Index of Topics 11/06/07

      Approved 11/20/2007; to Faculty Senate12/3/07

Writing Proficiency Requirements – 3 MOTIONS


ACC Charge Revised and Approved – MOTION


Qualitative Writing – Discussion Item


Academic Honesty Report form – Available on Web





Regular Meeting  --  November 6, 2007


Chair James Hearne called the meeting of the 2007-2008 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:04 pm on November 6, 2007.  There were twelve (12) members present and three (3) others for a total of fifteen. Chair Hearne welcomed several members and guests, including 1) new student member, Chelsea Fletcher, who is Associated Students’ Senate Chair; 2) Vice Provost for Faculty Relations, Rhonda Allen, who was sitting in for Provost Murphy; and 3) Kathleen Kitto, Associate Dean, College of Sciences and Technology, who was present to discuss the writing requirements. 


Approval of ACC minutes

Members approved minutes of October 23, as written.


Appointments and Elections

Commissioners appointed Jill Heckathorn, PEHR, to the GER Committee, to replace Lorrie Brilla who is on sabbatical.  There is one more vacancy on the GER Committee.




MINUTES FOR October 23, 2007


Postponed from 2 previous meetings


Huxley College CC



MINUTES FOR November 6, 2007



Huxley College Curriculum Cte

   9a-Environmental Science

   9b-Environmental Studies


Tabled.  Robin Matthews reported that due to staff changes and various other reasons, the committee requests additional time to better prepare minutes.


Fairhaven College Curriculum Cte


Accepted with minor revisions (delete word “prerequisite”).  Last sentence should read “Course MUST BE taken”


College Humanities & Social Sciences


Tabled until next meeting; minutes arrived today rather than Tuesday one week ahead as required for agenda preparation







Comments on Minutes

Fairhaven Concentration Ttitles.    These students with listed titles have applied for graduation.  When a student proposes a concentration it typically has a working title, but somewhere in the middle that title gets refined.  When the student applies for graduation (typically 3 quarters before), the chair of the committee sits down and develops a final title that best describes the student’s studies.


Word” prerequisite” to be deleted from description of Fairhaven403A.  Last sentence shall read “Course MUST BE taken” re Fairhaven403A.


(Action items, excluding handbook language, are forwarded in the ACC’s approved minutes to the Faculty Senate. Items are implemented following acceptance by the Senate).   


MOTION (1)  Re Fractional Writing Requirements

Commissioners reviewed some minor changes to the charge which has been under consideration at ACC since last spring.  A question of rounding up to “1” arose, and the presumption is that a percentage close to one unit would be rounded up and counted as “one”.  Commisioners emphasized that these are guidelines.  Department submitting courses will be asked to designate the course as WP1, WP2, or WP3.  A motion was made by Marie Eaton, and seconded by Yvonne Durham to approve the revised Fractional Writing Requirements, which passed with one abstention.  The text is as follows:


“ACC rescinds its original moratorium against distributing writing proficiency points amongst several courses.  


“Henceforth, a course may satisfy ⅓, ⅔ or 1 of the writing proficiency requirement (denoted WP1, WP2, WP3, respectively, on classfinder).   


“A student may complete the writing proficiency requirements only by successfully completing courses the sum of whose associated writing proficiency units is at least 1.


“If departments choose to schedule writing proficiency courses, they should do so in such a way so as to enable students to complete the writing proficiency unit as a natural consequence of completing the requirements for a major.  It is encouraged, but not required, that fractional writing proficiency status be attached only to regularly offered courses that apply to the major —as opposed to individual sections or offerings—of the unit offering the course.”



Discussion Re Writing Proficiency Requirements in the Majors

Chair Hearne spoke about a culture of kind of “temple of writing” or “hothouse writing” which seems to make it difficult to track what actually goes on in classes.  Hearne proposed we back off from extensive rewriting of entire drafts, but that revision can still be part of a course in a number of ways.  Hearne explained that with the motion below, if you have a 3-credit course, and 75% of the grade is based on writing, the course qualifies as 1 WP. 

§    A course where more than 50% of the grade in the course is based on writing would also qualify.  The table attached to the motion was expanded to include courses of four and five credits. 

§    If a department requires even more writing than ACC is representing as essential, that would be ideal.  Commissioners emphasized that the language in the motion represents minimal requirements. The entire package of several motions is intended to liberate departments to be more flexible in designing curriculum, and to increase the amount of available documentation of established writing practice.

