Meeting Minutes

3 May 2004


104 Gore Hall                                                                                                         4:00 PM



Members excused:  M. Buell, J. Butkewitz, J. Custer, J. Dee, C. Denson, M. Gutierrez, D. Miller, J. Stoner


Members absent: J. Brown, P. Chapman, K. Heinen, S. Kikuchi, B. Miller, P. Oneill, R. Opila, R. Payne, Y. Sanya, D. Saunders, J. Scholz, I. Vogel, L. Ware



I. Adoption of Agenda.

      President Karen Stein announced that there was a change in the order of business.  In Section VII, under A. Old Business, items 1. General Education Report and 2. Senate Endorsement of Electronic Privacy Policy, were reversed in order, moving the Gen Ed Report down to the second item of Old Business.  The revised agenda was approved unanimously.


II.   Approval of Minutes.

      The minutes of 12 April 2004 were approved unanimously.


III.    Election of Senate Officers and Selected Committee Members.

      The election was described by Carmine Balascio, current Chair of the Committee on Committees (COCAN).  The election was conducted in two phases.  The first ballot consisted of Avron Abraham (running unopposed for President-elect), Irene Davis and Joann Browning (running for Vice President), and Carmine Balascio and Connie Vickery running for the two positions as COCAN Members At Large.  After completion of the first ballot and counting of votes, the second ballot was conducted between Carmine Balascio and Connie Vickery for Chair of COCAN.  The results of the first ballot were announced later in the meeting.  Those results were Avron Abraham for President-elect, Joanne Browning for Vice President, and Carmine Balascio and Connie Vickery for COCAN Members At Large.  The results of the second vote were announced later after those ballots were counted; Carmine Balascio was re-elected as chair of COCAN.


IV.              No remarks were made by Dan Rich as was originally scheduled.


V.                 Announcements – Karen Stein.

A.     A possible extra meeting of the Faculty Senate for May 17, 2004 was announced in case not all of the business was completed.  If necessary, the meeting will start at 4:00 PM in 104 Gore Hall on that date.

B.     The new web-based program approval form was demonstrated on-line.  Starting in the fall hard copies will not be used.  UD Web Forms Academic Program Approval will be the only means to submit program requests.  The web-based approval form still requires additional testing before official use.

C.     Acknowledgements.  Karen thanked all Faculty Senators, Committee members, and administrators, but expressly noted several individuals for going beyond the normal call of duty in their work for the Faculty Senate.  They were: Dave Saunders, Steve Helmling, Maxine Colm and John Kushman for moving us forward in improving electronic communication policy; Don Lehman for chairing the ad hoc Committee on Grade Inflation; Avron Abraham for chairing the General Education Committee; Tom Leitch, chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, for taking on the controversial issues of the multicultural requirement and the future of general education; Jim Brophy and Dan Rich for bringing the issue of recycling and environmentalism to our attention; Larry Cohen for chairing the Promotion and Tenure Committee; Linda Gottfriedson for her reorganization of the work of the Student and Faculty Honors Committee; Joy Lynam, Chris Leonard and Bobby Gempesaw for insuring we will finally have an on-line program approval process; the Executive Committee, Charlie Boncelet, Chuck Mason, Mike Keefe, Carmine Balascio, and Dallas Hoover; and Karren Helsel-Spry.

D.     An item for information was the Electronic Privacy Policy Number 1-19.  It is still under consideration by the Committee on Faculty Welfare and Privileges.


VI.              Consent Agenda.

A.     Announcement for Challenge.  Item 2, Revision of B.A. in Secondary Mathematical Education was removed from the agenda and moved to New Business.  Item 1 (Revision of CHEP major) and item 3 (Establishment of an Interdisciplinary Minor in Interactive Media) were approved.

B.     Resolution.  Grade Inflation at the University of Delaware.  Discussion ensued.  Don Lehman, Chair of the ad hoc Committee on Grade Inflation, came forward to handle questions.  After significant discussion, two friendly revisions were included in the resolution: 1.) The terms that include the word average will be removed from descriptions of the letter grades, B, C and D, those terms being, above-average, average and below-average, respectfully.  2.)  Added to the section, Resolved, will be: Be it further resolved that a committee meet in 2004-2005 to consider additional means to address grade inflation.  The following resolution passed: 38 Yes, 2 No, and none abstaining:

Whereas           a review of data, in depth analysis, and summary findings by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Grade Inflation clearly show that there has been a steady upward shift of grades awarded to students during the period 1987 through 2002, and


Whereas           the increase in high grades appears to outstrip the improvements in the academic quality of students and the quality of instruction, and


Whereas           even if there were no grade inflation at the University of Delaware, data show that there would still be grade compression; even if the entire increase in grades reflected improved student performance, there would be a need to distinguish better among levels of that performance, and

Whereas           although the quality of students entering the University of Delaware is improving, faculty should be encouraged to challenge students more, thus maintaining the University’s reputation as an institution of high academic standards, and

Whereas           the Faculty Handbook presently does not state what each of the letter grades means, be it therefore

Resolved          that the Faculty Handbook be amended to state that a grade of A means an excellent or distinguished level of achievement; B, a good or above-average level of achievement; C, a satisfactory or average level of achievement; D, a poor or below-average level of achievement; and F, failure to fulfill minimum requirements.  Pluses and minuses indicate falling high or low within each category, be it further

Resolved          that a committee meet in 2004-2005 to consider additional means to address grade inflation. 

(Note: all red and red strike through(deletions) are friendly amendment changes to the resolution proposed and voted upon at the May 3rd 2004 Faculty Senate Meeting.)



