Faculty Senate proposes changes to Kent Core

Victoria Manenti

Faculty senate approved the creation of two new majors and debated changing the Kent Core curriculum and requirements during its first meeting of the semester Monday.

Senate members argued if making certain courses count for credit would still meet the Kent Core criteria for biology, chemistry and math majors. 

Members discussed eliminating the Biological Structure and Function class and having Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II be categorized as a Kent Core course for students to obtain a total of eight credit hours and meet Kent Core requirements.

“I’m a little confused, though,” Sen. David Dees said. “I thought we agreed years ago, when we did Kent Core, all Kent Core courses’ learning outcomes (were) measurable with an assessment plan. How did these courses, even if they were basic science courses, if they’re in the Kent Core, as I understood our agreement, they should still have learning outcomes with measurable assessment.”

The motion to send the item back for further assessment of learning outcome criteria was approved.

The senate also unanimously approved implementing the General Business major within the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which will be effective fall 2015. The final two years of the degree may be finished completely online or at the Kent Campus.

The senate also unanimously approved the inclusion of the Aerospace Engineering major within the Bachelor of Science degree at the Kent Campus, effective fall 2015. 

The senate also granted Eboni Pringle, the dean of Undergraduate Studies, and any full-time faculty members the power to approve all applications for non-course Experiential Learning Requirements (ELR) such as internships for all undergraduate students. These faculty members no longer have to serve in the student’s major department to advise them.

Todd Diacon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, then updated the senate on initiatives, the 1 University Commission and The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Job Survey. 

 “You’ll remember that our broad goal for this commission was to help us recognize and celebrate equally the contributions of all our campuses, even while we recognize their mission differences,” Diacon said. “Then, there is a narrower goal of resolving a series of issues that grew up mostly around distance learning.”

Diacon explained that the commission’s four subcommittees met during a 3-hour session last week to reveal their draft reports. The committee deliberated collaboration with distance learning courses, student leadership opportunities, faculty relations and revenue sharing across all Kent campuses.

The committees hope to have a 1 University Commission draft report finalized and delivered to Kent State President Beverly Warren by March 20, 2015.

Diacon encouraged senate members to complete the COACHE Faculty Job Survey, which will provide the university with insight about faculty attitudes and job satisfaction. The survey is part of a research initiative created by the Harvard Graduate School of Education that focuses on faculty retention and development. Diacon said Warren will share the survey results publicly when they are available.

Faculty Senate Chair Lee Fox-Cardamone discussed the Faculty Senate Budget Advisory Committee’s review of Responsibility Center Management (RCM), Kent State’s budget allocation process, on academic quality following Diacon’s opening remarks.

She explained that the Kent community was asked about perceptions of RCM, a budget allocation process used by the university. The Faculty Senate Budget Advisory Committee gathered this data and organized into four subcommittees to analyze individual concerns: administration of the RCM, student, faculty and tax issues.

A survey about the RCM review will be available for faculty, deans, chairs and directors. The deadline for the survey is March 10. The next senate meeting will be held March 9.

Contact Victoria Manenti at [email protected]