University Council Minutes

October 20, 1997
3:00 p.m.

Present: Bob Bates, Joanne Eustis (for Erv Blythe), Landrum Cross, Peter Eyre, Eileen Hitchingham, Janet Johnson, Peggy Meszaros, Carole Nickerson, Minnis Ridenour, Ray Smoot, Rich Sorensen, Charles Steger, Bill Stephenson, Tom Tillar, Robert Brown, Jenne Ginther, Ben Poe, Cosby Rogers, Larry Shumsky, Dixon Hanna (for Terry Swecker), Arthur Snoke (for Richard Bambach), Norm Marriott, Frank Gwazdauskas, John Randolph, Bob Benoit, James Yardley, David de Wolf, Pat Scanlon, Rosemary Goss, Bernard Feldman, Kay Burke, Gerri Johns, Terry Lawrence, Marilyn Norstedt, Ningling Wang, Joel Donahue, Steve Schneider, Tekisha Everette, Raphael Castillejo, Duncan Neasham, Natalie Wilson

Absent: Erv Blythe, Greg Brown, Elyzabeth Holford, Paul Knox, Len Peters, Andy Swiger, Paul Torgersen, Sigrid Gustafson, Terry Herdman, Charles Lytton, Deborah Mayo, Paul Metz, Kevin Pelzer, Eliza Tse, Tom Head, Curtis Lynch, Peggy Rasnick, Nancy Phillips, Rajiv Khosla, Moya Toohey

Guests: Skip Fuhrman, Pat Hyer, Barbara Scott, Ron Daniel

  1. Adoption of Agenda

    A motion was made and seconded to adopt the agenda as distributed. The motion passed.

  2. Announcement of approval and posting of Council Minutes of October 6, 1997

    Dr. Meszaros noted that the minutes from the October 6, 1997, University Council meeting have been voted on and approved electronically. Once voted upon, University Council minutes can be publicly accessed on the Governance Information System on the WEB.

  3. First and Second Reading
    Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies
    Resolution 97-98A: Renaming Degree and Certificate Titles in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

    Dr. Pat Hyer, on behalf of Dr. Don Creamer, presented to Council members background information regarding the resolution and the request to have first and second readings of the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies Resolution 97-98A: Renaming Degree and Certificate Titles in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, which was passed at the Commission meeting on October 15. The purpose of the resolution is to alter the names of two graduate degrees currently being offered and to change the name of the degree certificate, outlined as follows:

    Student Counseling and Personnel Services: one degree currently serving two very separate program areas - a Counselor Education Training Program and Student Affairs-College Student Personnel. The action requested is to take off the piece related to Student Affairs and have it join a different degree program and rename the remaining piece Counselor Education. This is a degree title that makes sense and is sought after by the international students in that program.

    Due in part to the downsizing of the College of Education, reexamining the talents of faculty remaining in the program, and evolutionary changes in the preparation of various kinds of K-12 and college personnel, the faculty determined they would like to restructure the educational administration program and redesign the options to include higher education and student affairs, creating a set of options more focused on leadership and policy studies at all levels of education. The restructured degree would be called Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

    The last part of the resolution is to re-title the name of the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) to the more nationally recognized designation of Educational Specialist. This certificate is available for most of the graduate programs in education.

    Points of clarification:

    Following discussion regarding the resolution and the need for immediate approval, a motion was made and seconded to waive first reading. The motion was passed. A motion was made and seconded for second reading to approve the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies Resolution 97-98A with an amendment to include the proposed effective date of Fall 1998. The motion was passed.

  4. Council approved a packet of commission minutes comprised of:

  5. Announcements

    Parents' Day

    Dr. Meszaros thanked people who made Saturday's Parents' Day very successful. Over 1,000 parents attended brunch on Saturday morning. Dr. Landrum Cross reported that this is a good opportunity for the university. Parents had a good time and the classes were well received. This is an opportunity for us to let parents know that we appreciate their relationship with us. Parents commented on the friendliness of the university community and on the way their sons/daughters are progressing academically.

    Progress of Freshmen Students and Transfer Students

    Delores Scott - Comparison of this year with last year and what programs we have in place to support these students.

