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Faculty Senate update

Academic Policy Committee discussions and votes round out the final meeting of 2019.

By Cory Phare

December 10, 2019

Faculty Senate meeting in progress.The final meeting of the calendar year for Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Faculty Senate featured a packed room and a full agenda.

“It’s a busy time of year with a lot of work and grading, so thank you for being here,” said Senate President Katia Campbell (communication studies).

The majority of the meeting was spent reviewing proposals from the Academic Policy Committee, led by Jessica Weiss (art history), Liz Goodnick (philosophy) and Chris Harder (mathematics and computer science).

Policies reviewed included:

  • A second reading and vote on the Intellectual Property Policy. Goodnick outlined the feedback-integration process and that the lack of a policy exposed faculty members to vulnerability to retain materials in lieu of something being on the books, based on contested case law.
    “This is much better policy than what the legal precedent dictates and the current policy,” Goodnick said. “It’s not the final version, as we plan to keep working to make it better. Basically, the reason we need this is that it’s important to protect ourselves and academic freedom.”
    After a lively discussion and a motion to table the measure that didn’t move forward, the policy was approved with a vote of 52 in favor, 16 against and three abstentions.
  • A second reading and vote on online/digital course materials. After a friendly amendment to add assessment tools to match the language of the IP policy, the vote passed with 67 voting yes and one abstention.
  • A second reading and successful vote on bestowing degrees for terminally ill students. The measure passed handily with 65 in favor, four opposed and two abstentions.
  • A second reading and vote on policies governing grades of “Incomplete,” which would develop a new workflow that would require input of a default grade and allow anything over a failing grade to count toward a completion for Financial Aid purposes; departments still retain the ability to place specific criteria for Incompletes. The vote passed with 63 yes, four no and one abstention.
  • A second reading and vote for academic policies that would insert suspension prior to expulsion exclusively for accounting graduate students; the vote passed with 60 in favor and two abstentions.
  • A second reading and vote for prior-learning policies. The department-driven effort clarified that successfully completed AP/IB courses would receive composition credit, but CLEP would not; it also would award successful CLEP tests to serve as challenge exam for Eng 1010 but not 1020. The vote passed with 62 in favor and two abstentions.

“I’d like to give a special shout-out to everyone on the APC,” Weiss said at the end of the discussion. “Everyone’s working super-hard, and it’s truly a committee effort – we really appreciate your time and energy.”

Other items of business included:

  • Campbell reminded attendees of open forums for the faculty director of research candidates (11 a.m. to noon, Dec. 16, 17 and 18 in JSSB 330C) and vacancies for at-large and physical-sciences positions on the Faculty Welfare Committee; those interested should email Campbell or Maggie Thulson.
  • Guest of the Senate Jeff Loats, from the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, highlighted several events coming up, including portfolio workshops, document-accessibly trainings and the tri-institutional faculty forum Feb. 28. More information is available on the CTLD events calendar.
  • Jo Bailey (social work) provided a second read and successful vote of the Instructional Resource Committee bylaws to reflect online programming as part of the charge and to add the associate vice president of online learning as a nonvoting member.
  • Azure Avery (physics) expressed gratitude to those on the Faculty Welfare Committee, updating the assemblage that the group was gathering data and planned to present soon on the adjusted-workload proposal discussed in the previous Senate term’s session and the summer teaching memo from November.
  • Zsuzsa Balogh (civil engineering technology) thanked members of the Curriculum Committee for the long list of courses reviewed, including the 136 approved throughout the term.
  • Gabrielle Katz (earth and atmospheric sciences) thanked members of the General Studies Committee for their collegiality and work on the more than 90 proposals they reviewed over the semester.

Topics: Events, Faculty Senate, Policy

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