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Motions Passed - 2011-2012 Motions

September 21, 2011 Faculty Senate Meeting

MOTION TITLE:  Re-Establishment of Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Advisory IT Committee

Motion: The Faculty Senate Executive Committee recommends that the Ad Hoc Faculty Senate IT Advisory Committee be re-established for academic year 2011/2012.

Rationale: The Instructional Technology plan is within the purview of the faculty by virtue of the fact that it is integral to the academic mission of the University. The faculty need to be active in the evolution of the IT plan. This committee had organized faculty representation so that the interests of faculty and UM were coordinated and prioritized; and is necessary for the University of Maine, to aggressively identify the structure, composition, and organization at the System level.

Voting Results: unanimously

 

MOTION TITLE: Motion to Urge the President of the University of Maine to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

Background:

In furtherance of a faculty motion submitted by the Library Committee on 2 April 2008, the University of Maine is currently acquiring institutional repository capabilities that are being instituted through Fogler Library. (See Preamble and Motion to Support an Institutional Repository, Motion Passed on April 2, 2008, http://umaine.edu/facultysenate/motions-passed-2/2007-2008-motions/) With a functional institutional repository now in the process of being instituted, it makes sense to revisit and pursue the specific further actions outlined in the 2008 motion that should be taken to create appropriate incentives for faculty and students to contribute to the repository.

In order to provide legal clarity to allow all works of faculty and students to be deposited in the long-term university repository on a day forward basis, it would be highly useful for the University of Maine to establish itself as an open access university as many other universities have done. An initial step towards this goal is to request the President of the University of Maine to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities … as over 300 other universities and research institutions have done. The text of the declaration is attached as an appendix to this motion and a link to the signatories is provided.

The University of Maine should also explore the possibility of joining the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) which was created in August 2011 and currently numbers 22 North American universities.

The international Berlin Open Access Conference will be in Washington D.C. in November 2011 and COAPI will meet just before that conference. We recommend that the administration send at least one representative to both events and recommend that at least one University of Maine faculty member attend.

Motion: The University of Maine Faculty Senate requests and urges the President of the University of Maine to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities before the international Berlin Open Access Conference in Washington D.C. in November 2011

Appendix to Motion:

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

Preface:

The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.

We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge. Obviously, these developments will be able to significantly modify the nature of scientific publishing as well as the existing system of quality assurance.

In accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the ECHO Charter and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, we have drafted the Berlin Declaration to promote the Internet as a functional instrument for a global scientific knowledge base and human reflection and to specify measures which research policy makers, research institutions, funding agencies, libraries, archives and museums need to consider.

Goals:

Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.

In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.

Definition of an Open Access Contribution:

Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.

Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:

1. The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.

Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm:

Our organizations are interested in the further promotion of the new open access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and society. Therefore, we intend to make progress by:

· encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.

· encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.

· developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions and online journals in order to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.

· advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.

· advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.

We realize that the process of moving to open access changes the dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and financial aspects. Our organizations aim to find solutions that support further development of the existing legal and financial frameworks in order to facilitate optimal use and access.

Signing Instructions:

Governments, universities, research institutions, funding agencies, foundations, libraries, museums, archives, learned societies and professional associations who share the vision expressed in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities are therefore invited to join the signatories that have already signed the Declaration.

Please contact:

Prof. Dr. Peter Gruss

President of the Max Planck Society

Hofgartenstraße 8

D-80539 Munich

Germany

praesident@gv.mpg.de

References:

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

Text of Statement: http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/berlin-prozess/berliner-erklarung/ or http://www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlin_declaration.pdf

Signatory List: http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/berlin-prozess/signatoren/

Voting Result: 25 approved; 1 opposed; 1 abstention

THIS MOTION WAS AMENDED see December 14, 2011
MOTION TITLE:  University of Maine Faculty Senate Motion for Principles Governing Distance  Learning

I.  Introduction:

As a residential campus, the University of Maine must meet its students’ expectations of having up to date and cutting-edge technologies within the traditional classroom structure, including the use of hybrid and innovative modes of delivery.  Given the core role of emerging technologies in responsible education, research, and public outreach, distance education must be seen as part of a continuum of offerings, one that cannot afford to undermine on-campus classes, which very successfully continue to serve our students.

Honoring our role as the Land- and Sea-Grant flagship campus, we continue to strive to make our research and teaching openly available to our diverse constituencies across the state.  We must strike the balance between providing the highest quality residential program, using the most efficacious course delivery to sustain this quality and be balanced with our responsibility to assist the University of Maine System in providing all constituents the best education possible.

In all questions of teaching, research, and outreach, including questions regarding the delivery of education through distance modalities, it is incumbent on us to reiterate that the primary responsibility for curricular matters lies with the Faculty at the University of Maine.  Current proposals from University College staking out the control and oversight of distance education system-wide would potentially infringe upon this established policy at the University of Maine.

We concur with the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) that: As with all other curricular matters, the faculty should have primary responsibility for determining the policies and practices of the institution in regard to distance education. The rules governing distance education and its technologies should be approved by vote of the faculty concerned or of a representative faculty body, officially adopted by the appropriate authority, and published and distributed to all concerned.

The applicable academic unit–usually a department or program–should determine the extent to which the new technologies of distance education will be utilized, and the form and manner of their use. These determinations should conform with institutional policies. (Retrieved 9/3/11

http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/programs/legal/topics/dl-ip-ownership.htm)

Therefore, University of Maine Faculty shall have primary responsibility for all distance education originating from the University of Maine.

II. Statement of Principles regarding Faculty responsibilities with regard to distance delivery of education

Accordingly, in response to the increasing development and use of technological modalities of course delivery, and specifically in response to any attempt on the part of entities other than the Faculty to limit or control any aspect of the curriculum, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate has prepared the following statement of principles to reiterate clearly the scope of these responsibilities with regard to distance delivery of education.

1. The University of Maine Faculty has primary responsibility for all matters pertaining to the undergraduate and graduate curricula, including all courses, modules, majors, minors, degrees, and certificate programs offered by the University of Maine.

2. The Faculty at the University of Maine shall be involved in the oversight of distance-education courses to the same extent as in other courses with regard to factors such as course development and approval, selection of qualified Faculty to teach, pedagogical determinations about appropriate class size, and oversight of course offerings by the appropriate Faculty committee to ensure conformity with previously established traditions of course quality and relevance to programs.

