MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL OF ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS
1:30 p.m., Monday, February 13, 2006, in Lyceum 200
PRESENT: Deans Hopkins, Reithel, Eftink, Davis, Wells, Rholes, Chitwood, Sullivan-Gonzalez, Buntin, Pate, Dr. Jim Vaughan for Dean Lee, Dr. Dale Flesher for Dean Stocks, Dr. Angle, Dr. Fant, Dr. Hall, Dr. Clark, Dr. Hallam, Dr. Gates, Dr. Gispen, Dr. Canty and Ms. Harrington
ABSENT: Dr. Staton, Dean Burnham, Dean Lee, Dean Stocks, Ms. Piazza, Mr. Putta, and Ms. Puckett
1. Approval of Minutes.
Dean Eftink announced that Chancellor Khayat has approved the minutes of the November 14 meeting without exception.
2. Proposed Grading System tabled at the November 14 meeting of the Council of Academic Administrators (see Attachment #1).
On a motion by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez and a second by Dean Reithel, the Council agreed to take up the matter tabled at the previous meeting. Student representatives to the Council were not present, and the Council did not receive other information about student reaction to the proposal. There were some discussion of how the proposal would be affected by grades from other universities. Concerning how various schools and departments had responded to news of the proposal, Dean Hopkins indicated that response from faculty in the College of Liberal Arts had been mixed. Dean Reithel informed the Council that the Business School faculty generally, but not uniformly, supported the proposal. Dean Chitwood reported that the faculty of the School of Applied Sciences had no strong position concerning the proposal. Dean Eftink noted that there were many catalog provisions tied to particular grade point averages, and these might have to be revisited if the proposal were adopted. There was some discussion that faculty who did not wish to use the graduated grading scale could continue to assign A’s, B’s, etc. But it was also noted that faculty who declined to apply the new graduated grading scale might be subject to grade appeals. Dean Davis noted that the School of Law already uses a form of graduated grading scale: it uses plus grades but not minus grades and it does not have an A+. The original motion from the November 14, 2005 meeting of the Council of Academic Administrators, made by Dr. Gispen and seconded by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez, was to approve the graduated grading scale recommended by the Undergraduate Council and to appoint an implementation committee to formulate a plan for implementing the grading scale within one year. On a motion by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez and a second by Dr. Gispen, the Council, by a majority vote amended this proposal to provide for an implementation of the graduated grading scale beginning fall, 2007. After further discussion, the motion, as amended, was approved by a vote of six for and five against.
3. Reaction to Undergraduate Council Minutes of December 2 (see Attachment #2).
On a motion by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez and a second by Dean Davis, the Council unanimously approved the Undergraduate Council Minutes of December 2. Dean Hopkins noted, with respect to the GERM 587 issue discussed by the Undergraduate Council, that this course consisted of readings in the German language.
4. Reaction to Graduate Council Minutes of October 14 (see Attachment #3).
On a motion by Dean Hopkins and a second by Dean Reithel, the Council unanimously approved the Graduate Council Minutes of October 14.
5. Summer Pay Policy for Faculty (see Attachment #4).
The Council discussed at some length the reasons behind the proposed policy. Different schools have apparently dealt with the problem of summer loads differently. The secretary noted the Provost’s concern for instructors suffering burnout after teaching excessive loads during the summer. Dr. Gispen asked why instructional faculty were treated the same as tenured and tenure track faculty. Dean Eftink, who served on the committee that proposed the policy, suggested that the burnout issue affected both categories of faculty. Dean Reithel noted that the policy would put faculty who engaged in funded research at a relative advantage to faculty who did not. There was some discussion of whether the proposed summer policy was paralleled by policies limiting overloads during the regular year. Dean Chitwood noted that the Provost had distributed a memo limiting course overloads to one course per semester. Dean Reithel clarified that teaching one course to both live and distant students would only count as one course under the policy. Dr. Kathy Gates suggested that the same would apply for web-based courses. The Council discussed whether exceptions, perhaps approved by deans or the Provost, would be permitted under the policy. Dean Reithel suggested that if such exceptions were permitted this fact should be included either in the policy or in these minutes. Dean Reithel moved that the policy be amended to apply only to tenured and tenure-track faculty. He argued that the School of Business had clinical faculty without research or service responsibilities who might be needed to teach courses in excess of the number allowed by the policy. Dean Chitwood suggested that limiting the policy to tenured and tenure-track faculty might be viewed as punishing tenured and tenure-track faculty. She preferred to see the policy enacted as stated with exceptions permitted on a case-by-case basis. After further discussion the proposed amendment failed by a vote of two for and seven against. The motion to approve the policy, made by Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez and seconded by Dr. Gispen, ultimately failed by a vote of five for and seven against.
6. Demonstration of Online Faculty Activity Reports.
Dr. Kathy Gates discussed the online faculty activity reports. Dean Reithel suggested that it would be wise to pilot the online reports with several departments rather that to implement the reports with so little advance warning. Dr. Gates indicated that the TACIT faculty sessions had not raised any concerns about the online system. Dean Eftink indicated that he would talk more with Dr. Gates to see whether a limited role out to the system to only certain departments might be preferable to requiring all faculty to use the new online system this spring.
7. Further Business.
Dean Pate announced that the Tupelo Campus would be hosting a Health Sciences Open House on February 21, 2006, to present a program overview of a new B.S. degree in Health Sciences at UM-Tupelo.
The meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
All items approved by the Chancellor, with the exception of Item #2, on March 30, 2006.