Academic Affairs Strategic Plan draft still available for comment

Lyndsey Schley

Stan Wearden, dean of the College of Communication and Information, announced that responses to the draft of the Academic Affairs Strategic Plan are still being accepted at the Faculty Senate meeting in the Governance Chambers Monday.

The plan, which will guide policy at the university for the next five years, will be available for comment until Wednesday evening through anonymous forms, email or a discussion website, Wearden said.

Links to these options are available on Provost Todd Diacon’s website, Wearden said.

Diacon reminded the senate of the upcoming Faculty Appreciation Week, which begins Monday and spoke on faculty’s clear motivation to improve the university in the year he has served as provost.

“Thank you for what you do for the university,” Diacon said. “Thank you for the privilege of serving as your provost, and I look forward to having similarly great things to say at my second anniversary.”

The senate held elections for positions during the meeting. The senate re-elected Paul Farrell as chairman, Don White as vice-chairman, Vanessa Earp as secretary and George Garrison as at-large. The elections were mostly uncontested, and the senate discussed how to encourage participation in the future.

The senate approved revisions of the graduate admissions policy to remove inconsistencies that occurred when the graduate and undergraduate catalogues merged and to raise the minimum accepted undergraduate GPA from 2.75 to 3.0. The senate also approved a Master of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design, a Master of Health Care Design, two variations of a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Doctor of Nursing Practice as a post-baccalaureate degree with eight concentrations. All will go into effect Fall 2013.

The senators discussed adding a voting member of the College of Podiatric Medicine to the Faculty Senate. While all speaking senators expressed that they thought the college should have representation, there was uncertainty on how this should be approached.

Due to the classification differences with faculty in the College of Podiatric Medicine — they have no tenure track faculty, which are usually used to secure senate representation — the current by-laws would not guarantee their representation, but the faculty are concerned about changing them.

Senator Deborah Smith suggested that faculty tenure status be reconsidered so the problem could be solved without changing the by laws. If any faculty had been counted as tenure track or full-time, non-tenure track faculty, they would have had the same rights to faculty representation that all other colleges have, Smith said.

“Instead, the decision was made by the administration that they would not count as full-time non-tenure track faculty,” Smith said. “I strongly suspect that,26+

that decision was almost exclusively to prevent them from enjoying the rights and protections that the [tenure track and non-tenure track] faculty enjoy under their contract.”

The College of Podiatric Medicine’s accreditation requires that it have some sort of representation in faculty government, said Larry Osher, senate observer from the College of Podiatric Medicine. Voting on this issue may take place as soon as the May senate meeting.

The senate also heard a presentation on the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification from Tina Kandakai, director of the Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement. The university has not received a classification since 2006 and should begin to reapply for classification for 2015, Kandakai said. This classification will determine how well the university collaborates with local communities.

Contact Lyndsey Schley at [email protected].