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The Faculty Senate voted recently to recommend that Old Dominion add a doctoral program in community college leadership.

According to William H. Graves, dean of the Darden College of Education, "The overwhelming response to the program that we have received, as evidenced by our recent survey, shows that there is particular interest in this degree. There is little doubt that there is a population specifically wanting this type of specialized Ph.D."

He also noted that the growth of community colleges since the 1960s has led to the development of a body of research-based literature, one of the requirements for a doctoral program.

If approved by President Roseann Runte and the Board of Visitors at its June meeting, the proposal will be forwarded to the State Council of Higher Education in July. Pending approval by SCHEV, the new degree program could be implemented as early as January 2003.

In an April 9 memo to Faculty Senate Chair Paul Champagne, David R. Hager, acting provost, wrote: "It is an exciting concept that takes the integration of our academic degree programs and our distance learning capabilities to a new level."

While that was the only issue before the senate on May 1, the faculty governance body considered and passed 12 other issues at its April 24 meeting. All, in the form of recommendations, are being forwarded to President Runte for her consideration.

Among the issues was a proposal for a minor in global engineering. The minor is designed for students who are majoring in engineering, engineering technology, science or business and are planning to seek employment with global firms.

The senate also voted to recommend the adoption of changes to the university's Undergraduate Continuance Policy that are designed to improve retention by strengthening undergraduate probation and suspension policies and procedures.

Senators also endorsed policy revisions that would allow students to withdraw from classes through the end of the eighth week of a regular semester (or the equivalent for nonsemester courses) without the instructor's signature.

In other action, the senate voted to recommend additional language to the criteria for designation to eminent scholar. One of the proposed additions states, "No dean, associate dean, assistant dean or department chair shall attend, be a member or participate in the deliberations of the Eminent Scholars Committee."

Another proposed addition states, "Only in exceptional cases can a candidate for a faculty position at the university be considered for eminent scholar status. Such candidates must be exceptional scholars in their disciplines, have held the rank of full professor for a minimum of three years and receive endorsements and approval from the tenured department faculty, department chair, dean and a majority of members of the university's Eminent Scholars Committee."

The senate also voted to recommend adoption of a new section to the policy on Faculty Receiving Nationally Competitive Fellowships. The goal of the policy is for faculty who accept such fellowships that provide a significant portion of their salary (such as Fulbright, NEH, NEW, German Marshall, etc.) to remain on contract, receiving their current salary and
full benefits.

The proposal states in part, "When the university's share of the faculty member's salary exceeds 50 percent, full benefits will be paid. If the university's share is less than 50 percent, the specifics will be dealt with on an individual basis at the point of application."

Further, the senate recommends that faculty who apply for such fellowships "must" consult the chair and dean to allow them to plan for future semesters and to be assured that the fellowship being sought meets the criteria of the policy.

This article was posted on: May 17, 2002

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