Academic Senate Update

By Graig Graziosi

Several important issues were brought to vote at the Academic Senate on Wednesday evening.

A revision to class scheduling from the Academic Standards Committee was sent back to committee after senators expressed concerns over the creation of a 7:30-8:45 am class timeslot, suggesting the measure would force service staff to work longer hours, necessitating potential overtime pay.

Most buildings on campus are open at 7:30 a.m., and some higher security buildings require more staff and time for maintenance. These buildings would have needed exemption from the action creating new time slots, which forced amended language to the motion.

Academic Standards Committee brought an issue that passed in the Senate, which will see the minimum number of hours for student classification change. Currently, sophomores need 32 hours, juniors need 62 and seniors need 94. The passed measure will change the minimum hours to 30, 60 and 90 hours, respectively.

The Academic Standards Committee proposed that helping students achieve a change in their classification earlier will aid in retention, believing the positive change will encourage students to stay with their programs. The numbers were rounded to their nearest 10 in order to better work with the campus campaign encouraging students to attempt 15 credit hours per semester.

After some debate, a proposal to limit senate committee chair positions to only faculty members was rejected by the Senate. The proposal was explained to be a means for protecting students from faculty politics and incentivizing faculty to volunteer for open committee chair positions.

Several individuals opposed to the measure questioned the veracity of the claim that students needed protection from campus politics. Those in favor of the measure believed the transience of students and the faculty’s historical familiarity with the university and higher education in general were strong enough arguments for passing the measure.

A resolution of no confidence in the administration and a call for censure was brought before the Senate and, following debate, was shelved for further discussion at February’s Senate meeting.