Academic Policies Committee - 21 Jan 10

Attended by:  Ashwin Patel, Chair; Kevin Nelson; Gary Pierson; Debra Clark; Robert Cohen; Julie Luekenga; Anthony Miccoli;  Jason Mullins; Jessica Schocker; Martha Violett; Reid Edwards;

Excused:   Scott Cohn; Harry Heil; Scott Newman

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 3:35

Approval: The minutes from the November 19th meeting required slight revision, and were approved.  The January 21st Agenda was  approved.

Old business:

Advising concerns.  SGA heard feedback that the current system of advising undeclared majors was in need of improvement. 

New Business

Walking requirements if winter commencement is no longer offered.   Kevin Nelson led discussion regarding the implications of possibly discontinuing winter commencements.  The main concerns of the committee pertained to the possibility that students who would normally fulfill their graduation requirements in December might petition  to walk the preceding Spring.  The committee discussed whether or not the current policy that students have “nine or fewer credits left to complete graduation requirements and be registered for those credits the following term; or have only a capstone, or internship to complete and be registered for it the next term it is offered”  would need to be revised.  The committee pointed out that if December commencements were discontinued, students could potentially have 20+ credits outstanding if they wanted to graduate in the preceding Spring.  Much of the discussion revolved around the logistics of having more petitions for graduation, and how many students this decision might actually affect.  The numbers were not immediately available.  The committee also brought up the peripheral issues of how many students who completed their degrees in the Fall would actually come back in the Spring for a commencement ceremony,  as well as the more “intangible” aspects of discontinuing December commencements, including weighing the reduced expenditures in direct costs and burden on facilities against the impact on local businesses and larger Gunnison community.  The committee was reminded that these issues are being taken up in other committees, including the faculty senate.

Gary Pierson explained the commencement schedules of other peer institutions, and offered to look into what the commencement credit policies were at those institutions. 

Discussion regarding the Academic Policies Committee’s attention for the remainder of the semester.

The committee chair asked the group for input regarding its focus for the rest of the year:  advising or first year experience?  After a brief discussion regarding non-cost-prohibitive first year experience events and the status of the DegreeWorks software, it was pointed out that advising and the first year experience are tied together.  The committee chair agreed to summarize the main points of both issues and submit them to the group for later discussion. 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:20pm.