35th Faculty Senate

Vol. 35, No. 3

September 28, 2000


I.  Roll Call.
Present:  Bange, Barnd, Brooks, Claflin, Cravins, Gendreau, Heim, Hench, Hollenback, S. Kelly, S. Krajewski, R. LeDocq, Majak, Marx, Odulana, Senger, Stroud, R. Sullivan, R. Tyser, Zellmer.

Excused:  Barmore, Monte, VanVoorhis.

II.  Approval of Minutes.

M/S/P to approve the minutes of the 9-14-00 meeting with the following editorial changes: second line on pg. 6 delete the word leadership; second line on pg. 8 insert the word in between leadership assessment.

III. Reports.
The Interim Chancellor and the Interim Provost/Vice-Chancellor were not present at the meeting.

Chair Bange reported that Joint Promotion Committee member, Dr. Greg Wegner, is on leave second semester and will need to be replaced.  The Senate Executive Committee recommends that Dr. Nancy Navar from the Department of Recreation Management/Therapeutic Recreation serve a one-year term on the Joint Promotion Committee.

M/S/P Dr. Nancy Navar’s appointment to the Joint Promotion Committee for a one-year term replacing Dr. Greg Wegner. (voice vote)
At the Senate Executive Committee meeting earlier in the week, Joe Heim reported that a representative in Governor Thompson's office says the budget may not look as bleak as reported two weeks ago.

Members of the Chancellor's Search & Screen Committee have not yet been named.  Chair Bange is not sure of the reason for the delay but understands that we will likely hear later today or tomorrow.  He assured senators that as soon as the Faculty Senate office receives the list of committee members, the names would immediately be communicated to the university community.  President Lyall will meet with the search committee next Friday afternoon in room 125 Cleary Center to deliver her charge.  It is an open meeting therefore all senators and other interested parties are encouraged to attend.

Lastly, if the senate gets through today's agenda, the October 12th meeting will be cancelled.  It may even be the case that we’ll postpone the Oct. 26th meeting.

IV. Approval of the Academic Calendar for 2002-03.

M/S/P to approve the 2002-2003 academic year calendar.  (voice vote)  This calendar is part of the Seven Year Cycle Calendar that was approved by the Faculty Senate in 1998.

V.  Report from the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on Distance Education/Web-Based Curriculum.

Don Socha, Chair of the 1999-2000 Undergraduate Curriculum Committee joined the senate.  The committee was asked to establish some of the academic policies and/or guidelines for courses designed specifically for transmission to students via distance education.  The objective of said guidelines would be to facilitate advising and evaluation of such courses by department/program heads, deans and curriculum committees.  The committee in essence was asked to anticipate some of the curricular issues, which impinge on the potential proliferation of distance education courses on this campus, following such trends on other U.S. campuses.  Many of the pertinent questions relevant to the committee's task were posited in the ad hoc Distance Education Report of the previous year, however the issue is far-reaching and much broader than anticipated.  The UCC was left to define the parameters of its role in responding to a complex and somewhat unspecific charge, first by defining Web-based courses; second by determining which issues fell under the proper domain of UCC; and third, by projecting and molding those issues into a form which would serve a useful purpose in the absence of any existing on-campus experience with curricular and pedagogical implications of Web-based course proposals.

1. The Faculty Senate should establish a task force or standing Committee on Distance Education to deal with the multifaceted matters concerning all the forms and future implementations of distance-education, its policies, planning, and proper functioning in tandem with system standards.  The Committee should be composed of faculty and Administration, with members from a diverse array of disciplines, colleges and administrative units, and should have close contacts with or liaison representation from UCC, CAPS, Joint budget Committee, ITS, Library and Media Services, etc.

2. Policies concerning ownership of materials, fair faculty compensation for teaching Web-based courses, copyright issues, use of ad hoc or part-time instructors, third-party products, outsourcing and commercialized courses and/or aspects of a program, as well as utilization of revenue in long-range planning, budgeting and development processes, all need to be addressed and formulated by faculty in conjunction with Administration.  Matters concerning library and learning resource use and access, student services and facilities voiced in the System "Standards…" (pp. 2-3) likewise require institutional response and action.

3. On-line courses should reflect a high degree of teacher-student and student-student interaction; they should show consistent and frequent monitoring of all activity and, when well designed, are time intensive endeavors.  Therefore, it is recommended that class size and teacher/student ratios be smaller than what would be equivalent in a classroom course.  Departments need assurance that there will be no repercussions if student credit hours are lowered because of smaller-sized on-line classes.

4. On-line classes should be voluntarily taught and considered part of an instructor's teaching load, or should be fairly compensated.  Faculty who will develop new distance-education courses should receive one-quarter release time for one semester or appropriate compensation.

5. The same factors considered indicative of good teaching in a traditional classroom setting should be held as pedagogical imperatives for on-line instruction.  These factors can include: attentiveness of the professor, opportunities for interaction among students, stimulation of cooperative learning activities, prompt teacher feedback, emphasis on time on task, communication of high expectations, and respect for diverse learning talents and ways of learning.  Departments and ultimately individual instructors should take responsibility for reviewing the effectiveness, assuring the quality and expecting rigor in these courses since only new or revised courses will come before the UCC.  Departmental and instructor responsibility is especially important in cases where existing courses are offered on-line, when a course slowly evolves to become mostly or entirely on-line, or when there are multi-sectioned courses, some of which may be on-line while others are taught in a more traditional classroom delivery mode.

