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December 5, 1991

Signal Mountain Room
University Center

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Dave Anderson, Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Stan Byrd, Pedro Campa, David Carrithers, Joe DePari, George Helton, Arlie Herron, Debbie Ingram, Irene Loomis, Ed McMahon, Gail Meyer, Fred Nixon, Betty Pickett, Tapan Sen, Edgar Shawen, David Shepherd, James Stroud, Gavin Townsend, John Trimpey, Margaret Trimpey, Jeannette Vallier, Ken Venters, Robert Wilson, Terry Zivney

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Stephanie Bellar, Terry Carney, Don Cassell, Robert Duffy, Anne Hunt, Peter Pringle, Marea Rankin, Jeannette Vallier, Donald Weisbaker

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Ralph Moser, Fred Obear, Sandra Packard, Charles Renneisen

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: J.R. Cunningham, Brenda Davis, Bill Gurley, Doug Kingdon, Charles Knight, Roy Stinnett, Bob Swansbrough, Mary Tanner, Caryl Taylor, Grayson Walker

Summary of Actions

Council approved curriculum proposals from the Biology Department and the School of Engineering.
Council approved Departmental Honors completed projects and four proposed projects.
Sound - lengthy.
Fury - mild and intermittent.

Call to Order

President Butterfield convened the meeting at 3:20 p.m.

Approval of Minutes

The November 21, 1991 minutes were corrected to indicate that the notes on the November 7 minutes, as revised, were approved with one negative vote rather than one abstention. The revised November 21, 1991 minutes were then approved as distributed without dissent.

Committee Reports

Curriculum Committee
Professor Doug Kingdon (chair) presented the following proposals and the actions upon same from the November 27 Curriculum Committee meeting:

A. Biology
1. Proposal
a) Changes in catalog descriptions in
-BIOL 325, Genetics
-BIOL 326, Genetics Laboratory
b) Clarification of wording regarding the pre-corequisite of BIOL 325 with BIOL 326
Vote: Motion passed unanimously, 9-0-0

B. Environmental Studies
1. Information Items
a) Editorial and formatting changes
Vote: Motion passed unanimously, 9-0-0

C. Engineering
1. Proposal
a) Add a new area of specialization: Environmental Engineering
b) New course: ENGR 437, Waste management (3)
Vote: Motion passed unanimously, 9-0-0

Professor Jim Cunningham noted a change in the Chemistry proposal. Chemistry 341 will be offered in the fall and environmental studies in the spring instead of the reverse as indicated in the original proposal.

Motion 1: Professor Margaret Trimpey moved acceptance of the curriculum proposals. Professor Ken Venters seconded.

Professor Dave Anderson asked about the relation of the environmental engineering to pollution controls. He found it difficult to figure out exactly what the objectives/goals of the program were. He noted the lack of a specific course dealing with pollution controls in the program. There is such a course in the environmental studies curriculum (EST 360) and in the engineering curriculum (ENGR 211), but neither course is included in this degree proposal. Why? Professor Cunningham responded that ENGR 211 is a Category G, general education course, and as such forbidden to engineers for credit as a Category G course. ENGR 433, Chemical Operations, deals with unit operations, filtration, etc. and meets this need.

Professor Terry Zivney questioned the wisdom of establishing ENGR 437, a new course utilizing an adjunct available locally. What happens if the local citizen "moves on"? Professor Cunningham replied that the course would, in reality, be team taught with either Cunningham or Professor Jim Henry. It would not be dependent on the adjunct.

Provost Sandy Packard asked if this would be listed as a concentration. Professor Cunningham said that was the intent. The Provost noted that concentrations need to be approved by our Board and then by THEC. Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh noted that Board approval comes as a consequence of their being listed in the degrees and concentrations list that we submit to the central administration.

