Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - March 3, 2008

Academic Affairs Committee

Monday, March 3, 2008, 3:45-5:15pm

Frost Academic Commons

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



1. Approve minutes of February 18 meeting.

Minutes approved.

2. Announcements.

Robin - Contacted Bill Crangle. On March 31 we will look at enrollment level at PSU.

3. Finalize Faculty Advising Survey.

Members reviewed the faculty advising opinion's survey, made a few corrections and approved the final version of the survey.

4. Stop-Out Policy.

a. Motion: To extend the Frost Stop-Out Policy to all PSU undergraduate students.

David Z. - Explains is point of view regarding the Stop-out policy used by the Frost School.

Dick - Explains the "leave of absence" policy for undergraduate students existed until 1997.

David Z. - Indicates that there is a double standard between the Frost School and the undergraduate program, when it comes to a student leaving PSU for a semester or a year.

Gene - Raise the question of the impact of such a policy on services such as student's mail box, email accounts, residential life. What would be the impact on academic programs?

Christian - Raised the question "Could we simply eliminate the readmission fee when a student comes back from their semester or year of absence?"

Mark - Should we not indicate to the Frost School administration that they should not create academic policies without going through the proper channels?

Dick - Indicated that he had some concerns with the direction of our conversation regarding this topic. He reminded us that the Frost "Stop-out Policy" went through a process that involved more than just the Frost School. Dick also indicated that questions regarding financial issues such as readmission fee are under the purview of the administration. Dick indicated that ultimately - the Frost School needs to offer different services to different students with different needs.

Robin - Summarizes that the AAC support the creation of that a valid "leave of absence" for undergraduate students.

Action - David Z. will draft a "Leave of Absence" policy.

5. Using Attendance as a Grading Criterion (David).

David - Explained that attendance policies are used by faculty without overall guidance from PSU - which at time can lead to unfair treatment from certain faculty.

Linda - Indicated that some classes are not suitable to allow many excused or unexcused absences such as physical education class that last only 8 weeks.

Robin - Echoed Linda's comments by applying a similar rational to academic classes when attendance and participation are essential to the class experience.

Scott - Supported Robin's argument about the importance of class participation.

Dick - Reminded us that faculty needs to remain humans about each case they face.

Mark - Reminded us that we should always lean toward compassion the real tragedies that our students experience.

6. Transfer Issue (Linda).



Enrollment Management Issues (Bill Crangle will visit)

Diversity Reports and Subcommittee (Robin)

Lack of Friday Classes (raised by Bob Egbert)