Faculty Senate discusses academic summer session, grade change proposal

By Lauren Dielman

At its last meeting of the semester, Faculty Senate discussed the academic summer session, a grade change proposal and online teaching evaluations.

One of the most highly debated topics of the night was the academic summer session. Faculty Senate President Alan Rosenbaum said every summer the faculty goes into a four day work week and consequently there are facilities not available on Fridays.

One professor said a student emailed her with concerns about paying full tuition but not having access to the facilities.

Melissa Lenczewski, associate professor in geology, said she did not agree with the four day work week.

“On Fridays, we’ve had orders that have been missed,” Lenczewski said. “I teach all summer long and we still need that support on Friday.”

Charles Cappell, associate professor in sociology, discussed the option of a grade change proposal with the Faculty Senate.

“The undergraduate grade change would eliminate the A+ and C- that was in our initial proposal,” Cappell said.

Many concerns were made because there is a lot of required courses that require a C or better. If a student gets a C- in a course, he or she is not able to take certain courses.

“Giving a C- option also gives them a higher GPA than if you gave them a D,” Cappell said.

The faculty voted 19-14 not to restore the C- grade.

Online teaching evaluations from students was voted 31-2.

“The use of online teaching evaluations is probably more efficient, but we are concerned with the response rates,” Cappell said.

Cappell said he is concerned that not all students will respond and some may take too long to respond to evaluations.

Rosemary Feurer, associate professor in the department of history, said the online teacher evaluations can result in lower numbers, as they have done in the past.

“Usage of online surveys should also only be done with the consent of all faculty,” Feurer said.

Rosenbaum recognized senators who completed their terms, were re-elected or elected as part of President John Peters’ announcements.

He also said the search is ongoing for a new ombudsman. Tim Griffin held the title of ombudsman for 21 years and is retiring this year.

“We are hoping to have someone in place at the beginning of the term,” Rosenbaum said.

The Faculty Senate will not meet until September 5.