Draft Minutes - October 21, 2008

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

3:15 p.m., 115 International Center

President Simon, Provost Wilcox, E. Foster (for J. Armstrong), D. Banks, R. Baqri, D. Barnhizer, R.S. Chivukula, L. Cloud, C. Corley, T. Covassin, K. Currier, T. Curry, K. DeMaagd, D. Dougherty, K. Dysarz, R. Elchemmas, D. Estry, M. Fillmore, Z. Fluck, J. Forger, G. Francsics, W. Fu, D. Gift, L. Good, A.J. Grubbs, C. Haka, L. Harris, R. Hill, G. Hoppenstand, H. Hughes, C. Jackson-Elmoore, M. Jain, N. Jamian, L. June, M. Kaminski, D. Katanski, S. Kendall, R. Kirkpatrick, B. Kleinerman, K. Klomparens, W. Kopachik, G. Kortemeyer, M. Kroth, C. Kulesza, S. Lacy, G. Booth (for E. Lashbrooke), A. Levine, K. Lookingland, M. Madan, B. McDonald, H. Melakerberhan, T. Miller, P.S. Mohankumar, M. Morash, D. Moriarty, M.J. Arndt (for M. Mundt), M. Noel, C. Owen, L. Posey, E.J. Potchen, M. Reckase, H. Reinart, J. Revitte, J. Riedinger, E. Rosser, C. Salmon, K. Saunders, C. Schmitt, L. Selanders, E. Simmons, J. Slade, S. Sleeper-Smith, S. Soffin, D. Solomon, L. Stanford, S. Stanley, W. Strampel, S. Swantek, J. Szilagyi, T. Tims, T. Wolff (for S. Udpa), M. Webber, S. Wildman, J. Wright, D. Noverr (for K. Wurst), J. Youatt

ABSENT: C. Ames, K. Ames, M. Baba, C. Brown, B. Budds, P. Carolan, A. Cognato, B. Colquitt, E. Cushman, C. Dunbar, J. Epstein, S. Esquith, J. Fay, L. Fernandez, H. Fitzgerald, S. Garnett, C. Gelbke, A. Ginez, J. Gray, R. Griffore, D. Grummon, J. Howarth, N. Khanna, J. Kosciulek, C. Lotz, P. Menchik, E. Miller, R. Naegele, L.  Neuder, R. Ofoli, E. Outslay, C. Parker-Lee, M. Rappley, J. Ren, M. Rodriguez, C. Roszell, B. Sinclair, A. Skeen, R. Spiro, D. St. Arnault, J. Sticklen, M. Sticklen, S. Teahan, J. Zheng, M. Zile

The meeting began at 3:15 p.m. with a full quorum present.

Approval of Agenda:
The agenda was amended to add the item Graduate Annual Research Recognition Conference.   The amended agenda was approved.

Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of September 23, 2008 were amended. A change was made in the discussion of Academic year Start Date, typo identified and corrected to Dean Estry and in the paragraph beginning with Professor Chivukula, the third line, strike “supports the change and also”.   The third paragraph under Academic Start Date, the second sentence was amended by striking the words “There is” and adding “The Provost cited concern “.   The amended minutes were approved.

President’s Remarks:
President Simon commented on the overall economic issues.  When you think about the first part of the academic year beginning in July through September, the State of Michigan closed the  2008 fiscal year without a deficit.  The Governor has called for a revenue estimation conference that will provide greater clarity about a number of factors for later this year.

The President noted that various things are changing such as the prison population is declining and we know prisons are a major cost to the State budget.  The strains on the Social Services are increasing, which is another cost factor on the State budget.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the State. None of the indicators are positive, even though the State concluded the fiscal year with a slight surplus.  President Simon pointed out that Michigan’s circumstances are not a lot different than what is happening around the country.  There are a set of circumstances regarding financial aid and access to education due to shifts to private loans.  The Federal financial aid program is stable and Federal loans have been stabilized.  The one area of vulnerability is in the area of private loans.  There also is the overall psychology of the economy as it relates to families.  It is incumbent on the University to remain a very good value for the students which we do control. 

There are things everyone needs to look at in contributing to save money, for example energy use. 

President Simon noted the good news is that the University has a diversified investment portfolio but the bad news is that everyone’s portfolio is down.  The University has $34.5 million dollars that is part of the General Fund Budget and it is hoped this is possible to sustain.

Another big issue is liquidity.  Other institutions are having difficulty making payroll because of liquidity but MSU does not have this problem.  It is anticipated that endowment accounts will be sustained this year.  MSU is not at the same risks that other institutions are reporting and are in a place to function in a relatively straight forward way.

Provost’s Remarks:
Provost Wilcox reported on the continuing implementation of the large set of recommendations from Faculty Voice and called attention to two recent events.  Associate Provost Curry organized an Academic Governance workshop opened to campus which was well attended.  The Provost thanked Professors Wright, Stanford, Chivukula and Payne for their contributions.  This was an attempt to have the campus better understand the role, function and purposes of Academic Governance with an eye toward broader participation.  The first Administrator Advisory Group was convened by Associate Provost Curry this week which has the task of advising the Provost Office and administration on ways to more fully implement policies and procedures that are in place to be most effective. 

President Simon and others on campus, particularly those from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, played host to a large contingent of people from the US Department of Energy for a site visit as part of the review process for a new location for Isotope Beams on campus.  Provost Wilcox noted this was a great showing of MSU.

