Agenda for the Faculty Senate Meeting
March 3, 2010
Room B113, Robinson Hall
3:00 - 4:15 p m
Rector Ernst Volgenau
Dean Lloyd Griffiths, Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering
Cross-Listing of Graduate/Undergraduate Courses Attachment A
Resolution to Shorten Academic Add Period Attachment B
Budget and Resources
Organization and Operations
Report on Sponsored Research – Provost Peter Stearns
Cross-Listing of Graduate/Undergraduate Courses
Academic Policies Committee/Task Force on UG/G Cross-listings
University Policy Recommendation
Rationale for Policy:
In preparation for SACS review it has become apparent that a substantial number of undergraduate and graduate cross-listings exist. It also appears that there is no set University policy about how faculty should articulate the differences when these courses are cross-listed. This policy provides explicit guidelines for faculty and administrators in determining whether or not these listings should occur.
In general, undergraduate and graduate cross-listings should be avoided as much as possible; prerequisites should be made explicit to the extent possible using existing courses. When graduate/undergraduate classes are cross-listed they should reflect the following guidelines:
1) Specific, unique expectations are provided for each course.
Graduate expectations must be commensurate with the level of the graduate course listed. The central expectation for graduate students is that they will do not only more work, but more difficult work than undergraduate students.
--Course expectations may be differentiated through assessment measures such as exams, written assignments, computational exercises, etc.
--Graduate expectations may include more advanced learning through additional, more sophisticated reading, research projects, course facilitation or experiential activities.
2) Prerequisites are the same or comparable for both courses.
--A graduate course could require the same prerequisite undergraduate course; hence this guideline would be met.
--A prerequisite might be required only for the cross-listed graduate course; therefore the guideline would not be met and the courses could not be cross-listed.
--A graduate course might include the substance of the prerequisite class, in this case the clause “permission of the instructor” would allow for individual instructor discretion regarding a student’s preparation for the course content.
--A graduate student, by virtue of having been admitted to a specific graduate program, may have already met the prerequisite requirement, thus being eligible to take the class.
3) Courses should be close in number designations.
Undergraduate and graduate cross-listing should occur within the context of general expectations about both cross-listing and course numbering. Only upper-level undergraduate courses (3xx and 4xx) and lower level-graduate courses (5xx and 6xx) may be cross-listed.
--A 700-level graduate course should not be cross-listed with a 300-level undergraduate course.
--Exceptions to this guideline - may be made for special cases such as colloquia, special seminars, individual research projects, etc. If courses are listed in this manner, the instructor or department must provide additional justification and receive dean's approval.
4) Courses not eligible for cross-listing.
Courses not approved for cross-listing may not be co-located in the same classroom and taught together. They must be taught separately.
Once approved by the Faculty Senate, this policy will be distributed to all Schools and Colleges within the University, and posted on the Provost’s Faculty Information Pages. This information will also be included in the scheduling instructions provided by the Office of the Registrar.
Resolution to Shorten Academic Add Period
Catalog copy change:
Change catalog copy from: “The last day for adding a 14-week course is two calendar weeks after and including the first day of classes” to “The last day for adding a 14-week course is eight calendar days after and including the first day of classes.”
Members of APAC have conveyed strong concern that what amounts to a 2 1/2 week add period is disruptive, allowing students to miss too much class, or alternatively causing them to find out that faculty will not let them start during the Add Period. Some administrators see this as too lengthy and a hindrance to the academic process.
Faculty members voice similar concerns. At the end of the current 2+ weeks, students who add some classes have little chance to excel give the number of days they’ve already missed.
While there are consequences associated with shortening the Add Period, the change is consistent with other Universities in Virginia. Shortening the add period, while possibly affecting payment and liability deadlines, will also help students by enabling those on Financial Aid to receive their funding more quickly. Ultimately, the committee believes that students will have better chances to academically excel if they are able to more quickly settle into their semester coursework.
The AP committee recognizes that, at least initially, there may be more late adds as students adjust to the new model.