University of Delaware

Senate action

Faculty Senate approves cybersecurity master's degree program

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Editor's note: For more detailed information, including meeting minutes, visit the Faculty Senate website.

9:55 a.m., April 9, 2015--A motion to add a master of science degree in cybersecurity was approved during the regular meeting of the University of Delaware Faculty Senate, held Monday, April 6, in Gore Hall. 

Senators also heard reports from Provost Domenico Grasso concerning the work of the General Education Task Force and from Starnes Walker on UD cybersecurity initiatives.

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In addition, senators heard reports on the #VoicesofUDel campaign and on the activities of the Faculty Senate Commission on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault from commission chair Michael Chajes, professor of civil and environmental engineering. 

A discussion on the General Education Initiative was moved to 4 p.m., Monday, April 13, in 115 Purnell Hall. 

Provost’s report

Grasso lauded the work of the General Education Task Force, which is charged with examining the University’s core goals in undergraduate education. The General Education Task Force core group is chaired by John Pelesko, interim associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of mathematical sciences. Norman Wagner, Unidel Robert L. Pigford Chaired Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, chairs the Faculty Senate's Committee on General Education. 

“General education is an important part of our educational process,” Grasso said. “I’m glad we have had the time to revisit general education ideas. We now want to move forward in a very strategic way.” 

Grasso also noted that discussion continues on responsibility based budgeting, and that the new strategic plan for UD is scheduled to be unveiled on Wednesday, April 8.

In addition, Grasso announced two open town hall forums to be held on the University’s new strategic plan -- at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 14, and at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 16, both in the Trabant University Center. 

Grasso also announced that he had received the report of the Continuing Non-Tenure Track (CNTT) Commission and that he is sharing it with the deans and Senate leadership before broader public release.

Cybersecurity Initiative

Starnes Walker, founding director of UD’s Cybersecurity Initiative and professor of electrical and computer engineering, briefed senators on the program’s goals.

Geography provides UD with a special advantage, Walker said. “As the University of Delaware, we sit between New York City, the important financial sector of the country, and Washington, D.C., the seat of national and military power,” he said. “Also, we are the corporate hub of the U.S., with 70 percent of all Fortune 500 companies incorporated here in the state of Delaware so we are very well aligned to being corporate America's hub for cybersecurity.”

Walker also noted that UD is reaching out through a variety of strategic partnerships and we have assembled a suite of august senior executives and leaders across industry, government, military and academia to serve as members of the UD Cybersecurity Initiative Advisory Council to help us best align UD's capabilities for success.

“I had the good fortune to inherit a very large partnership with Aberdeen Proving Ground CERDEC/12WD organization,” Walker said. “We also have structured partnerships with Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Texas System that includes Texas-Dallas, Austin and San Antonio to enhance each of our University complementing capabilities to best deliver cyber capability to industry, government and academia."

At UD, the focus of the initiative includes education and training of current and future students with the master's degree in cybersecurity presented at the April 6 meeting for approval and the minor in cybersecurity now in place, training the existing workforce and building interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research capabilities, Walker said. 

“Our Cybersecurity Initiative spans all seven colleges, because we realize that we can all make contributions that we feel are important to enhance our industry, global competitiveness and national security to best protect the nation's critical infrastructure,” he said. “All of our colleges have a role to play in assuring success -- this is a win-win for us all.”

Senate commission

In his report on the activities of the Faculty Senate Commission on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault, Chajes noted that the commission was charged with making recommendations for the implementation of best practices for the prevention of sexual misconduct and/or addressing misconduct allegations. The commission also is working with Sue Groff, UD’s Title IX coordinator, and several Title IX committees.

“The question is, how do we create a conversation around gender and sexuality where people treat each other with respect,” Chajes said. "The 17 people on the commission have been working very hard, and having students involved is critical.” 

Chajes noted that the term sexual misconduct includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

The national spotlight has been focused on these concerns through various media, including “A Very Different Kind of Revolution on Campus,” in New York Magazine, and the films It Happened Here and The Hunting Ground, which was shown recently on the UD campus, Chajes said.

National numbers indicate that one in five undergraduate women have experienced sexual assault while in college, with three out of four victims being freshmen or sophomores. Some 62 percent of female college students have reported being sexually harassed, and 90 percent of the victims knew the perpetrator. 

“We have held weekly meetings since last December and have been assembling information from literature, current events, open forums and focus groups and related campus events,” Chajes said. “We have learned that sexual misconduct is a significant concern among students, staff and faculty.”

Chajes also said that faculty involvement is critical and comprehensive education for all UD constituents is needed.

“A campus culture shift is needed,” Chajes said. “Our focus should be on awareness and prevention of all forms of sexual misconduct, as well as on survivor support services.”