3. The Faculty member (or an appropriate Faculty body) who teaches the course (or adopts a pre-existing course) for use in distance education shall exercise control over the future use, modification, and distribution of recorded instructional material and shall determine whether the material should be revised or withdrawn from use.

4. The Faculty alone will assess any balance among modalities, say, between on-line and traditional classroom offerings, on the basis of their expertise in all curricular matters.  Unless stated in the Faculty member’s initial or revised employment letter or contract, no Faculty member will be required to develop or to teach a distance education course.

5. It is well documented that there is a significant increase in demands on Faculty time in the design, creation and delivery of distance education for Faculty members, far more than for comparable traditional courses.  For example, the time spent on-line answering student inquiries typically takes more than double the amount of time required in interacting with students in comparable traditional classes. Increasing demands on Faculty time can only undermine sustained excellence in teaching and research, unless it is balanced with adjustments in other responsibilities.

6. Determination of class size shall always be based upon pedagogy, as determined by the Faculty member and her or his immediate unit.  Unrealistic class sizes directly work against proven pedagogic excellence, penalizing students in over-loaded courses.

7. In order to carry out their instructional responsibilities, professional development and ongoing and sustained technical support must be provided for all Faculty members who choose to develop distance education courses. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Assessment and the Faculty Development Center at present provide and coordinate such efforts; other entities tasked with such responsibilities may emerge in future.

8. As a professional within her or his discipline, the Faculty member alone shall determine the technology or technologies employed in the delivery of the courses the Faculty member develops and teaches.

9. The Faculty member (or an appropriate Faculty body) who teaches the course (or adopts a pre-existing course) for use in distance education shall exercise control over the future use, modification, and distribution of recorded instructional material and shall determine whether the material should be revised or withdrawn from use in conformance with the UMS Full Statement of Policy Governing Patents and Copyrights http://www.maine.edu/system/policy_manual/policy_section209.php

10. Information Technology (IT), Continuing Education (CED), Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL), and the Center for Teaching Excellence and Assessment (CETA) shall be collaborative partners in support of the educational mission of the University.  Evolving pedagogical best practices in the delivery of distance education shall be supported by all available resources, to cover the development and/or use of course management systems, hard- and software packages, new technologies of communication and delivery, and functions related to the efficient and seamless delivery of education, all fitted appropriately to the content and goals of the course or program.

11. Development and approval of student evaluation tools that are appropriate to course pedagogy and technology continue to lie within the purview of the Faculty.  Student evaluation instruments other than those approved by the Faculty are not official evaluation instruments of the University of Maine.

Motion

The Academic Affairs Committee moves approval of these guiding principles by the Faculty Senate and urges the administration and President of the University of Maine to assure that the principles stated above are adopted as policy wherever possible, affirmed and adhered to in all decisions relating to distance delivery of education at, or through, the University of Maine.

Voting Results:  unanimously

 

October 19, 2011 Faculty Senate Meeting

Motion:  General definition for service-learning
Service and Outreach Committee Recommendation – October 2011

Rationale:

The Service and Outreach Committee of the Faculty Senate is recommending passage of the following motion, which includes a general definition for service learning at UMaine. We are recommending this definition for service-learning because it was one of several that were referenced in the Service and Outreach Committee report to the Faculty Senate in May 2007, was taken from the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse site then and is still in use on their site today[http://www.servicelearning.org/what-is-service-learning, accessed 9/27/2011],and it is more inclusive of all the service-learning type of activities that might be engaged in or through a land grant institution like UMaine.

Motion:

The Faculty Senate of the University of Maine adopts the following general definition for service-learning.  This definition will serve as a guide in the development of service-learning opportunities and partnerships between students, University of Maine faculty and staff, and communities throughout the State of Maine.  Service-learning at the University of Maine is defined as “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities” (National Service-Learning Clearinghouse).

Voting Results23 for, 0 against, 1 abstention
Motion: B.S in Climate Change and Culture
PCRRC Assessment and Recommendation
15 October 2011

Background and Committee Process: [for Stage 8sequence]

9/21/11:  Information on proposal distributed to Faculty Senate for review and comments.

9/28/11:  Meeting with PCRRC and proponents [Kristin Sobolik, Jim Roscoe, Joseph Kelley, Scott Johnson].

10/7/11:  Campus-wide hearing; included the proposal’s proponents, members of the PCRRC, and members of the campus community.

10/13/11: PCRRC meeting to discuss proposal and draft recommendation for Faculty Senate’s approval.

10/19/11: PCRRC recommendation on Faculty Senate agenda.

Overview of the Proposal:

Members of the PCRRC and people who attended the campus-wide hearing generally agreed on the following strengths and advantages of the proposal:

It is well crafted, comprehensive, and closely follows the guidelines for new program proposals.

If implemented, it will improve connections between departments and colleges; it will bridge social and environmental sciences; this adheres closely to one of the University of Maine’s goals: to improve interdisciplinary teaching and research.

It relies on established and productive departments and programs at the University of Maine that enjoy international reputations: Earth Sciences, Anthropology, and Climate Change; it identifies a broad range of personnel who are prepared to contribute to the major.

It includes a modest requirement of adding a single new courses: ANT 110 Climate Change and Culture Seminar; the rest of the degree requirements will come from existing or easily modified courses.

As the proposal notes, “the core of the program is already largely in place.”  It makes use of existing library resources, equipment, and space, with perhaps additional support from grants for equipment.

Questions Raised by PCRRC and Members of the University of Maine Community:

The inclusion of a faculty line in the proposal was discussed at length. Questions included whether the program could exist without the line, and if the line could be added in the future after the program is introduced and students matriculate.  In sum, the proponents argued that a new faculty line would be crucial for the creation of the program and to ensure its success. The proposal PCRRC reviewed did not include the “fiscal note” that is required when a proposed program requires new resources.

Similarly, the proposal for two teaching assistants – one in Anthropology and one in Sciences – triggered significant discussion.  Members of PCRRC noted that the addition of two teaching assistants to those departments would probably come out of a defined and limited pool of teaching assistants at the University that are determined by the Graduate School.

