Academic Governance Committee Report
Given to the University Senate 02-26-07
Submitted by Dr. Mike Gleason

 I.  Meet on Friday, Feb 2, 2007

1.      We heard from Shaina McGill how she is working with students and continuing to gain input concerning advisement.  

2.      The current Commencement Motion was discussed in great length. Concerns were discussed by those who sought input from their constituents.   Some of these are listed below:

·         Master of Music Ed. Has two required courses in the summer following commencement (Flory).

·         Several emails collected indicated that more than one course in the summer might be needed to graduate after commencement (Peavy).

·         Hardship for International students that would leave after summer term and have to return in the Spring of following year to commence (Peavy).

·         Data has shown students often do not take courses that are available because they are at undesirable times. Very few students actually fail courses in the last term. A major problem is students waiting to take three semesters of modern foreign language until to late in the plan of study to finish in spring prior to commencement. (Gormly)

·         Centennial can not hold everyone for one single commencement, hence the reason it is on the front lawn (only Spring is suitable for an outdoor event). Fire Marshall has made it clear that crowd would be large. Smaller use could be accomplished (e.g. August or December commencement), but the locale is inappropriate (a gym), acoustics are terrible, and the bleachers represent a hazard to many of the guests (e.g. elderly). (Gormly)  Post-note: At ECUS meeting on Feb 20, 2007, Dr. Leland indicated that the cost of holding a second or third commencement is currently prohibitive and would most likely have to be passed onto the students.

·         This is a philosophical question that we need to address. Do we want the commencement ceremony to be a rite of passage or a celebration ceremony for students who are graduating on time or in the near future?  Once we answer this question we can proceed. If we believe it is indeed a rite of passage we need to create a policy that makes that very clear without including exceptions – then advisors and administrators will have a policy to back them up. (Block)

·         Vice President actually says to President that she certifies that all students commencing have completed all the requirements for their degree (Gormly)

·         We would need to change wording of commencement if it is not a rite of passage.

·         A solution was offered that schools might be allowed to commence. Dr. Gormly advised that this is not possible.

·         Necessity of having to pay a processing fee for commencement was questioned. (Barton)

·         Many on the committee felt bringing back at least a December commencement could address many of the concerns expressed by students that would be unable to commence under the current version of the motion.  Post-note: At ECUS meeting on Feb 20, 2007, Dr. Leland indicated she favored an early morning commencement in August.  Rentals might actually then dovetail with some of the orientation rentals (speakers, platforms, chairs, etc.)

·         Issue of fairness concerning the original motion and even the most recent motion was raised. The original exemption, only for a required capstone course, seemed unfair to many, so for some the amended version of the motion that provided any student could plan to complete one additional course in the summer was deemed acceptable.

·         We have a very robust petition process at GCSU to handle needed exemptions from a “rite of passage” commencement policy.

·         Departments (or Schools) should revisit advising procedures to ensure that the case load of petitions to be exempted from a rite of passage type commencement will remain small. (Jones)

A sense of the committee as to how to proceed in the Senate was reached. This recommendation to the senate should be presented in the Chair’s next report.
By a unanimous vote the committee provided the following recommendation to the Senate.

·         To restate motion on participation in Commencement Activities to the following: Effective for Spring 2008, in order to participate in Commencement, students must complete all degree requirements. Comments: by losing the word Spring prior to commencement we are opening the door for a second commencement which we strongly recommend. By losing the second sentence we are being fair, because all students must complete requirements before they can commence. A petition process would apply to all students seeking exemption from the policy.

·         In order to prevent the current level of petitions from continuing it will be vital that Departments (and/or Schools) only sign-off on petitions that represent real hardships (e.g. International Students, required capstone). On the other hand, poor planning in a course of study does not constitute a hardship and those appeals should be rejected. Thus, most students needing summer and/or fall coursework would be required to walk in December.

3.      Roy Moore reviewed the proposed Policy and Procedures on Scholarly Misconduct. Minor revisions were recommended.  Roy will make the revisions and bring it back to the committee when we meet again. 

4.      Dale Young presented the proposal to deactivate the BBA in International Business. Reasons: minor works well, low graduate number, and it is no longer a sustainable major. We approved the proposal to deactivate BBA in International Business.


II.  On Feb 15, 2007 after a few days of acting in absentia by email, we approved and then registered an Ad Hoc Subcommittee.

·         Committee Name: Academic Calendar 2008-2010 

·         Charge: To recommend to the AGC an academic calendar for the years 2008-2010.  Committee will meet in March and report their recommendations to the AGC at our April 6th meeting.

III.  We cancelled our meeting planned for Friday, Feb 23, 2007.

IV.  We have changed our March meeting from Friday, March 23, 2007 to Friday, March 9, 2007.  We will meet from 12:30 to 1:45 pm in Herty Hall, room 252.

·         Tentative Agenda

1.      We will reconsider the proposed policy on Scholarly Misconduct.

2.      We will consider a policy on limiting the number of withdrawals that students are allowed to have during their time at GCSU.  Dr. Rushing will be present to introduce the proposal.