6. Innovative, creative and well-researched courses should count as scholarly, curricular and/or faculty development activities when reviewed for merit, tenure and promotion decisions.

7. There should be sound pedagogical justification for offering undergraduate courses on-line.  The university should refrain from offering whole undergraduate degree programs on-line since education is also about interactions that promote tolerance, personal growth and critical thinking.

8. There should be regular assessment of the effectiveness of on-line instruction and of specific on-line courses.  Comparisons of effectiveness of on-line courses with regularly taught classroom courses should be part of on-going assessment.  Student capability to succeed in on-line courses needs to be assessed.  Course evaluations should include questions regarding student satisfaction with such areas as faculty accessibility and access to advising, computing services, library services, etc.  Students should be provided with information at the onset of an on-line course or program that will tell them the following:

  • expectations of the course/program
  • orientation to assess readiness for course/program
  • self-readiness assessment
  • technical requirements needed in order to succeed and access services
  • statements outlining parameters of support
9. Faculty who will be teaching on-line courses should receive on-campus training to become aware of current/compatible software and of policies governing design, transmission and teaching of on-line courses, to discuss the tenents of quality on-line instruction, and to share ideas with other instructors.  Team efforts are to be encouraged and supported.  This training could be modeled on the writing emphasis certification program administered by Sonja Schrag and terry Beck for writing emphasis instructors on this campus.

10. Faculty should have access to instructional design support to ensure the quality of the student learning experience.  Faculty and student support services specifically related to distance education should be provided, as well as adequate equipment to facilitate course design and transmission.  Student services should include "help desk" assistance for technical problems, academic questions, billing questions, textbooks, etc.

Dr. Socha advised the senate that two issues might need to be brought up before the Committee on Academic Policies & Standards (#2, #4) and a third recommendation (#6) sent to the Promotion, Tenure & Salary Committee.

Chair Bange instructed senators that the recommendations are not in the form of motions.  Discussion began and initially centered on the small class size described in #3.  There was widespread agreement that courses offered over the internet should be treated the same as those offered on campus, and that department workloads should not be reduced if courses are offered over the

M/S/P that web based courses should be treated on a par with other department course offerings.  (voice vote)
Discussion continued on whether or not a task force should be created or should the senate create another standing committee (#1) to oversee the establishment of policies and procedures regarding distance education.  Questions concerning how far along are we in terms of web based instruction were addressed.  UW-L is moving slowly mostly because costs are so high (primarily in faculty member’s time).  However, the issues identified in the report beg for faculty control.  In the end, the senate agreed that it is important to keep the issue alive and to advance the previous work done by the ad hoc committee and UCC.
 
M/S/P that the Faculty Senate establish a task force to carry out the agenda in item #1 of this report.  (voice vote)
Chair Bange assured the senate that the SEC will seek to create a task force charged to come in with specific policies regarding key issues identified within report.

Dr. Socha was thanked for the committee's thoughtful and well-written report.

VI. Report and Recommendations from the General Honors Program.

Tom Hench, Convener of the Honors Program Committee, presented three motions which he believes capture the sentiment of the Faculty Senate in their deliberations last Spring.  These motions reflect principles that were imbedded in the body of report from the 1999-2000 Honors Program Committee and were drafted in consultation with Diane Cannon, Kim Vogt, and Chair Bange.

1. To change the name of the General Honors Program to The University Honors Program.

2. To re-assign the governance of the Honors Program from the current faculty senate-appointed committee to an advisory committee comprised of members of the Honors teaching faculty and the Honors director. Without doubt, the program has grown and developed to the extent that it needs continuity and direct involvement of its governing group which a faculty senate committee cannot provide.  We suggest evolving in this direction over the course of the current academic year.

3. To continue to develop an Honors curriculum with honors classes that will satisfy General Education requirements for Honors Program students.

Dr. Hench emphasized that the recommendations are consistent with discussion and details within the proposal.  At this time the Honors Program Committee is asking for charge on how to proceed to make a strong honors program at university.

M/S/P to change the name of the General Honors Program to the University Honors Program.  (voice vote)
M/S that the faculty senate endorse the proposal to re-assign the governance of the Honors Program from the current faculty senate appointed committee to an advisory committee comprised of members of the Honors teaching faculty and the Honors director.

Discussion continued concerning the advantages of the proposed recommendation.  Dr. Hench indicated that there will be continuity and people who are interested will be making the decisions.  The key point according to last year's committee chair, Kim Vogt, is that the majority of faculty who serve on the committee have never taught in the program and are unfamiliar with the day-to-day issues which arise in the program.

Questions regarding the transition were addressed.  Dean Magerus reminded senators that historically when new programs were established the faculty senate had oversight, but as programs evolved they were turned over to governing groups.  He cited the former Minority Affairs Committee and the Women's Studies Committee as examples.  By adopting the recommendation, the senate would be charging the Honors Program Committee to come up with procedures and report back to the faculty senate.
 
The motion PASSED. (voice vote)

M/S  to continue to develop an Honors curriculum with honors classes that will satisfy General Education requirements for Honors Program students.
Considerable discussion ensued.  The committee is asking that the faculty senate embrace a principle, however some senators were uncomfortable that courses would be approved without seeing details.

A friendly amendment to strike the three words “with honors classes” was offered for consideration.  Discussion continued.

M/S/P  to table.  (show of hands: 9-yes,  8-no, 2- abstain)
VII. Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Submitted by,
Thomas O. Claflin, Secretary