University Council Minutes

October 2, 2000

Present:  Dennis Cochrane (for Bob Bates), James Bohland, Landrum Cross, Ben Dixon, Peter Eyre, Elizabeth Flanagan, Eileen Hitchingham, Janet Johnson, Paul Knox, Kim O’Rourke, Leonard Peters, Jennie Reilly, Minnis Ridenour, Raymond Smoot, Robert Sumichrast (for Richard Sorensen), Malcolm McPherson (for Bill Stephenson), Andy Swiger, Tom Tillar, Pat Hyer, James Martin, Leon Geyer, Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Irene Leech, Marquea King, Steven Thompson, Joe Hunnings, Wayne Durham, Tim Pratt, Kamal Rojiani, Bob Tracy, Mitzi Vernon, John Hillison, Jack Davis, Sam Hicks, Pat Devens, John Williams (for Suzanne Murrmann), Dan Dolan, Bernard Feldman, Rodney Gaines, Anita Haney, Delbert Jones, Benjamin Poe, Tracey Slotta, David Fowler, Brandy Ellen Cowing, Chris DelVecchio, Kylie Felps, Peter Logan, Brian Montgomery (for Candace Wiltshire), Mac McCreery, Christina Coukos

Absent: Earving Blythe, Gregory Brown, Charles Steger, Terry Herdman, Skip Fuhrman, Jeryl Jones, Rebecca Crittenden, Ashley Marshall, Pete Martens, Donna Cassell, Debbie Wilson,

Guests: Ron Daniel, David Ford, Carole Nickerson, Theresa Seidlinger

1.            Adoption of Agenda

            A motion was made and seconded to adopt the agenda.  The motion carried.

2.            Announcement of approval and posting of Council Minutes of

            September 18, 2000

Dr. Bohland noted that the amended minutes from the September 18, 2000, University Council meeting have been voted on and approved electronically.  There were two small points of clarification to the original minutes.  It was noted that under New Business regarding Resolution 2000-2001B a paragraph was added that stated the opposition to the resolution by a member of Council.  Under Reports from the Commission on Faculty Affairs, a clarification was made regarding alternative ways to trigger reviews of department heads before the five-year review.  Once voted upon, University Council minutes can be publicly accessed on the Governance Information System on the WEB.  (/)

3.                  New Business – First Reading

Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies Resolution 2000-2001A,

Resolution Regarding New Degree Programs:  M.S. and Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Chair of the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies, presented the resolution for first reading.  These degree programs are a joint effort among several departments.  The complete description of the programs is available for review through Dr. John Eaton’s office.


4.                  Ongoing Business – Second Reading

Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies Resolution 2000-2001A,

Resolution Regarding Minors

Steven Thompson, Chair of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, presented the resolution regarding minors for second reading.  A motion was made for approval.  The motion was seconded and approved by unanimous vote.

Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies Resolution 2000-2001B,

Resolution Regarding Pass/Fail Policy

Steven Thompson, Chair of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, presented the resolution regarding pass/fail policy for second reading.  The heart of the resolution requests a change in the minimum GPA required for undergraduate students to take a pass/fail course.  The current pass/fail policy requires a 2.5 overall GPA to take courses for p/f credit.  Resolution 2000-2001B lowers the required GPA to 2.0, which is consistent with the GPA required to maintain good academic standing at the university.  A motion was made for approval and seconded. 

Opposition was noted on the basis that lowering the GPA requirement would not accomplish the intended goal of p/f courses, which is to encourage exploration of subject areas.  Lowering the GPA requirement to 2.0 would put a lot of burden on students who have difficulty being self-motivated.

An undergraduate student commented in favor of the resolution stating that the lowered GPA requirement would give more students the opportunity to take courses they are interested in to gain additional knowledge without investing a lot of time.  Although opposed to lowering the GPA requirement in theory, graduate students commented that the university should be consistent with its policies.  Since the GPA requirement for good academic standing is 2.0 the GPA required to take a course p/f should be consistent.

A question was raised whether or not a study has been done to determine how many more students would want to enroll in classes on a p/f basis if the GPA were lowered.  Often the number of seats in a class is sometimes an issue.  Professor Thompson indicated that a study has not been done.

The motion was approved by majority vote.

5.                  Council approved a packet of Commission minutes comprised of:

*        Commission on Classified Staff Affairs

May 10, 2000

*        Commission on Faculty Affairs

May 5, 2000

*        Commission on Faculty Affairs

September 8, 2000

*        Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies

April 19, 2000

*        Commission on Outreach

May 11, 2000 (see clarification below)

*        Commission on Student Affairs

September 14, 2000

*        Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies

September 11, 2000

Dr. Bohland sought to clarify two items included in the Commission on Outreach minutes.  Dr. Bohland noted that approval of the minutes of the Commission does not confer approval of the Strategic Plan.  The Strategic Plan would have to come before University Council as a separate document.

Dr. Bohland questioned the intent of the statement in the minutes that the revised Tenure and Promotion Guidelines were approved.  Irene Leech, Chair of the Commission on Outreach, indicated that the Commission was hoping to get some changes made in the University Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure regarding recognition of contributions to the outreach mission.  The Commission reached agreement on changes to be proposed to the University guidelines.

6.                  For Information Only

It was noted that the minutes of the University Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning for June 22, 2000 were distributed for information only.

7.                  Announcements

Kim O’Rourke noted that the discussion topics submitted by Council members are currently under review.  Some of these items will be discussed at future University Council meetings.

Per a suggestion from one of the commission chairs, several copies of a parliamentary procedure book will be purchased and will be available for check out through the President’s Office.

Dr. Bohland thanked Pat Hyer for her role in presenting the Governance Workshop after the last University Council meeting.  Many positive comments were received.

Dr. Bohland noted that due to the timing of the West Virginia football game on Thursday, October 12, the staff could be released at 4:00 p.m.  He emphasized that classes are not cancelled.

Carole Nickerson indicated that the composition of the Provost Search Committee should have appeared in last week’s Spectrum.  The information will probably be sent out electronically to the campus community.  The committee has already held its first meeting and the position announcement is in the process of being finalized.

Lud Eng is Chair of Committee on Conflict of Interest.  Comments concerning the process that has occurred involving the development of procedures may be made to Dr. Eng.

Dr. Bohland adjourned the meeting at 3:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim T. O’Rourke

Assistant to the President

/jcd