Index of Topics 5/27/08

        For Approval 10/7/2008;  to Faculty Senate 10/13/08

Approval of M.Ed. in Literacy; Curricular committee minutes


Plagiarism Detection Tool – report from Frank Roberts


Reports from ACC Standing Committees


Appreciation to Joe St. Hilaire – comments from outgoing members


ELECTION OF CHAIR – Roger Thompson, Chair, 2008-2009,

       Jim Hearne, Vice Chair.  Appointments to Standing committees




Academic Honesty Policy – sentence re machine translation








Regular Meeting  --  May 27, 2008


Chair James Hearne called the meeting of the 2007-2008 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:08 pm on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, shortly after new commissioners arrived and picked up their 2008-2009 ACC notebooks. 

There were fourteen (14) members present, the Registrar (1), the Recorder (1) and three outgoing members (3) for a total of nineteen (19).  

Approval of ACC minutes

Members approved minutes of May 13, 2008 as written.


Hearne reminded members that the Chair does vote.  Hearne will be on sabbatical for part of 2008-09 and prefers to step down as chair.  Hearne was then nominated and then elected vice chair following the nomination, vote, and election of Roger Thompson as chair of ACC for 2008-2009.


Carryover of M.ED. Elementary name change to M.Ed. Literacy – ACCEPTED

“Literacy” is now the more commonly used title for this degree which reflects P through 12 education.  To clarify, the Masters in Literacy is not a Masters in literature or prose.  Normally the people with this degree are high school teachers whose students read or write at a 5th, or 6th grade level or for whom English is their second language, and their literacy is the focus of this particular degree.  The catalog coordinator will check the credits for the catalog: to read:  Option one, minimum 45, and Option two, minimum 48 credits.


Report from Frank Roberts, ATUS, re: plagiarism detection tool.

Frank Roberts of ATUS spoke to Commissioners about the proposed “plagiarism detection tool”.  Roberts mentioned that John Farquahuar that had planned to be here today but could not be. Roberts and Farquahuar would have preferred to come to ACC for the original presentation so they could have provided earlier responses to the following questions: 

1.  Regarding security on Blackboard (herein referred to as “Bb”), Roberts assured the commissioners that there is absolutely no security problem with the grade book on Bb.  The site is fully secured and in 7 or 8 years we have never had any kind of breach in the grade book, nor have we found any instances at another institution.  “We want to make sure that no one feels any insecurity about storing grades.  Only administrators can get to those.”  Some issues may have arisen because of copyright and patent issues which are under adjudication – but there is no foreseeable impact on Western from this.

2.  The plagiarism detection tool is still being evaluated at other universities; the tool can be implemented in a test phase for anybody who wants to use it at Western.  The tool tests documents against PRO QUEST.

3.  Roberts invited faculty to a “Webinar” in MH152 at 10 a.m. on Thursday.  Call Roberts at x3361 with questions.


Reports from ACC Standing Committees

Commissioners reviewed reports from ACC Standing Committee Chairs some of which were included in their packets and some presented at the meeting:


Admissions Committee

Karen Copetas, Chair

Admissions committee submitted minutes from their final meeting as a report, which included summary charts.  This material was sent in the packets, and proposals will be considered further next year.


Committee on the Assessment of Teaching and Learning (CATL)

CATL 2007-2008 Annual Report to the ACC (Joe Trimble)

§       In the form of an advisory memo from the Writing Assessment Group (WAG), the Committee on the Assessment of Teaching and Learning (CATL) submitted a document and plan to the ACC that expressed concerns about the Writing Proficiency course model and offered suggestions for options, including portfolios, research papers, and capstone writing projects. 

§       The ACC subsequently recommended that the Office of Institutional Assessment, Research, and Testing (OIART) conduct a survey about faculty and student perceptions of writing proficiencies at Western. The survey was conducted and the results were submitted to the ACC; no action was taken.

§       Also CATL, with the assistance of the OIART, reviewed the results of a survey of faculty who teach General Education courses along with the results of student perceptions of the amount of classroom experience they had with the GenEd learning objectives. The extensive report and analyses will be submitted to the ACC by the end of the 2007-2008 academic year.


General Education Requirements Committee.  -  James Inverarity, outgoing chair  (report received May 28, 2008)

The GER Committee's work in 07-08 centered on reviewing course proposals.

