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Issues involving grade forgiveness, the drop/add process, tenure and promotion in academic rank were debated by the Faculty Senate.

The senate recommended that application of the Grade Forgiveness Policy be limited to one time per course. It did not, however, recommend making any changes to the number of courses under which the policy may be applied beyond what currently is noted in the University Catalog.

The university's Grade Forgiveness Policy permits an undergraduate student pursuing a baccalaureate degree to improve a grade of C- or lower by repeating the course. Currently, students may repeat a course up to three times with Grade Forgiveness applied.

When the senate made its initial recommendation regarding Grade Forgiveness nearly a year ago, "it was with the understanding that it would review this policy after a period of time had passed to see what effect the policy was having and whether the policy was too broad." Upon further review the senate determined that Grade Forgiveness requires more strict limitations on its use.

In a related issue, the senate returned to committee a proposal calling for faculty who teach 100- and 200-level courses to provide students with specific feedback on their grades prior to the drop/add period. Although senators feel that this is a necessary part of the broader issue of retention, as well as the drop/add process, there continues to be considerable debate on the appropriate mechanics for this process. The senate is expected to complete its work on this issue soon.

In another matter, the senate, acting on a recommendation from the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, endorsed several changes to the university policy on tenure which were made for the purpose of clarification. Among them are:

- "Committee votes must be recorded in the recommendations. In cases in which a vote is not unanimous, a minority report must be included."

- Department chairs are responsible for "forwarding complete review files to the dean, provost and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee."

- A curriculum vitae, rather than simply a vitae or "brief vitae," is required of each external reviewer. Also, "Each reviewer will be asked to describe any personal or professional relationship with the candidate."

- "It is the responsibility of the chair to insure in writing to the provost and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee that each external review is appropriate and is a substantive critical evaluation. It is also the responsibility of the chair to include a curriculum vitae of each reviewer. For promotion and tenure of department chairs, the responsibility belongs to the dean."

The senate recommended additional language noting that subsequent volumes of support materials "must contain copies of all published work during the time of the current rank and may contain examples of other scholarly materials."

In other action, the senate approved changes to the university policy on promotion in rank and the policy on eligibility for tenure. The senate proposes that promotion to the rank of associate professor "must occur" at the time that tenure is awarded. Further, the senate recommends that assistant professors "will be awarded" tenure only if they are simultaneously promoted to the rank of associate professor, thus, linking the promotion and tenure process as originally intended.

Recommendations approved by the Faculty Senate have been forwarded to President Runte for her consideration.

This article was posted on: February 15, 2002

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