Undergraduate report to Plenary Jan 2008
148th Winter Plenary
Hosted by SUNY Albany
Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies Committee
Plenary Report: January 2008
"The Committee shall provide advice and guidance to the Faculty Senate on matters relating to undergraduate programs and policies throughout the University. To these ends, the Committee may review such areas as existing and proposed curricula, standards for academic degrees, undergraduate academic assessment, teaching techniques and evaluation, special undergraduate programs, articulation among units of State University of New York and the various aspects of international education and development."
Committee Proposed Projects for 2007-08
- Review of SUNY policy related to the credit/contact hour;
- Guide for the Evaluation of Undergraduate Academic Programs: review of 2001 faculty guide on undergraduate program assessment with
consideration for update;
- Undergraduate Research
- Exploration of possible undergraduate research electronic journal;
- International education: profiles of best practices on embedding a world view into the curriculum.
2007-2008 Focus Report
The committee’s attention has been primarily taken up with a review of SUNY policy related to the contract/credit hour as articulated in the Memorandum to Presidents, Vol. 76 No. 8, issued in June 1976, Credit/Contact Hour Relationship. This document sets forth the University’s policy on the awarding of academic credit and is of current interest in its accuracy and applicability in measuring credit given current emphasis on international studies, studies abroad, new media, distance learning, online courses etc.
The Committee agreed that the policy review would include having speakers and a full review of the issues, implications, and repercussions of potential updates or changes to the policy before determining the direction and deliverable of the Committee.
Joining the Committee for initial discussion of the policy review was Byron Connell, Associate in Higher Education, who has been with SED for 37 years and is considered an expert on NYS policy related to higher and professional education with particular expertise on the Rules of the Board of Regents, the Regulations of the Commissioner.
Subsequent discussion will include consultation with Gary Blose, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Wendy Gilman, Budget Director, SUNY System Administration.
In general, the Committee learned that SED is more flexible, more open, and more dependent on the shared responsibility of faculty and campus academic officers than it might have guessed.
The committee finds the 30 year old policy as stated in the Bruce Dearing Memorandum to Presidents from 1976 rigid in relation to SED interpretations of regulations. The committee finds the semester credit system useful as part of the larger system for measuring student learning and progress in university programs, but feels that SUNY needs to update its own policy which includes recognizing and referencing NYSED regulations.
In light of the call here this weekend for SUNY and SED to work, not only simultaneously, but together, this seems to be a particularly timely recommendation.
2007-2008 Undergraduate Programs and Policies Committee Members:
Anne Bongiorno, Plattsburgh
Patricia Carey, SUNY Buffalo (Chair)
Jake Crawford, Albany (Student Representative)
Kane Gillespie, Stony Brook
Zhongchun Jiang, Cobleskill
Meg Knowles, Buffalo State
Janet Nepkie, Oneonta (Immediate Past Chair)
James Nichols, Oswego
Marwan El Nassar, Fredonia
Howard Reid, Buffalo State
Rose Rudnitski, New Paltz
Jim Schofield , Onondaga CC - Community College Liaison
Mary Ware, SUNY Cortland
Kathryn E. Van Arnam, SUNY System Administration Liaison