Dec. 8, 2011

Senators push through policy changes

by Erin Rosacker

Faculty Senate members blazed through the agenda at their Dec. 6 meeting, tackling -- and approving -- several items of business.

A proposed change to section 3.1 of the Faculty Handbook was introduced as a special order to ensure an immediate vote, and give president Gregory Geoffroy an opportunity to sign off on it before stepping down from his post.

"This is aligning policy with current practice that president Geoffroy has felt strongly about and wanted to approve," said Steve Freeman, Faculty Senate president.

The new language specifies that new hires given the rank of professor must be continuous appointments with tenure.

"We are clarifying how we have been doing appointments of professors so that our policy follows current practice," Freeman said.

College, departmental governance

Most of the meeting's discussion surrounded proposed changes to section 2.6 of the Faculty Handbook.

Ultimately, the senate approved the changes, which deal with college and department governance documents and the requirements for compliance with policies in the Faculty Handbook. A proposed amendment to section 2.6.2, regarding membership on college budget advisory committees, garnered the most discussion, but failed on a 27-34-6 vote.

Other business

Senators also approved a new minor in U.S. Latino/a studies. The stand-alone program will reside within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Center for American Intercultural Studies.

Senators will vote on two additional decisions about academic programs at the Jan. 17 senate meeting, including:

  • A name change for the educational computing minor, to learning technologies minor (offered by the department of curriculum and instruction)
  • Discontinuation of the interdepartmental graduate program (M.S. and Ph.D.) in zoology. No students have enrolled in the program in the past eight years.