College of Arts and Sciences

Educational Policy Meeting


Minutes of the 393rd Meeting

May 1, 2003




PRESENT:  Ann Marie Barry, Joe Burns, Michael Connolly, Clare Dunsford, Solomon Friedberg, Alan Kafka, Michael Malec, Thomas McGuinness, Michael Martin, Gilda Morelli, Robert Murphy, Mary Daniel O'Keeffe, O.P., Jennie Purnell, Joseph Quinn, Grace Simmons, Eileen Sweeney, Gabe Verdaguer, Barbara Viechnicki,

ABSENT: Andrea Defusco-Sullivan, Carlos Jaramillo, Clare O'Connor, Derrick Williams. 


CALL TO ORDER:  Dean Quinn called the meeting to order at 3:35 P.M.


MINUTES:  Minutes for March 20th, 2003, were approved subject to corrections offered by Michael Connolly and Solomon Friedberg.







Alan Kafka reported on 2 cases and asked the advice of the EPC on a procedural issue. Noting the excellent study of the Appeals Subcommittee’s history and rules by the previous chair, Mark Gelfand, Kafka stated that according to the rules the committee was to

  • hear the case and collect any apropos written documentation;
  • act separately and in confidence to reach a decision on a recommendation;
  • report in writing to the EPC.


The full EPC was then

  • to review and report on the adoption or rejection of the subcommittee’s recommendation to the Dean of the College,
  • the final disposition of a case then being made by the Dean.


Kafka stated the subcommittee had recommendations on two cases


Case 1.           Four students claimed unfair treatment due to

                  organizational problems with the course,

·                    an inconvenient time for a review session, and

·                     an unfair distribution of grades.


  • The chair of the concerned department had reviewed the case concluding no problems with how the course had been taught nor with the grading.
  • The Appeals subcommittee reviewed the case finding no problems with any component of the course nor any compelling evidence that the grades should be changed.


The subcommittee recommends that the grades stay as they are, and requests the EPC endorse this recommendation.


Michael Connolly moved the subcommittee recommendation be accepted and the appeal be denied; Michael Martin seconded the motion; the motion carried.


Case 2.           A student requested that two summer BC courses which count towards the student’s graduation credit but which, because they were taken without a dean’s approval, are not now included in the GPA calculation now be included in that calculation. The student based this appeal on the claim they had been told by “someone in the dean’s office” that summer courses would be counted in the GPA calculation.


Kafka noted

·        All parties stipulate that the student did not obtain prior written approval and that this requirement is clearly stated in both the hardcopy and the web catalogue.

·        It was noted that, since the student was already two courses ahead in credits graduation hence, according to the rules, any summer course could be for enrichment only.

·        And that in cases occurring prior to September 1, 2002, “enrichment” courses were counted in neither the 38 courses towards graduation nor the GPA calculation.


Kafka reported that the subcommittee had reluctantly voted to deny the appeal but requested that the full EPC advise on the appropriateness of this ruling.


Michael Connolly stated that the student should know to get such special approvals in writing. Noting that all such requests require approval, Joe Burns and Clare Dunsford stated it was not credible that any associate dean would tell a student otherwise.


Alan Kafka asked that the EPC approve the subcommittee’s recommendation that the appeal be denied. Michael Connolly moved the subcommittee recommendation be accepted and the appeal be denied; Michael Martin seconded the motion; the motion carried.



Gilda Morelli asked who would be sending the letter to student. Alan Kafka stated that as chair of the subcommittee he would send notice to the appropriate associate dean who would inform Dean Quinn. Michael Connolly added that the final resolution was up to the Dean Quinn who could assign the task of informing the student to whomsoever he chose.


Alan Kafka closed by reporting two additional cases were pending and should be resolved over the summer.


Dean Quinn thanked the subcommittee for its hard work on these and other cases over the past year.







Solomon Friedberg reported that Vanessa Rumble had responded as follows to the three concerns EPC expressed at its last meeting:

  • The 800 course will be used as an introduction to the minor only with permission of the program director.
  • Both introductory courses can be taken as an elective.
  • A credit distribution will be required covering both tracks of the program.





