Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - April 21, 2008

Academic Affairs Committee

Monday, April 21, 2008, 3:45-5:00pm

Frost Academic Commons

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




The Attendance Policy is coming to faculty meeting next month.

82 respondents to the advising survey - Linda will review the results.

Robin reviewed the most common points from the Gift report.

  • Some people were unhappy with the pace of the AAC committee at the beginning of the academic year when we dealt with advising
  • People would like to meet more often and longer.

1. Leave of Absence Policy

David Z. - Presented a draft of a new "leave of absence policy" for the undergraduate program.

Gene M. - Asked if students have to be matriculated before asking for a leave of absence. - YES

Gene M. - Indicated that the word "payments" should not be removed from condition #4. - YES

Gene M. - Suggested we indicate that students taking a leave of absence should be aware that perhaps their parent health insurance might be suspended.

David Mc - Asked Dick H. what is the financial impact of these students leaving the institution - Dick gave a figure that the cost might be about $7000.00 per year.

Scott - Is asking why this policy can be applied only to students in good standing? David Z. indicated that it is consistent with other similar policies in other institutions.

Dick H. - Supported the question brought up by Scott and wondered if we should not allow students in probation apply for a "leave of absence."

Deb - Explained that the "good standing policy" is used as a condition because students that have been severe cannot come back without meeting certain conditions.

Robin - Proposed that perhaps we should remove good academic standing and replace it by student "cannot be severed."

Mark - Argued that perhaps we should not encourage student that are in probation to benefit from a leave of absence policy.

Mark - Asked what do we do when a student is not successful academically because a family crisis occurred in their life? - Dick H. responded that we allow them to withdraw.

Dick H. - Felt that it is a good intended policy but that most students will not take advantage of it since they often leave without letting the administration know about their plans.

Linda - Reminded us that perhaps the advisor can help remind students that are not coming to their advisor meeting that they might want to benefit from the leave of absence policy.

Dick H. - Wondered if our registration system could not send a prompting question to the student that do not register for classes about the "leave of absence" option.

Deb - Explained that the leave of absence policy was removed in initially because before we used Banner at PSU it was difficult to keep track of who had left the school and for how long.

David Z. - Reminded us that the new "leave of absence" policy is simply trying to be in part with the Frost School Policy.

Robin - Proposed that we record the modifications presented earlier and vote to accept the minor friendly amendments proposed by Gene M.

Vote: Unanimous

Amendment about the academic status of the applicant: "student with good academic standing" change to "Student that have been academically severe cannot apply for a Leave of Absence."

Vote: 11 yes 1 No 1 Abstained

Motion to send the new "Leave of Absence" Policy on to the Holmes Group for discussion.

Vote: Unanimous

David - Will go to the Holmes Group to enquire about the detailed on how to implement this new policy.

2. Class absence due to Room Selection

Robin - Presented that a case where a student requested to be excused from class because she had to pick a room for next year. No ground for absence - the campus housing staff responded that they cannot request to miss class to select their room.

Next Time:

Report from the advising survey.

ACC members will elect a new chair.

Create a summer plan regarding some un-going tasks.

Prepare for advising training for new faculty and for returning faculty (Faculty Week).

Diversity Issue: Dick, Robin.

Need an interim Academic Integrity Panel since Scott will be in sabbatical next fall.

David Mc. will not be returning to the ACC next year.

Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - April 7, 2008

Academic Affairs Committee

Monday, April 7, 2008, 3:45-5:00pm

Frost Academic Commons

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



 1.       Attendance Policy:

Linda - Proposed that all none regularly scheduled meeting are advertised in advance such as in banner, the course schedule, or in the syllabus.  In addition, none regularly scheduled meeting should have alternative assignments if students cannot attend them.

Christian - Reminded us that not all events coordinated within a course does not all need to be advertised in advance since often, a time can be negotiated between faculty and students.

Mark - Shared that according to his experience the Athletic Department philosophy is to allow students to misses up to three classes.

Gene M. - Reminded the committee that the purpose of the policy should be to allow our faculty use judgment in each case presented to them.

Robin - Indicated that the majority of cases are from students that have attendance delinquency. Our new policy should not encourage absenteeism.

Linda - Recommended that the policy should be clearly explained the absence policy.

David Mc - Inquired what an official document would look like - David explained that this remains in the purview of the faculty.

Robin and Scott - Indicated that for some classes it is just not easy to offer make-up assignments.

Alley - Indicated that she would like to have a universal policy used by all faculty.

Robin - Proposed that perhaps a small group of people could verify and evaluate cases of absence due to extraordinary circumstances.

David Z. - Explained that the document was based on many other institutions policy.

Linda - Proposed that we accept the policy with the possibility of some corrections ready for our next meeting.

Robin - Asked the committee to accept the motion as it is written or to table it so that people can send recommendations to David. The AAC members selected to vote on the motion.

Motion Pass (9 in favor/3 opposed/ 0 abstentions)

2.       Discussion about Julie and Bill's Visit about Student Enrollment.

Robin - Indicated that she was surprised that the main problem according to Julie is the lack of Direction classes.

Linda - Indicated that perhaps some faculty might have not embrace the new Gen. Ed. program and perhaps have not converted their classes to the new Gen.  Ed and therefore we have now less Direction classes.

Robin - Indicated that perhaps the problem is that the direction classes cannot double count and perhaps we have now created a bigger problem.

Robin - Proposed that it might appropriate for us to meet with the Gen.  Ed. committee so we can compare our findings with their own analysis.

3.       Report from Linda for the GITF

Robin proposed that the AAC members should digest the report and come up with 3 to 5 major issues.

Linda - Indicated that we need to be able to present to the report to the GITF soon within two weeks.

(Submitted by R. DeRosa)