Senate OKs LER system overhaul by Spring 2013

Colin Morris

Tenure and promotions policies also revised

The Faculty Senate approved a plan to restructure the Liberal Education Requirements system under a new name, Kent Core, at its monthly meeting Monday.

After the meeting, Provost Robert Frank said he was pleased with both the senate’s approval of Core and tenure and promotions policies revisions that have been more than a year in the making.

“These were good votes,” Frank said. “We’re making big steps for the university.”

Kent Core

The Core system does away with the rule that prevents students from taking LER courses in their majors.

For example, under the current LER system, a physics major who takes an English LER and then changes his or her major to English would have to take a new LER in a different subject.

Departments and schools will have until spring 2013 to align their Core courses with rubrics to be created by the University Requirements Curriculum Committee.

The URCC is a subcommittee of the Educational Policies Committee, which is in turn a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate.

The URCC’s procedures in administering the Core program, such as designing outcome assessment templates to dictate the course rubrics, will require EPC and senate approval.

Tenure and promotions policies revisions

The revisions were developed and recommended by the senate’s Professional Standards Committee for more than a year.

The revisions removed the old policies’ Boyer language, which refers to a philosophy that broadened the definition “scholarship” in many universities’ tenure policies in the ’90s.

Senate chair Tom Janson expressed relief after the meeting, which included a lengthy debate on the revisions.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to have consensus between the administration and faculty,” he said.

Frank said in a prior interview that revising the policies to eradicate Boyer was a high priority for the university’s Board of Trustees when hiring President Lester Lefton and later Frank himself.

Consequently, this administration has been pushing for the change since it was formed in 2006.

Frank has to recommend the revisions to Lefton for his approval, something Frank calls a formality because the administration is “supportive of both (the revisions and the Core program).”

Afterward, the revisions will be submitted to the Kent State Board of Trustees. If approved, they will be sent to the Ohio Board of Regents for final approval.

Asked what’s next on the administration’s to-do list, Frank says there’s “still work to do.”

“We’ll go back to the 21st century initiatives and the academic plan.”

The initiatives are available in documents on the Provost’s page under the “Administration” section of Kent State’s Web site.

Contact faculty affairs reporter Colin Morris at [email protected].