COMMITTEE:   Academic Standards Committee      


MEETING DATE:   February 19, 2007




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


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


OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Dr. Charles Garrison, Chair of the Department of Sociology,  Dr. Rebecca Powers, Dr. Christa Reiser, Dr. Dorothy Muller, and Dr. Michael Poteat.






Agenda Item:    Approval of Minutes of 1/22/07


Action Taken:  Approved


Agenda Item:    Date of next meeting


Action Taken:   Due to new courses to be considered for Foundations Credit, it

         was decided the committee should meet on Monday, March 19, 2007.


Agenda Item:              Re-consideration of the following courses from the Department of Social Sciences for Social Science Foundation Credit:  SOCI  3219 (Sociology of Immigration) and SOCI 4300 (Sociology of Emotion)


Discussion of SOCI 3219 (Sociology of Immigration):   Dr. Rebecca Powers, the instructor of the course, explained that in response to our questions from the last meeting, changes had been made to the syllabus (including a new approved course number) to address the foundation goals and prerequisite.  Dr. Bailey raised a question regarding Goal 3 and how this would be addressed in the course, namely how sociological knowledge benefits the general public—what is its importance to understanding the world.  Dr. Powers agreed to further explain that goal in the syllabus.


Action Taken: The committee agreed to accept the revised SOCI 3219 for Foundations Credit with the understanding that Dr. Powers will make the change to clarify Goal 3 in the finished versions of the syllabus.



Discussion of SOCI 4300 (Sociology of Emotion): Dr. Christa Reiser, the instructor of the course, explained that in response to our questions from the last meeting, changes had been made to the syllabus (including a new approved course number) to address the foundation goals.  The committee suggested that the foundation goals be included in the syllabus (and not just the formal request for Foundations Credit) so that the students will see exactly what the goals of the course are.  This will also help with outcomes assessment.


Action Taken:   The committee approved SOCI 4300 for Foundations credit but requested that changes be made to the syllabus to make the Foundation goals clear; Dr. Reiser agreed to revise and submit the updated syllabus to the committee.



Agenda Item:  Consideration of MATH 2151 (Engineering Calculus I), MATH 2152 (Engineering Calculus II), and MATH 2153 (Engineering Calculus III) for Mathematics Foundations Credit.


Discussion:  One of the math instructors in attendance explained that these math courses would be required for engineering students.  Currently they are taking a sequence of three calculus courses that are not specifically designed for engineering students (and thus they are missing many of the fundamental applications of calculus to the discipline of engineering).  The courses that MATH 2151-2153 are replacing do currently carry Foundations credit, but those were granted that status under a different series of goals.  One question was raised as to whether these courses are open to anyone, since they are Foundations courses, or would they be restricted only to engineering majors?  It was explained that while these courses are designed for engineering majors, the Engineering department could not restrict them since the Math department is offering them.  The math department is simply trying to work with the engineering department to devise courses that contain math applications that are more applicable to engineers.  The committee agreed that these courses are acceptable so far as all the requirements are being met that the math department deems necessary.


Action Taken:  The committee agreed to approve MATH 2151, 2152 and 2153 for Foundations Credit.



Agenda Item:  Consideration of the revised Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure


Discussion:  Dr. Dorothy Muller brought a spreadsheet and memo to explain the process in compiling statistics 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.  She explained that the PAD submitted for tenure review should ideally contain a total of 8 peer reviews, but that there seems to be some discrepancy between units.  The purpose of peer reviews was to evaluate teaching and provide feedback to instructors regarding the effectiveness of the teaching methods.  This is not a validity study but rather an evaluation study.  Dr. Bailey asked Dr. Muller what our committee is being asked to do.  It seems that one problem is that the required number of reviews are not being done consistently.  Should it not be specified that a review should be done every semester or every year?  By simply requesting a total of eight peer reviews without a timeline could mean that they are all provided in the last year.  Dr. Bailey explained that the Faculty senate tried to make the process standardized, however, some departments were too small and their objections led to revisions.  Each unit annual report should state how many peer reviews were done.  A question was raised as to whether the peer review process should be formalized and put into the schedule for tenure.  One of the main issues seems to the consistency of the number of reviews.  Dr. Muller suggested that it might help to facilitate consistency by putting the training materials and forms on the web.  If two people review simultaneously (as suggested on the new peer review instrument), then this counts as two reviews.  In the new process, it is clear that Pre- and Post- consultations are necessary.  If the unit is NOT using the Faculty Senate Model, then the peer review instrument must be in the spirit of the Faculty Senate Model and be approved by the Department and Provost.  The survey and summary provided by Dr. Muller was

praised by Dr. Brown, and he further suggested that our committee should devise a couple of questions and then make a recommendation.  One of the issues our committee might address is the frequency of peer reviews. 


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. _______________________________________________ 

Agenda Item:  Consideration of the proposed policy on how to handle classroom disruption


Discussion:   Dr. Michael Brown provided a draft of a Proposed Policy on Disruptive Academic Behavior that he stated was his attempt to take the initial policy and condense it into a statement that could be included in the undergraduate catalog as well as the Faculty manual (Part V, Section 1).  He mentioned several issues the committee might consider including: 

1.What is the policy for due process?  We have to make everyone aware of the policy.

2.We can consider if we want an appeal process; Student Life wanted us to consider the appeal process—something more than just a judicial review.  Perhaps it should be a policy likened to Academic Dishonesty Policy?

3.What should be done when the students appeal but are not attending class?  Should the appeal be made to the Dean of the College?  What about a faculty committee to investigate the situation?  There seems to be a need for a substantial review process and this policy needs to be documented.  In researching the topic of Disruptive Academic Behavior policies on the websites of several universities, there does not seem to be an appeal process documented.


Action Taken:   Dr. Brown asks that the committee consider the proposed policy he has drafted for both the undergraduate catalog and the faculty manual and recommended that the topic be revisited at our next scheduled meeting so that committee members may bring forward any suggested revisions, additions, and comments.



Agenda Item:    Discussion with Dr. Mike Poteat on the assessment for Foundation courses.


Discussion:  Dr. Poteat provided a handout (from the University of Wisconsin) that outlines the direct and indirect methods for assessing General Education over a five-year period.  He clarified that an individual instructor cannot do the direct methods, while the indirect methods make use of surveys, evaluation of syllabi, external reviews (the types of assessment used by SACS).  The capstone projects would involve all of the general education goals (in the form of a research paper/presentation).  The capstone projects then could be compared with testing of incoming freshmen.  He explained that the testing would be mandated to take samples rather than to test every student.


CLA was mentioned as a possible tool in assessment; we are now awaiting instructions from the President of the UNC campuses regarding the use of CLA.  There is a recent push for an International Equivalence of Degrees—led by a subgroup of CHIA—that want to make degrees equivalent in the international market. 


This reflects an opportunity for education reform.  There will be assessment when students enter college, then at the end of general education courses, then a comprehensive exam at the end of the degree program.  There is a need to devise a plan to assess general education; the CLA really is assessing writing.  Individuals who wish to see a more real-world application within our general education courses devised the CLA.


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.  With regard to the bigger picture, do we just deal with the SACS review or deal just with what we can at this point?


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.


ADJOURNED:   4:00 p.m. 


NEXT MEETING:  Monday, March 19, 2007



ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED:    Consideration of Foundations Credit for MRST 2400, MRST 2500, CLSD 2600, CLAS 3600, GRK4001, and GRK 4002; continued discussion of the Classroom Disruption Policy, the Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure, and Assessment for Foundation courses.