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September 10, 1990

                                    MINUTES

                      COMMISSION ON UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

 

                            Burruss Hall Board Room

                              September 10, 1990

 

 

 

  PRESENT:  Dr. E. F. Carlisle, Chair, Deans D. E. Egger, M. A.  Ogliaruso,

                N. B. Spencer, M. A. Lewis, J. F. Marchman, R. S. Purdy, Drs.

                L. Geyer, R. Daniel, K. Eschenmann, D. Morris, J. Taper, E.

                Brown, W. Etgen, M. Murray, J. Williams-Green; C. Burch-

                Brown; D. Bousquet, Admissions; W. Dean, University

                Registrar; B. Kuster, P. McConnell, J. Hansbrough, SGA

 

  ABSENT:   Dr. M. Deisenroth; A. DeHart, SGA

 

  VISITORS: Elizabeth Guertin, Jack Dudley

 

 

  1.  CALL TO ORDER AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:

      Dr. Carlisle called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.

 

  2.  The AGENDA - was approved as distributed.

 

  3.  The MINUTES of the May 2, 1990 meeting were approved as corrected.

 

  4.  WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS AND ROLE OF THE COMMISSION - E. F.  Carlisle

 

      Dr. Carlisle discussed the broad responsibilities of the commission --

      which include the review and recommendation to the University Council

      of new or existing general policies relative to undergraduate studies

      and academic affairs.  Dr. Carlisle stressed the important value of the

      work of the commission to students, faculty, and the administration.

      For the benefit of the new members, he also detailed the composition of

      the commission: the University Provost as chair, each college dean,

      (currently represented by an assistant or associate dean), one faculty

      representative from each undergraduate college, three Faculty senators,

      and four student representatives.

 

  5.  UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM - Dr. C. J. Dudley

      Due to the Academy of Teaching Excellence's desire to broaden its role

      in the Honors Program, Dr. Carlisle has suggested that the academy co-

      ordinate any further developments in the program.  Therefore, Dr. C.J.

      Dudley, a member of the Academy, has agreed to coordinate the office as

      well as evaluate and suggest initiatives in the Honors Program.  Dr.

      Dudley presented to the commission an "agreement in principle" -- de-

      tailing several initiatives for revitalizing the program:

 

      o   development of the Commonwealth Scholar Program and the "In Honors"

          Degree Program.

 

      o   Commonwealth Scholars will involve all eligible students currently

          enrolled who have a 3.4 or greater quality point average; the "In

          Honors" students will be involved in a program of enhanced and/or

          advanced study

 

      o   use of a Program of Study for students in the "In Honors" degree

          program.  (Colleges and Programs to maintain control over the pro-

          gram of study as well as retain the right of approval).

 

      o   creation of Honors Counselors for advice concerning scholarships

          and fellowships.

 

      Dr. Carlisle asked what Dr. Dudley was seeking through this "agreement

      in principle."  He explained that the timing of the first Univesity

      Expo prompted his request so as to be able to inform prospective stu-

      dents of the new program possibilities.  He will, as the semester

      progresses, bring to the commission each point as proposed legislation

      for the commission's approval.  After further discussion of each point,

      a motion was made and seconded to endorse the "agreement in principle."

      Motion CARRIED.

 

  6.  LIBERAL EDUCATION FORUM - C. Burch-Brown

 

      Carol Burch-Brown reviewed for the commission the work of the Forum

      over the previous summer.  Much effort was placed in communicating to

      returning students the offerings in the expanded core and other avail-

      able humanities courses.  The Forum is continuing its review of issues

      surrounding the core and will be in discussion with many groups of in-

      dividuals in the university this year who have a connection with the

      core curriculum. In addition to a study of current writing practices in

      core courses, the Forum will use several pilot programs in the Spring,

      which will emphasize small study groups, writing, and cross-

      departmental connections among core courses.  This pilot program is

      supported by a grant from SCHEV.

 

      Dr. Ogliaruso asked for guidance when departments seek approval to add

      courses (new or existing) to the university core.  The moratorium on

      changes to the core expired this semester.  The commission's consensus

      was to extend the moratorium on additions to the core for at least one

      more academic year so as to allow the Forum sufficient time to offer

      new guidelines for the university core.

 

  7.  FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL - Open discussion.

      Wanda Dean shared with the commission some statistics relative to the

      undergraduate experience during the first week.  6,475 undergraduates

      did not receive complete schedules via the batch process.  2,566 of

      those were sophomores --  expected due to the changing of registration

      of incoming Freshmen during orientation.  Also, the university core ex-

      pansion over the summer led many to believe that registration week

      would be chaotic. However, while there were students who needed to

      visit the add/drop terminals, several colleges reported many "pleasant

      surprises" -- students, informed during the summer of the core expan-

      sion and of the budget crisis, reacted with a positive attitude toward

      their individual registration problems.  Bill Kuster, SGA represen-

      tative, expressed thanks to all offices at the university for being ex-

      tremely helpful to the students as they attempted to resolve their

      registration problems.  Dr. Brown also indicated that though the Math

      Department experienced long lines for requests for force adds, the stu-

      dent population was very understanding and patient.  Dr. White indi-

      cated that the production of the lists of available seats in the

      Humanities and Social Sciences Division, available the first three days

      of the semester were very helpful to the students in his college.  Dr.

      Carlisle observed that, regardless of the reasons, frequent communi-

      cation obviously helped this Fall and we should continue this philoso-

      phy in the future. Dr.  Ogliaruso questioned whether the current budget

      problems will forestall movement towards the purchase of a telephone

      registration system.  Dr.  Carlisle indicated that the budget crisis

      will not prohibit further discussion of a purchase of a telephone, or

      other, system to aid in the registration process.

 

  8.  ACADEMIC CONTINUANCE POLICY - J. F. Marchman

      Dr. Marchman, as chair of the Academic Undergraduate Appeals Committee,

      expressed concern to the commission regarding the existing academic el-

      igibility policy.  The recent University Self-Study suggested that a

      subcommittee review the existing policy.  However that subcommittee ad-

      vised the commission to wait until the university had experienced a few

      years under the semester system before altering the policy. The general

      consensus of the commission was to form a committee of faculty, stu-

      dents, and administrators to review existing policy and suggest any

      changes.

 

  9.  RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT - M. A. Ogliaruso

      Dr. Ogliaruso introduced a resolution (90-91 A) for discussion relative

      to the university current requirement that students may not transfer

      more than 10 semester hours of their final 40 hours toward graduation.

      The threshold was converted from its quarter equivalent and the policy

      was never reviewed for applicability under the semester system. Dr.

      Ogliaruso explained that this was a particular hardship on students in-

      volved in a study abroad program.  Students who enroll full time at

      other institutions can not transfer all of the hours to Virginia Tech

      under the current policy.  The commission agreed to review the resol-

      ution and to suggest either adoption or formulation of a subcommittee

      for further review at the next meeting.

 

  10. Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.

 

                                     Respectfully submitted,

                                     Wanda Hankins Dean

                                     Secretary

 

 

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