ANNUAL REPORT, 2006-2007 Academic Year


Academic Standards Committee


1.  Membership (including ex-officio members).




Linda Wolfe, Chair; Tom McConnell, Vice Chair; Mark Richardson, Secretary; Margaret Bauer, Lora Smith-Canter, Javier Lorenzo, Joseph Thomas




Michael Brown, Rep. of Chancellor; Linner Griffin, Rep. of Provost; George Bailey, Rep. of Chair of the Faculty; Mark Sprague, Faculty Senator; Cole Jones, Rep. of Student Government Association


2.  Meeting Dates (include members present)


MEETING DATE:   September 18, 2006


REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Bauer, McConnell, Smith-Canter, Richardson, Wolfe, Thomas    


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:   Brown, Griffin, Bailey, and Sprague


MEETING DATE:   October 23, 2006




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Bauer, McConnell, Smith-Canter, Richardson, Lorenzo, Thomas 


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Brown, Bailey, and Sprague   


MEETING DATE:   November 20, 2006




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Bauer, McConnell, Richardson, Lorenzo


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:   Brown, Bailey, Griffin, and Sprague


MEETING DATE:   January 22, 2007




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Bauer, McConnell, Smith-Canter, Lorenzo, Richardson, Thomas, Wolfe




 MEETING DATE:   February 19, 2007




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Bauer, McConnell, Richardson, Lorenzo, Thomas, Wolfe


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:   Brown, Bailey, Griffin, and Sprague


MEETING DATE:   March 19, 2007




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  McConnell, Lorenzo, Richardson, Thomas, Wolfe


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:   Brown, Bailey, and Sprague


3.  Subcommittees established during the year (include progress and/or completion of work)—None.


4.  Accomplishments during the year, especially as addressed through committee goals.  Please include recommendations made to any University agency other than the Faculty Senate that will be noted under #5.


  • Discussion of how the ASC will need to revise the Foundations credit proposal form as necessary. The committee agreed that the form, developed by our committee for the better organization of materials submitted by instructors for courses to be evaluated for Foundations credit, will need to be refined as it is used and omissions or clarifications are needed.
  • Discussion by the committee to take no further action upon the Student Academic Rights Bill apart from the revisions offered by ASC to representative from the Student Government who is preparing this revised version to present to the Student Government.

·     Discussion regarding follow up on experimental courses.  Unless an experimental course taught in the Spring 2006 semester has been submitted for review as a regular course and passed by review, it can no longer be taught for Foundations credit.  It was agreed that each experimental course would now need to be resubmitted for approval from our committee and the UCC to be classified as a Foundations course.

