Present: Richard DeMong, George Mentore, Reuben Rainey,
Robert Davis, Joanne Dugan, Daniel Hallahan, Doris Glick, John
Lyons, Barbara Nolan, Edward Ayers
Guest: Thomas Noble
Richard DeMong, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee,
called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in Peabody Hall, Room
110. Introductions were made.
The agenda for the meeting was a discussion of a proposed
new adult degree program, to be offered through the Division of
Continuing Education. The program will be a Bachelor of
Liberal Studies. The goal of the Committee was to make a
recommendation to the Faculty Senate as a whole on the merits
of the initiative. Thomas Noble, who is chairing the committee
that is putting together the proposed program, attended the
meeting to answer questions.
Mr. Noble had earlier sent the proposal to the members of
the Committee for their review. Mr. Noble said the only
publicity the program has received was from the recently
created Web page and from a notice in Piedmont Virginia
Community College's course offering director. But, through
this limited exposure, there have been approximately 400
inquires. Mr. Noble invited questions or concerns from the
Reuben Rainey asked for a clarification regarding who will
be teaching the courses. Envisioned to teach courses are
University faculty who have an interest in doing so, general
faculty at the University, emeritus faculty, educators who
reside in the Charlottesville area, and University Ph.Ds., Mr.
Mr. Rainey commented that the budget section of the
distributed brochure was very brief, and he asked where
resources to fund faculty will be coming from. Mr. Noble said
the program would need to pay for itself through tuition. It
was noted that the program was generated both to foster
outreach and to generate revenue. The Committee expressed a
concern that the tuition may not cover all of the ancillary
costs including computer resources and other student services.
Perhaps the Advisory Committee could look at a market tuition
rate that would cover all of the direct and indirect
Richard DeMong commented that the quality of the faculty
that will teach the courses seems to be a concern, and will the
degree measure up to the University's standards? There is a
large pool of quality talent at the University to tap from, and
the Advisory Committee will work toward a quality program, Mr.
Noble commented. The members of the Committee think that the
brochure should state explicitly how the faculty will be hired.
Mr. DeMong stated that it was important that the deans or
department heads are involved in the hiring process of their
faculty. It would be to the detriment of the University if
junior faculty committed too much of their time to teaching in
this program rather than completing their own research
Mr. Rainey noted the areas of concentration listed in the
brochure: Business, Humanities, Information Technology, and
Social Sciences. He asked how they were arrived at. Mr. Noble
said issues such as how to model the program to scale of the
University's curriculum and what are the interests of adults
who might participate in the program were considered.
It was noted that budget projections and resources needs to
be clearer before the Academic Affairs Committee is able reach
an informed decision for or against the program. The Deans need
to look at the program and be in agreement with the concept
before the Senate approves it. Mr. DeMong asked if the Advisory
Committee would send a copy of the proposal to the deans before
the next meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee. It was
also noted that the program should be monitored for its overall
effect on the University. In addition, the Senate needs to
reserve the right to revisit the program over a period of time.
The Committee asked that the Advisory Committee project the
target student population for the BLS program and propose
limits for each year of the program so that the program does
not grow faster than its resources.
It was decided that the Academic Affairs Committee would
need additional information, i.e., budget projections, faculty
hiring, and funding, before they make a decision on the
program. Mr. Noble agreed to put together the requested
information, and the Committee will have an additional meeting
before it reaches a conclusion.
The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.