The nature of the impact of teaching loads in both Anthropology and Earth Sciences was discussed.  Questions were raised about the newly designed Ph.D. in Anthropology and Environmental Policy and its impact on teaching loads to implement and sustain the B.S. degree in Climate Change and Culture.  Moreover, the question of the level and frequency of teaching support among faculty with contracts that stipulate a high percentage of research time (75%, for example) will have to be addressed in order make sure that the large number of “faculty involved in the program”(Appendix I) are actually engaged in undergraduate instruction described in the BS program.

The feasibility of having students who are already matriculated at the University of Maine transition to the program, or whether it would be exclusively designed around a selected pool of applicants (given the target for a limited number of majors) was discussed at length.  Proponents suggested that both cohorts could be accommodated.

PCRRC raised questions about the viability of the program should the goals of attracting a large number of out-of-state students fall short of the anticipated numbers.   Proponents responded that the program should attract a large number of students from outside Maine because it will be unique among New England’s universities and colleges. The PCRRC notes that more attention will have to be paid to advertising strategies to accomplish the goal of matriculating out-of-state students.  Proponents argued that the central themes of climate change and its impact on humans should be enormously attractive for university undergraduates in the twenty-first century.

PCRRC requested fuller articulation of the skill sets that would be developed for students, and the proponents added language clarifying specific student learning outcomes (see II, C).

The question of double counting majors to credit both Anthropology and Earth Sciences was raised and discussed.  PCRRC notes that although it acknowledges the issue,  is not responsible for the resolution of this question and its implementation.  We recommend immediate administrative attention to the matter of double counting majors, should the B.S. be approved.

Questions were raised at the campus-wide hearing on the challenges of having students navigate the program’s requirements given its location in two departments from different colleges.  Those challenges need to be addressed should the degree be approved.

PCRRC Deliberations (10/13/11) and Summary Comments:

The proposal is timely and problem oriented; it articulates an undergraduate concentration that should have great appeal to students in the twenty-first century; students would improve their understanding of the impact that climate change is having on humans and learn strategies for coping with those changes.  It will be a unique program in the nation; this will be especially important for attracting out-of-state students to the University of Maine as a “first choice” school; it pays close attention to recruitment.

PCRRC notes that it is not the committee’s mandate to evaluate or verify the Total Financial Consideration (VI) component of the proposal.

PCRRC notes that the fiscal note from the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance, as stipulated in Stage 7 of the PCRRC Policy and Procedures Manual, is not included in the proposal.

Recommendation

PCRRC recommends moving the proposal to Stage 9 of the Full Program Proposal sequence, based on the findings expressed above.

Discussion

Q.  What is Stage 9?

A.   That’s when it is sent to the Provost for approval. It is either approved or returned to   the unit with questions or revisions. If the Provost gives approval it is then sent to the President for approval.

Voting Results: 21 in favor, 1 against, 1 abstention.

November 16, 2011 Faculty Senate Meeting

Program Creation and Reorganization Review Committee [PCRRC]
Assessment and Recommendation Intent to Plan: Ph.D. in Communication
4 November 2011

Background and Committee Process: [for Stage 2 sequence]

9/21/11: Information on proposal distributed to Faculty Senate for review and comments.
10/18/11: Meeting with PCRRC and proponents [Nathan Stormer, Dan Sandweiss].
11/16/11: PCRRC recommendation on Faculty Senate agenda.

Overview of the Proposal:

Members of the PCRRC generally agreed on the following strengths and advantages of the proposal:

* It is comprehensive, persuasive, and closely follows the guidelines for Intent to Plan proposals.

* It builds on a successful Independent Ph.D. that has been in place since 2007, so in essence it seeks to convert or “normalize” a doctoral program that has been tested. As a result, this Intent to Plan is more detailed and documented than typical proposals at the Stage 2 level.

* It has been reviewed and approved by the faculty of the Department of Communication and Journalism. It has the full support of Dan Sandweiss, Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, and of the Graduate Board [formally approved: 17 February 2011].

* It stipulates that the program can be initiated without the need for new personnel, facilities, or equipment. In the current environment of budgetary constraint, this represents a positive feature of the program.

* It articulates a program that will collaborate with Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative and other programs. This addresses one of the University of Maine’s signature goals: to improve interdisciplinary teaching and research.

* If implemented, it should be competitive among the University of Maine’s cohort of graduate programs in New England and the nation.

Questions and Suggestions Raised by PCRRC
:
* The question of teaching assistants should be addressed in more detail at the next stage of the process. For example, what impact will the doctoral program have in shifting teaching assistants from the Master’s program over time?

* The long-term impact of the doctoral program on the teaching loads of the faculty in the department should be more clearly articulated in the next stage of the proposal’s development. For example, what impact will a robust doctoral program have on an undergraduate degree in Communication that is one of the largest majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences?

* PCRRC suggests that the Full Program Proposal more explicitly defines the interdisciplinary nature of the program and more fully explains the anticipated role of graduate faculty who not members of the Department of Communication and Journalism.

PCRRC Summary Comments:
* The proposal is important for expanding the number of graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Maine. It emerges from an existing Independent Ph.D. program, so there is every reason to anticipate its success in moving through the sequence of stages for official approval of new academic degree programs.

* PCRRC notes that it all requirements of the Intent to Plan (Stage 2) have been met and addressed in the proposal and at the meeting with the proponents.

Recommendation
PCRRC recommends moving the proposal to Stage 3 of the Intent to Plan sequence, based on the findings expressed above.

Voting Results: Approved 24, No 0, Abstention 0

December 14, 2011 Faculty Senate Meeting

MOTION: University of Maine Faculty Senate Motion for Principles Governing Distance / On-Line Learning

I.  Introduction:

As a residential campus, the University of Maine must meet its students’ expectations of having up to date and cutting-edge technologies within the traditional course structure, including the use of hybrid and innovative modes of delivery.  Given the core role of emerging technologies in responsible education, research, and public outreach, distance / on-line education serves best as part of a continuum of offerings, one that complements on-campus classes, which very successfully continue to serve our students.

Honoring our role as the Land- and Sea-Grant flagship campus, we continue to strive to make our research and teaching openly available to our diverse constituencies across the state.  We must balance providing the highest quality residential program, using the most efficacious course deliveries to sustain this quality, and our responsibility to assist the University of Maine System in providing all constituents the best education possible.

In all questions of teaching, research, and outreach, including questions regarding the delivery of education through distance / on-line modalities, it is incumbent on us to reiterate that the primary responsibility for curricular matters lies with the Faculty at the University of Maine, working collaboratively with our Administration.

We concur with the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) that: As with all other curricular matters, the faculty should have primary responsibility for determining the policies and practices of the institution in regard to distance education. The rules governing distance education and its technologies should be approved by vote of the faculty concerned or of a representative faculty body, officially adopted by the appropriate authority, and published and distributed to all concerned.

The applicable academic unit–usually a department or program–should determine the extent to which the new technologies of distance education will be utilized, and the form and manner of their use. These determinations should conform with institutional policies. (Retrieved 9/3/11

http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/programs/legal/topics/dl-ip-ownership.htm)

Therefore, University of Maine Faculty shall have primary responsibility for all distance / on-line education originating from the University of Maine.

II. The Motion:

The Academic Affairs Committee moves approval of the following guiding principles regarding Faculty responsibilities with regard to distance / on-line education to reiterate clearly the Faculty’s unique purview in designing, teaching, and implementing all UMaine courses and curricula, including distance / on-line educational materials, and urges the Administration and President of the University of Maine to assure that these principles are adopted as policy wherever possible, affirmed and adhered to in all decisions relating to distance / on-line education at, or through, the University of Maine.

1. The University of Maine Faculty has primary responsibility for all matters pertaining to the undergraduate and graduate curricula, including all courses, modules, majors, minors, degrees, and certificate programs offered by the University of Maine.

2. The Faculty at the University of Maine shall be involved in the oversight of distance / on-line education courses to the same extent as in other courses with regard to factors such as course development and approval, selection of qualified Faculty to teach, pedagogical determinations about appropriate class size, and oversight of course offerings by the appropriate Faculty committee to ensure conformity with previously established traditions of course quality and relevance to programs.

3. The Faculty member (or an appropriate Faculty body) who teaches the course (or adopts a pre-existing course) for use in distance / on-line education shall exercise control over the future use, modification, and distribution of recorded instructional material and shall determine whether the material should be revised or withdrawn from use.

4. The Faculty of each department or unit will assess any balance among modalities, say, between on-line and traditional course offerings, on the basis of their expertise in all curricular matters.

5. It is well documented that there is often a significant increase in demands on Faculty time in the design, creation and delivery of distance / on-line education for Faculty members, far more than for comparable traditional courses.  For example, the time spent on-line answering student inquiries typically takes more than double the amount of time required in interacting with students in comparable traditional classes. Increasing demands on Faculty time can only undermine sustained excellence in teaching and research, unless it is balanced with adjustments in other responsibilities.

6. Determination of class size shall always be based upon pedagogy, as determined by the Faculty member in consultation with her or his unit and its chairperson.  Unrealistic class sizes directly work against proven pedagogic excellence, penalizing students in over-loaded courses.

7. In order to carry out their instructional responsibilities, professional development and ongoing and sustained technical support must be provided for all Faculty members who choose to develop distance / on-line education courses.  The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Assessment (CETA), the Division of Life-Long Learning (DLL), and the Faculty Development Center at present provide and coordinate such efforts; other entities tasked with such responsibilities may emerge in future.

8. As a professional within her or his discipline, the Faculty member in discussion with her or his unit shall determine the specific technology or technologies employed in the delivery of the courses she or he develops and teaches.

9. The Faculty member (or an appropriate Faculty body) who teaches the course (or adopts a pre-existing course) for use in distance / on-line education shall exercise control over the future use, modification, and distribution of recorded instructional material and shall determine whether the material should be revised or withdrawn from use in conformance with the UMS Full Statement of Policy Governing Patents and Copyrights http://www.maine.edu/system/policy_manual/policy_section209.php

10. Information Technology (IT), Continuing Education (CED), Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL), and the Center for Teaching Excellence and Assessment (CETA) shall be collaborative partners in support of the educational mission of the University.  Evolving pedagogical best practices in distance / on-line education shall be supported by all available resources, to cover the development and/or use of course management systems, hard- and software packages, new technologies of communication and delivery, and functions related to the efficient and seamless delivery of education, all fitted appropriately to the content and goals of the course or program.

11. Development and approval of student evaluation tools that are appropriate to course pedagogy and technology continue to lie within the purview of the Faculty as described by Article 10, B. 2. & 3. of the UMS / AFUM Contract.  Student evaluation instruments other than those approved by the Faculty are not official evaluation instruments of the University of Maine.

Voting Results: Unanimous

January 25, 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting

- No motions

February 22, 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting

Motion re. Participation Policy for Online Courses (as amended and approved)

From: The Academic Affairs Committee
Date: February 22, 2012

Discussion:

Revised federal regulation requires that the University of Maine have a written policy specific to participation in an online class (a policy distinct from the policy for a regular live class). This requirement is due to a revision in to Title IV of the Higher Education Act and is known as the Federal Program Integrity Rules, which became effective July 1, 2011.

Peggy Crawford of Financial Aid provided this explanation:

New Rule: Documenting Attendance

ED notes “a student logging in with no participation thereafter many indicate that the student is not even present at the computer past that point. There is also a potential that someone other than the student may have logged into a class using the student’s information. . . . an institution must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically-related activity, such as by contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course-related question.”

This rule is part of determining last date of attendance and the new definition of “academically-related activity.”

Further, in developing the policy, “it seemed appropriate to focus on ‘participation’ instead of ‘attendance.’”

The policy below seeks to provide an indication to the students about what “participation” might entail, while leaving the actual details to the faculty member as delineated in his or her course syllabus. We must have a policy and the committee is comfortable with the wording because the policy clearly leaves the details of defining participation to the faculty member.

Motion: The Faculty Senate approves the following language for the Undergraduate Catalog:

The University of Maine expects all students enrolled in online coursework to actively participate in the course. For fully asynchronous courses and for asynchronous elements of hybrid courses, “participation” is defined as the student’s virtual presence for, and participation in discussions, activities, and related forms of electronic contact occurring in a course’s learning environment(s): e.g. participation in on-line discussion about academic matters, podcast viewing, group writing sessions, whole-class or one-on-one chat, completion of assignments. Broad discretion regarding the required frequency and quality of a student’s participation rests with the instructor of record and should be delineated in the course syllabus.

