University of Minnesota, Morris

Campus Assembly Minutes

 

May 5, 2009

 

 

I.               Chancellor's Remarks.

 

Chancellor Johnson remarked that this is our last assembly of the year and that each academic year seems to have its own flavor—there are ups and downs; incidents and elements; hopes realized and dreams accomplished.  It’s the time of year for reflection and also an emotional time given our current circumstances.  There are many things for us to be proud of:  students, faculty and staff have been honored; performances have been delivered, debates and athletic competitions won and lost.

 

Motion was made to move agenda item V. Additional scholar of the college nomination to be the next item on the agenda.  Motion passes.

 

II.             For Action.  Additional scholar of the college nomination of Benjamin Wheeler was approved as presented. 

 

Jim Togeas reported that when the Functions & Awards Committee originally met, Mr. Wheeler had been nominated but his proposal had not been accepted.  His proposal has since been accepted and he has presented.

 

III.           For Action.  Minutes from 4/7/09 assembly meeting approved as presented.

 

IV.           For Action.  From the Curriculum Committee.  The following curricular changes were approved as presented.

 

Division of the Social Sciences

Revised Course:

Anth 2101—Physical Anthropology (SCI-L; 4 cr)

Program Changes:

Anthropology Major (B.A.) and Minor

Liberal Arts for the Human Services Major (B.A.)

Social Science Major (B.A.)

            Anthropology Sub-plan

            Sociology Sub-plan

            Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Sub-plan

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Major (B.A.) and Minor

 

Division of the Humanities

New Course:

CMR 3122—Rhetoric of Picture Books, Prose and Pictures (Hum; 4)

 

Interdisciplinary Studies

Revised Course:

LAAS 3100—Contemporary Latin America (1 cr)

 

V.             For Action.  From the Dean’s Office.  2013-2014 Academic calendar. 

 

Cheryl Contant reported at the April 2, 2009 University-wide Senate meeting, the Morris 2013-2014 academic calendar was brought forward for a vote (as required by university policy).  When the five Morris senators unanimously voted against the proposed calendar, the motion to approve our calendar was tabled for future consideration.

 

After hearing about this action by our senators, she asked them to lead a very abbreviated two-week discussion of the issues that surround the calendar and to propose an alternative calendar, if they felt one should be proposed.   She would like to ask for a vote from the Campus Assembly between the two proposed academic calendars.  There are essentially two fundamental differences between the two proposed calendars:  (1) the start day of the week in the fall semester; and (2) the week of starting in the spring semester.

 

The original calendar (Proposal A) has a Wednesday start date.  This start date is due to a “new student orientation” schedule, which begins with new students being dropped off by parents and family on Sunday.  Orientation activities continue through the day on Monday and Tuesday.  The spring semester starts on the Tuesday following MLK Jr. Day and has a spring break and end of semester coincident with the Twin Cities campus.

 

The calendar proposed by the working group (Proposal B) has a Monday start day, to allow a full week of classes to meet in the first week of classes on campus.  This necessitates moving “new student orientation” to a schedule where students would be dropped off by parents on Friday and orientation activities occurring on Saturday and Sunday.  The spring semester in this proposal starts the week before MKL Jr. Day, with spring break and commencement one week earlier than the Twin Cities campus.

 

Contant invited a motion to consider Proposals A and B and vote by paper ballot after the discussion has concluded.  Motion approved and seconded.

 

Discussion:

 

A question was asked why there are two different spring semester scenarios.  Contant explained that on Proposal A we begin on August 19; on Proposal B we begin on August 12.  We must get 39 weeks of work.  Additionally, the payroll dates have not been set for 2013-2014.  Paula would like to hear student concerns and said it is not clear how we would handle staffing changes because of expectations on working on the weekend.  Adam Olson said the proposals were brought to MCSA a couple of weeks ago.  He noted that with new student orientation over a weekend, parents wouldn’t have to take time away from work.   Zak Forde felt that the only way he could support the Friday through Sunday orientation schedule was with the assurance that offices would be open.  Ashley Gaschk echoed the same concern and thought it may be unreasonable to ask staff to work on the weekend.  She would like some sort of guarantee that offices would be open.  Michael O’Reilly suggested a hybrid of the calendars:  using the fall semester dates from Proposal A and the spring semester dates from Proposal B.  Henry Fulda added that the number one complaint he heard from parents regarding move in day prior to 2007 was that it was scheduled on a workday.  When we went to Sunday as the move in day, the atmosphere is slower, more casual and less chaotic. 