Professor Anderson returned to the question of pollution controls. Will ENGR 433 contain the philosophy and strategies of pollution control as well as the technology of same? Professor Cunningham replied that the course would not get into the regulations. It will be approached from the point of view of waste minimalization, alternatives in the processing style to reduce the problem. Professor Anderson asked if it was not correct that the people now trying to solve pollution problems, especially air pollution, are environmental engineers? They need to be trained not only to minimize waste, but to solve existing problems. Will people in this degree program do this? Professor Cunningham said that in terms of the regulations, some of that would be dealt with in ENGR 437. Unit operations will be applicable to solving pollution problems. "Add-ons, like those we see in the automobile, don't do the job." We are going to have to re-engineer the process.

Motion 1 passed, 23:1:1.

Departmental Honors Committee

Professor Caryl Taylor, chair, presented a list of completed projects and new proposals (Attachment A).

Motion 2: Professor Gavin Townsend moved and Professor Arlie Herron seconded approval of both.

President Butterfield commented that the projects were interesting and that it would be nice to schedule a session at which they could be heard. Professor Taylor said she would bring this up with the committee. This would help in the selection of the North Callahan Award recipient.

Motion 2 passed, unanimous (voice).

Executive Committee
President Butterfield reported that Dr. Johnson and the Systems folk would be at UTC on Monday and anything in particular that Council wanted raised should be communicated to the President prior to the 2:00 p.m. Monday visit. Issues of enrollment and funding would be pursued.

There were no other committee reports.

Old Business

The President then requested a motion to untable the proposal from the General Education Committee (Attachment B).

Motion 3: Professor Ken Venters moved to untable the General Education proposal. Professor Townsend seconded.

Motion 3 passed unanimously (voice).

Professor David Carrithers said that in doing his homework for this meeting he had discussed with Marilyn Benson the procedure for receiving appeals from students concerning the transferability of general education credit. He proposed the following change of wording:

"5. Receive appeals from students concerning transferability of General Education credit after review by transcript evaluator and appropriate department head."

He said Ms. Benson said the Records Office would be eager to have the input of the department head.

Brenda Davis, Director of Advisement, Records & Registration, offered the following as clarification: "In the evaluation of transfer work, the Records Office does not make a judgment on general education. Those questions are not addressed in trying to equate course to course. If you add gen ed into that you have another step. Marilyn was answering the question without being completely familiar with what the discussion was." The Records Office does course-to-course evaluations which may or may not relate to general education.

Professor John Trimpey said that what actually happens is if a student transfers in a course such as ENG 131, it is equated to our ENG 131, a general education course and it gets general education credit. He did not understand the distinction Ms. Davis was making.

Ms. Davis said there was no attempt to determine general education, but merely course equivalencies.

Professor Carrithers gave an example of a transfer student from Trinity who had taken a course in English Renaissance Literature, a prose course. She wanted general education humanity credit. Instead she got elective credit. She could go to Dr. Ware and get his opinion.

Ms. Davis said the question is not general education; the question is does it equate to one of our courses.

Provost Packard said the problem is that the transcript evaluators do not evaluate for general education credit. Getting department head assistance is not and has never been a problem. This can be done as a matter of routine practice and need not be in the motion.

Professor Trimpey said the committee point was to reduce the number of petitions. We are trying to eliminate students getting their review and going directly to petitions. The student under the proposed change, would not have to get the Records Office ruling overturned. He/she would simply be getting course approval on the front end--a very different thing.

Provost Packard said there is no difficulty in having an interim step if the faculty would grant the department head the right to make the judgment rather than a faculty committee. The student would make the initiative. It would not be manageable to send all transcripts of all transfers to department heads.

Professor Trimpey said we are killing it with smoke and mirrors again. We would only be considering those cases where a one-on-one correspondence was not apparent. They would not see all of them by a long shot. We would simply be examining the gray areas.

Ms. Davis said Professor Trimpey is viewing this strictly as a petitionable situation. The Records Office would make no decisions at all. The evaluation would be up to the student to request--this is still a management problem and could not be done presently.

Professor Jim Stroud expressed concern that transfer students currently circumvent the advisement system. The proposal would help prevent this.

Professor Arlie Herron concurred. The advisor should decide whether the student has a legitimate appeal, and if so, then refer him/her to the appropriate department head. He would like the department to determine--we need to go by content and substance. He doesn't believe this would be anymore work for the Records Office. Put the information on a RAP sheet and let faculty take over.

