Academic Council Minutes
December 12, 2002

Members present: Jim Bissett (chair), Lisa Carloye, Anne Cassebaum, Jeff Clark, David Copeland, Gerald Francis, Charity Johansson, Becky Olive-Taylor, Tim Peeples, Doug Redington, and Barbara Taylor.
Guest: Paul Fromson

The meeting was called to order at 8:35 AM.

November Minutes

The following items from Council's November meeting were discussed:

The minutes were then approved.

Proposal from Study Abroad Committee

Paul Fromson spoke to Council about the proposed changes to the Study Abroad Committee. He summarized the history of the Committee as an advisory committee to Dean Bill Rich, and noted the growth of the Study Abroad program. With the growth of the Study Abroad curriculum there has been a greater need for an elected committee for oversight of the offerings. He noted that the issue of revising the Committee's mission was discussed last year and was also noted in the SACS accreditation report.

This past Spring, the Committee began discussions with Dean Rich and Bettina Brown on revising its status, using the General Studies Council as a model. The Committee has also consulted the Curriculum Committee and the General Studies Council. The Committee has made a proposal to Council for the Committee to become a standing committee.

Council discussed with Fromson the process of getting approval for Study Abroad courses as well as the proposed membership of the committee. Council also discussed at length issues related to 300- and 400-level courses.

Gerald Francis expressed concern that the process not become inflexible as it seeks to guarantee rigor. He also questioned why the director the Study Abroad program is without vote in the proposal presented to Council. Council members also expressed concern about more student representation on the standing committee.

Doug Redington moved to amend the proposal to have two students with Study Abroad experience on the Committee; the motion failed to pass.

After further discussion, the Council voted to approve the proposal. It will be brought to the faculty for a vote in the Spring.

Law School Feasibility Committee

The Council heard a report from Tim Peeples on the work of the Law School Feasibility Committee. The charge of the committee is:

The committee will make an initial report to the Board of Trustees at its March Meeting.  Council discussed with Tim Peeples and Gerald Francis the time-line if Elon decides to create a law school. Council members expressed concern that the faculty be allowed to offer input early in the discussion. Francis offered that all reports from the Law School Feasibility Committee will be shared with Council, the Curriculum Committee, and the Graduate Council to solicit feedback from these groups.

Several members of Council stressed their concerns about facilities for a new professional school as well as what the proposed niche for such a law school would be.

Additional Business

Anne Cassebaum reported from the Adjunct Faculty Committee. Cassebaum discussed her concern with getting a list of people on limited term contracts. A discussion ensued as to the definition of adjunct faculty.

Under new business, Doug Redington reported for the Shared Governance Committee. The Faculty Advocacy and Advising Committee is at work and is chaired by Jane Romer. The Committee is also following up on a request to follow up on the SACS report on experiential learning. A committee of five administrators and three faculty will begin work at the start of the Spring semester.

Council discussed the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the PTP Process and how the Faculty Handbook might be revised to be consistent with the report. After discussion, Council decided to continue examination of the report via e-mail during the January term and discuss it at the February Academic Council meeting.

Council adjourned at 10:55 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Jeff Clark and Linda Martindale

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