College of Arts and Sciences
Educational Policy Meeting
Minutes of the 398th Meeting
PRESENT: Joe Burns, Christina
Corea, Lisa Cuklanz, Paul Davidovits, Stephanie Fernandez, Solomon Friedberg,
Michael Graf, Michael Martin,
ABSENT: Akinseye Akinbulumo, Andrea Defusco-Sullivan, Carlos Jaramillo, Thomas McGuinness.
CALL TO ORDER: Joe Quinn called the meeting to order at
INTRODUCTIONS: The members each introduced themselves. Joe Quinn welcomed the five new members, Christina Corea, Stephanie Fernandez, Michael Graf, Catherine Schneider, and Robert Scott.
MINUTES: Minutes for the meeting on
Joe Quinn asked the past subcommittee chairs to review their subcommittee’s activities last year.
Academic Affairs. Eileen Sweeney reported that the subcommittee had spent the year gathering information for a report on the use of undergraduates as teaching assistants and graders in the college. She stated that two issues required consideration:
She added that two departments seemed to be special cases:
The subcommittee’s recommendations were:
Joe Quinn stated that the use of undergraduates as TAs and graders was limited to six or eight departments and that the real issue was budget. He allowed that in some cases course credit might be appropriate but that strict criteria needed to be set concerning how many credits and whether they should be graded or pass/fail. Barbara Viechnicki added that the Computer Science Department needed to be included.
Honors. Michael Martin reported that the subcommittee had spent the year gathering information for a report on grade inflation or compression in the College which also included surveys of other institutions. He added that the rise in figures like the median GPA followed almost exactly the rise in quality of the undergraduates over the past decade and a half. Joe Quinn stated that the problem was not really inflation but compression resulting in the loss of the ability to make distinctions among students.
Martin continued stating that the subcommittee report included three recommendations:
· Educate the faculty about the general situation in the college and in their department relative to their own grading;
· Develop measures for assessing student’s relative performance and placing that information on the transcripts; and
· Incorporating some measure of students’ grade expectations into student course evaluations.
Noting that the initial report with supplementary documentation ran over 20 pages he added that the task now would be to decide what to distribute.
Joe Quinn passed out a version “sautéed” down to a mere 10 pages, noted that the department by department comparisons would need to be masked or deleted and that, to date, this should be considered confidential.
Solomon Friedberg stated that the difference between
students GPAs could be .001. Bill Petri, Michael Martin, and
Martin concluded that there might be an additional philosophical issue in that there did not seem to be any agreement on the purpose of grades, for example are grades in some manner comparative?
Joe Quinn stated that there would probably be requests to approve two new minors this year – one in Catholic Studies and another in Jewish Studies. He noted that the procedural model for these would be the approval of the BA in Biology and the approval of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program.
Helina Teklehaimont and Christina Corea stated that there
would be a proposal for an Ethnic Studies Program originating from students.
Catherine Schneider stated there might be some initiatives dealing with cross
school minors. Joe Quinn noted that as CSOM did not allow minors there could be
no cross school minors with CSOM.
ADJOURNMENT. Joe Quinn passed out the preliminary list of subcommittee assignments and ask that the members caucus briefly to elect chairs. He adjourned the meeting at
Secretary to the EPC