September 29, 2009 Special Meeting

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Approved 10-6-09



September 29 , 2009
Board Room, Administration Building

Present: M. Crimp, K. Currier, K. Dysarz, L. Good, H. Hughes, R. Emmett (for D. Moriarty), S. Niceley, E. Outslay, J. Powell, P. Rogers, M. Sticklen, D. Weber, J. Wright, J. Youatt; Others: J. Biddle, T. Curry, C. Kulesza, S. Lott

Absent: J. Cheng, S. Kendall, R. Naegele, K. Wilcox

Professor Hughes called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. with a quorum being present. The special meeting has been called to discuss one topic.

The Agenda was approved as distributed.

Course Schedule Change:
Professor Hughes asked Professor Wright to introduce the topic of discussion. The issue of Course Schedule Change came to the attention of the Governance Office from an email from a faculty member concerned over the fact that there had been no discussion with faculty and office staff was changing the course schedules. Professor Hughes was contacted and after verification of the content, Professor Hughes asked that a special meeting of ECAC be held. Professor Hughes requested that members have general discussion prior to any motions. Professor Youatt noted that Provost Wilcox was out of State but they had a discussion about the topic last week and she will try to provide his perspective. Professor Youatt indicated that when the Memorandums came out asking the Deans to take a comprehensive review of how business is done. The Provost was also committed to do the same thing in the Provost Office. He asked every Associate Provost to look at the units for which they were responsible and do a type of audit. As a consequence of this, there were a couple of issues that came to his attention that needed to be addressed. There were several design principles that needed to be kept in the forefront when looking at units i.e., ways in which students would be impacted such as, maintaining the flexibility to get through programs and that the progress toward the degree would not be impeded by changes recommended.

Professor Youatt noted that the Provost had sent a memo to faculty reminding them that Final Exams were to be given during Final Exam week and not earlier. Another area identified was in the scheduling of courses. When the University changed to semesters in 1992, a template for when courses would be offered was agreed upon in governance. Courses would be offered MWF in 50 minute blocks and TTh were reserved for 80 minute blocks. Professor Youatt explained that over time there are classes with 80 minute blocks MWF and it has caused problems for students taking 50 minute classes. This practice has also caused problems in classroom scheduling as well. There are fewer classrooms and fewer sections and more faculty using 80 minute blocks, which has posed problems. Professor Youatt noted the new Registrar issued a memorandum reminding people of the existing policy. She personally apologized to faculty and students for the stress caused by getting this Memorandum in the academic departments in the middle of scheduling for next year. There was no context explaining the background or the reason. Again Professor Youatt apologized for the disrespect to faculty, and that was never the intention. She acknowledged understanding the pedagogical reasons for 80 minute blocks, and for those faculty they should chose TTh times, or when the draft of the Fall schedule comes they should make a notation and request MW with a reason.

There was much discussion from members regarding their concern, as well as the concern from the faculty in their units regarding the Memorandum sent by the Registrar. The Memorandum went to people who did the scheduling in their units without any notice or conversation with faculty about the course schedule change. Professor Biddle, from the College of Social Science, was given permission to speak. Professor Biddle reiterated the concerns as well as the pedagogical reasons for the need of 80 minute blocks on MW. Shannon Nicely, COGS Representative, spoke in favor of the 50 minute blocks on MWF due to class time conflicts experienced. Further discussion lead to a proposed motion as follows: The faculty requests that the changes in scheduling of MW classes to MWF classes and all related changes be deferred until at least 2011-2012 academic year so that the affected students and faculty can be consulted and the underlying reasoning can be examined before the decision is finalized. Any such examination should include a reexamination of prior decisions and the basis for them and the reasons for the development of current practice related to such scheduling and to place on the next Faculty/Academic Council agendas. The motion was supported. A motion to table the motion until next ECAC meeting failed. The original motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :