Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS)

Minutes for 2/6/04

Faculty Members Present: Jac Bulk, Susan Crutchfield, Mike Haupert, Mark Headington, Sharon Jessee, Marc Rott, Rob Wolf, Barry Schockmel

Student Members Present: Angie Murphy, Jason Sanatski

Members Absent: Larry Golba (excused), Ardrienne Loh (excused),

Guests/Consultants:  Chris Bakkum (CLS), Amelia Dittman (CBA), Diane Schumacher (Registrar), Jan von Ruden (Registrar's office), Guy Herling (HPERTE), Jim Finn (Financial Aids), Carla Burkhardt (CSAH)

1.       The meeting was called to order at 3:40 pm.

2.       Minutes from the 1/21/04 meeting were approved (8/0/0) without revisions.


3.    Old Business:          

Item 1: The proposed 4+4+4 week schedule for May/Summer terms.

Dr. Bulk gave a brief report on discussion by the Faculty Senate of the CAPS recommendation on the proposed 4+4+4 week schedule for May/Summer terms.  He noted that the recommendation appeared to be generally well received by the Senate and indicated that two additional concerns were identified.  The first concerned the hours that the library would be open during the proposed terms and what it would cost to increase hours of operation.  The second concerned potential increased costs associated with faculty salaries, electricity, etc.  Dr. Bulk indicated that the Senate had not yet voted on this issue but may do so at their next meeting. Chairperson Rott thanked Drs. Bulk and Loh for attending the Senate meeting to present the recommendation from the CAPS and all CAPS members for their hard work in deliberating on this issue.

      Item 2: Student complaints associated appeals brought before the CAPS.

Chairperson Rott initiated a brief discussion of how, if at all, to handle student complaints regarding the outcomes of appeals.  This discussion was precipitated by a recent incident in which a student whose appeal of academic ineligibility was denied filed a complaint with his college.  The student’s complaints were forwarded to the CAPS chair with the student’s contact information.  Several members of the CAPS were concerned that a precedent would be set allowing students whose appeals were denied to question the decision of the CAPS.  It was noted that each student is informed by the CAPS chair prior to the appeal that the decision of the CAPS is final and that there are no other appeals allowed in our process.  A friendly suggestion was made that all contacts with students whose appeals have been denied be with their college office and further that only those complaints supported by their college be brought to the CAPS for action/reconsideration.  Further, appeals brought back to the CAPS should only deal with violations of established procedures or in cases where new compelling information previously unknown to the CAPS has become available.   The representatives of the colleges agreed to discuss these issues and to also inform students (in writing) bringing forth appeals that the decision of the CAPS is final and not subject to further appeals.

4.          New Business

Item 1: Proposed Re-entry Priority Plan

A set of guidelines was put forth by Diane Schumacher on how students seeking re-entry would be prioritized.  This was brought to the CAPS as an “informational item”.  Students will be parsed into three groups:  “Admissions Likely”, a “Waitlist”, and “Denial Likely”.  Ms. Schumacher indicated that increases in enrollment pressure have led to the development of this plan although last fall only 15 students were not allowed reentry.   The prioritized re-entry plan specifies that students who left in good standing and who have since attended no other institutions are assured re-entry if they “apply in a timely fashion”.  No action was sought or taken.

Item 2:  Proposed Revision of the Excess Credit Appeals Process

      A proposal to modify the appeals process for the Excess Credit Policy was introduced by Diane Schumacher.  This was brought to the CAPS as an “informational item”.  The proposal would modify the appeals process to set up a committee to hear appeals instead of a single person (the Assistant Controller) as was originally specified.  The proposed Excess Credit Appeals Committee would consist of a member from the following groups: deans’ offices, faculty (suggest CAPS chair), students, records and registration office, financial aid office, student life office and the assistant controller (as an ex officio member). 

      There was suggestion that some consideration be given prior to any appeals as to what could be appealed and what could not. Some CAPS members thought the number of individuals on the Appeals Committee should be kept to a minimum as to not take up too much collective effort. Others preferred a model where faculty and students played a larger role.  No action was taken.

Item 3:  Proposed Procedures for Unofficial Withdrawals

      A proposed written policy to document unofficial withdrawals was presented by Jim Finn of the Financial Aids Office.  A recent UWS memo noted that to be in compliance with federal Title IV student financial aid regulations a written policy must be on file.  Recent audits have resulted in some institutions receiving large fines for non-compliance.  The proposal was brought to the CAPS as an action item.

      The proposal specifies the following:

Grading:  Faculty will assign a grade of N/A (Not Attending) to students who ceased class attendance after the term is 60% completed and will specify the student’s last date of attendance.  If no date is specified the student will be assumed to have attended 50% of the enrollment period.

Identification of Unofficial Withdrawals:  The Registrar’s Office will identify students whose grades are all N/A’s and forward this list to the Cashier’s Office and the Student Financial Aids Office, who will eliminate students who did not receive financial aid.

Calculation of Monetary Liability:  The Cashier’s Office will calculate any amount owed back to state of federal financial aid programs.

Notification of Liability: The Cashier’s Office will bill students who did not attend classes and received financial aid for any monies owed UW-L.

Appeals:  Appeals may be made to the Student Financial Aids Office.  To appeal a student must provide written evidence from faculty that the last date of attendance was different than that reported to the Registrar.

      It was noted that the proposed policy did not mandate that faculty in each class take attendance, as is the case in UW-Eau Claire.  Nonetheless, discussion focused on how specifically an instructor would know that a student did not attend classes past the 60% of the term point without taking attendance.  Ms. Schumacher indicated that if faculty reported students that did not attend classes during the first part of the semester (as is required), many problems would be eliminated.  An alternate mechanism was proposed in which all students with a semester GPA of 0.00 would be identified by the Registrar’s Office and this list would be sent to the Student Financial Aids Office to identify the subset of students receiving Financial Aid.  The Registrar’s Office would then email faculty to determine if they had any evidence that a student had attended beyond a date corresponding to the 60% of the term date.  If any single faculty member indicated attendance, a student’s name would be removed from the list.

      A motion to table this item until the next meeting was passed (11, 0, 0).

5.    Chairman Rott noted that CAPS will have a (tentative) meeting schedule of every other week this semester. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 20th at 3:30 p.m. in the room adjoining the Faculty Senate Chambers.

6.    The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Marc A. Rott