 

Jeff Ratliff-Crain read the following statement:

 

I appreciate the work that Nancy, Arne, Peh, Michelle and Pam did and thank them for providing us with an opportunity to weigh the competing pressures and constraints that define our academic calendar.  When it comes down to it, elimination of the Labor Day holiday would present the best solution, but we also know that’s not a real option.

 

So the major tension ends up being between the number of Monday class sessions and Orientation.  I’ll refrain from commenting too much on the dismissive way that the orientation scheduling issues were presented in the committee’s report.  However, altering the start date leaves two options for effective orientation: Extend orientation by a minimum of two days or have the campus open and functioning during the weekend.  Either of these options would require a significant increase in money and resources being placed into orientation.  Under the current climate I’m not optimistic that can happen.  Further, upper level students often need to take care of numerous issues prior to classes starting and this option would be unavailable to them as well with a Monday start.  (Currently, students can start moving in on Sunday).

 

From a faculty perspective, the proposed calendar B presents additional challenges.  It requires an Aug. 12 start—shortening the summer a week during the transition, shortens the winter break, and necessitates our spring break to be off-kilter with our sister campuses’ breaks (affecting multi-I course registrants and those on all-U committees).  We gain only one of those weeks back at the end of Spring.

 

For calendar A, the largest concern (because of Labor Day) seems to be the courses and labs that only meet on Mondays.  One solution is this: schedule those classes to meet every Monday of the semester plus the Friday on the first week of classes.  (E.g., for 2013, classes will meet Mondays Aug. 28 through Dec. 12 and Friday Aug. 30).  If placed in the class schedule, students will be aware of that when registering and planning won’t be affected.  Because there are paltry few labs that meet on Fridays, there is room to accomplish this in the schedule.  I’ve checked with the Registrar’s office and such scheduling is feasible and permissible.    (Alternatively, some of these labs could be moved to Fridays—there’s no pedagogical reason not to.)  This is also resource neutral (as compared with altering the orientation schedule).  This also means that such classes will actually occur within the first two weeks of classes (eliminating another concern).

 

For some special classes, such as SEED 4102, a Friday session may not be an option.  However, in such specialized cases, students could be required to attend an “outside of class” session—i.e., the Monday prior to the normal start of classes (Aug. 26 in 2013), much in the same way we require our athletes to attend practice prior to the official start of school for a credited activity.

 

This does not address the ‘momentum’ issue.  Obviously, I’m intimately aware of that scheduling challenge, having dealt with it since conversion to semester.  It would be interesting to hear students’ views of that “problem.”  (Again, eliminating Labor Day would solve it.)  Anyway, I would be in favor of a longer orientation program if the resources were available.  Without that, however, the impact of the short first week of classes strikes me as a more readily tolerated problem than the effects caused by orientation occurring on an otherwise closed campus.  Therefore, I recommend staying with Calendar A and finding a way to include an additional class session (e.g., on the first Friday of classes).

 

Nancy Carpenter wanted to point out that this is not a lab issue or a Division of Science and Math issue.  Jeff Ratliff-Crain added that one of the issues he heard was about classes that only meet on Monday thus losing continuity and momentum.  Mike McBride added that as a freshman last year, only having three days of classes helped him ease his way into campus life.  Kathy Julik-Heine reiterated what Mike said and agreed that having the time to digest everything was very helpful.  Timna Wyckoff said this is just not about labs or classes that meet once a week.  She is concerned about the momentum of Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes.  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson believes that events should start on Monday and that’s just how it should be.  Additionally, she thinks her students have suffered in her M-W-F class.  Chris DeVries believes the Proposal B is a better option for student athletes.

 

Paula O’Loughlin said she appreciates the fact that it’s not a Science and Math issue and she appreciates the committee’s effort to put the proposal forward.  She wondered if there was data to support the resource issue and whether or not faculty would show up to do advising.  Peh Ng said the committee did take into account everyone’s opinion and the website was created based on feedback from constituents.

