Motions and Recommendations passed by the

Academic Coordinating Commission 2009-2010

(from Minutes) 

 

SUBJECT

DESCRIPTION

DATE

 

1-time exception

MOTION ONE:  Approval of Leadership 197 as a GUR

Commissioners moved to approve Leadership 197 as a GUR as a one-time exception.   Every X97 course must come to ACC if it is to be considered for GUR credit, so this “exception” is in no way to be construed as an ongoing policy, nor can others follow this process. 

5/25/2010
VPUE can vote

MOTION TWO:  Approval of a right to vote for the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Commissoners moved to approve the right to a vote by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education for the duration of the time that he represents the Provost at ACC.  This vote is actually one vote by the Provost office, either the VPUE or the Provost or his or her representative.  Commissioners commented that the input of the Provost in the past has been illuminating in discussing matters of policy, and that when policy topics come before ACC the membership will make a special invitation to her to show up for those particular meetings.  Chair Hearne reported that Provost Riordan has been aware of all the policy decisions discussed and voted on in ACC.

 

5/25/2010
Student-Faculty Designed Majors and Concentrations

MOTION THREE:   Approval of Recommended Guidelines for Student-Faculty Designed Majors and Concentration Titles at Western

Recommendations to provide clarity in the curriculum minutes:

1.    Avoid title overlap with established majors.

2.   For all student-faculty designed majors, including interdisciplinary concentrations, list the faculty advisors responsible for the design of curriculum on the student’s advisory committee.

 

RationaleThe purpose of these guidelines is to better communicate to ACC the review process to which student-faculty designed majors and interdisciplinary concentrations are subject.

After discussion and feedback from the Fairhaven representative, Commissioners revised the guidelines to apply to minutes that come from curriculum committees relating to all student-faculty designed majors, including Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentrations. Several Commissioners expressed the view that listing two faculty members would be sufficient to oversee a student-faculty self-designed major/concentration.  It was also okay if there were more than two to include everybody but it was not strictly necessary.

 

5/25/2010
Policy Consideration

NO VOTE TAKEN TODAY

Formal action has not been taken:

Guidelines to the Fairhaven Curriculum Committee

Recommendations to provide clarity in the curriculum minutes:

1.      Avoid title overlap with established fields.

2.      Encourage the use of words such as “Exploration of” or “Interface with” in the title so that they will not be confounded with degrees associated with established disciplines.

3.      Use disciplinary terms only as adjectives, not as nouns.

In Addition (Proposals from the ACC Minutes):

1)      Include the interdisciplinary section from the Fairhaven Catalog in a footnote or header or in a kind of template format on each set of Fairhaven minutes in order to provide context for the titles.  2)      For each student title simply list “how many credits” in each discipline the student is expected to take, and “how many faculty” from each discipline are on the student’s committee.   Rationale: The purpose of these guidelines is to better communicate to the ACC the review process to which Fairhaven degrees are subject.

NO VOTE TAKEN

 

5/11/10
Motion

MOTION FOUR:  Endorsement of the First Year Experience Mission

ACC endorsed the First Year Experience Mission with the following caveats:

“ACC approves the document with items two and three reversed, with the inclusion of a sentence added by Steve VanderStaay that will clarify the role of academics, and with the assumption that any future changes should be returned to ACC for consideration.”

Text follows:

FY Mission Statement as of May 18, 2009

The first year at Western is a time of significant intellectual and personal development. The entire Western community—faculty, administrators, staff, and students—is committed to helping students

  • Understand the intellectual, moral, civic, and personal purposes of their liberal arts education;
  • Connect to Western faculty and the larger campus community; and
  • Negotiate successfully the academic and personal opportunities and challenges of their first year.

·         Understand the intellectual, moral, civic, and personal purposes of their liberal arts education.

Ø  SLO’s:

1.        Students articulate the purposes and values of the GURs.

2.        Students connect their academic experiences to their lives.

3.        Students explore their role and responsibilities as engaged citizens.

4.        Students associate how their academic and interpersonal decisions impact themselves and others.

 

·         Connect to Western faculty and the larger campus community.

Ø  SLO’s:

1.        Students develop a relationship with faculty and peers through participation in a small class.

2.        Students can name a faculty member who knows their work well enough to provide a recommendation or offer academic or career advice.

3.        Students can recount a course-related moment that changed their perspective on the world.

4.        Students are aware of an extracurricular program or event.

5.        Students can name a contribution they have made to the campus community.

6.        Students can recount an experience that led to meaningful connections with peers.

 

·         Negotiate successfully the academic and personal opportunities and challenges of their first year.

