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)

Agenda - Academic Affairs Committee - March 3, 2008

Agenda - Academic Affairs Committee

March 3, 2008 Monday, 3:45‐5:15pm,

Frost Academic Commons
PDF Version of AAC Agenda 3-3-2008

1) Minutes from 2/18
2) Announcements
3) Finalize Faculty Advising Survey
4) Stop‐Out Policy
Motion: to extend the Frost Stop‐Out Policy to all PSU undergraduate students.
5) Using Attendance as a Grading Criterion (David)
6) Transfer Issue (Linda)

Enrollment Management Issues (Bill Crangle will visit)
Diversity Reports and Subcommittee (Robin)
Lack of Friday Classes (raised by Bob Egbert)
How many students do you advise? _____Undergraduate ______Graduate
How many different majors or options are represented in your advisee pool?
1. Where do you think advising falls? You may check more than one box.

[] Teaching

[] Service

[] Scholarship
Why did you check that/those boxes?
2. On a scale of 1‐5 (with 1 representing Very Important and 5 representing Not Important), how important is advising to you and why?
3. How important is schedule planning and program advising to you as an advisor?
4. How important is scholastic achievement and career/field related mentoring to you as an advisor?
5. How important is social/personal counseling adjustment to you as an advisor?
6. How much time do you spend on schedule planning and program advising?
7. How much time do you spend on scholastic achievement and career/field related mentoring?
8. How much time do you spend on social/personal counseling adjustment?
9. What ideas would you suggest be considered to improve the schedule planning process?
10. What are the most important aspects of being an advisor to you?
11. What areas of advising are the most fulfilling to you?
12. What areas of advising are the least fulfilling to you?
13. What challenges do you face with the advising process?
14. How should we hold faculty accountable who do not participate in the advising process?
15. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience with advising?

Policy: Frost School students may “stop out” of school for one year (one fall and one
spring term) without losing their status as an active student including retention of their
email accounts, access to myPlymouth and ability to register online. No readmission
application or fees are required if the student re-enrolls for the 3rd full semester.
Procedure: Students may inform us that they intend to stop out for a semester or two or they may not enroll without informing us. If students inform us that they intend to stopout, we will ask them to complete the attached form and we will follow procedure A below. If a student does not inform us in advance, but we discover that s/he is not enrolled, we will follow procedure B.
A. If we get a form from a student planning to stop out:
Frost School staff will enter the code N1 under “enrollment status” in SFAREGS for the first fall/spring term that the student will be stopping out. Next block to the registrations should default to N1 as well. If students have indicated they will be out a second term
Frost staff will go to that fall/spring term and enter N2 in enrollment status (there wouldn't be any registrations to change at that point).
B. If we do not get a form from a student but see that s/he is not registered/not attending:
At the confirmation deadline, Frost staff will go to SFAREGS for the current fall/spring term the one they are not attending in) and enter N1 in enrollment status and then check the next block for registrations and be sure they default to N1.
If they enroll in a Winterim or Summer term, that starts the clock ticking all over again so we need to make sure that the next fall/spring term is not coded N2 until the confirmation deadline for that term.
If a student was N1 last semester and is not registered or not attending for this semester (and did not attend winterim/summer):
At the confirmation deadline for the second term, Frost staff will go to SFAREGS for
the current fall/spring term and enter code N2 in enrollment status. They will check
the next block to make sure it defaults to N2.
If a student was N2 last semester and is not registered or not attending for the semester (and did not attend winterim/summer):
These students will be considered no-shows and withdrawn by the Registrar’s office.

C. Communication with students:
Letter 1: Students who are not registered by the confirmation deadline will receive a letter informing them that they have been coded as not enrolled but that they will still be
considered “active” for one year giving them access to email, myPlymouth, and online
Letter 2: Students who are not registered for the second term, will receive a second letter informing them that this is the second semester that they have not been enrolled and that they must enroll by the following fall/spring semester or they will be formally withdrawn. At that point if they wanted to return to school they would have to go through the readmission process and pay a readmissions fee.