Solomon Friedberg reported that the subcommittee found three information processing problems concerning departmental minors:

  • There exists no consistent means for declaring a minor.
  • There exists no means to designate it on a student’s record.
  • Conflicting information has been published in locations including the university catalogue, the website, and departmental websites.


Friedberg also noted there was no restriction on departments modifying a minor’s structure or requirements after the initial approval.


Dean Quinn asked which of these matters could be resolved by the Associate Deans over the summer and which would require further EPC consideration. Bob Murphy stated that the inconsistencies in information between Student Services and departments presented a serious problem adding that the College needs to establish a single source. Dean Quinn suggested the department chairs should be checking this and the Associate Deans could then resolve catalogue and website inconsistencies. Clare Dunsford stated that sometimes even the Directors do not realize inconsistent information has been published in different sources. Michael Connolly added that the advising manual would also need updating.  





Bob Murphy opened stating that the subcommittee had a summary report on AP credit which offered three proposals:

  1. New rules concerning the use of AP scores to satisfy the A&S language proficiency requirement.
  2. A rise in the score required for core credit by some departments.  
  3. The abolition of the “Rule of Nine” concerning the number of core course credits that could be satisfied by AP scores.


 He added that the subcommittee also wanted an open discussion of


  1. the use of AP credits in satisfying departmental major requirements.




Bob Murphy reported the responses received from the concerned departments as follows:

  • Romance Languages and Literatures recommends raising the required SAT II score from 500 to 550 while leaving the required AP score at “3”.
  • German Studies concurred with these standards.
  • Classical Studies already requires a higher score of “4” or “5” on the AP and 600 on the SAT II.


In the judgment of the departments these scores would be consistent with successful completion of the second year courses required to satisfy the A&S language proficiency requirement.


Murphy added that, while the task at hand was to recommend academic standards, the subcommittee had considered the resource implications and found them to be minimal:

  • 2 additional sections of Spanish per semester.
  • 1 additional section of French per semester.


PROPOSAL:  The subcommittee proposes that the EPC approve changing the minimum required score to 550 on the SAT II exam for French, Spanish and Italian maintain the current minimum score of “3” on the AP exam for French and Spanish. This change will apply to students admitted in the classes of 2008 and later.




Michael Connolly asked why this was an EPC matter rather than one belonging to the departments adding that the specialist were in the departments. Dean Quinn responded that the departments were in agreement with the proposal. Joe Burns noted that setting standards and resource issues in A&S were the job of the A&S EPC.


Solomon Friedberg moved the proposal of the subcommittee be accepted.  Michael Connolly seconded the motion. The motion carried.


Dean Quinn asked who needed to be informed of this change and what information sources needed to updated:

  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Student advisors and the advising manual.
  • The Academic Vice President.
  • The departments.



2.      AP and the Core.


Bob Murphy reported that the situation currently stands as follows:

  • A score of “3” on either the AP English Literature or English Writing Exam satisfies Core in either Literature or Writing. A score of “4” on either exam satisfies both.

·        A score of “3” satisfies the Fine Arts Studio and Fine Arts Art History Core requirement.

·        A score of “4” on the calculus AB exam or a “3” on the calculus BC exam satisfies the Core in math.

·        All other areas in which Core can be satisfied by the AP exams already require the score of “4”.


Murphy reported the responses received from the concerned departments as follows:

  • Fine Arts agrees the required score for Core credit should be raised to “4” though they wish to retain the authority to use the “3” for internal placement.
  • Paul Lewis (English) responded that he thought raising the score required for Core credit to “4” for the Literature or Writing separately and “5” for the double credit would be a positive change. He added that he thought that a proposal from the EPC to the English Department would get strong support from the faculty though he noted this would have serious resource implications. He estimated 10 sections of writing and fewer for Literature spread out over the year.


Murphy then offered two specific proposals:


Proposal 1.        We propose recommending to the University Core Development Committee that the acceptable score on the Art History and Studio Art exams be increased to a “4” for the fulfillment of the Core requirement in Fine Arts.