Ø  SLO’s

1.         Students begin to create individual learning goals.

2.        Students acknowledge the importance of individual learning goals for their personal and academic success.

3.        Students identify resources on campus to support their academic and personal learning.

4.        Students develop a network to support their academic and personal learning.

5.        Students make decisions to further their learning goals.

Student Learning Outcomes (entire list) as of October 28, 2009

1.        Students articulate the purposes and values of the GURs.

2.        Students connect their academic experiences to their lives.

3.        Students explore their role and responsibilities as engaged citizens.

4.        Students associate how their academic and interpersonal decisions impact themselves and others.

5.        Students develop a relationship with faculty and peers through participation in a small class.

6.        Students can name a faculty member who knows their work well enough to provide a recommendation or offer academic or career advice.

7.        Students can recount a course-related moment that changed their perspective on the world.

8.        Students are aware of an extracurricular program or event.

9.        Students can name a contribution they have made to the campus community.

10.     Students can recount an experience that led to meaningful connections with peers.

11.     Students begin to create individual learning goals.

12.     Students acknowledge the importance of individual learning goals for their personal and academic success.

13.     Students identify resources on campus to support their academic and personal learning.

14.     Students develop a network to support their academic and personal learning.

15.     Students make decisions to further their learning goals.

 

5/11/10
Motion

MOTION THREE – Revised HONORS BOARD charge – (Amended and PASSED)

The ACC approved a revised charge to the Honors Board to avoid appointing more than two faculty from a single college, and to advise that its minutes are now to be sent to CUP.  The Text follows:

 

7.3   HONORS BOARD

Membership

Charge

The Honors Board consists of seven voting members:

·         Five faculty appointed by ACC;

·         Two students appointed by the AS Board; and

 

The Director, ex officio, non-voting. 

Faculty shall represent the academic disciplines broadly, with no more than two faculty members serving from the same college.

Chair: The Honors Director

Support: The Honors Office provides all necessary clerical support for the Board.   

Minutes:  Sufficient copies of the approved minutes of each meeting shall be forwarded to the Council on University Programs (CUP) within a fortnight of the meeting. 

 

The Honors Board advises and assists the Director of the Honors Program in the administration of the Honors Program.

The Board aids the Director in recruiting faculty for the program, reviews and approves all curricular proposals, including seminars, recommends students for scholarships and awards, and assumes other duties as necessary.

 

ACC approved  5/11/2010

5/11/10
Motion

MOTION TWO:  Approval of Catalog and Curricular Timeline for AY 2011-2012 (PASSED)

ACC approved this timeline which will be made available on the Registrar’s home page and on the ACC link to the Senate website at http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate/ACC/index.htm )

5/11/10
Motion

MOTION ONE:  Creation of  Council on University Programs  MOTION PASSED.  The ACC passed the following:

“ACC creates a Council on University Programs to oversee the curriculum from all university programs not affiliated with a college, and to forward its minutes to ACC (proposed handbook language follows):

7.  Council on University Programs (CUP)

Membership

Charge

Members The Council on University Programs consists of seven (7) faculty members, including one faculty from each of the following Interdisciplinary programs:  Honors Program, International Studies, Leadership Studies, and Women Studies (4);

Two tenure-track faculty, preferably faculty from outside of university-wide programs, from any two of the Colleges including the Library, with colleges rotating representation (2); and

The Associate Chair of ACC, who shall not be elected chair of the Council (1). 

Faculty serve two-year terms and may serve up to six consecutive years to provide continuity and to stagger the membership.

Chair:  The chairperson of the Council on University Programs shall be elected from among the members at the first meeting of Fall Quarter.

Reportage: The Council meets no less than twice a quarter or more often as required.

Sufficient copies of the approved minutes of each meeting shall be forwarded to ACC via the Office of the Faculty Senate (MS9020, OM350) within fourteen days of the meeting. 

The Council on University Programs reviews and approves curricular proposals from an interdisciplinary perspective, including seminars. 

The Council oversees effective ways of ensuring the quality of interdisciplinary and University-wide programs.

The Council functions as a college curriculum committee for programs not affiliated with a college, and as such is a standing committee of the ACC.

Curricular authority over University-wide programs not affiliated with a college is vested entirely in the Council on University Programs.  However, implications regarding repeatability, prerequisites and equivalency or other implications for majors must be referred to the relevant department. 

Recommendations that result from such consultations must be captured in the Council’s minutes to the ACC.

Approved by ACC 5/11/2010 “

5/11/10
Motion

MOTION THREE:   Change the title of “Student Course Evaluations”  

Commissioners voted to change the title of the student course evaluations to the following:

“Survey of Course Experience”

Commissioners expressed interest in what is seen as the primary issue, namely revising the surveys.

