BU senate dicusses university changes

BU senate dicusses university changes

Faculty senate met for more than an hour April 7, approving a variety of motions and holding over others to the May meeting.

One topic that was put on hold will be resolved Tuesday when faculty senate holds a brief meeting to discuss possible changes to CS 151 Computing for Non-Science Majors.

A proposal has been made to change the Natural and Computer Science perspective of general education requirements to simply Natural Science, thereby removing all computer science courses from the perspective, and only affecting students returning or entering next fall.

Judy Smrha, assistant dean for institutional effectiveness, said some students may see it as a gift if the proposal passes.

The proposal calls for reducing the nine hour requirement in three disciplines to six hours in two disciplines, including biology, chemistry, geology and physics as the disciplines to choose from.

If students have questions, they need to contact Ruth Miller, director of records and registration, or Smrha.

Senate members joked about not approving May graduates, but most seniors can breathe a sigh of relief, as the list was approved.

Pilot courses also were approved to take the place of some LA 101 classes in the fall.

Due to the university budget crunch, the Faculty Incentive Program was suspended for this year. 

Faculty senate also endorsed the Senate Executive Committee as its temporary representative to the Working Group on Program Review in regards to academics until the May meeting.

“People voted to endorse it for one month and then return to the issue,” Faculty Senate Chair Tracy Floreani said.

The Executive Committee, made up of five members, will report back to senate each time the Working Group meets. Senate members will decide in May to approve the motion, amend it or discuss other proposals.

Rand Ziegler, vice president and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said Wednesday that program review will take place at all four schools and in three main areas, including academics, athletics and nonacademic units.

“It’s something that we probably should do on a regular basis regardless of the economic times, but tougher economic times serve as kind of a catalyst,” he said. “If it’s done right, I think you actually can strengthen those programs in the long run by making them more economical and efficient.”

Ziegler said program review doesn’t mean cutting faculty and programs, which some people may fear, but actually using those resources in the best manner possible, although that doesn’t mean cuts couldn’t be made.

Ziegler said the Working Group will be made up of individuals from across the university and led by Provost Randy Pembrook. The process will start at the beginning of the summer and conclude sometime in the fall.

Ziegler said the review of academics also might help effectively staff the new general education curriculum using current faculty.

"You never have a perfect match between the size of the faculty in a given area and the number of students or number of hours that need to be taught there, so you have to be creative," he said.<br/>