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University Senate resolutions: SR 06-7, undergraduates as teachers

University Senate Nov. 7 approved the Oct. 17 minutes and the consent calendar.

Senate heard a report from Brad Bates, director of intercollegiate athletics, regarding the athletic drug-testing policy.

Richard Norman, vice president for finance and business services, answered Senators' questions regarding proposed university employee parking fees to be implemented June 1, 2006, and university employees' co-pay of health insurance premiums.

Reid Christenberry, vice president for information technology, answered Senators' questions regarding Altiris, a hardware and software asset management system, and the proposal to change Miami's domain name.

Senate approved Senate resolutions SR 06-06, SR 06_07, and SR 06_08.

The next meeting will be at 3:05 p.m. Nov. 21 in 111 Harrison Hall.

SR 06-06

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate recommend the approval of a co-major in environmental principles and practice housed in the College of Arts and Science.

SR 06-07

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate adopt amendments to the Miami University Policy and Information Manual, Section 10.5, Use of Undergraduates as Teachers as set forth below:

10.5 Use of Undergraduates as Teachers

10.5.A General

These regulations govern the use of undergraduates to perform duties usually performed by a faculty member. These regulations are intended to assure the high quality of instruction that undergraduates at Miami expect and deserve, while also providing ample opportunity for innovative programs that will benefit both the undergraduate given teaching responsibilities and also the undergraduate enrolled in the courses where undergraduates teach. The regulations apply to the use of undergraduates who are not themselves enrolled in the courses; they are not intended to restrict the kinds of activities a faculty member may plan for students who are enrolled in a course. The regulations pertain to three distinct activities by undergraduates: teaching, assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions, and grading. When there is some doubt about whether the activity is teaching or whether it is assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions, the regulations for teaching will apply.

There are two different means by which an undergraduate may be used as teachers: (1) through the Undergraduate Associates Program which is university-wide and administered by the University Honors and Scholars Program, or (2) through an arrangement made within the department. Guidelines to both options are described below.

10.5.B Requirements for Participation in the Undergraduate Associate Program
1. Faculty may nominate seniors, juniors, or sophomores to serve as an Undergraduate Associate under his or her supervision for a semester. The nominated undergraduate must also have attained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher, attained an average GPA of 3.2 or higher for courses in the major, and earned an A in the course they will be teaching or in a more advanced course covering the same material. Ordinarily an Undergraduate Associate will serve as a kind of junior assistant for instruction in a specific course or as a research assistant for a faculty member's project. Faculty may also suggest other creative ways that a student can serve as an Undergraduate Associate.

2. No student may serve as an Undergraduate Associate in a course in which that student is currently enrolled.

3. A student serving as an Undergraduate Associate in a course is responsible for acquiring an adequate knowledge of all relevant course materials.

4. Undergraduates participating in the Undergraduate Associates Program may teach a very limited number of class sessions. When an Undergraduate Associate teaches all or part of a class session, the Associate's faculty sponsor will be present.

5. In discharging UA duties, students will not have sole responsibility for grading any assignment or instructing a specific class without supervision. Undergraduate Associates may read other student's assignments and examinations, write comments on them, and advise the faculty member about the grade.

6. A minimum of thirty (30) hours of work per semester is expected of any Undergraduate Associate.

7. The faculty sponsor and his or her Undergraduate Associate should meet at least monthly, and more often as desired and useful.

8. The nomination form should specify in detail the duties the Undergraduate Associate is expected to perform for a minimum of thirty (30) hours of work per semester.

9. A student will be awarded the appropriate transcript notation upon receipt in the University Honors and Scholars Program office of a final reflection on what was learned while serving as an Undergraduate Associate. This reflection should be submitted on the appropriate form and should include some commentary from the mentor as well. Reflections should include, but not be limited to, the following:

o work done as part of the Undergraduate Associateship;

o in what ways, if any, the work differed from the original plan and why;

o what the Associate learned from this experience; and

o how the student was changed by the Undergraduate Associateship experience.

