ACADEMIC BOARD MINUTES
OCTOBER 20, 1998
MGEN J. S. GRINALDS, LTC. A. W. LeCLERCQ, BGEN R. C. POOLE, LTC J. S. LEONARD, COL H. W. ASKINS, JR., MAJ J. F. KOOB (for COL W. J. MACPHERSON), COL R. E. BALDWIN, MAJ G. TESCH (for COL R. A. MALONEY), COL M. A. BEBENSEE, COL I. S. METTS, JR., COL J. R. BLANTON, COL W. B. MOORE, JR., CAPT M. L. BOYKIN, COL S. OZMENT, COL C. E. CLEAVER, COL D. H. REILLY, COL M. H. EZELL, JR., LTC P. J. REMBIESA, COL D. J. FALLON, COL G. B. STALEY, COL A. J. FINCH, COL G. L. WILSON, and COL J. A. FOLLEY
The meeting was called to order by BGEN Poole at 1520 hours.
AGENDA ITEM # 1: APPROVAL OF MINUTES
COL Baldwin moved and COL Finch seconded the motion that the minutes of the September 22, 1998 meeting be approved as written. The motion carried unanimously.
AGENDA ITEM # 2: FACULTY STAFFING ANALYSIS
COL Metts distributed two related documents: Factors Influencing Teaching Loads, which provides background and context for course assignments at The Citadel, and Faculty Staffing Analysis, 1998, which provides numerical data. These reports were prepared at the request of COL Holland, the VP of Finance and are being given to the Academic Board for information.
In his review of the reports, COL Metts pointed out that The Citadel currently employs 24 ½ more faculty than the state formula allows. This is offset by the 25 ½ contract faculty employed to teach professional development courses for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. While the College can justify its practices, COL Metts reminded department heads that they should be aware of the discrepancy between what we do and what the state formula allows for. COL Metts also called attention to the fact that The Citadel is spending $1.3 million more in faculty salaries than the state formula allows. This again is offset somewhat by the $1.1 million in salaries for professional development courses that does not come out of the College payroll. Even so, this is soft money and cannot be relied upon.
LTC LeClercq asked how the information in the reports will be used. COL Metts explained that as positions come open in departments, the administration will use this report to help determine whether to reassign positions.
COL Cleaver asked how much value the College places on small classes. COL Metts responded that the willingness of the administration to exceed formula allotments indicates the high premium the school places on small classes.
COL Metts emphasized that the reports are not intended to indict any department, merely to summarize current practices.
MGEN Grinalds made the observation that the reports would help the institution in soliciting capital campaign funds by showing donors the additional costs of preserving small classes.
AGENDA ITEM # 3: CORE CURRICULUM REPORT DISCUSSION
The Board’s discussion of the Core Curriculum Report once again focused on the forgivable F. COL Bebensee spoke in favor of the option for new students during their first and possibly during their second semesters. LTC Leonard spoke against the forgivable F as undermining the integrity of the transcript and instead advocated identifying specific core courses to be graded A, B, C, U. COL Metts reminded the Board that the A, B, C, U grading system was approved some years ago for English 101 only because it was thought that English 101 is fundamental to virtually all college course work. Students who cannot earn at least a C in English 101 are likely to have considerable difficulty with the majority of their courses. The hope was that the U option would keep students in the course longer and that seems to have been the case; the withdrawal rate in English 101 courses in recent years has been quite low.
COL Bebensee acknowledged that there can be a value to having an F appear on a student’s transcript. It may be needed to get the serious attention of the student or his parents, but that F earned early in a student’s Citadel career should not penalize the student forever.
LTC Leonard raised a question about extending the withdrawal deadline. COL Metts said that years ago students could withdraw up to the last week of class. This policy was changed to force students to make a commitment to the course earlier on.
Board members asked what is done at other schools. COL Metts said he checked with the College of Charleston and learned that the College does not have a provision for a forgivable F. CAPT Boykin contended that peer institutions are not necessarily a good guide since we have a special system that makes it harder for students to perform well academically. COL Metts argued that the forgivable F might relieve academic pressure on students and invite them to place even less emphasis on academics than they do at present. He pointed out that the provision would not solve the problem of the students with extremely low grade point ratios who are threatened with academic discharge.
BGEN Poole asked LTC Leonard and COL Wilson to draft a position on the forgivable F for the Board to consider at its next meeting. COL Wilson asked the members of the Board to send any suggestions to them.
AGENDA ITEM # 4: TEST TIME LIMITS
COL Folley expressed concern about the large number of students who report to class late as a result of taking additional time to finish a test given in the preceding class period. Other department heads indicated that they and their faculty had similar problems. COL Ozment stated that students are not excused from one class because they are taking a test in another. BGEN Poole urged faculty to mark students late regardless of the reason for their tardiness. CAPT Boykin suggested that department heads remind their faculty of the importance of designing tests that can be completed during the scheduled class period.
