University of Delaware

Senate action

Faculty Senate approves minimum class meetings requirement


1:47 p.m., March 27, 2014--Updating the required minimum number of days of instruction per semester and establishing a new undergraduate and graduate catalog policy on degree requirements and terms of matriculation were among the resolutions approved during a special meeting of the University of Delaware Faculty Senate held Monday, March 24, in Gore Hall.

The regular Faculty Senate meeting had been scheduled for March 3 but was postponed because UD was closed that day due to a winter storm.

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Provost’s report

University Provost Domenico Grasso updated senators on new hires, including Christopher Lucier, vice president for enrollment management, and Starnes Walker, founding director of the UD Cybersecurity Initiative. 

“Chris Lucier will start July 1. He already has been pretty heavily engaged in interacting with folks on campus and will be visiting here several times between now and then,” Grasso said. “Starnes Walker has been on campus a few times, and he has a long list of people to meet on campus when he begins April 1. This is a big initiative to start up.”

Grasso also noted that a search for a vice provost for faculty affairs and diversity has been ongoing, with the field narrowed down to three potential candidates.

A new pricing study for tuition also has been launched, and the Office of the Provost continues its commitment to make promotion and tenure procedures as transparent and clear as possible, he said. 

Senate actions

Senators approved resolutions passed by a Faculty Senate committee of the whole meeting, which was held Monday, Feb. 3, in Gore Hall. The meeting was held as a committee of the whole because the required quorum of elected senators could not be reached at that time.

Senators approved revisions to section 3.1.7 of the Faculty Handbook as follows: For a three-credit course meeting three times a week (e.g., on Monday-Wednesday-Friday), there typically will be three, 50-minute weekly meetings for a minimum of 39 scheduled class meetings during the fall and spring terms (40 or 41 class meetings are normally scheduled). For a three-credit course meeting twice a week (e.g., on Tuesday-Thursday), there typically will be two, 75-minute weekly meetings for a minimum of 26 scheduled class meetings (27 or 28 class meetings are normally scheduled). Courses for other than three credit hours should likewise meet for the equivalent of 50 minutes per credit hour per semester week. Additionally, the amount of class meeting time during winter and summer sessions should equal that scheduled in fall and spring academic terms.

Also approved was a resolution for changing the undergraduate and graduate catalog, which states that students must follow the degree requirements stipulated in the academic catalog for the year they matriculate. 

Undergraduates will have seven calendar years to complete such requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Students who do not meet this criteria relinquish the right to graduate under the requirements listed in the catalog of the year of their matriculation, and may be held to current degree requirements. 

Students who lose matriculation must apply for readmission and, if accepted, must complete the degree requirements in place at the time of their readmission. 

In other regular agenda actions, senators voted to disestablish the master of education degree in higher education administration. 

Also approved were revisions to the Faculty Handbook addressing the conflict of interest section, 4.2.7, which concerns full-time faculty serving as instructors or developers of traditional or online courses at institutions, organizations or entities outside the University.

Senators also gave the go-ahead to change the Faculty Senate bylaws and regulations to stipulate that the senate shall hold its regularly scheduled meetings on the first Monday during which classes for the regular fall or spring semesters are in session.

Consent agenda

During the consent agenda portion of the meeting, senators approved a request to revise master’s degree programs in public administration and teaching English as a second language. 

Senators also approved a request to delete the GRE admissions requirement for the master’s degree in foreign languages and literatures. 

Requests to revise the bachelor of arts degrees in French, Italian, Russian, German and Japanese studies were also approved.

In addition, senators gave the green light to revisions to the Medical Scholars Program, the bachelor of arts in liberal studies and the social studies education major. Also approved was a request to add an integrated design minor within the College of Engineering.

Faculty Senate President Deni Galileo, associate professor of biological sciences, opened the floor to comments from senators regarding the proposed student recommendation for a tobacco-free campus after declaring temporary operation as a committee of the whole.

The proposed policy can be viewed online.

“The open hearing on a potential tobacco-free campus was held on March 10, and stems from the actions of the Student Government Association, which introduced the policy during the Faculty Senate committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 3,” Galileo said. “This morning, we got a newer policy that was changed in certain respects as a consequence of the discussion at the March 10 open hearing.”

Galileo suggested that the Faculty Senate might want to make a formal recommendation, but a sense of the committee vote indicated that senators did not want the senate to work on changes to propose. However, senators then voted that they felt unspecified changes still needed to be made.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Galileo called a vote on accepting the policy with two specific recommendations by Fred Hofstetter, senate president-elect and professor in the School of Education, calling for the removal of Section II, Item B, which states “University programs, departments, and student organizations, including campus publications, are prohibited from accepting money, advertising, and gifts from tobacco companies,” and for consideration of providing designated tobacco use areas.

The motion, as proposed, was defeated by a large margin. 

Toward the end of the meeting, a quorum was lost and two additional resolutions were passed as recommendations to be formally accepted at the regular April Senate meeting.  These were a request to establish a Ph.D. in climatology and a request to rename the Faculty Senate Exemplary Service Award to the Jon Olson Faculty Senate Exemplary Service Award in honor of the first president of the Faculty Senate.

The meeting minutes will be posted on the Faculty Senate website

The next regular meeting of the Faculty Senate will be at 4 p.m., Monday, April 7, in 104 Gore Hall. A General Faculty meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the same location. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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