Last Spring the Provost talked about an initiative from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which is a voluntary system of accountability.  This is an attempt to provide a platform for a standard set of data about universities across the country.  The voluntary system is a response to the Federal government’s interest in accountability in universities.  The web site is now up, collegeportrait.org   The web site is an excellent resource for families and prospective students to look at various universities.  Provost Wilcox encouraged faculty to view the website.

ECAC Vice-Chairperson’s Remarks:
Professor Potchen reported the amendments for the Bylaws are being developed by UCAG and will be presented beginning in January.  The Faculty Liaison Group met this week in preparation for the BOT meeting Friday.  Professor Potchen encouraged faculty to contact the group with any issues they wished to be discussed.

University Committee on Curriculum Report:
Professor Good, Chairperson of UCC, presented the following UCC report to members:

There were 14 programs and 126 course proposals approved which included:

  • There were 13 Program changes and 1 Program deletion.  The Program deleted was the Bachelor of Science in Geophysics due to low numbers. 
  • There were 29 new courses reviewed, 94 course changes and 3 course deletions.  The new prefix code for Lyman Briggs accounted for about half of the course changes.

A motion was passed to approve the UCC report as submitted.

Undergraduate Learning Assistant Policy:
Professor Chivukula, Chairperson of UCAP, presented a motion to endorse the Undergraduate Learning Assistant Policy:

Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULA) provide a variety of non-teaching supports in courses, while being mentored in their roles by the faculty-of-record for those courses.  This policy provides some definition and structure to the position of ULA so that

  • Their work is an educational experience,
  • Their activities contribute to the learning of their peers, and so that
  • ULA’s are appropriately mentored (and trained) in ways that allow them to be truly helpful to the faculty members with whom they work.

The motion was supported.  Professor Chivukula noted the UCAP has been working on the policy for 2 years.  The motion was passed.

UCC Comprehensive Proposal 4 & 5:
&5.  The motion was supported.  Professor Chivukula summarized the Proposals for the Council.  The motion passed.  Provost Wilcox thanked the committee members for their work.

Chris Kulesza, Chairperson of AA, also thanked the committee on behalf of the students for their work on these Proposals.

Policy on the Integrity of Scholarships and Grades:
Professor Chivukula, Chairperson of UCAP, summarized the proposed changes in the Revision of the Policy on the Integrity of Scholarships and Grades.  Professor Chivukula asked members to review the Policy and send feedback to UCAP.  The Policy will be presented for action in Spring Semester.  The Policy is now being reviewed by UCFA, UCSA, UGC, ASMSU and COGS with feedback due to ECAC in January.

UCAP Standing Committee Report:
Professor Chivukula, Chairperson of UCAP presented an information report of the Committee’s activities.  The UCAP is the primary Standing Committee dealing with undergraduate academic policy and exercise the faculty’s delegated authority on grading policy.   The UCAP also advise and consult with the Provost on any issues regarding curriculum revision, methods of instruction and evaluation of instruction for undergraduate students and programs.  Professor Chivukula noted that one of the changes in the proposed revision on the governance structure to the Bylaws is to change the name UCAP to the University Undergraduate Academic Policy Committee.

The UCAP has representatives from all the degree granting Colleges, including a representative from the Non-College faculty, 4 undergraduate ASMSU representatives and 2 representatives from COGS.  There are also liaison representatives from the University Committee on Liberal Learning, Military Education Advisory Committee, Athletic Council and the Provost.  The UCAP deals with policy issues that arise from Curriculum and other issues like Academic Calendar, Undergraduate Learning Assistants and the Integrity of Scholarships and Grades Policy.

Professor Chivukula also raised two issues such as the Students’ Religious Observance Policy, which is in revision and the Course Repeat Policy which is also being reviewed.

Academic Calendar Review – Amended Motion:
Professor Potchen reported the Faculty Council passed and amended the motion to establish a broad base Task Force to conduct a comprehensive review of the Academic Calendar.  The following amended motion was moved:

Faculty Council directs ECAC to establish a broad base Task Force to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of the Academic Calendar which includes representatives from UCFA, UCAP, UCSA, UGC, Housing and Food Service, Registrar’s Office, Residence Life, Office of Cultural and Academic Transition, International Studies Program, Office of Planning and Budget, Women’s Advisory Council, ASMSU, COGS and the Office of Community Liaison. ECAC will develop the specific charge to the Task Force and bring to Faculty Council for endorsement.

The motion was supported.  Chris Kulesza, Chairperson of AA, proposed an amendment to the amended motion to add the Office of Student Affairs.  The motion was supported and the  amended motion passed.  The main motion as amended then passed.

Graduate Annual Research Recognition Conference:
Manish Madan,  President of COGS, announced to members that the first Graduate Annual Research Recognition Conference will be presented by COGS March 27, 2009.  The objective of the conference is to showcase graduate/professional research with a culmination of ideas and innovation from multi-disciplinary fields.  The COGS would like the support of the faculty.

Other Business:
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:17 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Jacqueline Wright
Secretary for Academic Governance


Tapes of complete meetings of the Academic Council are available for review in the office of the Secretary for Academic Governance, W32 Owen Graduate Hall, 355-2337.

Committee Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 3:15pm
Committee Type: 
Minutes Status :