Professor Dave Anderson wondered how the faculty would take over--through general education committee or through department heads? Professor Herron said through the advisor, the department head and then, if dissatisfied, to the General Education Committee via petition.

Professor Edgar Shawen pointed out that that is precisely what the Petitions Committee does now. We are really changing nothing other than the committee locus.

Professor Butterfield said the change would be having the department head making many decisions.

Provost Packard said it would represent a big change because now we are operating on a course equivalency basis. This would provide a mechanism within the University for doing this as a regular action, not simply on appeal.

Professor Butterfield said it was being done now. There are department heads who write a letter and say that such and such transfer course can be counted as a specific general education course.

Ms. Davis said that what Professor Butterfield just described is NOT being done. Only course-to-course equivalencies are being done. The department heads' letter works only if the transfer course is equated to an approved general education course. Ms. Davis went on to outline problems inherent in the proposal:

1) The volume of petitions from students would increase.
2) This is currently being done by hand. Records cannot deal with any more paperwork. RAP doesn't currently take exceptions.

Records would like implementation to await computer application.

Professor Carrithers summarized the proposal. Professor Trimpey preferred department rather than department head in #5 due to delegation of authority in some departments.

Professor Herron asked if this would reduce petitions.

Provost Packard expressed concern about #8. If we passed it, it would have to change what the Records Office does. We are not staffed to do this. She proposed making #8 granted only on appeal. This way it would not guarantee that it be done; but you could possibly appeal to have it done that way. President Butterfield asked if this would apply to point 7 and Provost Packard said it would. The logic of all these provisions would be through the appeal process.

Professor Herron asked if it would go to department heads first?

Provost Packard said no, that the students would have the option to go to the department head.

Professor Herron said the student should go to the department head first. It might be settled there.

Provost Packard stressed the importance of clear and proper wording of the entire proposal.

President Butterfield asked if we would be able to look forward to computerizing this process. Provost Packard said we have a faculty and administrative computer priorities committee who will be happy to consider this along with their own projects. We are still working down a former list of computer priorities. President Butterfield said if we add "may" instead of "will" in #7 and #8 we could go ahead and begin to implement this proposal and hope for computerization later.

Professor Stroud wanted to be sure an advisor was consulted before any appeal.

Provost Packard said there was a confusion about "which department head." Professor Zivney said there was a lack of agreement as to which department head would be appealed to. Professor Trimpey said it was the "appropriate department head"--who ever would have signed off on the petition form.

Professor Carrithers suggested adding a sentence to point #5. "In the event of such an appeal the course will be evaluated by the General Education Committee on the basis of the principles underlying general education rather than course equivalencies."

Provost Packard was not concerned with addendum, but with what is to be published in the handbook. It is important to determine whether the department role is in advisement or in appeals process.

Professor Trimpey said we are not going to hear any damned appeals until they've been to the department. This is very clear procedure! A procedures manual is not appropriate for a role and scope statement, but we can do one. We have defined general education in terms of function of courses.

Associate Provost Harbaugh pointed out that whatever is decided needs to be clear in writing and taken to the full faculty.

Professor Gail Meyer asked if a student could get credit for one of our courses that is not general education and then appeal for general education credit for that same course.

Professor Trimpey offered as an example a nutritional chemistry course, freshman level. Does it equate to CHEM 121? It has different descriptors, but does meet general education guidelines. Professor Meyer said if it came in as CHEM 111 there should be no appeal for general education because our own students don't get general education for CHEM 111. Only those things coming in as electives should be appealable.

Professor Trimpey agreed. It was discussed further and the Provost said the student could appeal.

Ms. Davis said the discussion brings up real problems for our current students. This would tend to make things more difficult for native students than for transfers.

Professor Trimpey pointed out that both MTSU and Memphis State do this.

Motion 4: Professor Ed McMahon moved that #7 and #8 be rewritten to read that students be allowed to appeal based on course content rather than course equivalencies. Seconded by Professor Anderson.

