Academic Affairs Committee
February 21, 2005 - 10:30-Noon
Board Room, Newcomb Hall
Present: Kenneth Schwartz, Daniel Bluestone, David Cafiso, Harold Burbach, Stephen Gladis, Larry Walker, Marian Moore
Guests: Lauren Ross and Meghan Sullivan, Honor Committee Representatives, Robert Harris, Dean, Darden School
Kenneth Schwartz, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, called the meeting to order and offered welcoming remarks.
Faculty Perspectives on Honor Update
Mr. Schwartz reported on the work of the Academic Affairs subcommittee on Faculty Perspectives on Honor. In regard to a survey to address faculty perspectives on Honor, he said the subcommittee is deferring to students, encouraging them to pursue a study now instead of "commissioning" it from the Academic Affairs Committee. The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to proceed this way in recognition of the importance of student self-governance. The survey approach, drafted by Tom Guterbok, Director of the Center for Survey Research, has been given to the Honor Committee for their consideration. Mr. Schwartz said he is hopeful that he and others will meet with the Honor Committee for a discussion of a student-led survey on faculty honor perspectives. He added that Gene Block, Vice President and Provost, is supportive of the initiative and understands that it is in the students' hands at this point.
Mr. Schwartz will convene another meeting of the Subcommittee on Faculty Perspectives on Honor after the Honor Committee referenda and elections are completed. Mr. Schwartz will also write a brief report for Marcia Childress, Chair of the Faculty Senate, and Houston Wood, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, on the Academic Affairs Committee's work on Honor issues, suggesting that this be removed from the Committee's charge for next year.
Ph.D Fellowship Update
Kenneth Schwartz reported on this year's Dissertation-Year Fellowships program as administered by the Academic Affairs Committee. Steve Macko is chairing the Dissertation-Year Fellowships Subcommittee. There will be five fellowships awarded, at approximately $20,000 each. The deadline for submitting fellowship proposals is February 25th, and fellowship recipients will be announced on April 1st. The work of Professor Macko's committee is proceeding well.
Graduate Student Concerns about On-Line Course Evaluations
Kenneth Schwartz reported on (and shared) an email message he received from Tom Bryan, president of the Graduate Student Council, regarding their concerns with the Online Course Evaluations. Mr. Schwartz said Milton Adams, Vice Provost for Academic Programs, is aware of the concerns. After some discussion of the concerns raised by the Graduate Student Council, the Academic Affairs Committee said it would be useful for the Graduate Student Council and Student Council to coordinate in an effort to address these concerns. The Academic Affairs Committee also said that like many faculty members, graduate students greatly benefit from working with the Teaching Resource Center. Committee members believe that the Faculty Senate should work with the Teaching Resource Center to continue to promote collaborations with graduate TAs. Several colleagues noted that faculty members frequently work with other people's work (syllabi, reading materials, course materials, exams, projects, etc.) not unlike the way that TA's do. Yet it is also true that faculty members are held accountable for their teaching under these circumstances, just as they are for their "own" courses. Mr. Schwartz will write to Mr. Bryan and let him know that the Academic Affairs Committee understands the concerns voiced, and the Committee's hope that the problems will be explored at the Provost level.
Honor Issues - Reported by Meghan Sullivan, Chair of the Honor Committee and Lauren Ross, Honor Committee Member
Kenneth Schwartz invited Honor Committee Chair Meghan Sullivan and others from the Committee leadership to join the Academic Affairs Committee for a conversation on honor. This evolved out of a student suggestion that there needs to be more opportunity for students to inform faculty of developments with honor at UVA.
Meghan Sullivan gave an update on major projects being sponsored by the Honor Committee. They include:
Lauren Ross spoke about concerns with the process of initiating Honor cases, and how that impacts the initiator. The Honor Committee is trying to streamline the process. The Committee will be taking on more of the responsibility with the initiating process, including a faster involvement with both the initiator and the accused in an Honor case, which will ease the burden of the initiator. The Honor Committee is more extensively training Honor Committee representatives. The Committee is also looking at the possibility of reinstating the Non-Toleration Clause.
