Faculty Senate approves all five items at meeting

Maria Nann

Applied career studies program draws controversy

Kent State’s Faculty Senate held its summer meeting July 14, approving several new programs amid controversial discussion.

“I was very pleased with the meeting,” newly elected senate chair Tom Janson said, adding the session had reached a record in summer attendance. “The Senate is a very serious undertaking due to the official actions that must be dealt with.”

The agenda for Monday’s meeting consisted of five items of action – the establishment of both Chinese and Japanese minors, the establishment of a Hospitality and Tourism Management major, the establishment of a Bachelor of Applied Career Studies degree program and the establishment of an Urban Environment Management Technology major.

All five items passed, although not all unanimously.

Senate members engaged in a lengthy discussion about the applied career studies degree, as several senators voiced concerns about the program. They raised issues about the unclear wording of the document, the level of classes offered for the program and the inclusion of classes that are not yet in the Kent State catalog.

The program will be housed in the College of Education, Health and Human Services and will be offered at all seven regional campuses. Its aim is to target non-traditional students coming into the university with an already-completed associate’s degree or other college coursework, which works as a concentration area.

Among those voicing concerns was associate philosophy professor and at-large representative Linda Williams.

Williams aligned the program with that of a “completer degree,” saying such a program was already in place with the bachelor’s degree in general studies. She, among others, also said she was uncomfortable with the levels of classes outlined in the program.

“My concern,” she said, “is that this is not a bachelor’s degree.”

George Garrison, professor of Pan-African studies and at large representative, defended the proposal, saying the university needed to embrace changes in society.

“I strongly support this proposal,” Garrison said repeatedly.

After the motion to postpone the vote was defeated 18-10, the program proposal, which had been approved by the Educational Policies Committee in May, was approved. It was the only item on the agenda that did not pass unanimously.

The language minors had both been approved by the EPC and were simply on the agenda, Janson said, to inform the Senate of the actions of the EPC.

Both majors passed Senate approval. Hospitality and Tourism Management will be a joint degree program from the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport and the School of Family and Consumer Studies. Urban Environment Management Technology will be included in the associate degree in technology and will prepare industry professionals for supervisory positions in their chosen fields.

The next Senate meeting is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. Sept. 8, in the Governance Chambers.

Contact principal reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].