September 3, 2008



TO:                  Jocelyn Shadforth, Chair

                        Academic Policies and Standards Committee


FROM:            Joe Heim, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


RE:                   Committee Charge for 2008-2009 Academic Year


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the Academic Policies and Standards Committee for the 2008-09 academic year. 


In response to concerns that, frequently, committee member turnover each year tends to slow committee work, the senate executive committee is working to find better ways to orient new committee members.  Additionally, we would like to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of committee work.  To that end, we will be trying several new ideas. 

  1. The SEC will be holding a meeting of Chairs during the week before classes in January.  The purpose of this meeting will be for committee chairs to report on progress on charges to date and discuss any problems committees may be experiencing.
  2. I am including a copy of the 2007-08 Academic Policies and Standards Committee end-of-year report with this charge letter. The SEC strongly encourages you to review their work.
  3. All members of your committee will receive an electronic copy of this charge letter.


Per Faculty Senate Bylaw II. (s):  “Each faculty committee shall hold an organizational meeting and report the name of the chairperson to the senate office by October 1 (Joint Chairpersons are not permitted.)” 


Of course we know CAPS met last week to hear the student appeals. I understand that at that meeting you were elected committee chair and Suzanne Anglehart was elected Secretary.


Primary responsibilities of the chairperson include:

o       promptly informing the Senate office (5-8018) the results of the election of officers and any changes in committee membership.*

o       organizing and conducting meetings… last year’s CAPS recommended that you establish

a standard meeting of Fridays at 2:15 p.m.

o       completing a year end report on the CAPS activities to be submitted to the Senate Office no later than May 31, 2009.


*The committee chairperson should carefully review Faculty Senate Bylaw II, “Faculty Standing Committees” for information on committee attendance and the role of alternates.



Primary responsibilities of the secretary include:

o       recording minutes of each meeting.

o       promptly sending meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers ( so that the minutes can be posted on the faculty senate website. 


In the event the committee chooses to rotate secretarial duties, please designate one person to be responsible for e-mailing the meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers.


According to Faculty Senate Bylaw II. B. The Academic Policies and Standards Committee, the duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

1. Formulating and reviewing local policies and standards concerning admissions, advising, retention, advanced standing, probation, dismissal, readmission, the grading system, and graduation honors for undergraduate students.

2. Ensuring equitable application of standards by the undergraduate schools and colleges.

3. Supervising the administration of these standards and formulating procedures for hearing student appeals and petitions on academic matters not resolved by administrative offices of the university


In addition to the committee's normal duties, I ask that the committee consider and report on the following special charges:

  • As you may be aware, the university is undergoing a major software (PeopleSoft) upgrade. This will likely affect a number of academic policies and may require some revisions. The committee is asked to be aware of the issues associated with the implementation of the new Student Information System (SIS) and to work closely with the Registrar (Chris Bakkum) to ensure a smooth transition to the new system. Whenever feasible, any new policies should be made effective for Fall 2009.
  • Review the university’s course repeat policy and course withdrawal policy to determine if changes or modifications are warranted. Please see the 2007-08 CAPS end of year report for further discussion of these issues.
  • Make recommendations to the Senate on both specific charges by March 1, 2009, if not earlier.


If you have any questions about the charges, please feel free to contact me.


Finally, if the Senate Executive Committee or I can assist your committee in any way during the year, please do not hesitate to ask.


cc:        Members, Academic Policies & Standards Committee