No major policy changes came before the committee this year.  Internally, the committee created several procedural innovations.  Thanks to suggestions made by Linda Luke the committee adopted new standardized forms for the meeting agendas and the committee minutes.  On occasion in the past the committee's minutes failed to include all the information ACC needed to approve the proposals. The new standardized forms should minimize such errors in the future.  The committee also wrestled with the logistics of distributing the course proposals to the members electronically. Several members had difficulty receiving and accessing these reports on their computers conveniently.  A series of trial and error efforts led to formulating the policy that in the future the chair of the committee would download the proposals and distribute hard copies in advance to the membership.


Honors Board – programs approved in minutes of May 5, 2007  - George Mariz, Chair

The board chooses seminars each year, sets policy, and takes on other duties as necessary---it has done all these this year.  The board has also decided to update the program's strategic plan, and Bertil van Boer and the Chair are charged with creating a draft, which should be finished by the end of the academic year.  The plan will chart the course of Honors'  future for the next three to five years. 


International Programs Advisory Committee - Christopher Wise, Chair

IPAC performed its normal duties, reviewing various study abroad programs on behalf of students, evaluating applications for International Study awards, and advising Liz Partolan-Fray on other related matters. Two items are currently still in discussion: (1) WWU's future policy on students attending programs in areas deemed unsafe (or undesirable) by the U.S. Department of State; and (2) the recent accreditation report confirming the views of many WWU faculty involved in International Studies that WWU has traditionally done a good job of sending students overseas but has done a terrible job of bringing international students to this campus.  Now that this matter has, not surprisingly, become an accreditation issue, administrative action will hopefully be taken to bring more international students to this campus.


Graduate Council – Dean Moheb Ghali, Chair

The Graduate Council sends regular curricular minutes which ACC considers in approving graduate school course proposals and revisions.


Comments from Outgoing Commissioners

§    Marie Eaton appreciated ACC efforts to identify the larger curricular issues that might need attending to, rather than just the minutiae of catalog copy.  Eaton expressed the hope that Commissioners will bring up larger issues earlier.

§    Stefanie Buck mentioned that the ACC is a good committee on which to serve; it provides an opportunity to get to know other faculty members and their curricular concerns, and keeps the university operations more in the forefront of one’s mind, beyond just local area concerns.

§    Annie Jansen, Associated Students explained to new members of ACC that students do care about decisions in academics, and although we did not have much luck in retaining this year’s students, it is critical to have faculty and students exchange input and perspectives on issues.

§    Marie Eaton then expressed particular thanks to Joe St. Hilaire for all the work he has done on this committee for many years.  St. Hilaire has been a source and storehouse of a great deal of advice and information regarding students and policies.

§    Hearne also thanked ACC members for their service.  Hearne felt that this year the membership was particularly smart and engaged, and that they exercised particularly good judgment.  Hearne added that serving as chair has been a pleasure, and he added special thanks to Lisa Zuzarte for “keeping us from mistakes every single week.”  Zuzarte expressed special thanks to St. Hilaire for his mentoring.  See below for Hilaire acclimation.

§    Hearne also thanked Rose Marie Norton-Nader for her work as recorder and preparer of the agendas and minutes and her contributions to ACC overall. Norton-Nader used the opportunity to express particular thanks to St. Hilaire for his friendliness and accessibility when questions arose, and expressed appreciation for the work of two students in the Faculty Senate office, Allie Paul and Katrina Schuster, who assist in the relentless tasks of preparing packets for the members.

§    Commissioners thanked Roger Thompson, who had served as vice chair.  Hearne added that Thompson’s really good judgment and thoughtful understanding of university ideas and issues at a higher level will take prominence in the year ahead as he serves as Chair.


Appreciation to Joseph St. Hilaire, Retiring Registrar, and Acclamation : Joseph St. Hilaire was acknowledged by ACC members for his immense contribution to the ACC and to the University during his many years as Registrar.  St. Hilaire retires at the end of spring quarter, and he spoke to the Commission about his ACC experience.  St. Hilaire’s comments follow: 

“I don’t deserve much of that (praise) because I have such good people, including Lisa, and Linda Luke.  We are finally getting the catalog in order .  It will take perhaps next year and the year after to get it where it should be.  We appreciate your patience in doing that. Some of you may have been bothered by the trivia we have put to you in the past year, while we attempt to make sure that the catalog is current and correct.  But we hope to get beyond the trivia.  as the committee learns more about the process.  As faculty who submit proposals learn about the new processes we hope it will deliver great rewards in the end.”

