Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - February 4, 2008

Academic Affairs Committee

February 4, 2008, 3:45pm

Frost Academic Commons

Present: Deb Tobine, Mark Fischler, Dick Hage, David Mackey, Scott Coydendall, Robin DeRosa, David Zehr, Christian Bisson, Alley Dethlefs (Student), Gene Martin (Student). Excused: Linda Levy, Cynthia Vascak, Gene Fahey


I. Approve minutes of December 16 meeting.

Minutes were corrected and approved.

Note: AAC Minutes will also be sent to Mary Campbell from now on.

II. Announcements

Members of the AAC dispelled a rumor regarding what some students have said about the ease of being readmitted to PSU. The AAC indicated to the student AAC representative that only 4 students were readmitted this Spring and that each readmitted student had presented a valid argument.

Action: Robin will send an email to all faculty to invite anyone to bring up any issues related to academic affairs to the AAC.

III. Old Business

1. Advising Inventory and Timeline: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

Robin - Ask what actions can we take this semester regarding advising?

Dick - Dick remind the committee that according to the National Survey of Student Engagement report filed with PSU recently, advising satisfaction at PSU had improved.

Robin - Proposed that a faculty survey be created via IT to collect feedback regarding the role of advising at PSU. The purpose of the survey would be to look at the faculty level of satisfaction regarding advising.

Robin - Proposed that a draft of faculty survey about advising satisfaction be presented to the AAC by next meeting.

Christian - Reminded the committee that eventually we will need to equip the chairs of department the power to truly assess the advising performance of our faculty, as well as giving them tools and perhaps some means to correct poor advising performance.

Robin - Proposed that Mark takes the lead with Linda and Cynthia on the task to create a draft of the faculty survey about advising. Mark gracefully accepted the assignment.

2. AAC Bylaws and Semester Planning

Robin - Lead the committee members through a review of the AAC bylaws to help the committee access as well as refocus our work so far.

Scott - Indicated that the Academic Standards has been successful at recruiting faculty to serve on the hearing panel. The student pool is perhaps not has deep.

Robin - Remind us that we are responsible for new faculty advising training.

Robin - Indicated that she would like to take on the diversity related goals of the AAC. Christian and Scott will help in this task.

3. Enrollment Numbers Review.

Dick - Explained the difference between the various scenarios in the enrollment report submitted by Gene Fahey.

Robin & Scott and David Z. - Asked if the admission is considering the academic carrying capacity of PSU.

Dick - Explained that PSU might have reached an economic plateau.

Robin - Asked us to keep studying the numbers and come up with questions regarding enrollment.

Robin - Indicated that she along with Gene and Dick will work on that issue.

IV. New Business

1. Changes to "Incomplete" Policy and NG policy.

Proposed Change in Catalog Policy (changes in bold)

A grade of Incomplete (IC) should be awarded at the discretion of the course instructor in the instance that a minimal proportion of the total class work needs to be completed, such as an exam, paper, or project. The instructor, in consultation with the student, determines the conditions for the granting and completing of the incomplete and files a Request for Incomplete Grade form with the Registrar's Office before the final grades are due. Forms are available online at www.plymouth.edu/registrar/forms. ‘IC' is not a permanent grade; the incomplete must be completed by the final day of classes of the subsequent semester (Fall and Winterim Incompletes are due in the Spring, Spring and Summer Incompletes are due in the Fall), or by the date specified by the instructor, whichever comes first. If the incomplete is not completed by the expiration of this period, a grade of ‘F' will be recorded unless the instructor stipulates a different grade. Requests for extending the completion date of an IC grade must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies and must be signed by both the student and instructor. A student may not graduate with an incomplete on their transcript. Forms required for a student to be granted an incomplete are turned in by instructors when final grades are due. Please note that a student with an outstanding incomplete in a course may not register for that course.

The proposal was accepted by the members present at the meeting but further discussion seems to be needed since two Linda and Cynthia expressed interest in the issue via email after the meeting.

New Business Tabled

1. Discussion of Frost Stop-Out Policy (should this policy be extended to all PSU students?)

2. Discussion of Transfer Issue

AAC Task

1) Mark (Chair), Cynthia, Linda: prepare a clean draft of a faculty survey regarding advising; use emails as jumping-off point; have mix of open-ended and bubble questions; focus both on guiding philosophy and how well we are currently meeting the advising descriptions that are outlined in the Advising Handbook: http://www.plymouth.edu/academicadvising/pdfs/advisinghandbook.pdf;

2) Robin (Chair), Dick, Gene: compile Admissions statistics regarding race, nationality, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender;

3) David Z: email Robin the final version of the Incompletes motions to submit to Steering Committee and Fac Speaker; also, speak with Ron R. about any lingering legal questions related to the policy before sending me final version;

4) Christian: submit minutes, including copy to Mary Campbell;

5) Robin, Scott, Christian: begin to think about strategies for thinking about the relationship of diversity to Academic Review (Duty #5 in AAC bylaws); no need for immediate action here;

6) ALL: review Enrollment Management Report, chart, and spreadsheet and submit questions to Robin via email by 2/15:

a. Questions related to the specific information in these docs;

b. Broader questions or ideas about what you think the AAC needs to know/do with regard to Enrollment numbers;

c. We really need to hear from EVERYONE on this, so try to send in at least 2 or 3 (or many more) questions/ideas;

7) Robin: contact Registrar about the possibility of allowing ½ semester courses to enter grades into Banner as soon as the courses end;

8) ALL: begin to think about Faculty Week, Orientation, and ideas for Advising Training;

9) Robin: research Transfer issue to supply additional info to supplement next meeting's discussion.

Minutes taken by:

Christian Bisson