Senate Committee on Educational Policy
March 12, 2012

Present: Gay Miller, Chair; Paul Diehl, Bettina Francis, Phillip Geil, Shana Harrison, Prasanta Kalita, Michael Krassa, Jerome McDonough, Steve Michael, Catherine Murphy, Thomas Nevins, Paul Prior, Gary Schnitkey

Ex Officio: Brenda Clevenger, Andrea Golato, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Charles Tucker, Stacey Kostell

Guests:Abbas Aminmansour, Carol Livingstone, Elizabeth Lowe (Center for Translation Studies) Carol Malmgren, Peter Mortensen, Diane Musumeci, Lucy Rich

A regular meeting of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (EPC) was called to order at 1:10 pm, on Monday, March 12, 2012 in 232 English Building, with Chair Miller presiding.

  1. Introductions – Introductions were made around the room.

  2. Approval of Minutes – The minutes from February 6, 2012 were approved as revised.

  3. Chair’s Remarks (G. Miller) - Chair Miller noted that according to the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) as a 23 member committee, 12 members constitute a quorum, and the majority of a quorum is 7. Sub-committees of 7 or more must follow OMA. 

  4. Provost’s Office Updates (K. Kuntz) - Kuntz distributed a list of administrative approvals. (see attachment) Most approvals were course catalog updates.

  5. Graduate College Updates (A. Golato) - Golato directed attention to the distributed list of administrative approvals for the Graduate College approvals. This approval was a change in course requirements.

  6. Old Business

    1. Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Minors: Paul Prior, Chair; Phil Geil, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Lucy Rich
      1. Determining the minimum amount of course work that is required for a minor and the implications.

        Subcommittee Chair Prior distributed the minutes from the subcommittees meeting. Most questions that were raised were general.  Examples and policies were looked at and it seemed that the residency requirements are similar from department to department. There are strong reasons for minors to have residency requirements in regards to integrity, and are mostly concentrated in upper level courses. There should be a precise evaluation of these types of courses.

    2. Subcommittee A—Michael Krassa, Chair; Cody Chalkey, Brenda Clevenger, Prasanta Kalita, Stacey Kostell, Catherine Murphy
    1. No old business was discussed by subcommittee A.

    2. Subcommittee B—Phillip Geil, Chair; Trevor Eagle, Andrea Golato, Shana Harrison, Jerome McDonough, Steve Michael, Paul Prior, Charles Tucker
      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

        Geil indicated that “focus” should be better defined, and then moved that this proposal be delayed until additional corrections are made by the sponsors. By voice, this proposal will continue as old business.

      2. EP.12.21 Proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to revise the minor in Communication

        It was noted that educationally there is no reason for requiring 200 level courses to be lectured by a faculty member. After discussion it was determined to continue reviewing this proposal and continue on the agenda as old business

    3. Subcommittee C—Bettina Francis, Chair; Damani Bolden, Paul Diehl, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Chris Royer
      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
      2. Francis noted that this proposal is linked to EP.12.12 and should therefore remain as old business.

      3. GC511 Request from the Graduate College to establish the new course, Grant Writing: Social Sciences

        This course was not discussed.

  7. New Business
    1. Subcommittee A—(M. Krassa)
      1. EP.12.22 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to establish a new Master of Arts (MA) in Translation and Interpreting in the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics

        The sponsor, Elizabeth Lowe, was invited to discuss the proposal. Lowe gave a brief overview of the proposal noting that the international standards state that the title should be listed as interpreting, not interpretation. The school has spoken to many employers to ensure that graduates would have the skills needed to perform in the workplace. It is evident that this MA would provide attractive students in the job field. There is not a great deal of competition across the country, and other programs do not have the breadth that this MA will provide. This should be very competitive.

        Lowe also noted that the Fire Institute trains international firefighters and needs interpreters. The school partners with the Fire Institute to provide interpreters and the institute aids in funding interpreting booths.

        Krassa moved approval and the proposal was approved by voice.

    2. Subcommittee B—(P. Geil)
    3. No new business was discussed by subcommittee B.

    4. Subcommittee C— (B. Francis)

      No new business was discussed by subcommittee C.

  8. Other New Business
    1. Grade Replacement Policy (C. Malmgren, Peter Mortensen, Charles Tucker)

      Mortensen summarized the current grade replacement policy and then distributed a briefing on this policy. This policy has not been changed since it was put into place in 2010. The preliminary study of issues is included in the distributed document. The courses that students are requesting grade replacement for are in high demand. There are approximately 1,000 grade replacement requests each semester. Many students that make requests are classified as seniors, are well along in their program, and are essentially taking freshman/sophomore classes.

      In some cases the code is interpreted and needs clarification. There is considerable workload in the department and an unsustainable workload in the Registrar’s Office to process the numerous grade replacement requests.

      An example of manipulating this policy is a student that has a low passing grade going into an exam and then purposely fails the exam in order to be eligible for grade replacement. There is currently no way to restrict juniors and seniors from enrolling in lower level courses and therefore taking seats away from freshman and sophomores that need these courses. Juniors and seniors are allowed to register for courses before freshman and sophomores. The GPA impact is not significant from invoking grade replacement, and there is a need to think systematically about tools that are available. Any changes in the grade replacement policy would not negatively impact students, and students should not think that this policy is going to increase their GPA. Several suggestions and comments followed. Mortensen requested that any additional comments be sent to the subcommittee.

    2. Proposal Check List (M. Krassa, et. al.)

      Krassa reported that the document has been circulated to various parties, has received comments, will request language clarification from Kristi Kuntz, and then the document will need one more review before making a recommendation.

    3. Illinois Bills of Importance (A. Aminmansour)

      Aminmansour represents the Urbana campus on the Faculty Advisory Council of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (FAC/IBHE). There are currently several pieces of legislation that would significantly impact higher education. Aminmansour mentioned several bills, including SB3803, SB3804, HB5671, SB0059, that are of concern to FAC/IBHE. He reported that the FAC/IBHE is working on adopting a Position Statement to address these issues. (See attached statement.)
      Aminmansour answered a question about performance based funding by noting that IBHE was mandated to put together metrics for performance based funding and those metrics have been approved. It does not appear that this would cause any harm at this point. This should look good for the Urbana campus. Stakeholders do need to remain vigilant to stay aware of current issues and any changes that might occur. These metrics are different for each institution.

  9. Adjournment - The meeting adjourned at 2:49 pm.

Jenny Roether
Senate Staff