Academic Council Meeting Minutes
September 20, 2002 Carlton 209




Present: Jim Bissett (chair), Anne Cassebaum, Jeff Clark, David Copeland, Gerry Francis, Charity Johansson, Leo Lambert, Yorum Lubling, Becky Olive-Taylor, Tim Peeples, Doug Redington, Barbara Taylor

The meeting was called to order at 2:45 PM.

I. Minutes from the August meeting were reviewed and approved.
 

II. Tim Peeples reported on the progress of the Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Status and summarized the recommendations of the committee. By a vote of nine to one, the Council endorsed the committee's recommendations as currently proposed. The Council then agreed to put the recommendations up for a vote at the October Faculty Meeting.
 

III. The Council reviewed a draft of the charge for the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Teaching. After a brief discussion, it was decided to strike the last question posed in the draft under point one of the committee's charge. Discussion followed about the composition of the committee. Steven House was appointed as the administrative liaison; David Copeland agreed to represent both Academic Council and Communications; and it was agreed to include two students. With the recommendations from Council, Jim Bissett and Jeff Clark would work to compose the committee.
 

IV. Jeff Clark reported on issues related to the Fall Report. One aim will be to present information in less tabular ways and, instead, to add more graphs and text. Also added will be some explanation about how figures in the report have been figured.

Some discussion followed to understand how average class size had been determined in the past. Gerry Francis clarified that Elon 101 classes were included in the average for the first time last year and only because they are also included in the figures reported in the U.S. News report; in the past, Elon 101 classes were not part of the average. It was agreed that the Fall report should not include Elon 101 classes in the class size average.

Extensive discussion followed concerning whether or not to report average salaries of administrative and administrative support salaries. A proposal was made to formally request of the provost mean and median salary information for administrators and administrative support staff. Upon a vote, the proposal was unanimously approved.
 

V. Jim Bissett opened two related discussions concerning Council's role as an ultimate hearing board for grade complaints. The first discussion focused on the composition and process of the committee to serve as a hearing board for a current grade complaint.

The second discussion focused on responding to recommendations from the Student Life Committee. Based on Jim Bissett's suggestion that a variety of committees directly related to the issue appoint representatives to an ad hoc committee that will work on revisions of the current hearing process, Council agreed that an ad hoc committee be formed and be composed of the following: a student and faculty representative from the Student Life Committee, a representative from the Academic Standing Committee, a representative from the Hearing Board, one department chair, Mary Wise, and Scott Nelson.
 

VI. Having already discussed the memo from General Studies Council with Steve Braye (Director of General Studies) and Steve Deloach (Chair of General Studies Council), Jim Bissett suggested and Council agreed that Academic Council should take no further action on the General Studies Program Assessment Report. General Studies Council will report back to Academic Council about future reviews and the review process.
 

VII. Charity Johansson reported that the Ad Hoc Committee to Review Promotion, Tenure, and Professional Status Criteria has met weekly, listening to people from different parts of the campus, investigating consistency of criteria, reviewing the role of community service, discussing the issue of split decisions, and considering the possibility of a faculty forum. Council requested that the committee consider the role and value of service-learning, the role and value of serving as a faculty advisor to a student organization, and the separation of scholarship from professional activity.
 

VIII. Doug Redington suggested that the Elon Teacher/Scholar Statement be placed after section I-2 in the Faculty Handbook, immediately following the mission statement. It was suggested that Professor Redington speak with Mary Wise about the suggestion.
 

IX. In response to a request made of Academic Council by the SACS Focus Group on Connecting Knowledge and Experiences (point #5 in Sept. 10 memo), Council agreed that the Shared Governance Subcommittee explore recommendations and report back to Council.
 

X. Anne Cassebaum opened a discussion about Elon's efforts to increase faculty and student diversity. In the discussion that followed, it became clear that increasing diversity is a priority for the administration and that, even though much more needs to be done, progress is being made. The one area that perhaps needs more attention is ways to help search committees across the campus become more effective at reaching minorities.
 

XI. (A) The provost reported that the Board has requested that he look into the feasibility of a law school and that, as part of the Provost Office's research process, discussions about the feasibility of such a school have been had in Graduate Council and the Curriculum Committee.

(B) As a final piece of business, Council agreed to facilitate a campus discussion about the use of human subjects in research.
 

Respectfully submitted by,

Tim Peeples

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