Board of Trustees Remarks
Janice Tovey, Chair of the Faculty
November 21, 2008
Today, I want to discuss, from the faculty and faculty senate perspective, the process for the adoption of the policies regarding enrollment management. Discussion began on the task force report in committee meeting yesterday and I want to let you know what I have already done and what will happen over the next several months.
Before I discuss enrollment management, the Senate has recently acted on other items of importance. As you know from your discussion and vote in Executive Committee yesterday afternoon, Appendix B, Policy for Performance Review of Tenured Faculty—or better known as post tenure review—was passed in October by the Senate. The revisions strengthen the process of review and provide for the inclusion of an action plan for faculty who do not meet the minimum criteria.
Among the other items that the Senate has recently approved are the Unit Academic Program Review Guidelines, which also requires a revision to Appendix L. That revision goes to the senate in early December. The Senate also approved guidelines for programs that are being reviewed for low enrollment and low productivity, as determined by GA. GA’s list is generated by the number of enrolled students and graduates over a set period of time and does not take into account the role of the program in the unit or the university, the societal or university need for the program, or the rationale for those low numbers. These guidelines, prepared by faculty members on the Educational Policies and Planning Committee, should help units respond to and argue for continued support for programs where appropriate. In this economic downturn, it might be easy to say, “Well if its numbers are low, let’s cut it.” But, that too easy and eliminating some programs might be detrimental to the overall mission of the university.
Now: enrollment management. Members of the faculty and staff on both campuses had open meetings in which to discuss the draft of the task force report. We heard many good questions and comments and generally the report was well received. I’m encouraged by the support that the faculty has given to it—they don’t like all the recommendations and they will want to discuss many others before we make them policy, but they understand the need and want to help.
In order to support the admission standards that have already been put in place for Spring 2009, and Fall 2009, I have charged two faculty senate committees—Admission and Retention Policies Committee and Academic Standards Committee—to work together with input from members of the task force to review and offer recommendations for section 2.8: IMPLEMENT ACADEMIC POLICY CHANGES. Recommendations 2.8.1 through 2.8.8 include such policies as academic standards in general and specifically the required earned GPA after a set number of hours, the forgiveness policy, suspension policy, admission criteria, and off campus course policy and would seem to be items that can be handled within a relatively short time frame. I have asked these committees to report to the Senate in March with recommended revisions or a progress report.
My next step will be to meet with my fellow officers to review the entire draft and determine what other recommendations need to be handled by senate committees and which committee should review them. Once we have completed that task, I will meet with members of administration to discuss with them possible timelines for these actions. At that point, I will begin to charge various faculty senate committees with the task of reviewing, researching, and making recommendations for changes to policy.
Just to clarify the process under which we operate: once the committee revises a policy, they submit a motion for approval to the senate. Following discussion, the senate will either approve or deny the motion or may send it back to the committee with suggestions for further revisions. Once the policy is approved by the senate, I send it to the Chancellor for his approval. From there, the policy either goes into effect or it comes to you, the Board of Trustees, and then to GA for final approval.
I will continue to update you each month on the progress we are making.
As a member of the Task Force and as Chair of the Faculty, I am committed to the goals of this report: specifically to improve our retention and graduation rates by admitting students who meet our admission standards and can succeed academically.