    Ron Daniel - Academic Eligibility and Policy

    Delores Scott

    1996 41.5% - Fall of 1997 45.5% - freshmen had no unsatisfactory grade
    1996 27.5% - Fall of 1997 24.9% - students had one unsatisfactory grade
    1996 31.3% - Fall of 1997 25.5% - students had two or more unsatisfactory grades
    1996 50% - Fall of 1997 48.2% - African American students have two or more unsatisfactory grades
    Fall of 1997 28.3% - transfer students with at least two unsatisfactory grades
    Fall of 1997 35% - student athletes with at least two unsatisfactory grades
    Fall of 1997 25.5% - overall for all first time freshmen

    We are doing better than last year, but still not where we need to be.

    How do we direct students to access the interventions? Last year money from Student Success grant was set aside to fund different types of interventions such as: student facilitated workshops in engineering fundamentals, general chemistry, calculus and there is also funding for an advising manual that is currently being worked on. Money was also provided by the Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence to provide academic assistance to all undergraduate students which includes: special intervention program for African American students, structured study hall program to target all students with less than a 2.0 and entering freshmen with at least two unsatisfactory grades, study retreats, mentoring programs. Students with difficulty in reading can come in and work with a reading specialist. We do have a comprehensive intervention program. All programs have direct connections to the colleges.

    Ron Daniel

    Following information is based in part on survey by Rachael Holloway, as well as sessions done with residence hall students and faculty volunteers. The survey included 198 faculty of which 90 responded. Questions based on comparisons to last year's freshmen. Responses could be: 1) see improvement in this year's behavior compared to last year, 2) see no change, 3) see this class is worse than last year.
    Attending class:45% improved, 53% same, 2% worse
    Arriving to class on time:33% improved, 57% same, 10% worse
    Being prepared for class:24% improved, 66% same, 10% worse
    Participating in class
    discussions and activities:
    36% improved, 60% same, 4% worse
    Contact outside class:38% improved, 48% same, 13% worse

    These numbers give some indication of success.

    Dr. Daniel shared a diagram for the new eligibility policy, stating that he hopes to put it into a format similar to the university calendar to make it more understandable and readable. It will explain the eligibility requirements on the back. He plans to get this information out soon.

    In regard to a questions about making the university community aware of how we are doing with the academic standards, Dr. Meszaros noted that this would be made available and asked for some input on the kind of format that would be most helpful. Faculty are really interested in seeing how this is going.

    Transfer Conference

    Announced that on December 8, 1997, Virginia Tech will be hosting a transfer conference here on campus. Community college colleagues have been invited to attend. We hope many of you and your colleagues have been prompted to attend. This is primarily meant for faculty-to-faculty interaction, to create shared understanding between community colleges and other transfer sites of mutual expectations, and, where possible, to be sure that the courses students take in their previous locations are meeting the standards we have here.

  6. Discussion

    University Honor System - Leon Geyer

    Leon Geyer shared with Council members the structure of the Honor System as well as statistical data and other information pertinent to the system.

    Web Site:

    Chief Justice - Tatana Olson
    Administrative Assistant - Cindy Bright
    Leon Geyer -

    Chief Justice - 1
    Associate Justices - 5
    Case Coordinators - 20
    Panel Members - 60
    Counselors - 49

    1995-96 - 80 cases --- 1996-97 - 136 cases
    One reason for the jump in cases is that 20 cases were turned in at one time by one professor resulting in a delay in getting these processed.

    The McCabe 1995 Study implies that we are better off with an honor code. Emphasis must be put on discouraging students from cheating, rather than catching students cheating.

    The Honor System will work only with the cooperation of students, faculty and administrators. Faculty must explain and remind students of the code. An important aspect is to educate students in regard to the Honor System and Honor Code and help them understand that it is everyone's responsibility to see that cheating does not go unnoticed. Faculty have the duty to make it work. Everyone has to do his or her part by getting involved.

    We have four honors programs: Graduate, Veterinary Medicine, Undergraduate, Corps of Cadets, in addition to the Judicial System.

    The schedule for cases is as follows:
    3 days - Assign the Case
    2 weeks - Case Coordinator/Investigation
    2 weeks - Panel Hearing
    2 weeks - Review Board - Provost Office

    One of the problems, especially at the end of the spring semester, is that students dodge the mail. Letters are sent to all student addresses, local and permanent.

    It is imperative that everyone follows due process. Faculty and students who catch students cheating can obtain a form from the web to complete and turn in. It is imperative that faculty document what happens and that everyone works together.

    The Provost has never over-turned any cases.

    Some concerns expressed by University Council members are as follows:

    Leon Geyer asked members to send him any ideas or suggestions to make the system work better.

  7. Adjournment at 4:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Carole Nickerson
Executive Assistant to the President


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