Discussion:

Most examples are for participation, most seem to be more synchronous.

Vote: Approved 22, No 0, Abstention 0.

Motion re. the Undergraduate Catalog descriptions of minors and concentrations (as amended and approved)

From: The Academic Affairs Committee
Date: February 22, 2012

Discussion: The language below originated with the Associate Deans and Directors group to address two issues of omission in the Undergraduate Catalog. (1) The Undergraduate Catalog contains no complete definition of minors. Although the Faculty Senate decided that a minimum of 18 credits is to be required of all minors, other questions have arisen about who is eligible to declare minors and about when and how minors are to be listed on transcripts. The description seeks to address those issues. (2) The Undergraduate Catalog contains no current description of an academic concentration within a major. This language seeks to address this omission, and is intended to allow academic units as much discretion as possible in shaping the size and content of their concentrations.

Note that there is a distinction between a minor and a concentration. Because a concentration is part of a major, it must be completed at the time the baccalaureate is awarded. On the other hand, a student can complete a minor within a two-year period after gaining their undergraduate degree. A minor shows on the transcript when declared. A concentration shows on the transcript only when completed.

These descriptions seem—to the committee—fair and reasoned.

Motion: The Faculty Senate approves the following language for the Undergraduate Catalog:

Minors
Minors are sets of courses designed to provide a student with substantial knowledge of a subject area outside of their major course of study. A minor is available to any degree-matriculated student as long as the program of study for the minor does not significantly overlap with the student’s major course of study. The unit or units involved will determine how much overlap is appropriate at the time of declaration. Normally no more than one third of the requirements for the minor can overlap with the major requirements.

A student’s transcript will indicate a declared minor. However, students need to officially declare their minor with the department, unit, or school where the minor is offered. If this is not done, there is no guarantee that proper certification of the minor will appear on the final transcript. If a student begins work on a minor but fails to meet all of the requirements, there is no penalty.

Discussion:
Concentration is finished once graduated.

Minor allows two years, after graduation, to be completed but must be declared prior to graduation. Limiting it to two years was not stipulated before.

Vote: Yes 23, No 0, Abstention 0.

March 28, 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting

Motion to Approve the Academic Calendars for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015

Vote: Yes 22, No 0, Abstain 0

Subject: Motion re. The Undergraduate Incomplete Grade Reporting Form From: The Academic Affairs CommitteeTo: Faculty SenateDate: March 28, 2012Discussion: The Office of Student Records proposed changes to the Undergraduate Incomplete Reporting Form based on the reasons listed below.

The changes proposed are designed to have the following benefits to students/faculty:

1) Submitting the form at the time the grade is assigned ensures that instructors don’t forget to file the form in the rush at the beginning of the following semester.2) Some adjunct instructors may not be returning to teach in the next semester, and if they do not submit an Incomplete Grade Reporting Form right away, they might never do so, leaving a lot of confusion for the student, the unit chair, and the student’s dean’s office.

3) Listing assignments to be completed helps clarify things for the student and creates a written record that can prevent later disputes about outstanding work.

4) In the event that the instructor leaves, dies, or is too ill to “teach out” the Incomplete, this listing will help a colleague to finish the course with the student and fulfill the original instructor’s intentions. It also helps the academic advisor who is working with the student to be sure that the next semester is not too heavy to ensure that the student will be able to manage with the amount of work outstanding from the previous term.

5) The grade reflecting quality of work tells the student and the associate dean/director about the grade he or she has earned to date. Deans’ offices reviewing grades between terms need to know as much as possible about the student’s current grade in order to make decisions about whether the student remains in good standing or is put on probation or suspension.

6) A line for the printed name of the faculty member was added because signatures are often very hard to read and occasionally questions come up later. Having to go into MaineStreet to research the class and find the name of the instructor is tedious for anyone involved. The signature line ensures that unauthorized persons (e.g. the student or a friend of the student) don’t file these forms. Administrative Assistants in academic units may sign for a faculty member who is not on campus when grades are posted.

7) The student’s signature (or attached email, etc.) is necessary to ensure that the student is aware of and requested the grade of Incomplete.

8)The associate dean/director of the student receives a copy in order to keep a record to ensure that the student has the best chance of finishing the course.

These rationales seem—to the committee—fair and reasonable.

Motion: The Faculty Senate approves the proposed Undergraduate Incomplete Grade Reporting Form.

Discussion:  It would be good to have the form online with a submit button to the appropriate college. It will most likely be online as a fillable form but will attempt to get it on to MaineStreet, no promises.

Vote: Yes 21, No 0, Abstain 0

There is a Senate Executive Committee Resolution in Support of the Reinstatement of the BA in Theatre:

The Faculty Senate fully supports the reinstatement of the BA in Theatre, and thanks the Theatre Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Academic Affairs for their diligent work in restoring this important major.

Vote: Yes 20, No 0, Abstain 1

April 25, 2012 Faculty Senate Meeting

With passage of the following motion the general education requirements become as shown at University of Maine General Education Requirements (Revised 2012)

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Demonstrated Writing Competency

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Demonstrated Writing Competency (ratified by the Senate 1996). Students are required to write throughout their academic careers and must demonstrate competency both at the introductory level and within their majors. To fulfill this requirement, students must:

1) Complete ENG 101, College Composition with a grade of C or better, or be excused from this course on the basis of a placement exam.

2) Complete at least two writing-intensive courses, at least one of which must be within the academic major.

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS- In a writing-intensive course:

a) students must have an opportunity to revise their writing in response to feedback from the instructor;

b) a substantial portion of the studentʼs final grade must be based upon the quality of the written work, and

c) course enrollment should normally be limited to 25 students or less.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Demonstrated Writing Competency general education category. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Ethics

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Ethics (ratified by the Senate 1996). Students are required to take a course or a series of courses placing substantial emphasis on discussion of ethical issues. The ethics requirement can be satisfied by 1) a stand-alone course in which ethics constitutes a substantial focus of the course, or 2) by a well defined series of courses required in a particular curriculum, wherein the treatment of ethics in any one course may be somewhat less, but which taken together sum to a substantial emphasis on ethics.

