Academic Council Meeting Minutes

March 17, 2000

In Attendance: Anderson, Bissett, Blake, Francis, Green, Hamm, Helvey, Henricks, V. Hightower, Kingston, Lambert, Lee, Lepors, McGregor, Redington, Rich, Rubeck, and Thurlow.

The meeting was called to order at 2:35 p.m.

Prior Minutes

A request was made that the discussion concerning this year’s process for pay raises be clarified. With this in consideration, the prior minutes were approved.

Report from Health/Benefits Subcommittee -- Robert Blake

Blake circulated a copy of the committee agenda and new drug benefits.

The key priorities for this subcommittee are listed below.

Concern was expressed over the lack of input this committee had in the decision made regarding the new drug benefits package. Discussion ensued over the possible consequences of this new benefits package, its implementation, and employee education in its use. Communication with Gerald Whittington will be set up to clarify any remaining issues.

Report from Academic Standing Committee -- Teresa Lepors, Bill Rich, Rob Springer

An introduction memorandum and detailed multi-linear regression analysis study which compared student expected course grade with various other queries on the student course evaluation survey were circulated.

This committee addressed past questions raised concerning possible negative correlation between department GPA and department honors percentage. The committee concluded that there is no substantial correlation.

Totals were given for suspensions and probations. It is noted that these totals have of recent years been on the decline

Last year’s academic standing committee posed the possibility that there is a significant positive correlation between over-all student course evaluation scores and student expected grades. Rob Springer (director of institutional research) conducted an analysis of this possible correlation and concluded that it is, at best, quite weak. There does, however, seem to be a high correlation between the various questions in the course evaluation, such as question 14 (advancing educational goals), question 21 (provides beneficial feedback), and question 23 (stimulates interest).

Council expressed the following concerns to Springer:

Springer promised to conduct additional analysis that considered these issues.

Further discussion ensued concerning the lack of variation and the seeming inflation of the student expected grade. A point was made that this inflation may indicate that teachers may be removing any existing correlation between grades and evaluations via unintentionally lowering their expectations of the students. Or it could be the case that there just isn’t any real correlation between expected grade and course evaluations.

Bylaw Change Concerning Athletic Standing Committee -- Vicki Hightower

Hightower pointed out that the current committee is extremely active at all possible levels. This, in part, is due to the natural coordination that occurs when the appointed NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) is also the committee chairperson. (Proposed bylaw changes will make this committee consistent in that the chairperson will be elected from the elected members.) Investigation showed that though the larger schools follow a policy of separation of the FAR and the chairperson, most of the smaller schools don’t.

Council adamantly pointed out that the current proposed changes reflected in no way on the outstanding job the athletic committee and FAR have done. This is reiterated by both Dr. Lambert and Dr. Francis.

Council concluded that though experts, on the surface, may seem to be the best choices as committee leaders, they may be best viewed as sources of information and guidance. The current bylaw changes reflect the overall goal of both standardizing the structure of standing committees and determining leadership positions via faculty elections.

Hightower also emphasized that gender and divisional representation are of utmost importance when considering nominees for the committee. Council strongly concurred and affirmed its historical commitment to considering these issues in all nominee selections.

Review of Bylaw Changes Submitted at the March Faculty Meeting

A copy of the current proposed bylaw changes was circulated.

The terms “Academic Vice President” and “Provost” should be used consistently throughout faculty handbook.

The phrase, “with votes,” should be omitted everywhere it is used.

No conflict exists between teacher licensure accreditation and proposed bylaw changes.

There is an ongoing dialogue with the SGA concerning changing the specifications of student representatives, as council finds the current ones unsatisfactory.

Significant changes were made as follows:

Director of Computing Technologies will be the administrative representative.

Report on Trustees Meeting -- Leo Lambert

President Lambert gave council an extremely positive briefing of the events surrounding the Board of Trustees meeting.

Elected members of Academic Council met to discuss elections and review agenda items for April and May meetings.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 P. M.

Respectfully Submitted,
J. Todd Lee

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