·      In a discussion which preceded the vote, Chair Hearne remarked that there are faculty who are nervous about evaluations and are afraid of some of the comments and remarks.  Students are not in the position of truly providing a teaching evaluation and the title ought to be more neutral.  Some other titles which had been suggested and then rejected included “response survey” and “reaction survey” neither of which seemed accurate.  A reaction seems a diminishment that undermines the process with the student.  “Course experience” seems to suggest something about which faculty care more.  “Course reaction” seems less important.

·      What perhaps really should be asked is a survey of the experience, not a course evaluation. We actually may want the students to include their views of this experience, which, of course, also would include their views of faculty performance.  According to at least one student member of ACC, it seems that most students didn’t think faculty took these surveys seriously, and whenever they did realize the seriousness and importance of the evaluations, they were surprised.  Thus, the student opined that calling the surveys “reactions” would appear to trivialize them even further.

·      Commissioners then pointed out that the name is not really very important – not as important as the process or even the form, which is considered inadequate and even “a joke” by some faculty.  Arguing about the name and title change may be arguing about the wrong issue.   But it also seems that changing the process itself seems like a huge can of worms and that the idea of changing the process has been opened periodically on this campus and then it gets closed quickly.  The student evaluation form is “a grab bag” of questions; some individuals take the data from the answers much more seriously than others. Before the UFWW contract required the current student evaluations be done for each class, a lot of faculty apparently didn’t even offer them.  It may be hard to lose tenure over student reactions to courses –as is apparent from the numerical scores and comments, but if you really care about your courses you are going to do other kinds of things to survey student learning and experience. The form itself and the process it represents probably does not give the feedback that would be most valuable for improving the course.

·      Proposing a new title, “Survey of Course Experience” should also be inferred by faculty as an encouragement to change the “student evaluations” to something more meaningful.  Some faculty really attempt to do a real survey of course experience, and also use forms for faculty to evaluate each other; these forms are used across the country and available as freeware; these forms are widely viewed as effective, but using them is a lot of work for faculty  Some provide peer review of course materials, other forms  provide peer review of in-class and in-lab faculty instruction  We want to get at the “nugget of teaching outcomes.”  These current “student evaluations” do not get at it, but are a mark of a whole mélange of responses.  Some faculty who are more “hardnosed” about their courses get below 3 and yet their students can be shown to achieve better scores in subsequent courses.  Other teachers get over 4.5 yet may be teaching disasters in terms of what their students are able to apply in later courses.

·      Commissioners asked if the forms will be revised to meet this challenge.  Chair Hearne said it should be on next year’s agenda for ACC.  Commissioners expressed genuine excitement at the thought of an opportunity to revise the forms.

4/27/10
Motion

MOTION TWO:    Approved University-Wide Programs

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the following language which defines University Wide programs and which will be added to the ACC Handbook:

MOVED THAT:

“The following language to be added to the ACC Handbook to further identify University-Wide Programs:

 

3.5  RESPONSIBILITIES OF UNIVERSITY-WIDE PROGRAMS

University-wide programs not affiliated with a College, including Honors Program, International Studies, Leadership Studies and Women Studies; and any other programs not reporting to a college curriculum committee, require approval of the Council on University Programs, a standing committee of the ACC (See Chapter 8).

 

Each approved University-Wide Program shall have its own curriculum committee that drafts, reviews and proposes curricula.  The curriculum committee of each such University-Wide Program:

 Shall be composed of at least 5 members, 3/5ths or more of whom are tenure-line faculty.   The faculty on the committee must represent at least three different departments and at least two colleges.  The committee elects a chair at the start of each academic year.

 

Shall have an approved and published mission and shall identify and publish expected course, program and degree learning outcomes.”

4/27/10
Motion MOTION ON THE USE OF x97’S FOR ALL “TEMPORARY” COURSES.  ACC approved the use of x97s for all temporary courses.  Commissioners voted unanimously in favor with one abstention.

 

4/13/10
CONSIDERATION OF ASSESSMENT

NO ACTION TAKEN

Assessment Recommendations

·         Commissioners discussed the possibility of a nationally normed exam for comparison with other schools, and suggested that a better recommendation might be to give departments the flexibility to design assessment using a variety of means such as existing surveys, accrediting exams, senior seminar classes, portfolios. 

·         VanderStaay endorses ACC making recommendations on ways of assisting departments in making outcome assessment and making improvement changes based on review on a cyclical basis.  Some departments would welcome assessment advice, particularly from a committee such as the AAC (Assessment Advisory Committee).

·         The Assessment Advisory Committee plans to do a programmatic review of general education and will use the CLA (College Learning Assessment) to assess 100 freshmen and 100 seniors and use the data as comparision with other universities. 