10. Students may receive one credit hour for Undergraduate Associate participation through independent study hours in the appropriate department. The final grade will be determined by the instructor on the basis of the student's work and on the quality of the student's final reflection.

11. Exceptions to these policies may be made in extreme circumstances and may be permitted by the Director of the University Honors and Scholars Program, based upon the recommendation of the faculty adviser and department chair.

10.5.C Requirements for Using Undergraduates as Teachers Outside the Undergraduate Associates Program

Faculty members wishing to use undergraduates as teachers outside the Undergraduate Associates Program may do so with the approval of the department chair and the appropriate dean. Teaching is any activity in which the students give a lecture or lead a discussion or exercise in which they present new material to the class or help the class interpret or apply course material. A request for approval of such teaching must include:

1. statement of the reasons for believing that the use of undergraduates will be of significant educational value not only to the students doing the teaching but also to the students enrolled in the course;

2. specific plan for preparing the undergraduates to teach and for providing them with continual evaluations and advice about their teaching effectiveness;

3. statement by the faculty member that he or she will be present for 100% of the time that the undergraduate is teaching;

4. specific plan for evaluating the course to determine whether the course as taught by undergraduates meets the course objectives; and

5. agreement by the faculty member to provide a brief report each term to the chair and dean concerning the use of undergraduates in the course.

Chairs and deans will be responsible for seeing that undergraduates do not continue to teach in any course unless the course evaluation demonstrates that the course as taught by undergraduates meets the course objectives.

Faculty members planning to use undergraduates to teach should publicize their plans in advance so that interested students can apply for an opportunity to teach.

In order to be eligible to teach in such special situations, undergraduates must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in courses in the major and must have earned a grade of A in the course they will be teaching or in a more advanced course covering the same material. (See paragraph 10.5.B.1 for GPA requirement of Undergraduate Associates.) For their teaching, undergraduate students may receive independent study credit only one time and may not receive pay.

Exceptions to these policies may be permitted through the specific approval of the chief academic officer, based upon the recommendation of the appropriate academic dean and department chair and based upon complete and appropriate justification of the instruction.

10.5.D Assisting in Laboratory Classes and Drill Sessions

With the approval of the department chair, faculty members may hire undergraduates to assist them in laboratory classes and drill sessions. The students shall not present new material or answer questions that go beyond the material presented by the faculty member.

The department involved shall decide how the students are to be selected, trained, supervised, and evaluated.

Students assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions shall be paid, but cannot receive academic credit, for their work.

10.5.E Grading

With the approval of the department chair, faculty members may hire undergraduates to score other students' work where the scoring is completely mechanical, as with multiple choice tests; the actual grade will be assigned by the faculty member, not the student. Undergraduates cannot be hired to grade final examinations or any quiz, test, or assignment where the grading requires a qualitative evaluation. However, homework (problem) assignments may be graded by undergraduates, provided the instructor is responsible for the course grade and available for appeal on homework (problem) assignment grades.

The department involved shall decide how the students are to be selected, trained, supervised, and evaluated.

Students hired to grade shall be paid, but cannot receive academic credit, for their work.

SR 06-08

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Standing Rules of University Senate, Ohio Faculty Council Representatives, be amended as set forth below:

Miami University's representatives to the Ohio Faculty Council shall be the Chair and Chair-elect of the Executive Committee of University Senate. If the Chair or Chair-elect are unable to represent the University, an alternate, who is a faculty member of Senate, will be named by the Executive Committee.

Twenty-five members of Faculty Assembly can challenge the resolutions by filing a petition with the secretary of the university within 10 class days after their publication in this issue of The Miami Report. Absent a challenge by Faculty Assembly, these policies will be forwarded to the president and the Board of Trustees for consideration.

Date Published: 11/10/2005
Volume: 25   Number: 15

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