Senate Committee on Educational Policy
Minutes
November 14, 2011

Present: Gay Miller, Chair; Paul Diehl, Bettina Francis, Phillip H. Geil, Prasanta Kalita, Michael Krassa, Jerome McDonough, Steve Michael, Damani Bolden, Shana Harrison

Ex Officio: Andrea Golato, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Charles Tucker

Guests: Mary Lowry, Peter Mortensen

A regular meeting of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (EPC) was called to order at 1:10 pm, on Monday, November 14, in 232 English Building, with Chair Miller presiding.

  1. Introductions Chair Miller introduced guest speaker Peter Mortensen, and announced that he would be discussing transfer course articulation.
  2. Approval of Minutes – Minutes from October 10, 2011 were approved as written.
  3. Chair’s Remarks – Chair Miller discussed the CIC meeting she attended at Purdue. Enrollment management was an issue that was discussed and many of the concerns that were expressed were the same concerns shared by the Enrollment Management Task Force. Purdue also shares some of the same multi-campus challenges that the University of Illinois faces. Open access, repositories, and the cost associated with maintaining them were also discussed.
  4. Provost’s Office Updates - (K. Kuntz) – Kristi Kuntz announced that the new proposal template has been posted on the Educational Policy Committee website. Notice will soon be sent out to the colleges to let them know to use the updated template.
  5. Graduate College Updates - (A. Golato) – One administrative approval which was a minor revision of study and does not change any degree requirements. Intersect is a program that funds interdisciplinary graduate studies on our campus in the arts in the humanities. The money came from Dean Dutta provided within the graduate college.
  6. Old Business
    1. Subcommittee A—Michael Krassa, Chair; Cody Chalkey, Brenda Clevenger, Prasanta Kalita, Keith Marshall, Eric Meyer, Richard Mintel, Catherine Murphy
    2. Subcommittee B—Phillip Geil, Chair; Trevor Eagle, Andrea Golato, Shana Harrison, Jerome McDonough, Steve Michael, Paul Prior, Charles Tucker
    3. Subcommittee C—Bettina Francis, Chair; Damani Bolden, Pradeep Dhillon, Paul Diehl, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Chris Royer
    4. EPC Proposal Flow – (G. Miller) – The proposal follow document outlines the basic proposal process and approach to handling proposals. Chair Miller anticipates that this document will change in the future. Professor Phil Geil noted that in the past, comments on LAS proposals were sent to Ann Mester, who is no longer with LAS, and asked who comments should be sent to. Diane Musumeci answered that comments should now be sent to Amy Elli and she would handle distribution to the appropriate unit.
  7. New Business
    1. Subcommittee A—(M. Krassa)
      1. EP.12.13 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences to Terminate the Community Studies and Outreach Concentration in the PhD Curriculum in Human and Community Development – Professor Geil had a few question and some suggested revisions. Bob Hughes from the unit agrees with the comments and is willing to make the changes. The committee approved the proposal pending the suggested revisions.
      2. EP.12.15 Proposal to Revise the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Concentration within the PhD Curriculum in Human and Community Development – Professor Geil suggested adding a table to compare the changes from the original. He also questioned the 0 hour thesis option. Chair Miller questioned the thesis equivalency paper, and how credit is calculated. Geil questioned that the course on page 7 was counted two different ways.  The committee approved the proposal pending the requested revisions.
    2. Subcommittee B—(P. Geil)
      1. EP.12.12 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Education to Establish the Educational Technology for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Concentration in the Ed.M. in Educational Psychology – This proposal has been put on hold.
    3. Subcommittee C— (B. Francis)
      1. EP.12.14 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Education to Terminate the eLearning Concentration in the Ed.M. in Human Resource Education – This proposal has been put on hold. Carol Livingstone noted that the foundations of eLearning and management of eLearning are two different programs. The sponsor should be specific which programs are to be terminated. This proposal has been put on hold.
  8. Other New Business
    1. Transfer Course Articulation Issue (P. Mortensen)- Peter Mortensen noted that this is a new process to a current obstacle. The new electronic process should create efficiency to transfer course articulation and encourage a possible increase transfer students. Professor Geil asked how this ties in with the Enrollment Management report commissioned by President Michael Hogan. Mortensen responded that this process focuses on the Urbana campus immediate needs, and the outcome of the enrollment management report will come in the future. The Committee on Undergraduate Deans has endorsed this proposal. Some important questions were raised at the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) and came to the conclusion that Mortensen should attend an EPC meeting to make sure all concerns were addressed. The next step is to form a small group within the Office of Admissions that are well versed in articulation to be the first reviewers for requests. There are tens of thousands of requests to articulate courses. If these requests are approved, then they go into a database so if the same course from the same institution comes through it would automatically be approved. The courses in the database would periodically be reviewed. There is a short time frame to let a student know how the courses would transfer or if they would transfer at all. These students are often looking at other schools and there is a need to respond quickly to compete with the other institutions. A flow chart was distributed to chart how courses are handled if they are in the database and if they are not in the database. If the course is not in the database, it is entered into the database and then a report is produced. Lucy Rich noted that most community college courses are in the database, but all colleges create new courses, and new students continually come from new places. These courses have to go through the process. Currently some courses are articulated differently and this should not happen. This new electronic process will help to prevent this issue.

