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April 26, 2000 Minutes

Senators Present: J. Bible, M. Blanda, M. Conroy, J. Bible, J. Hays, A. McKinney, B. Peeler,

O. Renick, R. Sawey, E. Skerpan-Wheeler, T. Stimmel, and B. Stone

Absent:  M. Gillis and S. Gordon

Guests: John Garrison, Lanita Hanson, Gene Martin, David Rodriguez, Bob Smallwood,
Douglas Van DenBerg and Mike Moore

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Chair Hays

I. Student Fundraisers and Quad Activities (Garrison & Hanson)

Dr. Garrison and Ms. Hanson explained the university policy concerning student and student organizations use of the open areas on campus, including the legal issues behind the Free Speech area. This information was presented in response to faculty senate concerns about excessive noise disrupting classes in the Quad area. Hanson explained that organizations require a permit to conduct fundraisers and that organizations, which violate the policies, can be denied permits in the future. Faculty who experience problems with noise violations should call Lanita Hanson at 53219 or e-mail her at  Lanita indicated that in most cases she would be able to respond to a noise complaint in a matter of minutes.

Motion: (Bible/Sawey) Student fundraisers and similar activities be moved from the Quad to the area in front of the new Student Center to minimize the disruption of classes. (Passed 8-0-3)

II.     Distance Learning (Martin)

Dr. Martin explained the efforts of the Extended Education Action Team at SWT. He indicated that there appeared to be several basic problems with extended education (distance education) at SWT that needed to be addressed. First the campus
does not have a comprehensive set of plans or policies dealing with extended education courses and programs. Second, there is no single extended education contact point (a person or office) for people with questions to be directed to. Third, we have no standards other than the very broad SACS' standards for the content and nature of extended education courses. Dr. Martin indicated that we might want to look at the policies developed at the University of North Texas as a guide. Fourth, the university may want to reconsider the nature and amount of its current distance education fees. (No senate action taken on this subject.)

III. Removal of I grades from transcripts (Rodriguez)

Mr. Rodriguez indicated that the ASG has a concern about the current policy as to the transcription of I grades. While I grades are intended to be non punitive and resulting from circumstances beyond the control of the student, there is concern
that prospective employers may view the I grade as an indicator of a potential problem. For example, it might indicate to the employer an illness or condition that the job applicant has chosen not to disclose. Upon inquiry from the senate the university registrar Dr. Van DenBerg indicated that he believes the current policy is simply a vestige of early manual transcription procedures and does not represent any significant policy issue.

Motion: (Sawey/Bible) The senate supports the position that only the final grade should be reflected on the transcript once an I grade has been converted into an academic grade. (Passed 10-0-1)

IV. Registration Information (Smallwood & Van DenBerg)

Dr Smallwood reported back to the senate about a number of issues relating to academic policies such as how late in a semester a student can enroll in a course or drop a course without academic penalty and how to treat grades when courses are repeated. Dr. Smallwood presented the senate with a chart showing how the SWT policy compares to some of the top tier schools in the state. The table indicated that SWT's policies are very similar to the policies used at UT, A&M, UNT and TECH.  (After a prolonged discussion the senate decided to forward the issues to the Academic Standards Committee for
their review.)

V. Committee Assignments

Senator Conroy expressed concerns that there may be some problems with the proposed membership of several faculty senate committees. It appears that the senate passed a policy statement on committees that may have not been communicated to the Committee on Committees. After a prolonged discussion it was decided that the senate would need to examine at some length the process of committee assignments to several critical committees.

Motion: (Sawey/Renick) That the senate approve the proposed membership of all the faculty senate committees with the exception of the Faculty Research Committee, University Arts Committee and the Academic Computing Committee. (Passed 11-0-0)

VI.     New Business

 No time remained to address new business issues.

The minutes of 4-19-2000 were approved as corrected.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:36 p.m.