 15, 2004, 9:45 AM-11:18 AM.

Gerald Burke, Richard Collier, Sue Faerman, Robert Gibson, Reed Hoyt, Trudi Jacobson, Joan Savitt, Helene Scheck, Greg Stevens

Minutes from the April 1, 2004 meeting were reviewed and corrections acknowledged. The minutes, with required updates, were approved.

Chair’s Report:
- The Chair received an e-mail from the Senate Chair regarding the need for additional teaching
faculty for next year’s UAC. Councils will be formed tomorrow. If interested in any particular
committee, submit your name to the Chair.

Other Business
Dick Collier met with Jerry Rivera-Wilson yesterday in regards to the School of Ed’s proposal. There will be no changes to the proposal. The subject matter certification requirements for Earth Science and Social Studies will be met by students completing these majors. UAC voted to accept both proposals, and they will now be presented at the next Senate meeting on April 19, 2004.

Classification of Courses and Limits on Transfer Credits
Dick Collier discussed concerns from Sue Phillips and Anne Hildreth. Regarding the six-credit limit of physical education activity, Sue suggested only the activity courses be included in non-liberal arts. Anne wasn’t certain if sectarian theology classes should be excluded.

For both departmental and applied electives, Dean Faerman questioned if we can assume once a department makes a decision, another department will not be required to review the same course and might then make the same or a counter decision. It was agreed that the default for schools, colleges, and departments requires a re-write. Sue mentioned the possibility of misleading students regarding limits on transfer credits since students will have liberal art credits not usable. Bob Gibson mentioned the limit for transfer students is the same as resident students.

In discussing liberal arts courses, Binghamton’s Harpur College was discussed. Binghamton has no school of criminal justice. Harpur is equivalent to our College of Arts and Science. Our criminal justice program has liberal arts and science, field courses, counseling courses, etc. Many social science departments are not in our college of A&S making it different from Harpur. All A&S courses are liberal arts and sciences unless otherwise noted. Binghamtom’s professional schools are not liberal arts while our professional schools offer a mixture of liberal arts and non-liberal arts courses. Each college or school should be able to designate its courses as liberal arts or non-liberal arts in conformity with the definition.

There are two ways to look at this proposal: Bulletin copy and legislation. Should we first finalize the policy decision and then define for the Bulletin and departments to conform to policy? The catalogue wording will be a shortened version of the finalized policy.

Defaults on page 39 of the Undergraduate Bulletin were discussed. It was agreed a default of liberal or non-liberal arts would be decided for each school and college and then only the exceptions need to be recorded. Some transfer courses will not match any courses at the University. The Department should have a say in decision-making about the status of courses accepted for transfer. Inevitably, many cases will require an individual case-by-case review. A problematic course requires a discussion and eventual decision by the individual department. RSSW and the remainder of default list on page 39 are excluded by the Registrar when checking to determine if a student has enough liberal arts credits. Bob Gibson mentioned as an example that courses at HVCC would be matched up in the database to courses offered at Albany. Using the 010 designation for liberal arts and the proposed 011 designation would enable transfer courses to be properly classified at the time of transfer. Bob also mentioned he knows of difficulties in just trying to deal with problems due to the current lack of 020 and 040 course numbers. The UAC decided these changes in systems are desirable. We are under contract for a DARS conversion. It will be two years before any major revisions can be proposed. We will have six CICS tables converted to a Windows version. At present, until our contract expires, we can only work at the student level and not a global level (DARS exception form).

In “Courses Yielding No Graduation Credit” section, we need to add the math update from our previous meetings about admissions policies. #5 mentions sectarian theology courses. Sample wording for sectarian theology study was discussed. It was agreed that the University of Minnesota’s phrasing covers the Committee’s desirable wording, and Dick Collier will contact them for permission to copy their wording.

Counting courses for transfer where a student assumes all credits are applicable was discussed. Concern was expressed when a student assumes their status is senior when another, lower status is applicable since all transfer credits would not be acceptable. The transfer credit evaluation shows all allowed transfer credits but automatically kicks out those credits not applicable for transfer.

Final suggestions were made. Ask each college to determine their own default (see page 39 of the Undergraduate Bulletin). Change the current designation by request of the department, add to the course action form for future courses, and add to the DARS exception form. Thorny issues will be thorny, but departments will explain their proposal by placing the issue on a course action form. Under “Physical Education Courses”, change “are designated” to “will ordinarily be designated”. Under maximum limit on transfer credit, the wording “The University does not distinguish between ‘two-year’ and baccalaureate-granting institutions” wording will be stricken from policy but will be included in the materials sent to the Senate as part of the rationale. The first paragraph under “Limits on Transfer Credits” should be moved and utilized as an introduction to the proposal. Under “Maximum Limit on Transfer Credit”, entirely remove the second paragraph. “Credits Completed Before Matriculation” and “Transfer Credits After Matriculation” will be dropped as all transfer credits are subject to the same rules.

Dick Collier will update the proposal.

Meeting adjourned at 11:18 AM.

The next Undergraduate Academic Council meeting will be held Thursday, 4/22/04, 9:45 AM, LC-31.

Notes taken by Joanne Baronner, Undergraduate Studies.