1) Courses that satisfy the ethics requirement have one or more of the following attributes:

a) they teach methods of ethical analysis
b) they deal intensively with ethical issues associated with a particular

c)

discipline or profession;
they engage the student in the study of ethical questions arising

through the interpretation of literature or history, or social scientific analysis designed to include ethical evaluation. [In order for a course to be approved under this criterion, the treatment of ethics must be substantial rather than merely incidental. Examples: i) a course in history that focuses strongly on the ethical issues raised by a particular policy, e.g. colonialism, and the ways in which those issues were addressed or ignored, might be appropriate; ii) a course in econometrics typically would not count, but an economics course broadened to include questions of distributive justice could; iiii) a course on psychophysics might not count, but a course on moral development could.]

2) Programs that undertake to integrate the treatment of ethics throughout the required curriculum may submit to the General Education Committee (GEIC) evidence that the program overall meets the Ethics requirement. The GEIC may thus approve a program (for a fixed period of time subject to regular review) as an alternative to requiring that each studentʼs curriculum contain specifically approved courses.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Science

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Science (ratified by the Senate 1996). Students are required to complete two courses in the physical or biological – sciences. This may be accomplished in two ways:

.    1)  By completing two courses with laboratories in the basic or applied sciences;

.    2)  By completing one approved course in the applications of scientific knowledge, plus one course with a lab in the basic or applied sciences.

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS

.    1)  A laboratory course in the applied physical or biological sciences brings basic knowledge to bear on the solution of practical problems in engineering, medicine, agriculture, forestry, and other fields for which natural science forms the foundation. Normally applied science courses require one of the basic natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, geology) as a prerequisite, and carry at least 4 degree credits.

.    2)  A course in the applications of scientific knowledge has the following attributes:

.  a)  it focuses on one or more basic or applied natural sciences

.  b)  it includes significant blending of presently accepted science with its application in common situations;

.  c)  it discusses both the applications and limitations of the relevant scientific methodology;

.  d)  it includes as a major component of the course the observation of natural phenomena coupled with the gathering of data and its quantitative analysis, and its interpretation in an expository format;

its overall focus is on guiding students towards the scientific literacy necessary for modern life rather than on training future science professionals.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Science general education category. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Proposed student learning outcomes and preamble:

General Education Student Learning Outcomes Science

Preamble

Students are required to complete two courses in the physical or biological – sciences. This may be accomplished in two ways:

.    1)  By completing two courses with laboratories in the basic or applied sciences;

.    2)  By completing one approved course in the applications of scientific knowledge, plus one course with a laboratory in the basic or applied sciences.

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS

.    1)  A laboratory course in the applied physical or biological sciences brings basic knowledge to bear on the solution of practical problems in engineering, medicine, agriculture, forestry, and other fields for which natural science forms the foundation. Normally applied science courses require one of the basic natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, geology) as a prerequisite, and carry at least 4 degree credits.

.    2)  A course in the applications of scientific knowledge has the following attributes:

.  a)  it focuses on one or more basic or applied natural sciences

.  b)  it includes significant blending of presently accepted science with its application in common situations;

.  c)  it discusses both the applications and limitations of the relevant scientific methodology;

.  d)  it includes as a major component of the course the observation of natural phenomena coupled with the gathering of data and its quantitative analysis, and its interpretation in an expository format;

its overall focus is on guiding students towards the scientific literacy necessary for modern life rather than on training future science professionals.

A science course, laboratory or applied, will have the following student outcomes embedded within the course. The outcomes are based on “The Nature of Science” as published in “Science for All Americans Online” at http://www.project2061.org/ publications/sfaa/online/chap1.htm (sponsored by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)). Retrieved February 2012.

Student Learning Outcomes Students completing the general education area of Science will be able to:

.    1)  Explain what makes knowledge scientific, i.e., “…things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study.” (AAAS)

.    2)  Demonstrate the appreciation that scientific knowledge is subject to change as new observations and interpretations challenge current understanding.

.    3)  Recognize that valid scientific information is durable, i.e., it is continually affirmed as new observations are made.

.    4)  Perform scientific inquiry including aspects of the scientific method, such as observation, hypothesis, experiment, and evaluation. Note: Covered in laboratory science courses but not necessarily in applied science courses.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Capstone Experience

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Capstone Experience (ratified by the Senate 1996). Every program must include an approved capstone experience. The goal is to draw together the various threads of the undergraduate program that bear directly upon the academic major in an experience that typifies the work of professionals within the discipline. Normally, the Capstone would conclude at the end of the studentʼs senior year. Students should consult closely with their academic advisor to explore the range of options available for meeting this requirement.

The capstone experience should have the following attributes:

.    the experience must be of significant depth and require innovation, creativity, 
reflection and synthesis of prior learning;

.    the experience must result in a thesis, report, presentation, or performance that 
demonstrates mastery of the subject matter

.    faculty/student interaction should be an integral part of the experience.

.    minimum student effort in the capstone should reflect the equivalent of three 
credits of work

Interdisciplinary experiences and opportunities for group participation in the capstone experience should be encouraged.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Capstone Experience general education category. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Proposed student learning outcomes and preamble: General Education Student Learning Outcomes

Capstone

Preamble

Every program must include an approved capstone experience. The goal is to draw together the various threads of the undergraduate program that bear directly upon the academic major in an experience that typifies the work of professionals within the discipline. Normally, the Capstone would conclude at the end of the studentʼs senior year. Students should consult closely with their academic advisor to explore the range of options available for meeting this requirement.

The capstone experience should have the following attributes:
1. the experience must be of significant depth and require innovation, creativity,

reflection and synthesis of prior learning;

GeEd Committee Reviewed Draft 2/24/12

.    the experience must result in a thesis, report, presentation, or performance that demonstrates mastery of the subject matter

.    faculty/student interaction should be an integral part of the experience.

.    minimum student effort in the capstone should reflect the equivalent of three 
credits of work

Interdisciplinary experiences and opportunities for group participation in the capstone experience should be encouraged.

Student Learning Outcomes Students completing the general education area of Capstone Experience will be able to:

.    Synthesize knowledge, skills, and dispositions gained throughout the studentʼs major concentration of study.

.    Demonstrate competence within the discipline through professional conduct and, as appropriate, critical reasoning, analytical ability, and creativity.