      A non-response prompts a discussion; it does not make a decision to accept or reject the request. Chair Miller confirmed that negative choices are not shown. She would like to see not only the courses that are approved, but also the ones that are rejected so it shows what types of courses the reviewers are rejecting. Mortensen noted that professional evaluators would use a check-list initially to help evaluate how the system is working. Second, third, and fourth year courses would automatically go forward to the college for review, but the new system focus is really on first year courses. Tucker added that currently good decisions about course articulation are made, but slowly and sometimes to the detriment of the student. It is not unusual for transfer students come to this institution to make course selections without knowing how their other courses transfer. Kristi Kuntz noted that the Office of Admissions is really trying to address this by asking for syllabi. Bettina Francis expressed her concern over the load on departments with the required quick turnaround time. It is a concern if a student’s course is approved, but cannot keep up with the courses at Urbana. Mortensen replied that there are bridge courses that bring transfer students up to speed to continue at our institution. It is not advantageous to admit transfer students if they have no way of continuing successful. Chair Miller asked if the database is available to students so they can see what has already been approved. Mortensen answered that the database information is currently available to students. Charles Tucker added that if a student provides syllabi and other materials ahead of time and before school starts, that it needs to be turned around quickly. If the student doesn’t produce syllabi until the start of the semester, then there would be a delay in decisions. Mortensen noted that the first phase is for students who have not been admitted yet. Kristi Kuntz added that transfer enrollment is rolling and so these requests come in throughout the year. Chair Miller asked if the University of Illinois are contacting advisors at Illinois colleges and notifying them that students need to get information submitted as soon as possible instead of waiting until the beginning of the semester. Kuntz mentioned a group of Admissions Coordinators that just met and could be a group to convey this information.

      Mortensen noted that a prompt will go out after two weeks if there is no response to a request. A clearer idea on the capacity to handle requests will be realized when the number of requests that we receive is determined. This process will not cover study abroad articulation. Miller asked if the situations where the units agree and disagree will be captured. Mortensen answered that there will be an effort to track success for those students who articulate classes. Kuntz mentioned that there are loose ways to see if this is attracting more transfer students. She said that students who do not come here are surveyed and many say the reason for not choosing our institution was that they did not know if their classes would transfer. Paul Prior noted that not having the information up front is the usual reason for delays and some syllabi are not always the clearest. Rich indicated that the decision is hard when the title of the course matches a course offered here, but the work done in the class is significantly different. Mortensen will give an update on how things progress.

    2. Debriefing on EP.12.11 Revisions to 2012-2013 Academic Calendar – This proposal passed at the November Senate meeting as a one-time trial solution. Chair Miller mentioned that the requested feedback should be specified so the desired information is collected. The communication to faculty regarding syllabi planning, and the communication to students about their right to request conflict examinations needs to be planned. Charles Tucker noted that faculty should also be reminded about the state law and Student Code on making accommodations for religious observances.
    3. Chair Miller requested suggestions for nominees to replace members who have resigned from the committee.
  9. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 2:06 pm.

Jenny Roether
Senate Staff