AGENDA ITEM # 5: NEW REGISTRATION PROCESS—PAWS
COL Metts announced that, beginning this semester, students will be able to register for classes on line. They will be expected to consult their faculty advisors first. The advisor will discuss the course schedule with the student, then give the student the registration code that will permit on line registration. This fall, the Registrar’s Office will have people available in Mark Clark Hall during pre-registration to help students as needed. The system is designed to give students increased access to their academic records and has safeguards in place to prevent students from enrolling in classes that are filled and to prevent students from signing up for more than 23 hours. COL Metts pointed out that the danger is that once students have their registration codes, they will be able to drop and add on their own up through the end of the drop/add period. Continued communication between faculty advisors and students will be more important than ever. The student’s registration code will be changed each semester. COL Metts requested feedback from department heads about the new process.
COL Ozment informed the Board that a special committee has been appointed to study academic advising. One of the recommendations that came from the first meeting of the committee was to extend pre-registration. Therefore, two weeks have been set aside for pre-registration each semester of the next academic year. This should make advising somewhat more manageable for faculty in departments with a large number of majors.
AGENDA ITEM # 6: TEACHING AWARDS
COL Reilly announced an upcoming conference at which awards will be given to faculty for using technology in innovative ways. He invited department heads to let him know of any faculty who would be eligible for such an award.
AGENDA ITEM # 7: CADETS AT SPORTING EVENTS DURING ESP
COL Ozment raised the issue of cadets being required to attend sporting events during evening study period. This occurred a couple of weeks ago when The Citadel soccer team played the College of Charleston. Originally, the plan was for the entire Corps to attend. However, due to heavy rain, only the freshmen and some upperclassmen attended. The Corps received little advance notification according to the students themselves. There was a provision for those who had tests or papers the next day to be excused, but this did not address the issue of the need for students to study or work on projects in advance of the day on which they are due. COL Askins voiced the opinion that it is detrimental to the educational process to require students to attend events when they should be studying. COL Folley said he was present at a Commandant’s meeting when the decision was made and explained that the purpose was to build esprit de corps between the athletes and non-athletes. COL Bebensee responded that requiring students to attend will not improve relationships. BGEN Poole noted that another way to build better relationships between athletes and non-athletes is to require athletes to take part in more military lifestyle activities such as drill. COL Wilson stated that at the least students should have plenty of advance notice, that the event should be placed on the calendar before the start of the year so students could plan ahead. COL Askins voiced the opinion that there should also be a strict limit on the number of times such events were allowed to interfere with ESP. BGEN Poole made a commitment to follow up on this issue with BGEN Mace and MGEN Grinalds.
AGENDA ITEM # 8: MISCELLANEOUS
COL Finch asked BGEN Poole to comment on the current controversy surrounding the tenure and promotion policy. BGEN Poole reminded the Board that the College spent four years reviewing and revising its policy, that both Faculty Council and Academic Board had numerous opportunities to consider the document, and that he had informed all concerned that a policy would be in place by the end of the 1997-1998 academic year. He spoke to the disagreement over the approval process and reminded those present that the faculty of the College does not have the authority to approve all policy; that authority resides with the President and the Board of Visitors. BGEN Poole emphasized that the document approved on May 27, 1998 is the official policy statement of the College; General Orders 15 and 20 no longer exist. Those being evaluated for tenure and promotion this year will not be subject to the new standards; they will not go into effect until the 1999-2000 academic year
Responding to BGEN Poole’s reminder that the Board approved the document at the May 27th meeting with a representative of the Faculty Council present, COL Ezell stated that he raised objections at that time that were not reflected in the Board minutes. When asked by COL Ozment why he did not offer corrections to the minutes, he acknowledged that he had been remiss in not doing so.
LTC Leonard spoke in favor of returning the document to Faculty Council since the Council members did not have the opportunity to consider the Board’s May 27th revisions. LTC Rembiesa agreed, saying that the present tension between the administration and the faculty is detrimental to faculty morale. COL Finch commented on the need for clarification on process—namely on the roles, functions, and authority of the Faculty Council and the Academic Board.
BGEN Poole emphasized that the new document is subject to amendment. COL Ezell agreed with BGEN Poole’s perception that Faculty Council’s major concern is focused on the process for identifying external reviewers but said the Council will probably wish to consider each of the six issues raised in their recent memorandum to the faculty. BGEN Poole invited Faculty Council to bring forward recommended changes. COL Ezell made a commitment to have any proposed changes ready to present to the Board at the next scheduled meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 1715 hours.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Women