Recommendations from the commission include a “big picture” approach to address sexual misconduct and the importance of monitoring the results of programs that are implemented, forming a coherent organizational structure and creating a dedicated, visible and welcoming campus facility to house activities and support services related to gender and sexuality.

#VoicesofUDel campaign

Jawanza Keita, director of communications in the Office of the Provost, and Holly Norton, social media manager in Communications and Public Affairs, described the #VoicesofUDel social media campaign. Anu Sivaraman, assistant professor of business administration and secretary of the Faculty Senate, serves with Keita and Norton on a joint committee that helped spark the campaign. 

#VoicesofUDel encourages all members of the campus community to share their ideas about inclusion, tolerance, difficult topics and other issues. It is being offered as a safe place to be seen, heard and valued. The ongoing effort showcases students, faculty and staff expressing themselves on videos posted on UD’s YouTube channel.

“This is a virtual campaign we launched late last year as a means of hopefully encouraging thoughtful discussion, respectful debate and interaction,” Keita said. “One of the key challenges that we have in our information-driven, electronic, connected-all-the-time society is this: While we have continuous access to all sorts of information, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we understand one another better, or that we are actually any more connected. I mean really connected, from a human perspective."

Keita added, the campaign "is an interactive way of putting diversity and inclusion into action."

Norton urged senators to join the conversation. 

“We are asking you to take a look at the content that is up there and participate. See what is relevant for conversations you plan on having throughout the rest of the semester," she said. "'Voices' can be a resource to interactively help facilitate and drive conversations in different settings -- including the classroom." 

Keita, Norton and Sivaraman all noted the ultimate goal is to move the campaign beyond the virtual realm and inspire engaging, curious and respectful face-to-face interactions.

Consent agenda

During the consent agenda portion of the meeting, senators approved requests to revise the majors in political science, international relations, Spanish education and French, German or Spanish/political science.

Senators also approved requests to delete all English major concentrations and to add new unified major requirements, and to revise the 4+1 program in early childhood education leading to a master of science degree in human development and family studies with a concentration in early childhood development and inclusive education.

Also approved were requests to revise the required credits for graduation for the bachelor of science degree in nursing, to delete the exercise physiology and biomechanics and motor control concentrations in the exercise science major, and to revise the exercise science major. 

The senate also approved requests to revise the athletic training major concentration and course sequencing and to revise the exercise science major’s medical scholars concentration, and the bachelor of science degree major in statistics. 

Requests to revise the medical diagnostics pre-physician assistant concentration and to create concentrations in the management information systems, financial management and controllership programs -- all in the master of science accounting program -- were approved.

Also approved were requests to explicitly list courses not allowed as technical electives as well as those that can be used to satisfy the requirement of an extra mathematics course in both bachelor of science programs in computer science and information systems. 

Senators agreed to revisions in the elementary teacher education major, the political science education major, the bachelor of science degree major in dietetics, the major concentration in health behavioral science and the medical diagnostics major. 

Requests to revise majors in medical laboratory science, human services, English education and Honors English education also were approved. 

Also approved were requests to delete the minor in operations research and to add minors in meteorology and climatology, game studies and molecular diagnostics. 

Requests to revise the minors in entomology, wildlife conservation, exercise science, strength and conditioning, French studies, animal science, global enterprise technologies and food science were approved.  

Approval was granted to revise the master of science in hospitality and business management, the dual degree in international business, degree requirements for the master of science degree in international business and the curriculum requirements for the master of science in information systems and technology management, and the doctoral program in economics education.

Requests to revise the concentrations in sports medicine, exercise physiology, motor control and biomechanics, all in the master of science in exercise science program, also were approved.  

Regular agenda

During the regular portion of the meeting, senators approved requests to change the name of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to Languages, Literatures and Cultures. 

Senators also approved requests to disestablish the bachelor of science degree in agriculture education, the master of instruction in the School of Education and the master of arts in teaching. 

Also approved were requests to add a bachelor of arts major in linguistics and French and a new major in meteorology and climatology, and to create a master of science degree program in cybersecurity. 

The 2015-16 Residence Life program also was approved. 

In memoriam

Faculty Senate President Fred Hofstetter asked members to remember Richard Wool, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES) program, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 24. He was 67.

“I speak to you on a note of sadness,” Hofstetter said. “We have lost one of our own, Richard Wool, a sitting member of the UD Faculty Senate.”

Prasad Dhurjati, vice president of the Faculty Senate and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and mathematical sciences, remembered his late colleague as a great friend for the last 20 years.

“Richard had this amazing quality of making everyone feel respected,” Dhurjati said. “He had this incredible demeanor and positive and cheerful attitude. He was never negative about people and never judgmental. His passing tells us how fragile life is and how we should respect every moment.”  

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate is 4 p.m., Monday, May 4. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes

 

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