1:30 p.m., Monday, May 17, 2004, in Lyceum 110


PRESENT:        Dr. Staton, Deans Hopkins, Reithel, Eftink, Chambless, Lee, Wells, Stocks, Rholes, and Chitwood, Dr. Rychlak for Dean Davis, Dr. Samonds for Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez, Dr. Acevedo, Mr. Fellows for Ms. Bailey, Dr. Fant, Dr. Hall, Dr. Womer, Dr. Kathy Gates, Dr. Charles Gates


ABSENT:          Dean Davis, Dean Sullivan-Gonzalez, Ms. Bailey, Ms. Ziegelmayer, Dr. Angle,

                          Dr. Clark, Dr. Gispen

             1. Approval of Minutes. The Provost announced that Chancellor Khayat has approved the minutes of the March 1 meeting without exception.

             2. Reaction to Undergraduate Council Minutes of May 7. On a motion by Dean Chambless and a second by Dean Reithel, and after a brief discussion of the Biology Learning Community, the Council unanimously approved the Undergraduate Council Minutes of May 7. In the course of the discussion concerning the Biology Learning Community, Dean Hopkins inquired as to whether approval of the learning community was within the purview of the Undergraduate Council. The secretary noted that Dr. Murray Nabors, Chair of the Biology Department, had specifically requested that the Undergraduate Council approve the Biology Learning Community. The Provost indicated her belief that some oversight of the learning community by academics was appropriate.

             3. Reaction to Graduate Council Minutes of February 6. On a motion by Dr. Womer and a second by Dean Wells, the Council unanimously approved the Graduate Council Minutes of February 6.

             4. Reaction to External Academic Affairs Committee Minutes of April 29. With respect to paragraph 3 of the Draft Policy Statement on the Administration of Online Classes at the University of Mississippi, Dean Reithel stated his objection to the language in the policy suggesting that all online courses be “administered” by Ole Miss Online. He suggested that the word “supported” be substituted for the word “administered,” and that the phrase “encouraged to utilize” be substituted for the word “utilize.” Dr. Kathy Gates noted that this draft statement would legitimize the use of two separate course management systems at the university: Blackboard and Angel. Several members of the Council expressed support for the idea that in the long run the university should have only one course management system for online courses. Dean Chambless suggested that the word “coordinated” be substituted for “administered” in the third paragraph. Although Dean Hopkins, seconded by Dean Chitwood, had originally moved approval of the draft policy statement, after discussion on the issue, they agreed to withdraw this motion. Instead, on a motion by Dean Reithel and a second by Dean Hopkins, the Council unanimously approved referring the draft policy statement back to the External Academic Affairs Committee for further consideration in light of the Council’s discussion.

             5. EDLD 105. The Secretary discussed a compromise proposal concerning EDLD 105 that had the support of Whitman Smith, Director of Orientation, and the Provost. Under this proposal EDLD 105 would be made a graded course, but it would only be available for students with an ACT score of 23 or less. Dr. Charles Gates mentioned that if this proposal were approved, we might need to revisit the undergraduate catalog which provides that credit may not be earned for both EDLD 105 and EDLD 101. Dr. Gates is currently using EDLD 101 to provide support for students who have performed poorly during the first semester at the university. Dean Chitwood questioned whether anything had changed since the last instance when EDLD 105 was graded and the grade distribution in the course was unusually high. The Council generally discussed the issue of grade inflation in the EDLD 105 course, with Dean Eftink and Dean Chambless observing that the instructors involved in EDLD 105 will now be aware that grade inflation is an issue of concern for the Provost and the Academic Council. Dr. Acevedo noted that if the contractual readmissions policy were ultimately adopted, this might require the Council to revisit the issue of how EDLD 105 might relate to that proposal. After further discussion, and on a motion by Dean Chambless and a second by Dean Eftink, the Council approved the proposal to make EDLD 105 graded and to limit registration in the course to students with an ACT score of 23 or lower.

             6. IHL Proposal to Limit Credit Hours for Academic Programs. In response to discussion at the IHL about the possibility of charging students who take excess hours over and above those required for their degrees a special fee or additional tuition, Dr. John Samonds presented the Council with evidence (attached as Attachment #1 to these minutes) that some of our highest-achieving students take more than 140 hours. The Provost welcomed this information in light of anticipated further discussions concerning this issue with the IHL board.

             7. Teacher Evaluations for Spring 2004. Dr. Kathy Gates presented the Council with preliminary results of the spring 2004 teacher evaluations (see Attachment #2). Dean Hopkins noted that many faculty in the College of Liberal Arts had been disturbed to learn that students had been required to complete teacher evaluations as a condition for viewing their grades. Dr. Gates and Dean Eftink noted that preliminary results seem to indicate that average teacher evaluation results did not vary between students who voluntarily completed the teacher evaluations and students who had submitted teacher evaluations in connection with the viewing of their final grades. Dean Eftink noted that he had discussed the possibility of different incentives to try to encourage students to complete teacher evaluations at the last deans’ meeting. Dean Reithel suggested that it was important that faculty continue to be reminded each semester not to reveal grades on their own until the registrar releases the grades. After further discussion, Dean Eftink noted that web-based teacher evaluations were a work in progress and that he and Dr. Gates would continue to collect and analyze data concerning the results of these evaluations.

             8. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

APPROVED by Chancellor Khayat on June 30, 2004.