Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes

4:15 p.m. – 327 Graff Main Hall

Nov. 11, 2008


Present:  Joe Heim, Rebecca LeDocq, Susan Crutchfield, Brian Udermann;

Visitors: Chris Bakkum, Bob Hoar, Jocelyn Shadforth


1.  SEC Minutes from Oct. 28, 2008 were approved. 


2.  CAPS Recommendations:  Jocelyn Shadforth (CAPS Chair) and Chris Bakkum

A.  CAPS recommends that the current student course drop limit of four courses post-freshman year be eliminated.

            The Legislature requires the tracking of the percentage of drops from each System institution and  enforces a 5% drop rate ceiling.  UW-L has never been near the 5% drop rate ceiling. Data shows that students are not abusing the 4-drop limit.

SEC supports the recommendation.


            B.  CAPS recommends that retention standards be administered according to a student’s semesters attempted rather than according to credits attempted.

            This involves converting credits to semesters.  Currently, one semester is considered to equal 15 credits.  CAPS recommends that this formula be continued except for the freshman year, for which one semester will equal 18 credits.  This will ensure that freshmen who take larger-than-average credit loads be evaluated according to freshman retention standards.

SEC supports the recommendation.


C.  CAPS recommends the elimination of midterm grading for GE courses.

            The intention of this policy is to help identify at-risk students.  However, the current rate of participation among instructors is 16%.  CAPS approved elimination of midterm grades with the proviso that discussion continue about how to improve the means of identifying at-risk students.  CAPS also intends to then see that steps be taken to encourage greater faculty participation in whatever other system(s) is devised.  The deans support eliminating this.  PeopleSoft can do midterm grading, but it must be all courses or none. 

            SEC expressed concerns that this would weaken our current means of identifying at-risk students, leaving no other formal, institution-wide means of identifying such students.

SEC supports the recommendation.


Further discussion:  Heim asked that CAPS prioritize this issue over the Course Repeat Policy.  Shadforth will convey his concerns to CAPS.  Enz Finken asked whether some GE requirements could be required for completion early in the students’ career; this might alleviate some of the repeat policy problems.  Some such stipulations were included in the now scrapped draft proposal for a revised GE Program.


2.  Moving SEIs Online

            Students would like us to consider providing access to the evaluation data online. 

It is important to distinguish the two separate issues of gathering SEIs online vs. publishing the results online.  Discussion ensued. 

Regarding gathering SEIs online:  There was some review of the concerns presented by Senate members at the Nov. 6 Senate meeting. Information on the public/private status of online information should be researched.

Regarding publishing SEIs:  Why do students want the information?  Do SEIs measure teaching quality?  Should we enable students’ using SEIs to select courses/ instructors?  How might publishing SEIs affect the quality of responses?

            An ad hoc task force will be formed to research the issues involved in putting SEIs online.  This task force should include representatives from all colleges.  Udermann will put together names of likely members.


3.  Student Technology Fee Committee

            SEC needs to solicit volunteers for the one faculty position on this committee.


4.  GEC Charge to the Ad Hoc General Education Assessment Committee

            Some discussion of whether the SEC/Senate needs to approve this charge.  Because the Ad Hoc GEA Committee was created by Senate, this is appropriate.  The charge will be considered at the next Senate meeting.


5.  Assessment Coordinator Position

GEC recommended this position be approved by Senate as currently worded.


Motion:  The SEC approves this position for Senate Action on Nov. 20th.  

M/S/P (3-0-1).


Motion: The SEC supports this position.

M/S/P (3-0-1).


This will be discussed further at the next SEC meeting. 


6.  The meeting was adjourned 5:25 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Susan Crutchfield