Clare Strand added that the Twin Cities doesn’t have this problem because they always start on the Tuesday after Labor Day in the fall and the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Day in the spring.

 

Question was called.  Moved and seconded.  Paper ballots were distributed.

 

Proposal A – 56                                

Proposal B – 24

Abstain – 2

 

VI.           For Action.  From the Executive Committee.   Proposed 2009-2010 Assembly and Adjunct Committee Rosters.  

 

Barry McQuarrie read the following statement on behalf of the Scholastic Committee:

 

It appears that the position of Scholastic Committee Executive Secretary is being removed under the new committee membership being proposed. The Executive Secretary is the ‘to be determined XO Admin’ position for Scholastic.

The duties of the Executive Secretary involve substantial interaction directly with students, faculty and sometimes even families, data collection, and oversight of academic policies and procedures. The Executive Secretary’s work is fundamental to fulfilling the constitutional charge of the Scholastic Committee. The Scholastic Committee has compiled a list of these duties, which are quite substantial, and which can be found on the Scholastic website:  http://www.morris.umn.edu/Scholastic/SC.pdf

We move that the Scholastic Committee roster be removed from the vote under Agenda item VI for Campus Assembly, and voted on at the first Campus Assembly in fall 2009.

We feel it is inappropriate to consider the Scholastic Committee membership until a plan is in place that states who will carry out each duty of the Executive Secretary. UMM has had this position since its inception nearly 50 years ago, so this will be a significant reorganization. The Scholastic Committee unanimously requests that the Assembly not vote on the membership of the Scholastic Committee at this time.


Also, if anyone, especially former members and chairs of the Scholastic Committee, would like to provide input into the reorganization please get in touch with me or members of Scholastic Committee.

 

Motion to remove Scholastic Committee from the committee roster was approved and seconded. 

 

Motion to approve the 2009-2010 Committee Roster without Scholastic Committee was approved and seconded. 

 

Discussion: 

 

Barry noted this position is not constitutionally mandated; however, we need someone with a broad understanding of policy.  If former members of the committee have any input, the Scholastic Committee would like to hear from you.  

 

Nic McPhee said he was on the committee for five years, serving three years as chair and he believes the role of secretary is impossible to overstate.  He worked with both Karla Klinger and Leslie Meek and he could not have functioned without the assistance of those two people.  The work this position does is hard and time consuming.  He is concerned about how we replace the very important work this person does in the future for the well being of students and success of the committee.

 

Motion to extend meeting until 6:10 passed and seconded.

 

Jeff Ratiff-Crain wondered how the Scholastic Committee plans to deal with probation issues and appeals during the summer months if we do not approve the slate today.  Jenny Nellis added that as a current member of the Scholastic Committee, she concerned that this is not just an empty position on the committee roster that someone can easily step into.  With the roster currently stated as “to be determined,” if we don’t know who that person is until the fall then we can’t function very well as a committee.  She added that in practical, real, everyday terms, someone has to this work.  Dorothy DeJager said this committee has to have consistency and that this position simply can’t be rotated every year.   Cheryl Contant thought she should needed to clarify that Leslie Meek resigned from this position and she believes we are confused between the issue of seating the committee and the role of the executive secretary.  Are we conflating two issues:  the role of governance and how to serve our students the best we can?

 

Jacqueline Johnson said there is work to be done in terms of figuring out what the administrative work is and how it should be supported.  She wondered if the administrative support is connected to the administration.  No one is ignoring the question of who is going to do the work.  Additionally, the committee itself and the composition of the committee is required by our constitution.

 

 

 

Motion to extend to 6:20 was approved and seconded.

 

An assembly member called the question.  Moved and seconded.

 

Motion was made to approve the Scholastic Committee roster with the xo position to be determined. 

 

Motion fails by show of hands: 

Yes-12

No-39

Abstain-9

 

We will not have a Scholastic Committee until the first Assembly meeting in the fall of 2009.

 

VII.        For Action.  From the Student Services Committee.  Classification of Student Organizations was approved as presented. 

 

VIII.      For Action. From the Student Services Committee.  Posting policy was approved as presented. 

 

Meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.