St. Hilaire expressed gratitude to the faculty who have paid attention to the great detail in the registrar’s office.  He mentioned that he had only been on ACC for 17 years, although he has been at Western for 30. 

St. Hilaire continued:  “I have seen 5 or 6 different chairs, Robin, Tom Downing, and all the ACCs and all the committees are so different in the way they operate.  The makeup of ACC is different every year.  One year it can be quite hardnosed.  In 1995 there were two or three faculty who got on ACC purposely with a mission of toughening up the course withdrawal policy. Faculty can change the whole nature and the personality of the Commission; faculty influence the rest and policies get changed along that way.  The most important work the university can do -- I sit on UPC and a couple of others, and nothing compares with this – ACC is the heart and soul and guts of the university.  Take it really seriously, study these minutes ahead of time if possible, and be involved in those discussions, and don’t rely completely on Lisa to bring up all the trivial errors.  I have great expectations and hopes for ACC – and it will never go away.”

Commissioners acknowledged St. Hilaire by applause acclamation, and then took a five minute recess.


Roger Thompson Assumes chairmanship – Appointments to Standing Committees

Following a short break, Commissioners were called to order by Chair Roger Thompson. 

The following Commissioners volunteered as ACC representatives:

To University Planning Council:  Roger Anderson, Biology

To the General Education Requirements Committee:  Billie Lindsey, PEHR









Fairhaven College


ACCEPTED.  .New Course: Fair 397r


Huxley College


ACCEPTED, with note.

ESTU497D; ESTU497S; faculty designed major

Concerns:  ESTU 497S Commissioners suggested titling the course either “Marine Ecology: Invasive Species”  or  “Invasive Species in Marine Ecology”.   ACC can live with the title now as it is an experimental course, but suggests better titling when the request is repeated.  Please shorten the course description – catalog copy.


Graduate Council


ACCEPTED.  SCED517; NSci/SciEd; MBA; Geography

NOTE:   Moheb Ghali, present for Provost Murphy, pointed out that a Summer course accepted for credit toward a graduate degree in a compressed time frame must be approved by the Graduate School every single time it is offered.


International Programs



Universidad Latina de Panama; appeals process; scholarships;  faculty led programs abroad

NOTE:   Commissioners commented on process for developing Faculty-led programs abroad or out-of-state.

For example, Geology might be a model for overseas programs.  It  occurs over a several week period in September that overlaps with the beginning of fall quarter.  2 faculty travel with students in a program that equates to their fall quarter effort – getting credit for a normal quarter load with a significant portion of credits for students.  This may be a decent model and might set a precedent.

Chair Thompson proposed forwarding questions and suggestions to Doug Nord, and encouraged faculty to do the same.

Commissioners acknowledged that there are tons of logistical problems that individual faculty must solve whenever they undertake a project.  Nord sees the role of the Center to facilitate faculty-led programs so they can happen more effectively.  While workload is a departmental decision, it is nice to know that there is an outside agency or person supporting the travel activity.  ACC and IPAC hope to make faculty more aware of the potential here.



Academic Coordinating Commission Charge – Motion to Reject

(The revised ACC CHARGE  is due for second vote in the Faculty Senate on Monday, June 2nd. )  The ACC moved that the Senate reject the new membership selection process requirements (in the new charge) and urges continued conformity with existing handbook language* which ACC concurs increases the probability of broader faculty representation. 


The MOTION PASSED unanimously. (Moved by Hearne, seconded by Kuntz).  The following text is the existing handbook language:  “The faculty members of the ACC are appointed by the Faculty Senate”



The following rationale was presented by Senate Commissioners and discussed by the ACC:

1.  This is the Academic Coordinating Commission, not just curriculum coordinating.  We are concerned about many aspects of academic and student life, and we are not just a “super curricular” committee.  There are multiple issues that arise during the year about programs, and not just curricular issues. This change does not acknowledge that, but defines us as merely a “super curricular” committee..

2.  Woodring has several curricular committees.  Finding members for ACC would be fairly onerous and complicated.  Woodring has both undergraduate and graduate committees in various divisions.  The new language is just an unnecessary complication.

3.  Both former chairs of ACC have voted against the new language.  Some other ideas that come up suggest that the new process mildly increases the possibility of a cabal or a determined stance for a particular issue perhaps against the majority.

3.  This is an issue of Academic Freedom.  If you have some basic disagreements on curricular or other matters under ACC purview you have no way to have oversight on this.  Some ACC members find this offensive.

4.  Another ACC member added that with four different curricular committees there would be nobody to go to any of these meetings.  This is particularly true in the smaller colleges.

