Faculty Senate approves new major, changes to student dismissal process, post-secondary education

Jimmy Miller

In its last meeting of 2015, Faculty Senate unanimously approved the creation of a Business Analytics major, lowered the GPA range for dismissal review and established a program to replace the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Program.

President Beverly Warren began the meeting by announcing she will create a president’s advisory committee on diversity.

“We need more diverse faculty to provide better education to students,” she said.

Faculty Senate Chair Lee Fox-Cardamone introduced the six Education Policy Council orders of business.

The Business Analytics major will be available to students in Fall 2016. Deborah Spake, the dean of the College of Business Administration, said the Business Analytics major is desired in the job market and used letters of recommendation from internal and external sources as support for passing the action item. The Department of Management and Information Systems within the College of Business Administration will supervise the major.

Changes to the student dismissal process were also approved.

At a 2010 meeting, the Senate removed consideration for dismissal of a first-year student whose GPA fell below a 0.50 in the first semester or a 2.0 in the first academic year. This was in an effort to increase student retention numbers; however, as associate provost Melody Tankersley said in Monday’s meeting, the intended purpose wasn’t reached.

“We have not increased retention…we have only increased (student) loan debt,” Tankersley said.

Students can now be considered for dismissal if they fall below a 0.50 GPA threshold in their first semester, or if they fail to reach a 2.0 mark after their first academic year. Additionally, if full-time students receive Fs in nine or more credit hours or part-time students earn Fs in six or more credit hours, they can be dismissed.

New GPA thresholds for student dismissal

30 credit hours or fewer: below 1.10 GPA

30-59 credit hours: below 1.5 GPA

60-89 credit hours: below 1.75 GPA

90+ credit hours: below 1.9 GPA

The Senate also clarified the policy’s language so that students who are dismissed from the university may be reinstated upon application but not necessarily in their initial program of study.

The Senate voted to refer to committee discussion on House Bill 487, a piece of legislation signed into law by Gov. John Kasich last June. The bill requires all Ohio public universities to participate in College Credit Plus, a program that will replace the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Program and Dual Credit program, starting in Fall 2015.

College Credit Plus will be open to students in grades seven through 12; the current PSEOP program is open to students in grades nine through 12. Students can take a maximum of 30 credit hours per academic year and a maximum of 120 credit hours before their high school graduation. Students also must meet the state of Ohio’s remediation-free standards to enroll in Kent State courses.

Professors have the right to restrict certain courses they feel are too mature for middle- and high-schoolers. Students can take the courses at Kent State with a professor or at their home middle- and high-schools, where the teacher is approved and trained by Kent State faculty.

Because it is a state mandate, Kent State has to adopt the program. However, the Faculty Senate executive committee and the provost’s office will work together to form a committee to review the bill and determine how the program can best be incorporated at Kent State.

The Senate voted to accept the first six paragraphs of the proposal so it can be included in the university catalog, which is released June 1, but the committee will determine admissions criteria, including GPA requirements.

Among other discussion at Monday’s meeting, the Senate also amended and passed an action item to allow undergraduate students to take graduate courses for credit. This action already takes place, but it is usually approved on a case-by-case basis within each college. This motion officially includes the measure in the Fall 2015 university catalog. Undergraduate students have to have senior standing and a 3.3. GPA. They can take up to 12 credit hours at the 50000 and 60000 level, and each class instructor must approve a student’s admittance into the course.

The Senate also voted to update the language in the Catalog Rights and Exclusions policy. Students who take leaves of absence have to update to a more recent catalog year for their program, and students who have spent six or more years in a program also have to update to a more recent catalog year.

Lastly, the Senate voted to revise the Graduate Multiple Degrees Policy. In the newly-named Graduate Dual Degrees program, students can earn two master’s degrees simultaneously. However 60 percent of the hours in each degree must be unique. The other 40 percent can be courses that count toward both degrees.

Senator Paul Farrell, a computer science professor and head of the Professional Standards Committee, introduced several changes to the university policies on tenure and promotion.

The motions, which were all passed, include preventing members of the Promotion and Tenure Advisory Board to vote on someone applying for tenure for whom they already voted at a lower level of review; preventing family members or spouses from being present at tenure reviews; and stating the chair of the board must have tenure and be a full-time professor.

At the meeting, Senator George Garrison also introduced a petition calling for a vote of no confidence against Provost Todd Diacon.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected]. Emily Mills contributed reporting.