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February 22, 1996
Signal Mountain Room
University Center

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Betsy Alderman, Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Terry Carney, Ken Carson, Robert Duffy, Ahmed Eltom, Gene Ezell, Nick Honerkamp, Bruce Hutchinson, Phil Kazemersky, Doug Kingdon, Renée Lorraine, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, Tom Payne, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Bill Prince, Barbara Ray, Mike Russell, Maria Smith, Shela Van Ness

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Mary Brabston, Prem Chopra, Neal Coulter, Shawn Evans, Leroy Fanning, Tom Kozubowski, Jim McDonell, Anna Panorska, Katherine Rehyansky, Joyce Smith, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey, Sally Young

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Brenda Davis, Lucien Ellington, Jim Hiestand, Carolyn Mitchell, Mark Swafford, Heather Wilson

Call to Order

President Martha Butterfield called the meeting to order. She announced that no minutes were available since this was a special called meeting. She then welcomed president-elect Gene Ezell to the Council.

Proposal for How to Make Up Snow Days

Copies of the report from the Ad Hoc Committee to Consider Scheduling Changes to Compensate for Classes Canceled Due to Bad Weather were distributed to members who had not received it.

Professor Nick Honerkamp moved that the University authorize instructors who wish to do so to reschedule canceled classes at times compatible with their students’ schedule. Professor Barbara Ray seconded the motion.

Professor Gail Meyer noted that the committee had discussed whether we already had this option and wanted to clarify the issue. Dr. Jane Harbaugh noted that there really was no policy regarding individual faculty scheduling.

President Martha Butterfield read a copy of the bill passed by the SGA but noted there was not a relationship between the motion being discussed and the SGA bill, i.e., the faculty were to decide the policy.

Mark Swafford, SGA president, said the SGA wanted to stay away from a blanket motion because each class has been affected so differently.

Professor Terry Carney said the SGA suggestion does force a blanket option by eliminating reading day and the day after as possibilities for make-up classes.

Professor Betsy Darken noted that the pattern of lost classes was peculiar and that the options had been carefully structured to cover only those classes missed.

Professor Renée Lorraine asked if we endorsed Option 1 whether it would be necessary for everyone to follow. The general consensus was yes, that otherwise there would be two different schedules.

Professor Mike Russell wanted to know why we couldn’t use Good Friday as a make-up day.

Dr. Harbaugh noted that since it was a published University holiday, we could not do that.

Professor Russell noted that Friday classes moved to Tuesday would cause problems because of student work schedules.

Professor Ahmed Eltom agreed and noted that bosses would probably not accept student absences from work for make-up days. He said he would not feel comfortable putting anything on the test covered on those make-up days, that it would not be fair to students who could not be there.

Professor Honerkamp said that was the only drawback he saw in the option and wondered if the committee discussed work and family obligations.

Professor Darken said the committee did and felt that under such unusual circumstances students could cope.

Professor Bruce Hutchinson predicted a poor turnout and also noted that many faculty would have to change their schedules too.

Professor Tom Bibler noted that in the past when final exam schedules did not correspond to the regular schedule (i.e., a MWF class with an exam on Tuesday) that students were constantly coming in to get their exam schedules changed.

Professor Jim Hiestand said he was adding time to his evening class, that we need to send students a message that class is important. If industry had a product to get out, they would do so. We need to do the same in education.

Professor Lucien Ellington feared that the message we are sending to students is that we are lackadaisical about classes. If we can do make-up without cost, that is the thing to do.

Professor Shela Van Ness noted that she had already had classes meet on Saturday and wondered why we couldn’t let each teacher handle his/her own class and leave the schedule alone.

Mark Swafford noted that students are willing to work with faculty, but they do not feel the schedule should be changed.

Professor Ray said that any option has advantages and disadvantages. She said it sounded as if many professors are already resolving the problem for their classes and that as professionals we can all find ways to do what needs to be done.

Professor Darken said that this plan sounds good but that it only works for some classes, that it will not do for larger classes.

Professor Van Ness said that we are assuming students will show up if we reschedule and they may not.

Professor Bob Marlowe said that no one solution is going to be perfect and that the SGA solution seems to be reasonable.

Professor Russell said that Professor Darken was right and that he could go along with Option 1. Students could make emergency arrangements for Saturday. We should not have the MWF exams on Tuesday, though.

Heather Wilson, managing editor of the Echo pointed out that we are a commuter campus and that Option 2 would not be convenient for students.

Professor Meyer asked Brenda Davis whether buildings and rooms would be available for Saturday and Tuesday.

Brenda Davis responded that a number of rooms were already reserved for Saturday. She also noted that any extension to the semester will have a ripple effect on financial aid, summer school and that they had not addressed the issue of what could be done about that. She said the University could still do graduation on schedule although students might not receive actual diplomas.

Professor Phil Kazemersky said if the resolution were adopted, it would legitimize material presented for the test.

Professor Van Ness noted that classes offered by distance learning would face a problem with Option 1.

Professor Eltom wondered if we could use part of the time between classes to extend the length of classes, but consensus was no.

Professor Carney said the purpose of the committee was to bring a proposal, that the group had begun to go in circles, and he moved the question.

The vote for the original motion to allow individual faculty to work with their students in handling missed classes passed with 24 yes, 1 no, and no abstentions.

President Martha Butterfield noted that the action is subject to the Chancellor’s approval. She then asked if the Council wanted to know what the Chancellor’s reaction was to the three options before Council voted on them. She reported that Dr. Obear said his responses to the three options were: Option 1, probably no; Option 2, flat no; Option 3, yes.

Professor Bibler moved and Professor Doug Kutz seconded that we accept Option 3. Professor Carney called the question. The vote was 18 yes, 2 no, and 4 abstaining.

President Butterfield called attention to the memo from the Provost regarding the change of dates for distribution of mid-term grades and for dropping classes.


Professor Carney moved adjournment.

Respectfully submitted,

Verbie L. Prevost

Acting Secretary

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