University of Delaware

General Faculty, Faculty Senate meetings

President briefs faculty, Senate changes bylaws


(Editor’s note: For more detailed information, including minutes, visit the Faculty Senate website.)

10:24 a.m., April 11, 2014--Meetings of the General Faculty and the Faculty Senate were held consecutively Monday, April 7, in Gore Hall. 

At the General Faculty meeting, University of Delaware President Patrick Harker updated members of the faculty on the successes of the University’s Associate in Arts Program (AAP) and the Commitment to Delawareans in providing financial and academic support for First State residents.

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Harker also noted that working groups have begun to address the second phase of UD’s Path to Prominence strategic planning initiative.

“This will give us some sense of what has been accomplished by all of us over the last several years, and that will give us a benchmark of what’s next,” Harker said. “We will be able to see what we have done well, and not so well, and what we need to work on.” 

A top priority item for the state’s residents, students, parents and legislators, Harker noted, is determining how well the University serves Delawareans. 

“We are the state’s land grant university, and it is important that we all understand that,” Harker said. “I believe that, collectively, we are doing a remarkable job in serving Delawareans, both with respect to access to UD and affordability.” 

Harker noted that through its Commitment to Delawareans initiative, University financial aid currently benefits 2,800 resident students who comprise nearly 43 percent of the undergraduate student population. 

Applications from Delawareans have risen 19 percent since 2008, while admissions increased by 29 percent and enrollment rose 32 percent, Harker said. 

“We’ve put a lot of money into need-based aid for resident students and their families so that they can afford to come to this University,” Harker said. “We responded as a community. We have opened the doors to resident students, and they have responded.”

Harker also lauded the Associate in Arts Program as helping Delawareans make the transition from high school to life on the Newark campus.

The AAP operates in each of Delaware's three counties, with classes held in Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown.

The program includes small class sizes and other features designed to ensure academic success. Students take regular UD courses taught by University faculty, with the classwork selected to fulfill not just requirements for an associate degree but also the core requirements for majors leading to a bachelor's degree.

UD admits 93 percent of Delawareans who apply but because not every student is ready for a four-year on-campus program, a significant number are admitted into the AAP, Harker said.

Since its inception in 2004, retention from the first to the second year has risen from 73 percent to 83 percent, compared to a 66 percent rate under the former Parallel Program. Completion within three years also rose from 51 to 65 percent, Harker said. 

“The numbers here are quite remarkable, and we really are a national model for such a program,” Harker said. “This is a low cost way to a very high quality education.”

Harker noted that future challenges include changing demographics for potential student recruitment areas, a more competitive environment for attracting graduate students, creating more diverse student body and a faculty with more gender equity, and reconnecting with UD alums. 

Faculty Senate meeting

The Faculty Senate meeting followed the General Faculty meeting.

Provost Domenico Grasso reported briefly on his recently completed trip to China, where the UD delegation -- which included Rick Andrews, deputy dean, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; Harry Wang, accounting and MIS; Nancy Brickhouse, deputy provost; Nancy Guerra, director, Institute for Global Studies; George Watson, dean, College of Arts and Sciences; and Jianguo Chen, director, Confucius Institute at UD -- visited several universities, including East China Normal University and Xiamen University to strengthen ties. 

“We have a longstanding collaboration with East China Normal University, in Shanghai, and we are continuing some very exciting collaborations with both of these universities,” Grasso said. “We also had an exciting opportunity to interact with some our alums who have not been connected to the University for some time.” 

Faculty Senate actions

Senators approved three committee of the whole recommendations made during the senate’s previous meeting held March 24.

Recommendations approved include changing the Faculty Senate Bylaws to state that the senate will hold its regular meetings on the first Monday of each month when classes are in session during the fall and spring semesters. 

Recommendations approved also included the establishment of a doctorate in climatology and changing the name of the award honoring senate service to the Jon Olson Faculty Senate Exemplary Service Award. Olson, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemical engineering, was elected on March 16, 1970, as the first president of the Faculty Senate, serving in that office from 1970-71. 

Requests for revising and changing the name of majors in entomology and wildlife conservation to insect ecology and conservation and wildlife ecology and conservation, respectively, were approved effective Sept. 1. 

Senators also approved provisionally for five years the creation of a master’s degree program in childhood foreign language education and two 4+1 programs combining the new master’s program with the bachelor’s degree for elementary teacher education and early childhood education, all effective Sept. 1. 

The Office of Residence Life’s 2014-15 residential program gained senate approval.

Also approved provisionally for five years was a request to establish a major leading to bachelor’s degree in financial planning, effective Sept. 1. The creation of a 4+1 program involving the master of economics with undergraduate majors in economics and mathematics/economics also was approved.

In addition, senators gave the go ahead to a request to change the name of the Department of Psychology to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. 

Consent agenda

During the consent agenda portion of the regular meeting senators approved a request to revise the fine arts, visual communications and art major. 

Also approved were requests to revise bachelor of music majors in music education instrumental, general/choral voice and general/choral piano. Requests to revise the art history, biological sciences, international relations and Ancient Greek and Roman studies majors also were approved. 

Requests for revisions approved by senators also included international business studies, management, marketing, accounting, secondary mathematics education, quantitative biology and nutritional sciences majors. 

Senators gave the green light to requests to revise the sociology major concentration in emergency environmental management and the major in exercise science medical scholars concentration, and to change the name of the global studies concentration to the global politics concentration, within the political science major.

Also receiving approval were requests to revise minors in political communication, Spanish studies, medical diagnostics, biology, and to add minors in forensic science and European studies. 

Faculty Senate President Deni Galileo, associate professor of biological sciences, urged senators to attend senate meetings in their entirety to maintain the quorum necessary for official action on consent and regular agenda items. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate is 4 p.m., Monday, May 5, in 104 Gore Hall. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes


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