MINUTES OF THE UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL

1 p.m., Friday, September 3, 2004, in Lyceum 110

 

PRESENT:        Dr. Hall, Dr. Gispen, Dr. Pepper, Dr. Marting for Dr. Dyer, Dr. Cox, Dr. Tidwell,

                          Dr. Klingen for Dr. Murchison, Dr. Fant, Dr. Wilkin, Dr. Major, Mr. Upton,

                          Mr. Walker

 

ABSENT:          Ms. Fuller, Dr. Dyer, Dr. Kroeger, Dr. Murchison, Dr. Wilder, Dr. Eftink

 

ALSO PRESENT:           Dean Hopkins



             1. Petition of La Keida K. Yates (see Attachment #1). Dean Hopkins was present to discuss this petition with the Council. The petition of Ms. Yates sought to use the 1997 University of Mississippi Undergraduate Catalog, which is now expired. Ms. Yates sought to do so to avoid the requirement implemented in subsequent catalogs that a student earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 on all course work attempted at the University. He informed the Council that the College of Liberal Arts had marked off nineteen students in August 2004 and approximately fifteen students in May 2004 from the list of graduates, for their failure to meet the 2.0 overall GPA requirement. He indicated his belief that if the Council were to approve the petition of Ms. Yates, the College would need to reassess its treatment of these other students. Dr. Gispen inquired as to whether Dean Hopkins was aware of any other universities which allow students to graduate with less than a 2.0 average on their total course work. Dean Hopkins indicated that at the time this GPA requirement was implemented, the committee studying the issue was not able to discover any other universities which followed the practice the University of Mississippi followed prior to this policy change. Dr. Fant also indicated that at the same time the University implemented this change, it implemented the restart policy and the forgiveness policy. Both these policies were designed to soften, in part, the effects of the new policy. After further discussion, and on a motion by Dr. Gispen and a second by Dr. Major, the Council voted seven to zero with one abstention to deny the petition of Ms. Yates.


             2. Petition of Tyrus M. Flowers (see Attachment #2). On a motion by Dr. Gispen and a second by Dr. Major, and in light of its discussion of the petition of Ms. La Keida K. Yates, the Council voted five to zero with three abstentions to deny the petition of Mr. Flowers.


             3. Approval of Minutes. The Chair announced that Chancellor Khayat had approved the minutes of the February 27, April 2, May 7, and June 4 meetings without exception.


             4. Courses and Other Catalog Changes. At the request of the chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the course and other catalog changes presented by the department have been removed from the agenda.


             5. Petition of Jeffrey Brantley (see Attachment #3). After discussion, including reaction to and general agreement with a memorandum on this petition written by Dr. Eftink (attached), and on a motion by Dr. Cox and a second by Mr. Walker, the Council unanimously approved the petition of Mr. Brantley. The petition raised the issue of whether a student, such as Mr. Brantley, who declares a major late in his academic career, is required to take 30 hours of credit after so declaring the major. Assisted in its analysis of this issue by the memorandum of the issue sent by Dean Chitwood to the chair, the Council ultimately determined that a student is required to take 30 hours of residence credit “in the school or college recommending the degree,” but that these hours need not be taken after a student is admitted to the school or college. The Council agreed with Dean Chitwood that students should not be allowed to declare a major on the very eve of graduation. Nevertheless, the Council thought that students could be discouraged from this practice by degree requirements implemented at the department or school level, such as requirements that prohibit students from taking certain courses until they have been admitted as majors in a particular field of study.


             6. ASB Proposal on Extending the Drop Date by 5 Class Days (see Attachment #4). The Council discussed the students’ reasons for presenting this proposal. Mr. Walker indicated that students were primarily concerned that the results from the first significant exams in courses were frequently not available until after the current drop date. He further asserted that the proposal to extend the time for dropping courses would not affect the problem of students holding on to courses and thereby preventing other students from enrolling in those courses, since no one would be attempting to add courses at the point of the semester contemplated by the proposed new drop date. After further discussion, and recognizing that the Faculty Senate had expressed support for the proposal, and on a motion by Mr. Walker and a second by Dr. Cox, the Council unanimously approved the proposal to extend the drop date by 5 class days. After the Council voted on this proposal, Dr. Fant suggested to Mr. Walker that the ASB make efforts to advertise the new drop date to students.


             7. ASB Proposal on Discouraging the Holding of Classes (see Attachment #5). The Council’s discussion of this proposal began with the recognition that university policy currently permits students to be dropped from a course when they have been absent from that course for the entire first week of class. Although the Council was generally favorable to the ASB proposal, many questions were raised concerning the implementation of this proposal. After further discussion, and on a motion by Dr. Gispen and a second by Mr. Walker, the Council voted unanimously against the proposal, with the understanding that it would be referred back to the ASB. It is the Council’s expectation that the ASB will study this issue further and present a proposal that will deal more specifically with implementation issues.


             8. ASB Proposal on Changing the Wording of Withdrawal Policy (see Attachment #6). The current withdrawal policy provides that “after the course withdrawal deadline, a student may drop a course only in cases of extreme and unavoidable emergency as determined by the student’s academic dean.” The ASB proposed amending this sentence to permit the dropping of courses after the withdrawal deadline “in documented cases of serious illness, extreme hardship, or failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment of his/her performance.” The Faculty Senate suggested that the current language be amended to provide for the dropping of courses after the course withdrawal deadline, in “documented cases of serious illness or extreme hardship.” The Faculty Senate specifically disapproved the proposal to allow “failure of the instructor to provide significant assessment” as a justification for late withdrawal. After discussion, and on a motion by Dr. Wilkin and a second by Dr. Pepper, the Council unanimously approved the Faculty Senate’s recommendation to amend the current withdrawal policy so that the first sentence of this policy reads: “After the course withdrawal deadline, a student may drop a course only in documented cases of serious illness or extreme hardship as determined by the student’s academic dean.” The Council understands that the remaining language from the course withdrawal policy will be unchanged.


             9. Task Forces. The chair briefly updated the Council on the various task forces being organized by the Provost. The chair indicated that he would be keeping the Council updated on proposals under discussion in the task forces that might fall within the Council’s general areas of responsibility. Mr. Walker inquired as to whether it would be possible for him to serve on the Task Force on Undergraduate Education. The chair indicated that he would talk to the Provost about student representation on the task forces.


             10. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.


All items approved by the Council of Academic Administrators on October 11, 2004.


APPROVED by Chancellor Khayat on November 11, 2004.