§    Kathy Kitto, who was present at the meeting noted that while most departments are in compliance as this currently exists, Chemistry and Physics are challenged for a number of reasons associated with having a one-credit course which is heavily research and writing oriented. Kitto asked for time for the two departments to think about ways of implementing this, especially with hiring new faculty this year.  With the number of research active faculty it will be tough to get enough faculty resources to increase writing in 3-credit courses and might require several additional sections of a 3-credit curriculum. 

§    With students already writing lab reports, Kitto would like to examine how this would work with four and five-credit courses.  Kitto does not want to be in the position to figure all this out in this short timeline, and asks for some time to consider in which courses this can be implemented.  Mechanically this is solvable but presents a huge increase in teaching load.

§    Marie Easton proposed giving a waiver to individual departments, some cases of which already exist.


Eaton made a motion that we approve the new requirements with a caveat that departments such as physics and chemistry have a waiver for at least a year.  The motion had no second, as Commissioners continued the discussion.

§    Hearne added that he is not trying to make it more difficult, but to liberate departments, that is the spirit of this, and it has been reviewed by the Provost and the Deans.


Then Marie Eaton made a motion, seconded by Yvonne Durham, to approve the Writing Proficiency Requirement in the Majors that appears below which Commissioners passed with 2 abstentions:


MOTION (2)  Writing Proficiency Requirements in the Majors


“All Western writing proficiency courses should follow these University-wide guidelines:

·            Instructors provide detailed critiques of written assignments

·            Writing assignments must entail some element of revision in response to instructor’s critiques.  Revision of entire assignments, though encouraged, is not required. Revision can take the form, for example, of feedback to an initial outline or proposal.

·            Fractional writing proficiency units shall be assigned to given credit hours according to the scheme embodied in the following table, where the table entry gives the allowable writing proficiency units for a given percentage of the graded work devoted to writing, for a given total number of course credits.


(Note FYI:  This table revised by ACC motion at meeting of November 20)


>  75%

>  50%

>  25%

1 credit




2 credits




3 credits




4 credits




5 credits





Such percentages are necessarily approximations and are intended communicate the overall intent of the ACC in assigning fractional writing proficiency units to given credit hours.”


MOTION  (3)   Writing Proficiency Waivers

Robin Matthews moved, and Yvonne Durham seconded the text (as follows) for a waiver policy which the Commissioner passed with one abstention


“Physics and Chemistry are hereby exempted from the policy until 2010-2011.   Other departments who find the policy difficult to implement for various reasons can apply to ACC for an extension.”





(Amendments to Faculty Handbook language such as the revised charge to the Academic Coordinating Commission takes effect following approval by the Senate, vote by majority of the Faculty voting in an election held for this purpose, and will take effect upon acceptance by the Board of Trustees.) 


Senators reviewed a final draft of the revised ACC charge, and after pointing out a few minor typos, Roger Anderson moved, seconded by Yvonne Durham, to approve the revised charge, which Commissioners passed unanimously.  Text as it will be revised in the Faculty Handbook follows below:


“BL7.4          Academic Coordinating Commission

The Academic Coordinating Commission (ACC) shall have jurisdiction over all matters relating to the University's academic program. 


“BL7.4.1 Membership

The membership of the ACC shall be as follows

a)         Two faculty representatives from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (2);

b)         One faculty representative from each of the following: the College of Sciences and Technology,   Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the College of Business and Economics, Huxley College of the Environment, Woodring College of Education, and the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and one At-Large faculty (7);

c)         One representative from the Library faculty (1);

d)         Two members of the Faculty Senate for one-year terms (2);

e)         The Associated Students Vice President for Academic Affairs (ex officio, voting) (1);

f)           Three additional students (voting) (3);

g)         The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, (ex officio) (1);, and

h)         The Catalog Coordinator (ex officio, voting) (1). 

i)           The Registrar (ex officio, voting) (1)


“Faculty who are members of the ACC are appointed by their respective divisions for two-year terms and ratified by the Faculty Senate.   If possible, faculty representatives to the ACC should be members of their unit’s curricular committees. Two voting Faculty Senators are appointed by the Senate for one-year terms and may or may not be members of curricular committees.  The student Vice President for Academic Affairs is elected by the Associated Students, and three additional students are appointed by the Associated Students’ Board of Directors.  After Senate ratification, members are seated the last meeting in Spring Quarter. 


“A chairperson and vice chairperson shall be appointed by and from the committee membership at the last meeting each Spring Quarter.  The chair or a designee is responsible for communicating decisions of the ACC back to both the subcommittee(s) and the originating author(s).   A faculty member as chairperson will receive release time of 0.33 FTEF or equivalent release time from other duties to carry out the responsibilities of the office. 


