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Faculty Senate update

Policy on Incompletes, intellectual property and votes on international admission.

By Cory Phare

November 19, 2019

Faculty Senate members listening at meeting.The Nov. 13 meeting of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Faculty Senate was full of policy discussion, readings and votes.

Liz Goodnick, Ph.D., (philosophy) told attendees that the policy on intellectual property was on hold. She noted how they received feedback and are expecting more.

Those with feedback are encouraged to submit it to Goodnick as soon as possible, as it’s anticipated that the policy will have a second reading at the next meeting.

Jessica Weiss, Ph.D., (art history) then lead the Senate through multiple readings from the Academic Policy Committee, including:

  • The second reading and vote to streamline catalog language related to international admissions; the proposal didn’t change any criteria but provided flexibility to accommodate responsiveness regardless of external legislative fluctuation. The subsequent vote passed.
  • A second reading of the Pass/Fail proposal clarified a “Pass” designation was not calculated into GPA, but a “Fail” counted as an F. The vote passed.
  • A first reading for a policy on degrees for terminally ill students that would build upon previous designations for posthumously awarded degrees and honorary degrees.
  • A first reading for graduate accounting academic policy; the policy would include articulation for academic suspension to precede suspension.
  • A first reading for prior learning policies. Weiss noted the two sections of catalogs affected:
    • Taking equivalent general-studies courses in AP credits.
    • AP credit can be used to fulfill oral-communication credit, but (per recommendation of the English Department) CLEP cannot be.
  • The first reading of the policy related to issuing Incompletes. As language states that grades of “I” default as “F,” the Office of Financial Aid assumes noncompletion, which substantially affects students’ satisfactory academic progress. Weiss noted how internships that span across traditional semester parameters may or may not be able to assign a grade to participating students. In addition to policy change, the shift would develop an electronic workflow for incompletes:
    • This proposed change would remove the “75% completion” language, which could be restrictive and ambiguously defined.
    • It also adds language for additional standards and criteria, noting the responsibility of the student to be aware of those standards.
    • The “default grade” designation would serve as a cross-sectional assessment of work at that point, if the student were never seen again.
    • It also shifts completion time to one semester, with the option of renewal.

Faculty Senate President Katia Campbell, Ph.D., encouraged senators to bring these items back to their departments for more insight.

“I anticipate we’ll get a lot of feedback on these – especially the discussion around Incompletes and intellectual property,” she said.

Other items of business included:

  • Campbell reminded attendees about the LMS survey review and of its importance, as even if Blackboard is selected, it will change.
  • She also addressed the summer teaching memo discussed in the previous session. “This is important; we’re talking about it extensively and plan to have more to present at the next Senate meeting,” she said.
  • Goodnick also walked attendees through a first read of an online digital course materials policy. The language around retained usage rights is structured similar to that passed last year, but changes to the curriculum manual removed the “mostly” modifier from those courses denoted as “online, hybrid and self-paced online.” This change necessitated another vote.
  • Amber Mozet, assistant director of equity and student leadership, invited attendees to register for the Colfax Run Series, taking place May 16 and 17 and consisting of four races (5k, 10k, half- and full marathons). The MSU Denver Foundation is a charity partner of the event, and participation helps increase donations to the Student Emergency Fund.
  • Gabe Christie, accessibility manager, invited attendees to several events coordinated through the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, including the upcoming Tri-institutional faculty forum, brown-bag lunches and open support hours. All information can be found on the CTLD events calendar.
  • Rita Case, director, Veteran and Military Student Services, stopped by to discuss resources available, including workshops, opportunities to connect to Veterans Affairs, GI Bill help and camaraderie-building opportunities.

Topics: Faculty Senate, Policy

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