February 27, 2001
Present: Doris Glick, Kenneth Elzinga, Donald Innes, Jr., Robert O'Connell, Robert Davis, Elliott Weiss Doris Glick, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, called the meeting to order.
The Committee reviewed and approved the minutes of the January 29 meeting.
Ms. Glick briefed the Committee on the February 13th Executive Council meeting and the full Faculty Senate meeting that was held on February 21.
John Casteen addressed the Executive Council and the full Senate on the current General Assembly session. Mr. Casteen spoke about the budget impasse in the General Assembly, the proposed cap on out-of-state students (did not pass), and the proposed decrease in the State's contribution to the faculty retirement plan.
Ms. Glick reminded the group that the Faculty Senate David Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards Ceremony will be on Wednesday, February 28.
Other issues addressed by the Senate include the work of a committee to improve graduate student funding, and a recommendation from Peter Low, Vice President and Provost, that the Senate form an ad hoc committee to work on the Garden Room initiative.
Students reported about the Honor System referendum.
The new MA proposal in Digital Humanities was passed at the February 21 Senate meeting, and will now go to the Board of Visitors and to SCHEV, Ms. Glick said.
I. Workshop on Diversity - Doris Glick The Executive Council has reviewed the Academic Affairs Committee's draft proposal for the use of the remaining funds in the Faculty Senate Teaching Initiative budget. Ms Glick shared the comments from Executive Council: they would like this Committee to strengthen the original proposal and develop clearer goals and criteria to evaluate the success of the proposal, or possibly to retain the funds for use on another Faculty Senate initiative. Other possible ways to use the remaining Teaching Initiative funds was discussed in detail.
Suggestions made included:
develop workshops, colloquia or conversations on topics of wide interest to people across disciplines
facilitate potential collaboration on topics of common interests among faculty of different disciplines
develop a speaker series for symposia that would address new directions in higher education.
Some topics suitable for such interdisciplinary collaboration were identified, including justice, ethics, globalization, human rights, culture, environment, aging, HIV, and global warming. It was noted that some of this is already happening, such as through the Ethics Institute, and the Teaching Resource Center. The Committee was unable to reach a consensus on how to appropriate the funds.
Kenneth Elzinga made a motion to hold the funds in escrow for use on future Faculty Senate initiatives. The motion was seconded, and it passed unanimously.
II. Evaluation of Teaching Initiative - Ken Elzinga Kenneth Elzinga distributed a draft report on the Evaluation of the Faculty Senate's Teaching Initiative Grants for the three-year period 1997-98; 1998-99; and 1999-00. The draft was discussed. Action: Robert Davis made a motion to accept the report after one minor change, the motion was seconded, and it passed unanimously. Doris Glick will forward the report to the chair of the Faculty Senate, Pat Werhane, and to the Provost, Peter Low.
The next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee will be scheduled when needed.
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.