  • Discussion of a review of role of the service learning committee to ensure that it does not conflict with the role of our committee to review curriculum.  It was decided that we need a report from a representative of the Service learning committee.  We need assurance that service learning is clearly defined, and though involving volunteer work is distinguished as academically rigorous.
  • Tabled Agenda Item:  Review whether a program in entrepreneurship (spearheaded by the UNCGA president with funding from a foundation grant) is desired at ECU. The committee needs further information about the entrepreneurship program and its advantages for use at ECU before further action can be taken
  • Discussion of a review process of student evaluation in Distance Education courses to assure adherence to academic standards. Questions arose concerning how tests are administered and how standards might be compromised if students are able to cheat or given unfair advantages in testing situations.  The committee will need more information from the Director of Distance Education courses to study and evaluate the assessment process.
  •  Discussion of a web version of the SOIS led by Dr. Michael Poteat for a review of the issues involved in moving the Student Opinion of Instruction Survey from a paper version to the Internet.  He provided several materials to help guide our discussion, including a recent PowerPoint demonstration that had been prepared to summarize the research concerning the advantages and drawbacks to a web-based SOIS.  Dr. Poteat summarized the savings in cost, staffing, and time (both class time and survey preparation time), as well as the potential benefits in response rate.  He mentioned how a comparison could be made with the DE survey that is already web-based.  For the SOIS on the web, a new form will need to be developed and able to be used on the mainframe.  Questions were raised concerning security (including student privacy) and how results will be retrieved and stored;  Dr. Poteat answered that all security issues will be addressed and resolved and the survey results could be sent both electronically and as a paper copy to each instructor and department chair.   Bailey made the motion that was seconded by Bauer that the committee approves the recommended change to an on-line version of the SOIS and requests that Dr. Poteat present the motion to the Faculty Senate for their approval.
  • Approval of a new course, SECS 1000 Introduction to Security Studies for Social Studies Foundations Credit
  • A Report from Michael Poteat and Linda Wolfe on the November 7, 2006 meeting of the Faculty Senate in which the senate deliberated and approved the motion to move the SOIS to the web.  Dr.  Poteat explained that the decision was made to “phase-in” the web-based SOIS by doing a small pilot study in the Spring 2007, do all the summer courses as web-based, and do 50/50 inn the Fall 2007. 
  • Discussion of outcomes assessment for current Foundation courses led by Dr. Michael Poteat.  He stated that we need to come up with a measurement of competencies (SACS asks for this but gives no suggestions on how competencies should be measured), though this will not be done with a standardized test.  We need to form a committee to discuss these issues and Poteat can provide some guidelines for assessment.  George Bailey stated that it is helpful to have goals clearly established in order to help with assessment.  Bailey suggested that each department administer tests but that Academic Standards could set the requirements.  We need to devise the format and recommend the structure for implementation—and to do so right away before the next SACS visit.  Evaluation of the students’ knowledge in the three goal areas must be made by the professors from each department.  Poteat recommends to the AS committee that we come up with a General Education Institutional Effectiveness committee to gather data and evaluate it from graduating seniors in the area of one General Ed. Foundations credit course.  The result will be a report that contains data that can be used by SACS.  This new committee will have to have oversight to see what each department is doing and not doing with regard to assessment.  Bailey explained that the duties should not fall under our committee but rather is the job of the Chancellor or General Faculty to form this committee.  The more details we provide, the more likely one of the two would form a committee.

·     Discussion about the Continuing and Career Education Committee’s request for our approval in proceeding with a Faculty and Administrator Survey of DE course practices at ECU.  They want to see how many variations are found in practice.  The information will be summarized and used to make recommendations.  The ASC agreed it does not have any strong objections to the development of a Faculty and Administrator Survey of DE courses, though everyone expressed an interest in seeing the results of the survey and if the CCE committee would reach any conclusions from these results.

  • Approved for Social Science Foundation Credit:  SOCI 3025 (Sociology of Mass Media), SOCI  3219 (Sociology of Immigration), SOCI 4300 (Sociology of Emotion), and SOCI 4400 (Sociological Perspectives of Sport), and POLI 3042 (American Politics Through Music).  
  • Discussion of service learning with regard to its definition and application to academic courses.  Michael Brown shared with the committee the Service Learning committee’s definition of service learning within the academic environment.
  • Discussion of the revised Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure that had been approved by faculty resolution (Faculty Senate Resolution 05-03 and Faculty Senate Resolution 93-44)  Dr. Dorothy Muller stated that the faculty resolution that approved the revised Peer Review Procedure and sample Peer Review Instrument called for an evaluation of the revised procedure after three years.  Dr. Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty, had asked that the Academic Standards committee review the Peer Review Procedure.  She explained that her department had been trying to complete a survey by contacting each department and asking specific questions about the instruments and procedures used. Linda Wolfe asked what the role of our committee would be in this review—whether we are being asked to make recommendations or to recommend the formation of a new committee to review this. The committee agreed that the topic should be reconsidered at a future meeting.

·     Discussion of the proposed policy on how to handle classroom disruption drafted by Maggie Olszewska, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  The committee recommends that our committee should put forward a recommendation to the faculty and administration that asks for their consideration of the Policy on Academic Disruption.

·     Approval of MATH 2151 (Engineering Calculus I), MATH 2152 (Engineering Calculus II), and MATH 2153 (Engineering Calculus III) for Mathematics Foundations Credit.