Proposal 2.        We propose recommending to the University Core Development Committee that the acceptable score on the English Literature and the English Writing exams be increased to a “4” for the fulfillment of the Core requirement in Literature and Writing. We also propose recommending that the acceptable score on either the English Literature or the English Writing exams for fulfillment of both the Literature and the Writing requirements be raised to a “5”.






Bob Murphy opened the discussion by stating that while both departments seem to be in favor of raising the required scores, this had to be a proposal from EPC to the UCDC. He added that in the subcommittee’s meeting with the UCDC, it appeared that the UCDC would adopt this recommendation. Michael Connolly asked how this affected the situation in History. Dean Quinn stated that History seemed a separate case. Grace Simmons stated this seemed to be a good change and would bring BC in line with its peer schools.


Solomon Friedberg moved the proposal of the subcommittee be accepted.  Gilda Morelli seconded the motion. The motion carried.


3.      The “Rule of Nine”.


Bob Murphy reported that the current requirements mandated that nine of the required Core courses had to be taken at BC. He also noted that the audits do not catch it; transfer students are sometimes given exemptions; and that it was unclear whether any of these nine could be satisfied by AP exams. Murphy then asked three questions:

1.      Should there be stricter enforcement of the “Rule of Nine”?

2.      Should the AP exams be excluded?

3.      Should the rule be abolished?


PROPOSAL: We propose that fine-tuning this rule is likely to create more confusion and trouble than it is worth. Using AP credit alone, students still have to take five core courses where AP exams are not available. Give that the present rule appears unenforceable for transfer students, we recommend that the University Core Development Committee drop this requirement.




Bob Murphy opened the discussion stating that at the subcommittee’s meeting with the UCDC it seemed that the UCDC would favor abolishing this rule. Clare Dunsford added that it was hard to enforce and in fact there appeared to be very few violations.


Solomon Friedberg moved the proposal of the subcommittee be accepted.  Jennie Purnell seconded the motion. The motion carried.



4.      AP Credits and Department Majors.


Bob Murphy reported that nearly all departments allow AP credit to give a student advance placement in the major but require the same total number of courses for the major. He added that some of the science departments allowed the reduction of co-requisite fields but that the one real exception was History.  Murphy recounted the history of History’s becoming an exception as follows:


·        Prior to 1994 History allowed advance placement for AP exams but 

·        neither reduced the number of required courses credit toward the major

·        nor waived the required core courses.


·        In 1994 the university administration suggested

·        this seemed unfair within the college

·        and presented a recruiting problem for the university.


·        The History Department then responded by allowing credit

·        both for the core

·        and for the major.


Murphy then stated that the subcommittee had no recommendation at this time but would like the full EPC to discuss the matter.




Dean Quinn opened the discussion noting that this seemed to reduce a twelve course major to eight courses and an eight course minor to four courses. Bob Murphy noted that History does not count the two core courses as part of its major or minor adding that the credit for AP the European History exam satisfies the university’s core requirement and the credit for the AP American exam reduces a 10 course major to eight courses. He also noted that the in March the EPC adopted a requirement that AP credit not be used to reduce any departmental minor.


Alan Kafka asked if the American History exam’s content was considered in this discussion. Bob Murphy responded, “No.” Solomon Friedberg offered that there might be an argument to be made that the requirements for a major should be based on knowledge gained after high school. Michael Connolly added that there might be comparative quality considerations in granting AP or the International Baccalaureate exam as credit toward the major but restricting the transfer credit from other universities. Bob Murphy responded that the transfer student issue seemed to be a separate matter.


Dean Quinn recommended that this information be sent to both the UCDC and the History Department with the suggestion that the department consider the situation in light of the normal ten course major and six course minor.



ADJOURNMENT: Dean Quinn thanked all the members of the EPC for a very productive year. He expressed special thanks to Mike Malec, Ann Marie Barry, and Alan Kafka whose terms expired with this meeting.  He also gave his thanks and best wishes to Gabe Verdaguer who would graduate in a matter of days. Finally, he noted the election of Lisa Cuklanz, Paul Davidovitz, and David Quigley


Dean Quinn adjourned the meeting at 4:50 PM.