.    Demonstrate effective communication skills.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Human Values and Social Contexts: Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives (ratified by the Senate 1996). A course included in the Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives category satisfies one or more of the following criteria: (a) it places primary emphasis on the experiences, perspectives, and cultural work of one or more groups who are not dominant within a particular culture; (b) it has a primary goal encouraging students to become aware of the diversity of American culture and to discover their roles within that diversity; or (c) it places primary emphasis on the relationships among or within different cultures in the past or present; (d) it introduces students to a culture other than their own through an intermediate or advanced course in the language of that culture.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives general education subcategory. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Proposed student learning outcomes and preamble:

General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Human Values and Social Contexts: Cultural Diversity or International Perspectives

Preamble

A course included in the Cultural Diversity or International Perspectives category satisfies one or more of the following criteria: (a) it places primary emphasis on the experiences, perspectives, and cultural work of one or more groups who are not dominant within a particular culture; (b) it has a primary goal encouraging students to become aware of the diversity of American culture and to discover their roles within that diversity; or (c) it places primary emphasis on the relationships among or within different cultures in the past or present; (d) it introduces students to a culture other than their own through an intermediate or advanced course in the language of that culture.

Student Learning Outcomes Students completing the Cultural Diversity or International Perspectives general education area of will be able to do at least one of the following:

Gen Ed Committee Reviewed 2/17/12

1. Recognize the experiences, perspectives, and cultural values of one or more groups who live within a culture different than their own.

2. Describe the diversity of American culture and reflect on their personal roles within that diversity.

3. Identify and assess how different cultures have related to each other either in the past or the present.

4. Achieve intermediate or advanced mastery of a language other than English.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Human Values and Social Contexts: Population and Environment

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Population and Environment (ratified by the Senate 1996). Courses included in the Population and Environment sub-category help students to understand how humankind interacts with our finite physical and biological environment. This understanding will be best achieved by a highly interdisciplinary approach that brings together aspects of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Although the technical solutions to environmental problems will be based upon scientific knowledge, the goals to be set and the ethical, political, economic and social dimensions of meeting them are the domain of the humanities and social sciences, which therefore must constitute a major focus of the course.
Courses fulfilling this requirement should address the following:

.    a)  the role of both local and global environmental change on the quality of human life;

.    b)  the pervasive role of human population growth on environmental quality and the quality of life, both in industrial and developing countries;

.    c)  the influence of cultural, religious, economic, educational, and political factors on population growth and environmental quality;

.    d)  possible solutions to the population/environment problems, which may include the role of technological advancements, a reexamination of educational and political institutions, enlightened reassessment of traditional religious and economic conceptions, and rethinking of the contemporary Western conception of “the good life.”

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Population and Environment general education subcategory. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Human Values and Social Contexts: Artistic and Creative Expression

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Artistic and Creative Expression (ratified by the Senate 1996). Courses included in the Artistic and Creative Expression category engage the student in creative thinking and processes. A primary objective is to develop skills and intellectual tools required to make artistic and creative decisions, and to participate in, evaluate, or appreciate artistic and creative forms of expression.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Artistic and Creative Expression general education subcategory. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Proposed student learning outcomes and preamble:

General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Human Values and Social Contexts: Artistic and Creative Expression

Preamble

Courses included in the Artistic and Creative Expression category engage the student in creative thinking and processes. A primary objective is to develop skills and intellectual tools required to make artistic and creative decisions, and to participate in, evaluate, or appreciate artistic and creative forms of expression.

Student Learning Outcomes Students completing the general education area of Artistic and Creative Expression will be able to:

.    Participate in, identify or evaluate artistic and creative forms of expression.

.    Develop skills and/or intellectual tools central to the artistic and creative process or its critique.

Resolution to adopt updated General Education Student Learning Outcomes for Human Values and Social Contexts: Social Contexts and Institutions

Original statement from the General Education Implementation Guidelines for Social Contexts and Institutions (ratified by the Senate 1996). Courses included in the Social Contexts and Institutions category focus upon the ways in which social contexts shape and limit human institutions (defined broadly to include customs and relationships as well as organizations). The specific focus may be upon ways in which social contexts and institutions interact with human values, the role of institutions in expressing cultural values, or the social and ethical dimensions attendant upon particular academic disciplines.

The General Education Committee recommends that the Faculty Senate adopt and ratify the following updated and streamlined set of student learning outcomes for the Social Contexts and Institutions general education subcategory. This change creates student learning outcomes that are clear, assessable, and understandable by students.

Proposed student learning outcomes and preamble:

General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Human Values and Social Contexts: Social Contexts and Institutions

Preamble

Courses included in the Social Contexts and Institutions category focus upon the ways in which social contexts shape and limit human institutions (defined broadly to include customs and relationships as well as organizations). The specific focus may be upon ways in which social contacts and institutions interact with human values, the role of institutions in expressing cultural values, or the social and ethical dimensions attendant upon particular academic disciplines.

Student Learning Outcomes Students completing the general education area of Social Context and Institutions will be able to:

.    Identify, describe and analyze social contexts and human institutions

.    Recognize and critically evaluate the interaction between social contexts and human institutions

Vote:   Approved 21, No 0, Abstain 0

PCRRC Assessment and Recommendation

Elimination Proposal: M.S. in Accounting

April 2012

Background and Committee Process: [for Stage 2 sequence]
2009-2011: MSA Program transformed into a concentration in the MBA program
May 2011:  Proposal tabled for completion in 2012-2013
3/12/12:  Final Report: Program Elimination Proposal: Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) – Dean Ivan Manev, School of Business
4/4/12: PCRRC meeting to draft final recommendation to Faculty Senate
Overview of the Proposal and Current Status of the Transformation to a Concentration:

*          It clearly outlines the transformation rather than the elimination of a program. With the approval of the full MBS faculty, the former MSA program has already been transformed into a concentration in the MBA program at the University of Maine.

*          It makes a compelling case for the reasons why the former MSA program did not meet its original expectations after about 10 years of operation. In addition, it explains the AACSB accreditation issues that would be encountered if a MS program were to continue with the current number of accounting faculty.

*          It indicates that the transformation has had minimal impact on the cost of instruction, research, and public service.  Moreover, no faculty were retrenched or reassigned during the restructuring.  Finally, the restructuring from a MS to a concentration does not negatively impact the mission of the University of Maine’s Business School.

