35th Faculty Senate

Vol. 35, No. 9

March 22, 2001

I.  Roll Call.

Present:  Bange, Barmore, Barnd, Brooks, Claflin, Cravins, Doering, Gendreau, Heim, Hench, Hollenback, S. Kelly, R. LeDocq, Majak, Marx, Monte, Odulana, Senger, Stroud, R. Sullivan, Van Voorhis, Zellmer.
Excused:  Tyser.

II.  Approval of Minutes.

The minutes of the February 15, 2001, meeting were approved as distributed.

III.  Reports.

There was no Chancellor's or Provost/Vice-Chancellor's report, however Chair Bange indicated that he will try to schedule a period of time where there is a dialogue between our new Chancellor and the senate.  Bange reported that there are some interesting things happening at UW-System and believes that Chancellor Hastad would do a good job bringing us up-to-date and interacting with the senate.

Requests have been received from Chancellor Hastad to find members of the faculty or instructional academic staff willing to serve on two search and screen committees: one for the new UW-La Crosse Provost/Vice Chancellor, and another for the position of Assistant Chancellor for Development, Fund Raising, and Advancement to replace Lou Markwith who has left the university.  It is the Chancellor's intent to convene both committees before the end of April.  A call for volunteers will be solicited across campus within the next few days.

IV.  Membership By-laws for the General Education Committee.

Following the last senate meeting, Mary Hampton, who is the current chair of the General Education Committee, reminded Chair Bange about the proposed 5-year terms for members of the General Education Committee which were approved by the faculty senate last Spring.  Current by-laws specify that members will be appointed for 3-year terms.  The Senate Executive Committee discussed two alternatives that would permit members to serve for longer than the current three years:  (1) appointment to a 5-year term, and  (2) that committee members be appointed for one-year terms with a possibility for reappointment for up to five consecutive years.
The senate discussed the two options.  It was noted that at the present time, by-laws do not permit committee appointments for 5-year terms, however both the Library Committee and the University Planning & Budget Committee permit annual reappointments for up to five years.  Emily Johnson, Director of General Education, stated that she is concerned about a lack of continuity on the committee if the terms are not guaranteed.  After further discussion, the second option was approved.

M/S/P to change the membership paragraph of the General Education Committee to read:  "Membership of the committee shall include eight faculty, none of whom shall have any designated administrative responsibility, and one student appointed annually by the Student Association.  Consecutive appointments may be allowed for up to five years.  Membership shall include…"  (show of hands: 16-yes, 4-no, 2-abstain)

V.  Proposed Revision in UW-L's Admission Requirements from the Academic Policies & Standards Committee (CAPS).

Kathryn Kiefer, Associate Director of Admissions, and Rob Wolf, Chair of the Academic Policies & Standards Committee joined the senate.  Dr. Wolf presented the following recommendation regarding admission requirements for students taking courses at UW-La Crosse while still in high school:

High school seniors must rank in the upper 25 percent of their class.  High school sophomores and juniors must rank in the upper 10 percent of their class.  A personal interview is required for sophomore candidates.
CAPS approved the above recommendation, which removes the ACT requirement in Section 1 of the high school admissions section.  Completion of appropriate preparatory high school coursework for college courses would remain in the admission guidelines.

Ms. Kiefer explained that the admissions office believes that class rank is a better indicator than ACT scores.  In the case of high school seniors, her office would rather reward a student who has demonstrated solid work than reward a student who has not performed well in the classroom but scores high on a standardized test.  High school juniors and sophomores usually have not planned far enough ahead to take the ACT test early in their high school career.

Following considerable discussion the senate amended the recommendation from the Academic Policies & Standards Committee.

M/S/P to amend the first sentence to read that "high school seniors must rank in the upper 25 percent of their high school class or score in the upper 10 percent on the ACT."  (show of hands:  19-yes, 1-no, 2-abstain)

The main motion, as amended, was approved. (show of hands:  19-yes, 1-no, 2-abstain)

Dr. Wolf presented the following recommendation for adjustments in admission standards for new freshmen entering the Fall 2002 semester:

Priority Category I
Rank in the upper 35% of class and achieve an ACT composite score of at least 22 (SAT I 1030) or rank in the upper 40% of class and achieve an ACT composite score of at least 25 or (SAT I 1140).  Admission Likely

Priority Category II
Does not meet Priority I requirements but ranks in the upper 30% of class and achieve an ACT composite score of at least 20 (SAT I 950).  Admission on a Space Available Basis - Waiting List

Ms. Kiefer responded to a variety of questions regarding these proposed changes in the admission standards.  She indicated that perhaps 200 potential new freshmen would be affected by the changes.  She also identified two reasons for making the proposal.  First, by eliminating about 100 students (out of 3400) from Priority I status, the university can extend the time period until the application period is closed; and secondly, about 100 students will be removed from the 400-500 that are currently placed on a waiting list.