5.  A requirement to serve on two committees at once is burdensome, and may be prohibitive when it comes to faculty scheduling.

6.  Communication is complicated by this change, not improved.  There is an increased likelihood that faculty, especially newer faculty will not learn that they can even be on the ACC. 

7.  One commissioner made the point, however, that there are many faculty who do not have a clue on curricular matters or how to deal with them, and that can be a time waster presenting a need “to suffer fools gladly.”  If the curricular committees do anything along these lines they might look around the college and suggest a list of a minimum of three people, for example, that ACC could then solicit and vote on.  That at least would be useful.  However, faculty members would have to know that such an exercise in soliciting members is occurring, and that should probably continue as it does now, from one central location, the Senate office.

6.  ACC’s membership and its personality changes from year to year.  When this language change was first proposed it was a year when communication may have been challenged.  Now there have been significant improvements with the efforts of the Registrar’s office, the routing of E-sign forms, and the SHORT SUMMARY provided immediately following the ACC meeting.  The Handbook should also provide reminders to people about what practice is from year to year.

8.  ACC members on the Senate should have been identified and allowed to have a full discussion, so that those Senators not fully invested in ACC issues or fully informed about ACC can abstain if they wish.

9.  Electing an ACC committee rep may be at the end of the year, when the curricular committee’s work is largely done, and it is about trying to find new members for itself.  Adding the burden of finding ACC representatives may cause this to default to choices by Deans, or Associate Deans, rather than an open process whereby any faculty member interested in ACC’s concerns can volunteer to be on the committee and then be appointed by the Senate.

10.  The consensus of ACC is that the current faculty handbook language is preferable to the proposed change, and it would like the Senate to reconsider before the final vote.


Appointments to ACC Standing Committees

By MOTION, the ACC appointed the following faculty to its Standing committees (2 yr terms):             

ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE: Nicholas Wonder, William Smith, Chris Sandvig,

            ASSESSMENT (Committee on Assessment of Teaching & Learning):  Chuck Lambert   

                                       (Janice Lapsansky to be appointed Oct 2008)  1 additional vacancy)

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:  2yr terms:  Lorrie Brilla, PEHR;  Maria Paredes, M&CL; Emily Borda, PEHR;  David Gilbertson, Acctg;  Matt Miller, ElemEd 1yr terms: Sean Murphy, Lib Studies; Elsi Vassdal-Ellis, Art; David Rossiter, EnvStudies

GRADUATE COUNCIL:  Kate Wayne, Woodring;  Perry Fizzano, Computer Science,  

                      (1 additional vacancy)

            HONORS BOARD:  Seth Feinberg, Sociology; Jeanne Armstrong, Library

            INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS:  Chris Wise, English;  Todd Koetje, Anthropology;  

Susan DeBari, Geology; Michael Karlberg, Comm.



One Sentence Revision to Academic Honesty Policy

Due to the improvements in machine language translations, a proposal came to ACC to include some new language in the Academic Honesty Policy.  A draft sentence of new language was proposed, and this is a new sentence replacing the sentence proposed at the last meeting:


“Submitting the results of a machine translation program as one’s own work”


Commissioners discussed some implications of the language, but decided to postpone a vote until Fall Quarter.



Commissioners adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, May 27, 2008




Voting Membership (term ending 2009)



Chair – Roger Thompson 2008-2009



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



Vice Chair – James Hearne



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






A – Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Biology (SENATOR)



Ex Officio



D – Mark Kuntz, Theater



Moheb Ghali, VP (for Provost Murphy)



E – Yvonne Durham, Economics, CBE



Lisa Zuzarte (Catalog Coordinator) nv



G – Robin Matthews, Huxley






H –Marsha Riddle-Buly,  Woodring,






Membership (term ending 2010)



Outgoing Members, Guests, Recorder



B –  Billie Lindsey, PEHR, rep to GER Cte



Joe St. Hilaire, Registrar (retiring)



C – Roger Thompson, History, CHAIR



Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder



E -  Kristi Tyran, Management



Dan Boxberger



F -  Julie Helling, Fairhaven



Marie Eaton



I –  Sylvia Tag, Library,



Annie Jansen, ASVP



S -  Andrea Godard, ASVP-Academics, 2008-2009






S -  , ASVP



Members Present



S -  , ASVP,



Outgoing Members, Guests, Recorder



S-   , ASVP



TOTAL PRESENT   May 27, 2008















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