·         Commissioners recommended one possibility -- that students who take the rather costly GRE or MCATs on their own can provide some record to Western of their scores in order to build a database over a five year or longer period.  Commissioners acknowledged that would require record-keeping.

·         AAC might advise a normative exam and it would make sense for some colleges and departments, particularly with all our diversity.  We are not in position to say normative exams are useful, but rather they are something we should consider, and they are certainly useful when required for certain nationally accredited programs. 

·         No one wants to see these imposed on the departments, but are only useful as a suggestion.  Hearne hopes to continue to give input to AAC, and AAC will continue to give feedback to VanderStaay and Hearne.

 

2/16/2010

Motion RE Leadership Rubric

A motion was made by Yvonne Durham, seconded by Spencer Anthony-Cahill which passed unanimously that “in consultation with David Brunnemer that an appropriate rubric not used in another program be chosen by the Leadership Studies Program.”   Commissioners leave it to the Leadership Studies Program to use “LDST” or another rubric as it sees fit. The rubric will accompany the curriculum to come through regular departmental and college channels for approval.

 

2/16/10
Recommendation re CBE

 

Please list complete major requirement details for CAPP encoding

12/1/09
Recommendation  re CFPA

However, GUR credit can be given only once even if a student decides to repeat with different topics. P. 9: THTR297: No GUR credit is offered for x97 courses.  Once the course is given a permanent number, GUR credit can be considered.

12/1/09
Policy Considerations Formal Action has not been taken:

 Course Numbering and the 2-Year Rule

Commissioners considered the following and asked questions about enforcement and the technical administration and application of this change were it to come to pass:

 

ACC, in consultation with the administration, should require courses to be taught every three years (the current rule is two years). Courses that, for extenuating circumstances, cannot be taught every three years may be restored to the Catalog with the approval (via memo) of the ACC Executive Committee in the fourth and fifth Catalog years since initial approval. Any course not taught in this five-year period requires re-submission and completion of the ACC approval process.  (The clock restarts when the course is taught)

 

11/17/09
Policy Considerations Formal Action has not been taken:

Commissioners suggested the importance of writing a set of course outcomes and standards in course outcomes from the point of view of “expectations”.

 

11/17/09
Policy Considerations Formal action has not been taken:

§ Commissioners object to excessive wordiness in course descriptions:   Deletion of the following from GSTU410:  “The resulting portfolio will serve… through… in a job search.”  Deletion from GSTU471:  “Reports and a paper related to the internship are required.”

 

11/3/09
Motion

The ACC passed the following motion (moved by Anthony-Cahill, seconded by O Murchu):

MotionThe ACC will create an Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Policy (AHCAP) to work with the RegistrarProposals for revisions for policies will be forwarded to ACC.

Informal Charge:  AHCAP will create a venue by which inconsistencies that exist for students in areas such as honors, transfer credits, drop privileges, grade averaging for repeat courses, residence requirements for graduation, drop/add policy and other policies can be reviewed and revised in a cyclical manner.  Proposals for revisions to policies ought to have sufficient context and include a history of the policy and its rationale and then include tentative solutions to problem areas.  Proposals would then come before ACC for discussion, review, departmental dissemination by Commissioners, and return to ACC for final approval.

Membership: The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Registrar or Associate Registrar, a student member (ASVP-Academics), and two faculty, with additional faculty to be appointed.

Appointments and Elections To the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Policy: George Mariz, History; Daniel Warner, Accounting; (Thomas Downing to be appointed November 3, 2009).

 

10/20/09

Formation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Scholastic Policies

The Executive Committee will bring back language proposing the creation of an ad hoc committee of several faculty that will work with the Vice Provost and the registrar’s office to review certain scholastic policies that no longer serve students well and to improve catalog language for the same.  These might include policies such as:

·      Transfer students allowed 105 credits but Honors require they then take 90 here, a load of 15 extra.

·      Add/drop policy in general and Drop privileges.  2 drop privileges per academic year.  Once the open drop period ends a student has to come in and see if the drop has been used. Most students don’t know they have a drop privilege or that it has been exceeded.

·      Residence.  A student studying abroad not eligible for Honors because the last 65 credits must be taken here.

·      Prerequisites and drop.  A student that is required to meet prerequisites or leave the course may not know he has to drop the course himself.  Implications for financial aid and for access by other students.

·      Grade averaging for course repeats may impede students from moving past a deep hole they dug earlier in their career.  There is no statistical proof that such a policy allows other students greater access.

·      Graduation residence policy requires that you complete the last 45 credits here on campus -- a hardship if a student is called to military service or runs into family challenges.

See Committee Memberships on the Senate homepage: http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate/

10/6/09