Undergraduate Academic Council - MINUTES

Meeting Date:
Thursday, November 20, 2003, 9:45 AM-10:40 AM

Richard Collier, Sue Faerman, Robert Gibson, Anne Hildreth, Reed Hoyt, Trudi Jacobson, Faridah Jivani, Sue Phillips,
Joan Savitt, Helene Scheck, Joshua Smith, Greg Stevens

Minutes from the November 6, 2003 meeting were reviewed and corrections acknowledged. The minutes, with required updates, were approved.

Item #14 - Proposal for Restricted Admission to the Economics Major
Bob Gibson discussed Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing meeting last week with the Chair of the Economics Department regarding this proposal's re-write, incorporating prerequisites for core courses (to be reflected in the upcoming 2004-2005 Undergraduate Bulletin) and requiring the core to be completed at Albany once a student has matriculated. The Council passed the proposal, and this will now be reported to the Senate.

Item #4 - Revision to Dean's List Criteria/Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students
The proposal gives special consideration (3.25 minimum) for all matriculating first semester students, freshman or transfer, full- or part-time. It was noted that since continuing and returning students tend to look up information in the current bulletin, the previous policies should be retained in the bulletin. A bill to change the Dean's List policy was approved by UAC and will be brought to the Senate.

Item #7 - Elimination of Gen Ed Honors Program
Since this program is no longer offered and has no remaining students, it merely requires an official elimination. Any returning student who had begun the program and wishes to complete it will be accommodated. Reed Hoyt commented on his excellent experience with the program. A motion was made to approve, and the proposal was passed. A concern was declared for recognizing students who excel in Gen Ed. It was noted that this is an interesting concept but was never the purpose of this program. The Council approved the bill, and it will be brought to the Senate.

Item #17 - Revisions to the English Major
Copies of the 150+ page revisions from the English department were distributed. Dick Collier noted portions of the document needing review by the Curriculum and Honors Committee and that there were proposed admissions requirements to the major for the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing to review. Bob Gibson asked if the "impact" data required for major admissions were included; Collier responded they did not seem to be present but noted the requirement was "modest" (a "C" or better in Eng 210). The Council referred the proposals to the appropriate committees. After both the Curriculum and Honors Committee and Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing have reviewed the revisions to the English major, they will report back to the Chair on when a presentation will be made to the Council.

Since it was suggested that Dick Collier place his notes on the proposal into the minutes of the meeting, they appear below.


The pages are numbered consecutively (with an overview on p. 1a) and the bulk of the document are course action forms (a few new courses, many slight revisions, and several deletions) and "approval" correspondence from programs affected by the proposal. A C or better in Eng 210 is required for admission (with students able to repeat the course to achieve that grade).
The possible impact on students interested in pursuing Basic Classroom Teaching: English at the graduate level was a concern for the previous proposals from the department but appears to be specifically addressed this time (p. 3).
The major is constructed with a set of core courses (Eng 205Z, 210, 305Z and 310) and "level" requirements, a structure allowing a variety of concentrations [including, as noted in the Council's discussion, an equivalency to the "Writing Emphasis" portion of the current major as well as other sample concentrations.] Since the lack of structure was a concern for the previous English proposal, the department includes comparisons with other Albany majors and some English programs at comparable universities (pp. 6-7).
There may be a problem with course numbers; it is unclear whether the old Eng 210 is to be considered equivalent to the new 210 or to the new 310 or to neither (the last posing a possible problem for transfers or readmitted students with credit for the old 210). [Bob Gibson noted that unless the old 210 is the new 210, the new course should have a different number.] A similar question involves 205Z ("new" according to the CAF) vs. the old 105Z (which doesn't appear in proposed course listings but for which there is no CAF deleting the course.)
The impact on transfers is minimized since a variety of courses can be accommodated into the less restrictive structure of the major. Page 4 directly addresses transfer concerns. It is stated that transfer work "may" substitute for the core Eng 205Z, but the circumstances and intent are not specified. With the year of "Composition plus/with Literature" so common elsewhere and through AP or similar proficiency, will these be equated to Eng 100Z and 121L? Since 122, 123 and 124 are discontinued, as is writing intensive 121E, this also needs to be reviewed in terms of transferability and articulation agreement impacts (huge revision of transfer data base?)
Page 4 also states that other than 205Z the "other required courses must be taken at Albany." The impact of this on articulation for Eng 210 depends somewhat on whether that is to be viewed as sufficiently similar to the old 210 course. In any case, it seems unlikely that no other campus has developed or ever will develop courses sufficiently equivalent to Eng 210 or 305Z or even 310, particularly if the proposed structure has counterparts elsewhere; so the prohibition, if it remains, may need more justification.
On page 7 (and in the "Course Distribution" charts pp. 21d ff.) the department explains how "service" courses for General Education requirements will be maintained (again, a significant concern for the previous English proposal).
The new major formally allows six credits of literature and related work from other departments to count toward the major (pp. 9-12). Anthropology, Classics, and "A Cas" courses are among notable omissions. The treatment of courses in languages other than English also appears inconsistent. Courses that are cross-listed as "A Eng" (such as Thr 324 [not "322Z" as listed] and 325 should not be part of this six-credit limit. The approval sticky note from Art seems to state some A Eng courses are usable in Art/Arh/Film major/minor--is a proposal forthcoming?
The "Proposed Bulletin Copy" includes a revision of the Honors Program (p. 13). Proposals and bulletin copy for the minor are missing. Since 210 etc. are not prerequisite for most upper level work, perhaps no change is proposed in the minor. Students (ex-English majors?) will ask whether 6, 3 or no credits from other departments on the major may be used toward the minor.
[end of notes on English Proposal]


















Other Items Discussed
- MOU/System-Wide Assessment
Dick Collier reported that on Friday, November 14th a combined meeting was held between the Executive Committees of the University Faculty Senate and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges concerning the proposed MOU on System-wide assessment that both faculty bodies rejected. Although at the last Trustees' meeting three members of the Board expressed eagerness to work with governance, Chairman Egan gave a January 24th deadline for UFS and FCCC to submit a plan. Instead, the joint meeting settled upon an alternative proposal that will be presented to the 64 campuses, with a view to establishing a task force that will construct a counterproposal by April. The goal is to create a "dialogue" within which the Chancellor's representatives, Trustees, and undergraduates will work with UFS and FCCC representatives to reach a mutually acceptable "university-wide campus-based assessment" system.

- Gen Ed Conference
Josh Smith, who attended the conference the previous week, reported why a standardized test will not work across all SUNY campuses, whether or not value added. Gen Ed is diffuse, as it should be. Different sciences utilize disciplines differently, for example. For SUNY campuses, we do not start out with the same students in the 64 campuses as does an institution such as Yale or Harvard.

The next Undergraduate Academic Council meeting will be held Thursday 12/4/03, 9:45 AM, LC-31

Notes taken by Joanne Baronner, Undergraduate Studies