VII.            Regular Agenda.

A.     Old Business.

1.      Resolution Regarding Senate Endorsement of Electronic Privacy Policy Number 1-14.  The following resolution passed unanimously:

Whereas           issues pertaining to electronic communication have been evolving in our society in the past few years, and

Whereas           the impact of electronic communication policy on privacy and freedom of expression is a concern of the faculty, and

Whereas           the Electronic Communication Sub-Committee of the Faculty Welfare and Privileges Committee was charged last fall to review the current University policy on electronic communications privacy and make recommendations to the faculty, and

Whereas           revised statements for Policy Number 1-14 have been jointly developed and recommended by the Faculty Welfare and Privileges Committee and the Office of the Vice-President For Administration, be it therefore

Resolved          that the Faculty Senate endorse Policy 1-14, Policy for Responsible Computing at the University of Delaware                                                                               


2.      General Education Report.  Discussion and debate ensued at some length.  The Provost noted that a supportive budget for the proposed recommendations in the report existed.  The report was accepted with one friendly amendment to II. Pragmatic resolution #3.  Fall 2004 has been amended to reflect that the effective date will be fall 2005 for the following reason:  The University would be imposing a new requirement on a class after they have been admitted and have accepted that admission.  UD does not do that any other time to existing students, and it should not, in fairness, be done to the incoming freshmen students either. The resolutions were passed by the Senate by a vote of 34 Yes, 3 No, and 3 abstaining.

Undergraduate Studies Committee

Resolutions Concerning the Report on General Education


          Whereas      In considering the report of 20 October 2003 from the Committee on General Education, we note three possible areas inviting review; and


          Whereas           The first area is conceptual, concerning as it does the validity and desirability of the Ten Goals for General Education originally set forth by the Faculty Senate Resolutions of March 2000 and reprinted on page 3 of the October 2003 report; and


          Whereas      The second area is pragmatic, concerning the effectiveness of current program initiatives and possible expansions of them and alternatives to them in fulfilling these ten goals; and


          Whereas      The third area is procedural, concerning the structure under which programs falling under the heading of General Education are best created, overseen, and administered; and


          Whereas      Our purview on the matter of general education does not extend to the question of resources; and


          Whereas      The decisions the University makes in allocating resources will go far to determine how it wishes to balance the competing and eminently desirable goals of academic specialization and academic generalization, and how it defines undergraduate education; be it therefore



I. Conceptual


1. RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate continue to endorse the Ten Goals of General Education (sc. Recommendation 5 of the General Education Report).


And be it further


2. RESOLVED that programs continue to be developed specifically to foster these goals, and that instructors throughout the University make every attempt to incorporate these goals wherever possible into their courses whether or not these courses operate under the aegis of General Education (sc. Recommendation 6 of the General Education Report).


Given that the University, both through the General Education initiative and elsewhere, has made far more concerted efforts to encompass some of these ten goals (numbers 2, 3, 6, and 7, and the written and oral communication goals of number 1) than others (numbers 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10, and the quantitative reasoning and instructional (correction approved by UGS Chair and Senate President) informational technology goals of number 1), be it further


3. RESOLVED that the University make every effort to foster all ten of these goals.


II. Pragmatic


     Be it further


1. RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate endorse Recommendations 1, 3, 4, and 7 of the General Education Report.


And be it further


2. RESOLVED that the University require all first-year students to participate in at least one First Year Experience—e.g., LIFE, Pathways, a First Year Seminar, a University Honors Program Colloquium—beginning in September 2005 and that first-year students be given priority for spaces in all such programs.


And be it further


3. RESOLVED that the University require all undergraduate students entering in September 2004 2005 or later to take at least three credits of Discovery-Based or Experiential Learning—e.g., an internship, a service learning course, an independent study, participation in the Undergraduate Research Program or a Study Abroad program—in fulfillment of their degrees.


     And be it further


4. RESOLVED that all departments and academic programs be urged to develop capstone courses wherever appropriate and feasible for their majors, minors, concentrators, and certificate students.


And be it further


5. RESOLVED that all departments and academic programs make every effort to incorporate the goals concerning written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and instructional (correction approved by UGS Chair and Senate President) informational technology within courses across the entire range of undergraduate offerings.


III. Procedural


     Be it further


1. RESOLVED that the General Education Committee be converted from an ad hoc committee to a standing committee with the charge of working with the Center for Teaching Effectiveness/General Education Initiative and the Office of Undergraduate Studies to develop new General Education initiatives, the responsibility for reviewing on a regular basis the implementation of the General Education Initiative, and the power to bring forward resolutions seeking to improve the ways in which the University fosters the goals of General Education.


And be it further


2. RESOLVED that in conducting its continuing review of the implementation of the General Education Initiative, the General Education Committee, in consultation with the Center for Teaching Effectiveness and the Office of Undergraduate Studies, indicate in the case of each particular program it is reviewing one of the following outcomes in accordance with the best available evidence of the program’s efficacy:


a) endorse expansion;

b) endorse maintenance;

c) suggest modifications or alternatives;

d) request further evaluative information;

e) decline to endorse.


In order to foster closer ties between the General Education Committee and the academic units whose faculty legitimately retain power over individual programs, be it further


3. RESOLVED that each academic unit supervising any area of undergraduate instruction submit to the General Education Committee every three years a statement of its programs’ contributions to the goals of General Education in order to monitor ongoing progress in achieving these goals.



B.     New Business.


1.      Removed from the Consent Agenda, item 2, Revision of B.A. in Secondary Mathematical Education was debated and discussed at length.  A simple majority was needed in order to pass and it did with 18 Yes, 10 No, and 12 abstaining.

2.      The confirmation of appointments was passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 5:26 PM.




Dallas Hoover, Secretary