PCRRC Summary Comments:

The PCRRC carefully reviewed the Program Elimination Proposal: Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). In addition it considered the transformation of the MSA program into a concentration over the past several years.  It finds that, given the changing circumstances of academic requirements and expectations of graduate study leading to a Certified Public Accountant exam,  the Business School has effectively and thoughtfully completed the transformation with a minimum of disruption for both students and faculty.

Recommendation

PCRRC recommends Faculty Senate approval of the elimination of the MS in Accounting.

Vote: Approved 21, No 0, Abstain 0

 

Academic Affairs Motion

Subject: Academic policy: grading system wording changes.

From: The Academic Affairs Committee
To: Faculty Senate
Date: April 25, 2012

Attached please find a revised version of the grading system wording (being proposed), and a copy showing the edits. This text will be a part of the undergraduate catalog.

Rationale, from the office of student records, is as follows:
Rationale for Editorial Changes to Descriptions of Grades in the Undergraduate Catalog (F, L, LP, P, T, W, and addition to I)

New Language in “Incomplete” Policy

Changes to the Incomplete (“I”) grade description are designed to clarify arrangements in the event the instructor is not able to work with the student to evaluate outstanding work turned in by his or her deadline(s) and to coordinate with changes on the Incomplete Reporting Form. The form and the policy have always assumed that instructors understand that student’s consent and knowledge is necessary to assign this grade. But new instructors may not always understand that. Without such a provision, instructors might assign Incompletes to students called to active duty in the following semester without the student realizing he or she had an Incomplete grade. Such a student who had earned a low passing grade and was content with the credit might eventually have an “F” and no credit on the transcript, when an Incomplete of which he or she was unaware changes to an “F” after 140 days.\

New Definitions for “L” and “F”

The distinction between the “L” and “F” grades is extremely significant in terms of financial aid eligibility: past inconsistency in the awarding of these two grades has meant that some students had semester financial aid revoked when others did not lose their aid, even though their behavior and achievement was the same. The changes in the definitions of these two grades are designed to make it easier for instructors to know which grade is appropriate and to align with standards of federal financial aid distribution that our Student Financial Aid Office is legally obliged to uphold. The former standard for the grade of “L” of “Never attended or stopped attending” gave no specifics about when the attendance stopped, and many instructors complained that it was hard to know what it really meant. The percentage suggested in the new language, we hope, will make it easy for faculty to know which of the two grades is most appropriate to assign.

In addition, it is important when students seek academic and/or financial adjustments due to involuntary circumstances (such as medical problems) that the grade aligns with attendance/participation in the course as accurately as possible. If not, deans’ offices have to bother faculty members to check attendance records and verify a student’s account of absences or missed work, and this is unnecessary if an “L” is given to a student who disappeared from the class early on.

Discussion:

The changes can be grouped into three areas:
.    Organizational. The descriptions of L through W, currently at the bottom of the discussion, have been moved up to be with all the other grade descriptions.
.    Clarification. New instructors, especially, will benefit from more detailed instructions about the assigning of incompletes.
.    To conform to federal financial aid regulation. This is clearly the most important. In the past, it was not clear when an L was appropriate and when an F is appropriate for a student who fails to complete a course, and this can affect financial aid. The new wording introduces a 50% participation rule (to be determined by the instructor.) “If participation is 50% or more, the F grade is appropriate.” Less than 50% participation, then L is appropriate. This conforms to federal financial aid guidelines. 
The issue Financial Aid faces is in determining if a student walked away and didn’t finish a class. Apparently this is important only in the aggregate. That is, if a student got a grade in ANY class (even an F) they do not need to do any more work. The distinction between L and F doesn’t matter to them. But what they see sometimes is that a student gets 3 Fs and 2 Ls. Now they have to check and see if those Fs are Fs or should be Ls. If they walked away from everything then there are ramifications regarding financial aid.

The committee has worked extensively on this wording with Financial Aid and Academic Affairs and believes the revised text is appropriate.

The Faculty Senate approves the language following for the Undergraduate Catalog.

Vote: Approved 21, No 0, Abstain 0

 

Subject: Academic Policy: No Examination in the Final Week of Classes From: The Academic Affairs Committee
To: Faculty Senate
Date: April 25, 2012

Discussion:

Current Policy (approved on May 17, 1995 Faculty Senate Meeting):

No examination may be scheduled during the last week of classes except by permission of the appropriate associate dean or director. A final examination may be scheduled only during final exam week. If a final is not scheduled, and the instructor wishes to schedule a prelim covering the last weeks of the course, this prelim must be given during the final exam week.

The Academic Affairs Committee understands that the intent behind the policy is to reduce student stress, to allow sufficient study time prior to final exams, and to preserve full length of the semester. The Committee fully supports such intent. However, the Committee also recognizes that for pedagogical reasons, instructors may at times wish to give tests during the final week of the classes and thus request permission for an exception. For example, some laboratory courses may fall into such category. The current policy states that only an associate dean or director may grant such exceptions. In some colleges and units, associate deans or directors may not be familiar with faculty members making waiver requests or familiar with instructors’ pedagogical reasons. In such cases, the Academic Affairs Committee believes that the unit curriculum committee or faculty equivalent may be the best judge in making such decisions. However, the Committee also recognizes the importance of communicating the decision to grant a waiver to the appropriate associate dean or director to ensure implementation. The Academic Affairs Committee therefore suggests the current policy to be amended as stated in the language below.

The Faculty Senate approves the proposed “no examination in the final week of classes” policy.

A final examination may be scheduled only during final exam week. If a final exam is not scheduled, and the instructor wishes to schedule a prelim covering the last weeks of the course, this prelim must be given during the final exam week. No examination may be scheduled during the last week of classes unless permission is granted by the department, area, or unit curriculum committee or faculty equivalent. Scheduling decisions should be made within a framework that preserves the full length of the semester and considers the impact of such examinations on the students involved. For information purposes, this decision will be communicated by the unit to the college Associate Dean, whose responsibility is in turn to communicate with the Office of Student Records.

Vote: Approved 21, No 0, Abstain 0

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Kimberly Junkins, Faculty Senate Office
205 East Annex, Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1167 | Fax: (207) 581-2640E-mail: kimberly.junkins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
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