Letter 3: Students not re-enrolling after one year will receive a letter informing them that they have been withdrawn.
Julie Bernier on the Transfer Issue:
The history is that we used to accept only credits for courses that we actually had a discipline for. For example if a student transferred from MIT with engineering courses, we would not accept the credit. We realized this was too tight of a policy, so about 4‐5 years ago the faculty approved a change to the policy to allow ALL courses from regionally accredited institutions as long as the course was not ‘vocational’ – e.g. automotive, weapon maintenance, etc. When we passed the motion, I suggested we use the general rule that if the course is one that comes from a program leading to a bachelor’s degree, then it can be accepted. E.g. nursing leads to a BS degree and therefore we should accept those credits. I made this recommendation based on the fact that we award credit for Injury Assessment, Therapeutic Exercise, and Modalities and Clinical assignments for our Athletic Training Majors, why would we not accept the exact same thing for nursing majors. I think it has been a little ‘gray’ and clarification would be good. I’m sure Mary can add more.
Linda’s Notes on the Transfer Issue:
Preface: Currently, only typical academic courses taken at accredited institutions of higher education qualify to transfer to PSU.
1. Should “vocational” courses that meet the above criteria be considered? For example, should courses in nursing, dental hygiene, etc be eligible for transfer?
2. If they are eligible, how should the university decide which vocational courses are
transferable and which ones are not?
3. If they are not eligible, why not?
From the Academic Catalog:
The University will allow transfer credit from regionally‐accredited degree‐granting institutions for courses that are graded C or above or its equivalent (a grade of P in a Pass/No Pass course). Note that:
o Courses deemed by Plymouth State University or the transferring institution to be either developmental/ remedial or vocational are not transferable.
o Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given.
o A grade of C‐ or CD is not equivalent to a C.
o Only the credits will be transferred. Grades from other institutions will not appear on the Plymouth transcript nor will they be included in students’ grade point averages. The only exception to this is a Plymouth course taught through Granite State College (GSC) within the University System of New Hampshire (translocated course). When translocated courses are transferred into Plymouth, these courses are placed on the Plymouth transcript and treated as non‐transferred courses. Grades earned in Plymouth courses taught through GSC, are averaged into students’ grade point averages at Plymouth, regardless of grade.
A maximum of 65 credits taken at two‐year colleges or 90 credits taken at four‐year institutions will be accepted toward the baccalaureate degree.

A course from a two‐year college transfers to Plymouth as lower‐level only. A course from a two‐year college may transfer as upper‐level only if equivalency to a Plymouth upper‐level course can be demonstrated. Students will have to supply course syllabi, sample texts and other documents for evaluation by the appropriate Department Chair.

From 1007‐2008 Academic Catalog:
Class Attendance
Students are urged to recognize the importance of participation
in class activities and to be aware that their course grade may be
affected by absences. Unless otherwise stated in this policy, it
is the option of the instructor to determine the attendance policy
for classes and to decide whether to allow students to make
up work missed. However, in the case of University‑sponsored
activity absences, students will be allowed to make up such
portions of work missed or be excused from that class as the
instructor deems feasible. Students are reminded that they
have the responsibility to choose their extracurricular activities
at times not in conflict with their academic classes. Instructors
leading University-sponsored activities should forward to the
Undergraduate Studies Office the names of students who will
be absent from classes.
It is the responsibility of the student, where possible, to notify
instructors regarding absences for whatever reason or period
of time. This should take place before leaving campus, during
an illness or upon return to campus. If there are extenuating
circumstances that make such communication difficult,
students should contact the Undergraduate Studies Office.
Unless the course instructor states otherwise, students should
assume that there will be academic consequences for every
absence deemed unexcused by the instructor.
Students who do not appear for the first class of the semester
and do not notify the course instructor before that class meeting
that they will be absent, may be dropped from the course
by the instructor and their place may be given to another student.
Students should not, however, assume they have been
dropped if they miss the first class.

Student teachers are subject to the same attendance rules
as the regularly
employed cooperating teachers, within the
bounds of the University calendar. Absences because of sickness
of the individual or a family member can be excused
by the principal or superintendent of schools. Absences for
other causes have to be agreed upon jointly by the principal
or superintendent
and the University’s Coordinator of Teacher
Certification and Clinical Experiences.

Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - February 18, 2008

Academic Affairs Committee

February 18, 2008 3:45 PM

Frost Academic Commons

Present: Mark Fischler Linda Levy, Robin DeRosa, Cynthia Vascak, David Zehr, Gene Martin, Aly Dethlefs, Deb Tobine, Dick Hage, Gene Fahey

Excused: David Mackey, Scott Coykendall, Christian Bisson

1) Scribe appointed

2) Minutes of February 4 meeting

Minutes were corrected and approved


Section II Announcements – “readmitted” was changed to “reinstated”

Section IV New Business – “The proposal was accepted” was changed to “The motion was passed unanimously ”

3) Announcements

a. Half-semester grades can be entered in Banner when course ends

b. Incompletes/NG Policy will go to March faculty meeting

4) Faculty Advising Survey

Discussion and revision of survey. Linda will edit survey and forward to Robin

5) Enrollment Management Report

Discussion of faculty interest in enrollment levels. Agreement to invite Bill Crangle and/or Julie Bernier to discuss the relationship of budget and enrollment

6) Transfer Issue (Linda) – tabled

7) Diversity Reports and Subcommittee (Robin) – tabled

8) Stop-Out Policy (David Z) – proposed for Frost students. Discussion: should policy cover both Frost and day students?

9) Using Attendance as a Grading Criterion (David Z) – Discussion: should there be a uniform grading criterion as it relates to absences?

10) Lack of Friday Classes (B. Egbert) – tabled

Meeting adjourned 5:10 PM


Probation Contracts - Thursday June 5;

Severance Appeals – Tuesday, June 17

Center Lodge, 9:00 AM

Next Meetings – Mondays, March 3 and 31

Respectfully Submitted, Gene Fahey

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

Minutes - Academic Affairs Committee - December 16, 2007

Academic Affairs Committee

December 16, 2007, 4:00

Frost Academic Commons

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

Minutes (Corrected)

I. Approve minutes of November 19 meeting.

Corrected and approved.

II. Announcements

Remember to save the dates of January 8 (Academic Probation Contracts) and

January 16 (Review Academic Severance appeals).

III. Old Business

a) David Z. presented a motion that was sent to the curriculum committee regarding programs that offer options in their major.

The motion:

Modify Academic Catalog--declaring majors, options, and minors

Current copy: "...Where there are several options available within a major, it is advisable for students to choose the one that best suits their interests rather than to pursue several overlapping options jointly."

Add the following:

"If a student does choose to pursue a second or subsequent option, at least 12 credits must be different from the first option. To complete an option a student uses the same catalog as the major."

Liz - explained that this motion is coming to us because of our role in academic standards.

David Z. - Explained that his motion is not to stop the pursuit of 2 options within a major but to assure that there is enough distinction between two options to warrant additional work.

Linda - Indicated that the motion at the curriculum committee came without any input from each department providing majors with various options.

Mark - Proposed that perhaps we can keep the power of decision of what majors can have overlapping option if they justify it to the curriculum committee.

Linda and Cynthia - Proposed that a memo be sent to all department chairs to look at this proposal and evaluate the impact it will have on the various majors offering more than one option.

Action - Liz will contact the curriculum committee and share the AAC committee our conversation about the motion as well as recommending that the curriculum committee bring the motion to the council of chairs for information purpose.

b) Advising - Discussion of advising document and recommendations

-Questions for faculty

-Expectations/Responsibilities Document Draft

-Discuss reporting to the Faculty/getting feedback

Robin - Asked for an update about the advising task -

Robin - Proposed that perhaps we could meet over January.

Action: Robin - Will write a condensation report on where we are with the advising issue.

c) MOTION from David Mackey: "The number of undergraduate majors in a

department shall not exceed a ratio of 55 students per full time faculty member." (Tabled)

Motion tabled because David M. is not present.

d) Liz - Inquired to Gene F. how many students will be admitted to Spring 2008 semester.

Gene - Explained that about 160 students have been admitted and that perhaps of those 110 students will come with 0 to 45 credits.

David Z. - Expressed concerns that we might have difficulty offering courses and choices in the Gen. Ed. curriculum.

Mark - Asked David Z. what can be done to alleviate the problem?

David Z. - Proposed that maybe we should not overbook the registration anymore.

Robin - Proposed that perhaps the AAC committee could write a report of the effect on the academic experience when there is large enrollment.

Action- Robin - Required that perhaps we could receive a report from the Enrollment Management Group.

e) How many students are being (re)admitted for the spring? (David Mackey)

IV. New Business

a) Curriculum Committee motion (see attached Curriculum Change Form) for


b) Election of Committee AAC Chair for the Spring 2008

Scott - Requested that the AAC look at the productivity of the AAC since it was recently created to offer service to the University.

Robin was elected to the AAC chair.

Cynthia - Proposed that we meet for more than one hour at our meeting.

Minutes taken by: Christian Bisson