In closing, Meghan Sullivan said that the Honor Committee will meet in the next two or three weeks to discuss the possibility of the Committee conduction a faculty survey on honor perspectives. Kenneth Schwartz encouraged this and offered his support, and he agreed to attend the meeting to report on the work that the Academic Affairs Committee has done in this regard.
Darden E-MBA Program Robert Harris, Dean of the Darden School, and Marian Moore, a professor in the Darden School and a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, gave on overview of the new Darden E-MBA Program proposal. Marian Moore will also direct the E-MBA Program. The Provost's Office has indicated that the E-MBA Program does not require approval by SCHEV. Dean Harris said that the Darden School is one of the few business schools among its peers that do not offer such a program, and the Darden School faculty members are unanimously in favor of the program (vote taken in the fall semester of 04). The E-MBA program will allow professionals to work and pursue an MBA degree at the same time. The Darden School will strive to have one of the best programs in the world, Dean Harris said. Dean Harris also reported that resources for the program will come from the Darden Foundation. Initially, about 45 students will be in the E-MBA Program, to be taught primarily on an overload basis. The program finances will evolve after it gets underway. Darden School hopes to launch the program in May. Professor Moore said E-MBA students will be involved with Darden's full-time and part-time students. Dean Harris and Professor Moore took questions. Some comments made by members of the Academic Affairs Committee mentioned fundraising possibilities, endorsements, companies investing in the program, and online teaching.
Kenneth Schwartz will send an email message to the Academic Affairs Committee, with comments from Marian Moore regarding the E-MBA program, and invite them to offer feedback. Added comments from Professor Moore are included beneath the adjournment note below.
The meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
From: Marian Chapman Moore
Darden Graduate School of Business
University of Virginia
Thanks for all the support and encouragement at today's Academic Affairs Committee meeting. We're excited about working to make Virginia's premier MBA program available to mid-level professionals who cannot interrupt their career to get an MBA. The Darden faculty has voted unanimous support of this venture and is looking forward to moving ahead.
Several concerns were raised and addressed which I would like to summarize here for those of you who weren't at the meeting. If additional questions remain, please email me or call me.
1. Plans for developing capabilities in distance learning. Darden does not have experience in distance learning per se, but we do have experience in pedagogical alternatives to face-to-face. We also have strong capabilities in technology and will have dedicated technology staff working on the program. I am in the process of developing a Faculty Development Program (teaching the teachers) which will tap into the expertise of others who have successfully delivered some ExecMBA course content via distance. The EMBA Council, for example, has several "certified" professors who offer programs for faculty. In addition, there are resources at UVA that we plan to tap into-for both technology and pedagogy. One reason for faculty support of the ExecMBA is that it provides the opportunity to learn new ways of educating managers.
2. Corporate sponsorship/endorsement. We will not require students' employers to pay the entire tuition. In fact, the percentage of ExecMBA students who are fully sponsored by their companies is decreasing steadily (although less so for premier companies and premier programs). We will require that companies 1) endorse the student's enrollment by acknowledging the time commitment required and making that time available to the student, 2) assure us that the ExecMBA experience is an important part of the student's career development process, and 3) assure us that the student is considered important to the future of the company.
3. Interaction between fulltime students and ExecMBA students. Interaction with the fulltime students is not high on potential ExecMBA students' list of things that make a program attractive. This is not surprising given the considerable difference in age and experience (38 v. 28 years old, 15 years of experience v. 3). Nevertheless, we will encourage such interaction when practicable. Integrating the ExecMBAs into the Darden community is an important reason to site much of the program in Charlottesville. Likely opportunities for interaction include both groups attending Leadership Forum speaker events, some joint electives, and social interaction when the ExecMBAs are on grounds.
4. Faculty staffing. The introduction of this program must not erode the quality of the fulltime experience. Our plan is to treat ExecMBA teaching as an overload at first--until we are comfortable adding additional faculty to in-load the teaching. The faculty needs in the ExecMBA program will roll out over time (i.e., we do not need to be fully staffed on Day 1), giving us some flexibility regarding when we add faculty. We see this as a prudent transition model and it was mentioned explicitly as part of the planning that led to unanimous faculty approval of moving ahead with the ExecMBA.