Professor Stroud suggested that we change appeal to upon request or consideration because appeals should be the last effort not the first one.

Provost Packard pointed out we are legally bound by what we say we do and don't do. We are indicating three decision points for students and where these points are. If the department says a course counts as general education, then the University must agree according to this proposal. If this is not a decision point, it would go back to Records and they cannot handle it. Another decision point is the appeal to the Committee.

Professor Carrithers proposed changing #5 so that the committee is the ultimate repository for appeals after the department head.

President Butterfield asked who would appeal the department head's decision? The Provost gave a chemistry example.

President Butterfield said that wasn't what she asked. The Provost said that if the student were turned down by the Records Office and by the affected department head, he/she could appeal to the General Education Committee. She said it is an appeal whether we like the term or not.

Professor Trimpey said with that logic we gave the transcript evaluator a whole lot more power. They make a decision and everyone else has to reverse it. Ms. Davis said not so, because they are only doing course-to-course equivalencies.

Professor McMahon asked that debate be limited to the motion. The procedure to do this is not part of the motion. To amend #7 and #8 to read: "On appeal . . . the student may . . .".

Motion to close debate passed unanimously by voice vote.

Motion four 23:0:0. The amendments passed.

Professor Carrithers said he supported the amendment to #7 and #8. He is still concerned about #5 and whether as a department head he is involved in a consultation or a review or an appeal. He expressed concern about the Chancellor's role in the appeal process. We seem to really be talking about a three-tiered appeal procedure.

President Butterfield summarized. The department head would have the right to grant general education credit based on categories and to so notify the Records office.

Motion 5: Professor Joe DePari suggested the insertion of "by category guidelines" after "General Education credit" in #5. He then moved this change and professor Stroud seconded.

Professor Herron asked how this decision would be recorded and appear on a RAP sheet. Ms. Davis said it won't be. Exceptions of any kind are not on RAP sheets currently. President Butterfield noted that the student would tell the advisor.

Professor Zivney expressed concern about the wording of the amendment--especially "reviewed by" which doesn't mean the same as "decided by." Professor DePari suggested "reviews and rejects" as better wording. This was accepted as a friendly amendment.

Professor Margaret Trimpey, responding to an earlier concern, suggested that the appeals committee could send the student a letter noting the action and the student could share it with the advisor and thereby keep all informed.

Ms. Davis said this will be onerous because of the increased volume of appeals. Professor John Trimpey expressed doubt.

President Butterfield reread the amended point 5. "Receive appeals from students concerning transferability of General Education credit by category only after review and rejection by the appropriate department head."

Professor Anderson expressed two concerns: 1) How do we deal with an ill-informed and/or illogical department head? 2) There may not be a single department head since we're dealing in categories.

Professor Trimpey said the General Education Committee will follow up on #1.

Associate Provost Harbaugh said this is a serious record keeping problem. We are compounding difficulties. She would like implementation to await computerization. This is not a casual matter; it is graduation requirements.

Provost Packard suggested Fall 1993 as effective date and she would ask for a high computer priority.

Ms. Davis said all petitions are now checked by hand at time of application for graduation. She explained how computer deals with equivalent transfer courses.

Professor Anderson asked about what would happen if no obvious department is involved. Professor Trimpey agreed it is not clear--it's not clear now.

Motion Five 17:3:0. The amended point 5 passed.

Professor Campa called for a quorum. We didn't have one. President Butterfield did not adjourn. General Education will be on next agenda.

President Butterfield asked about the proposal to institute a fall break. Dr. Fox responded. He assumed a two-day fall break. The choices:

1) Shorten term to 69 days - take it off front, back or middle.
2) Have fee payment and class starting at the same time.
3) Starting earlier reduces summer school.
4) Could lengthen class periods.

They need faculty advice. It was the sense of the Council that this item be placed on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.

The evaluation of department heads will also reappear.

President Butterfield wished all Happy Graduation and Happy Holidays.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:09 p.m.

Tom Bibler, Secretary Pro tem

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