·      Continued discussion of the revised Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure with the results of statistics compiled from each department regarding how often and in what manner the peer review instrument is used by each department—this is in response to the faculty senate resolution that requested a review of the use of the revised Peer Review procedures and Peer Review instrument.  Action Taken:  The committee agreed that a subcommittee should be formed to review the issues.  Linda Wolfe and Michael Brown volunteered to study the issues and make a recommendation regarding what the Academic Standards committee should review and recommend on this topic and these recommendations could be discussed at our next meeting.

·     Discussion of the proposed policy on how to handle classroom disruption initiated by a draft of a Proposed Policy on Disruptive Academic Behavior prepared by Dr. Michael Brown that condenses the initial policy into a statement that could be included in the undergraduate catalog as well as the Faculty manual (Part V, Section 1).  The committee discussed some revisions of the draft and following the revisions approved it.  The chair of Academic Standards and the Director of Student Life will now take the policy to the Faculty Senate for discussion and approval.

·     Discussion with Dr. Mike Poteat on the assessment for Foundation courses based on an report (from the University of Wisconsin) that outlines the direct and indirect methods for assessing General Education over a five-year period. Dr. Bailey stated that our committee is limited to recommendations concerning our Foundation courses; we will recommend assessment by discipline and according to the three goals established.  We have to devise a recommended schedule, and then establish that the results will be used to assess and make changes.  There will need to be documentation to show the steps to be taken to improve things. Action Taken:  The committee will hear further reports on assessment from Dr. Poteat at the next scheduled meeting.  In the meantime, Dr. Bailey said that he is working on a draft of outcomes assessment to be used for Foundation Credit courses.

  • Approval of MRST 2400 (Introduction to Medieval Studies) and MRST 2500 (Introduction to Renaissance Studies) for Foundations Credit in the Humanities.
  • Approval of new courses for Foundations credit in the humanities:  CLAS 2600 (The Power of Images in Ancient Greece and Rome), CLAS 3600 (also listed as RELI 3600 Greek and Roman Religions), GRK 4001 (Athenian Drama), and GRK 4002 (Classical Greek Prose Authors).
  • Discussion of the Review of Procedures and Instruments for Peer Review of Teaching document drafted by Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Linda Wolfe.  Linda Wolfe and Michael Brown presented the document that details the Academic Standard Committee’s review of the procedures and instruments for Peer Review of Teaching.  This is based upon the information provided to the committee from Drs. Dorothy Clayton and Dorothy Muller, co-directors of the Center for Faculty Excellence.  The review, to be presented to the Faculty Senate, was edited and approved by Drs. Clayton and Muller.  Action Taken:  The Academic Standards committee approved the prepared Review, and the summary will now be presented to the Faculty Senate.


5.  Reports to the Faculty Senate (include dates and resolution numbers).


11/7/06--Linda Wolfe (Anthropology), Chair of the Committee, presented a recommendation about the Student Opinion of Instruction Survey, then yielded the floor to Michael Poteat, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, to answer questions. Following a lengthy discussion, the Academic Standards Committee’s recommendation that the Student Opinion of Instruction Survey (SOIS) for all courses be changed to an Internet-based survey delivered in a manner similar to the surveys currently administered to students in Distance Education courses was approved as presented. RESOLUTION #06-28


 12/5/06-- Linda Wolfe (Anthropology), Chair of the Committee, presented a recommendation by the Committee to grant SECS 1000, offered by the Department of Political Science, Social Science Foundation Credit.  There was no discussion and the recommendation was approved as presented.  RESOLUTION #06-31

6.  Business carried over to next year (list in priority order).

·   Further discussion regarding assessment of Foundation courses


7.  Evaluation of the committee (include anything that hindered or assisted the committee’s work during the year).


A.      Charge:  OK

B.      Personnel:  very good (those who attended)

C.     Attendance:  OK

D.     Responsibilities:  OK

E.      Activities:  very good


8.  Suggestion(s) to the Chair of the Faculty and/or Faculty Senate for improving the effectiveness of the committee.  None


9.  Does the Committee’s organizational meeting next year need to be earlier than the date set this year?  No.


Signed:  Chairperson, Linda Wolfe

                   Secretary, Mark Richardson