Academic Affairs Committee final report, 2010-2011

Committee members: John Dwyer, Arthur Jago, Victoria Johnson, Chair, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, Dana Weston, Shelley Worden

During the last year the Academic Affairs Committee:

  1. Reevaluated the recent revision to the academic calendar, which moved Reading Day from Friday to Thursday. Faculty Council voted to change reading day back to Friday. The calendars for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years have been changed to reflect this vote.
  2. Proposed a revision to the university's academic renewal policy. The former policy stated that students returning to MU after more than four years could request to have an academic term removed from their cumulative GPA. This policy, however, did not apply to students transferring from other UM campuses. The Faculty Handbook revision now allows transfer students from other campuses in the UM system to apply academic renewal to have previous grades stricken from their GPAs.
  3. Proposed changes to the Law School withdrawal policies. The Law School requested that their students be exempted from the Registrar Office's withdrawal dates because they do not receive feedback on their progress until the time of final exams. It has been the practice in the Law School to allow students to change to a hearer status until the day before the final exam. Faculty Council passed an exception to the Registrar Office's withdrawal dates for the Law School given the differences in their course structure and grading policies.
  4. Reviewed the General Education Task Force recommendations and brought several proposals to Faculty Council for consideration. After discussion Faculty Council approved changes to the senior seminar requirement to allow a 4000-level cumulative course to replace it, however, departments could also continue to require a capstone for their majors. Faculty Council also voted to pass the diversity intensive course requirement after considerable revision, however, the general faculty did not vote in favor of the Diversity Intensive course proposal. 

Issues to revisit in the 2011-2012 academic year:

The Diversity Intensive course proposal lost by only twenty votes. Apparently there was considerable misunderstanding among faculty members about the requirements of the proposal. It should be revised in dialogue with increased outreach to the faculty and education about the proposal's requirements and importance to a liberal arts education. Another vote to pass the Diversity Intensive course requirement could be taken next year and perhaps have greater success with an electronic vote.

The Registrar's Office (Brenda Selman) has expressed concerns about the course repeat policy at MU campuses, which as written excludes a course repeat option if the course is taken at a different MU campus. Should students transferring to or from other MU campuses have the opportunity to take the same course to repeat the grade? MU would be the first campus to make this change if action is taken.

The Registrar's Office (Brenda Selman) has also requested a review and change of the wording in the Faculty Handbook relating to faculty rosters and student attendance.