Senate News, March 27, 2023

Senate heard from Michael Crowder on two proposed revisions to policies: Graduate Student Organization Policy and Support for Research Travel and Teaching Policy. We heard from Associate Provost Carolyn Haynes on proposed revisions to the Course Repeat Policy and a new Co-operative Policy Proposal. We also a special reports from John Bowblis, Chair of the Benefits Committee and Dawn Fahner, Associate VP of Human Resources on changes to the Parental Leave Policy and increases in the cost of health plan premiums for 2024. We also had a special report from Randi Thomas, Vice President for ASPIRE including updates on the College@Elm.

The following items were received on the Consent Calendar:

  1. Curricular Items _03.15.2023 
  2. LEC Meeting Minutes_02.28.2023
  3. LEC Meeting Minutes_03.07.2023 
  4. Graduate Meeting Minutes_03.14.2023

Minutes from the March 6, 2023, meeting of University Senate were approved. With the approval of the minutes, the following resolutions were approved:

SR 23-08 Class Attendance Policy Revision 43-Yes, 0-No, 0-Abstain

March 6, 2023

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate approves changes to the Class Attendance Policy as outlined below:

General Attendance Policies

Every student is expected to participate in academically related activities and attend every class session for which the student is duly registered.

It is the prerogative of the individual faculty member to set attendance policy for each individual course, and it is the responsibility of the individual faculty member to inform students of that policy in the course syllabus or other written document at the first class meeting of the semester, term, or sprint part of semester or term. Instructors may take account of class absences in determining course grades.

All classes are to meet at the time listed in the official university course schedule unless changed with the consent of the entire class. Location changes should be specified in the syllabus for the course. The instructor should communicate in writing any special course-related activities (e.g., field trips) that occur outside of the time and location in the official university course schedule as much in advance as possible.  

Faculty must excuse a student’s absence for military training or religious observances that require absence from a class session and other required class activities and to include a statement in their syllabi that confirms that students must give written notification to their instructor at least one week prior to the requested absence, noting the military or religious event that prohibits class attendance and the date(s) that will be missed. The syllabus statement should also note that instructors will, without prejudice, provide such students with reasonable accommodations for completing missed work when absent due to military training or religious observances; however, students are ultimately responsible for material covered in class, regardless of whether the student is absent or present. 

Instructors should be aware of the official calendar of Religious Holidays and Holy Days provided by Academic Affairs. 

Faculty are also required to excuse a student’s absence due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be necessary. When the student returns to classes the student must be provided the opportunity to make up any work missed. Alternatives include allowing the student to take an incomplete and complete the course at a later date, or retaking the course or taking an online course. For additional information go to: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students

In all of the other justifiable situations (illness documented by a physician or appropriate health care official, university-sanctioned activities documented by an appropriate university administrator, public or documented personal/family emergencies), students are ultimately responsible for notifying the instructor in writing with as much advance notice as possible. Instructors may determine a reasonable amount of coursework that should be completed in order to make up the student’s absence. Students are responsible for the prompt completion of any alternative assignments.

Students needing assistance regarding extended absences due to death, illness or other critical circumstance should contact the Office of the Dean of Students (Oxford) or the Student Services (regional campuses).

SR 23-09 Proposal to Revise Senate Bylaw for Function and Composition of the Undergraduate Research Committee 42- Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstain

March 6, 2023

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate approves changes to the Senate Bylaw for Function and Composition of the Undergraduate Research Committee as outlined below:

Advisory to the Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education.

6.C.9.a. The Undergraduate Research Committee shall be composed of:

  • Eight (8) faculty members, at least one (1) of whom shall be a member of University Senate and including at least one member from each of the academic divisions, with attention to ensuring that the University’s graduate programs are represented: 
    • College of Arts and Science
    • College of Creative Arts
    • College of Engineering and Computing
    • College of Education, Health, and Society
    • Farmer School of Business
    • College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science

They should also reflect the following disciplines with two (2) faculty members per disciplinary group:

  • Applied sciences and natural sciences
  • Business, education, and social sciences
  • Humanities and creative arts
  • Three (3) undergraduate student members nominated according to a procedure established by the Associated Student Government.
    • One (1) of the student members shall serve one-year terms.
    • Two (2) of the student members shall serve two-year terms.
  • Two (2) graduate students serving two-year terms.
  • Two (2) ex officio nonvoting members: 
    • The Director of Research for Undergraduates or their designee.
    • The Vice President for Research and Innovation or their designee. 

6C.9.b. The functions of the Undergraduate Research Committee are to: 

  • promote quality research experiences for undergraduate students by advocating policies and procedures, encouraging undergraduate research, providing input on publicity through University Communications and Marketing, and increasing quality and recognition of undergraduate research accomplishments;
  • encourage faculty/student research; 
  • promote research-based courses across disciplines; 
  • publicize available funding opportunities; 
  • evaluate student proposals for small grant research funding and to award undergraduate research grants; 
  • advise the Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education on matters relating to undergraduate research at the University; 
  • assist in the identification and procurement of external funding sources for undergraduate research; and 
  • report regularly to the University Senate. 

SR 23-10 CCA, TCPL Cap Change 43- Yes, 0-No, 0-Abstain 

March 6, 2023

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate approves changes to the Teaching, Clinical Professors and Lecturers (TCPLs) Policy as outlined below:

Limitation on Number of Lecturers and Teaching Faculty

TCPLs may not exceed the following percentages of continuing faculty (full-time TCPL and Tenure/Tenure Track) within each division:

  • CAS:  23.0%
  • CCA:  20% 29%
  • EHS:  26.0%
  • CEC:  20.0%
  • FSB: 29.0%
  • CLAAS: 23.0%