M/S/P to approve the two changes in admission standards for freshmen entering Fall 2002 semester as recommended by the Academic Policies & Standards Committee.  (show of hands: 17-yes, 3-no, 2-abstain)

VI.  Discussion of PeopleSoft Student Information System.

Ron Lostetter, John Tillman, and Petra Roter joined the senate to discuss the student information system software (PeopleSoft) that UW-System is urging us to adopt in an effort to have all UW-System institutions using compatible systems.  Several institutions, including UW-Madison, have already moved to PeopleSoft and are reporting some problems.  Lostetter explained that a SIS (student information system) handles student record-keeping such as admissions, scheduling, transcripts, and financials.  He reported that there is an oversight committee on campus that has been formed to assess the PeopleSoft package.

John Tillman assured the senate that our current system works.  It may not do everything that everyone wants, however it met Y2K requirements and continues to do good things for us.  While it isn't perfect, we can schedule students, generate transcripts, check pre-requisites and so on.  Nevertheless, most modern systems are running on a relational basis.  He cautioned us that we need to make a clear distinction between SIS and the PeopleSoft financial system that UW-La Crosse is currently using.

Petra Roter reported that recently, 47 individuals from UW-L participated in a three-week workshop designed to evaluate the SIS.  She elaborated on the FitGap analysis that included an on-line tutorial, which each individual completed before attending the workshop.  Functions such as recruiting, admissions, applications, prospect list, cataloging, add/drops, transcripts, enrollment, class lists, course verification, loan processing, billing component, tuition, cutting checks, and other cashier functions were performed.  In addition to the hands-on experience, participants were asked to assess the overall performance, what are the capabilities, and what additional information is needed.

Lostetter acknowledged that while no institution is required to adopt the PeopleSoft package, UW-System would like us to make a decision soon whether or not to move to the PeopleSoft environment.  He assured the senate that UW-La Crosse is not in any hurry to make a decision because we want to resolve our PeopleSoft financial issues first before moving into SIS.  We need to explore our options to insure we have a positive cost benefit.  There aren't any long term problems.  In the end, we'll be able to interface with the PeopleSoft system, and from a compatibility standard our data will be compatible.  We need to consider what is the benefit, where do we need to be in the future, and what is the best way to get to that point?

M/S/P that the faculty senate endorses the following statement on Student Information Systems and Administrative Systems: (voice vote)

Investments in student information systems and administrative systems are both necessary and integral to the academic mission of UW-La Crosse.  Like any use of resources at a public institution of higher education, these investments must insure the highest return to the campus and those it serves.  The returns on investment may be measured in terms of increased services to students, faculty, staff and others; efficiency improvements that lower costs; or in terms of providing a competitive advantage for UW-La Crosse.  Only after a careful and complete analysis of these items should scarce resources be invested in these systems.
It is also imperative that end-user faculty and staff affected by changes in these systems be participants in the decision-making process.

The senate commended Ron and others who have done this important analysis.

VII.  Report from Professor Kenneth Maly on the Soon-to-be-Built International Living and Learning Center.

Dr. Ken Maly, Director of Environmental Studies, Chair of the Environmental Council, and a member of the Joint Physical Facilities Committee sat with the senate.  He outlined what it means for a building to be constructed and operated using sustainable building practices, or colloquially, to be "Green."  With the new International Living and Learning Center in the planning stages, he would like to see this be UW-L's first Green building.  He distributed an informational sheet describing the International Living and Learning Center, its costs, the proposed parking ramp, examples of green building practices, and a list of sustainable building tenets.  He described Campus Architecture as Pedagogy and provided senators with a list of possible requests for approval.  As this was an informational agenda item, he agreed to come back with several resolutions that he and the Environmental Council will ask the senate to adopt.

VIII.  Old Business.

IX.  New Business.

X.  Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

Submitted by,
Thomas O. Claflin, Secretary