“BL7.4.2  Meetings and the Executive Committee

The ACC will meet at least five times a quarter, every other week on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m.  Copies of the minutes of ACC meetings shall be forwarded to the Faculty Senate for review as soon as possible.  The Executive Committee meets in the week preceding the ACC meeting, is responsible for setting the meeting agenda, and is empowered to cancel meetings if there is insufficient business.  The Executive Committee of the ACC shall be made up of the chairperson, vice chairperson, the Associated Students Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Provost.  The recorder also attends. 


“BL 7.4.3 Standing Subcommittees

The ACC shall maintain the following subcommittees: Admissions Committee, Committee on the Assessment of Teaching and Learning, General Education Requirements Committee, Graduate Council, Honors Board, and International Programs Advisory Committee.  Curricular committees of the Colleges and the Library are considered to be subcommittees of the ACC.  The specific charges and memberships of these committees are given in the ACC Handbook.  Subcommittees of the ACC shall forward approved minutes of their meetings to the ACC for review within two weeks if possible.  The ACC is empowered to create additional ad hoc or standing committees (as it sees fit and necessary) to effectively meet its charge.”


Unanimously Passed by ACC on 11/6/07


NEW FORM for Academic Dishonesty Incident  available

Hearne distributed a new form which was provided by Registrar St. Hilaire which coincides with the implementation of the new Academic Honesty policy.  The form will be revised slightly, but can be found on the Senate website at present, under the ACC link at


Qualitative Approach to Writing

Chair Hearne distributed a paragraph which had been written by Joan Stevenson following discussion of the writing proficiency requirements in the Senate Executive Council.  Hearne explained that while we are attempted to quantify ways to allocate writing proficiency units, it is much more difficult to provide a qualitative description, and it is hard to characterize writing goals in such a way.  The paragraph written by Stevenson is an attempt to make progress beyond quantitative comments.


“Attempting a Qualitative Characterization of the Writing goals at WWU

o  All graduating students at WWU must achieve and demonstrate competency in writing consistent with the professional expectations of their chosen majors. 

o  The writing competency requirements will be embedded in the curricula of all majors. 

o  The requirements will be assessed in terms of training objectives relative to professional expectations, implementation, and assessment of competency (e.g., portfolios, grades in particular course(s), external review) by ACC (or a subcommittee thereof ) every five years on a rotating schedule (20% of programs per year) at a time and in a manner that fits the ACC schedule.

         (submitted by Joan Stevenson, Anthropology, Senate Executive Council)


Routing Table for Curricular Minutes

A revised routing table for Curricular Minutes has been prepared by the Catalog Coordinator and will be posted on the website and distributed to the committee.


Commissioners’ Concerns and Adjournment

No concerns were brought forward, and Commissioners adjourned at 5:14 p.m.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, November 6, 2007




Membership (term ending 2009)



Chair – James Hearne 2007-2008



A -  James Hearne, Computer Science, Chair (4 yr)



Vice Chair – Roger Thompson

(Louis Truschel 10/23 and 11/6)



A - Roger Anderson, Biology (SENATOR) rep to UPC






D – Mark Kuntz, Theater






E – Yvonne Durham, Economics, CBE



Dennis Murphy, Provost, nv

       Rhonda Allen, VP Faculty Relations




G – Robin Matthews, Huxley



Lisa Zuzarte (Catalog Coordinator) voting



H –Chris Ohana, for  M. Riddle-Buly,  Woodring, Fall Qtr






Membership (term ending 2008)



Registrar, Recorder, Guests



A –  Michael Meehan, Computer Science



Joe St. Hilaire, Registrar



B – Dan Boxberger, Anthro; rep to GER



Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder



C -  Diana Wright, History, Fall Qtr for L. Helfgott



Kathleen Kitto, Assoc Dean, CST



C - Louis Truschel, History, (for R. Thompson)






F -  Marie Eaton, Fairhaven






I –  Stefanie Buck, Library, rep to EESP






S -  Annie Jansen, ASVP-Academics, 2007-2008






S -  Chelsea Fletcher, AS Senate chair,  2007-2008






S -  vacant, 2007-08



Members Present



S-   Vacant, 2007-08



Registrar, Recorder, Guests Present






TOTAL PRESENT  November 6, 2007









Members (18)






12 faculty (2yr terms) representing each area with 2 as Senators.  6 more members include:  Provost (nv), Catalog Coordinator (ex officio) and 4 students (1 ASVP).  ACC sends reps:  to UPC and to GER Cte.  Registrar & Recorder are permanent guests