Faculty Senate revises university academic policy

Katie Smith

As part of the annual Faculty Senate meeting Monday, members voted to shorten the add/drop window for class registration and to change academic assessment standards.

Todd Diacon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs opened the meeting with a discussion on House Bill 153.

“Over a year ago,” Diacon said. “The state legislature passed House Bill 153, which established remediation-free standards and assessment threshold scores in mathematics, reading and writing.”

Diacon said this means students who receive a certain score on a standardized test “have to be put into a credit-bearing course.”

Andrew Tonge, chairperson in the academic department of mathematical sciences, said students who scored a 22 on the mathematics ACT, can now either take a statistics course or Explorations in Modern Mathematics.

“Standards have to be implemented by the fall of 2014,” Diacon said.

In addition to this change, the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to revise an administration policy on class attendance and absences. Paul Farrell, chair of the Faculty Senate and computer science professor, said the revised policy better complies with state and federal laws to better understand why students miss class.

The Educational Policies Council Ad Hoc Committee for Academic Policies passed a new limit on course registration after the start of a semester. Associate Provost Melody Tankersley said this new limit shortens the window for student self-adds from two weeks after the first day of a semester to just one.

However, Farrell said the new timeline would not be implemented until the university can design an online system to handle the extra traffic cause by a shortened add/drop window.

The Office of the Provost proposed a revision to policy on catalog rights and exclusions.

“This proposal seeks to clarify that when a student takes the course, the specifications that are designated with that course at the time of the student’s enrollment are the specifications that are in effect,” Tankersley said. “So if a course now requires a lab, but doesn’t when the student takes it two years from now, the student doesn’t have to take the lab.”

The last proposal was a “revision to replace outdated language regarding how the university calculates credit hours and GPA when academic forgiveness is applied to a student’s record,” Farrell said.

The Faculty Senate voted unanimously to list a student’s full record of taken classes on their transcript, including attempted hours. Farrell also proposed amending the Senate’s by-laws in order to represent the College of Podiatric Medicine, which does not currently meet Faculty Senate requirements.

Katie Smith is the academics reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].