SFSU Academic Senate
Minutes for October 24, 2000
The Academic Senate was called to order by Chair
Vaughn at 2:10 p.m.
Senate Members Present:
Aaron, Eunice; Alvarez, Alvin; Avila, Guadalupe;
Bernstein, Marian; Boyle, Andrea; Cancino, Herlinda; Chan, Jeffery; Cherny,
Robert; Collier, James; Colvin, Caran; Concolino, Christopher; Consoli, Andres;
Contreras, Rey; Cullers, Susan; de Vries, Brian; Duke, Jerry; Edwards, James;
Elia, John; Ferretti, Charlotte; Flowers, Will; Garcia, Oswaldo; Garcia, Velia;
Goldsmith, Helen; Gregory, Jan; Hu, Sung; Hubler, Barbara; Jerris, Scott; Johnson,
Dane; Johnson, Sharon; La Belle, Thomas; Nichols, Amy; Pasaporte, Erin; Raggio,
Marcia; Sayeed, Lutfus; Shrivastava, Vinay; Strong, Rob; Turitz, Mitch; Vaughn,
Pamela; Warren, Mary Anne; Warren, Penelope; Wong, Alfred; Yip, Yewmun.
Senate Members Absent: McKeon, Midori(exc.);
Loomis, Barbara; Smith, Miriam(exc.); Langbort, Carol(exc.); Blomberg, Judith;
Gillotte, Helen(exc.); Harnly, Caroline(exc.); Bartscher, Patricia(exc.); Kelley,
James(exc.); Scoble, Don(exc.); Corrigan, Robert(exc.); Sagisi, Jaymee.
Guests: J. Combs, P. Barnes, B. DeGuzman,
L. Falik, B. Blosser, R. Williams, G. Whitaker.
Announcements and Report
- Vice-Chair Helen Goldsmith provided an
update on Asilomar planning: they are taking program proposals for one more
week, and they are now taking registration. It is guaranteed to be exciting,
interesting, and even fun.
- Chair Vaughn reported that there is no
chair's report except to report that the Executive Committee is still very
concerned about summer semester issues and will report back shortly.
Agenda Item #1 - Approval of Agenda for October
M/S/P (Wong, Duke) to remove Agenda Item
#4. Wong explained that this will be returned to committee for further discussion.
The agenda was approved as amended.
Agenda Item #2 - Approval of Minutes for October
The minutes were approved as printed.
Agenda Item #3 - Proposed Revision to the Minor
Alfred Wong, Chair of the Curriculum Review and
Approval Committee (CRAC), introduced this CRAC consent item. He stated
that the Department of Counseling is revising the undergraduate minor in Counseling
to respond to anticipated population, occupational, and technological trends
in the United States. Counseling 605 would be changed to "Peer Counseling Skills
Seminar," Counseling 606 would be changed to "Introduction to Peer Counseling
Skills." There are also some additional minor changes in bulletin copy and prerequisites.
Andres Consoli urged senators to approve this
step forward in the development of the Counseling undergraduate curriculum.
He added that these changes respond to definite needs in both campus and larger
Penelope Warren appreciated the inclusion
of "peer counseling" in the renamed courses. She asked for further information
on how these changes would enhance the Internet presence of this program as
stated in the rationale. Robert Williams explained that words were chosen
that would be attractive to students who were unsure about getting into the
counseling field but would be interested in the skills developed in this program:
words like "guidance," "career change." The department also believed it was
important to have references to sexual minorities and counseling in the same
description, and a reference to counseling and computers or technology in the
M/S/P (Hu, Shrivastava) to second reading.
The vote was taken and the proposal was approved.
Agenda Item #4 - Proposed Revisions to A.S. Policy
#F87-32 Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement
Chair of the Academic Policies Committee (APC),
Sung Hu, introduced this consent item from APC. He mentioned that this proposal
also has the blessing of the Graduate Council, while acknowledging that this
long-standing matter has no lack of passion on both sides of the issue. He summarized
that the main issue is who selects the awardees and how many students will get
it. He recalled the history of this measure and its most recent iteration coming
from an APC subcommittee; this has resulted in today's proposal with the added
phrase "rounding up to the nearest whole number" at the end of the second paragraph.
Dane Johnson spoke against this version of
the proposal and encouraged others to voice their opposition. He offered additional
history, recalling an almost completely opposite version of the proposal that
came out of small programs' fears of having their decisions about who their
distinguished students are misjudged by people above them. The alternative proposal
put the power of choosing in the hands of graduate departments and programs
with the idea that "a distinguished record of academic performance and contribution
in the major field"--the reason for the award--is best judged by the faculty
in the major field. As the decision goes further up, it creates more work while
diluting the ease with which people can make decisions about what is truly distinguished
work. This alternative program would allow for one award per graduate program
while providing some formula for large departments or colleges with large numbers
of graduate students to make additional awards.
Hu shared some of the APC basic philosophy
for this version of the proposal: this is a university-wide award, not a department
award, which the committee feels means there has to be input from more than
the department; they want to make this a "truly distinguished achievement award,"
so the number of awards has to be limited; in this revised proposal, every program
is part of the committee.
Betsy Blosser agreed in principle that departments
know best who deserves merit, but raised a concern about the nature of this
award as a university recognition. The committee was worried about overrepresentation
of smaller programs; it is not logical to expect that small programs will have
a distinguished student each year. Instead, this version looks within the college
to determine a number of truly meritorious students each year. Blosser added
that Donna Schafer claimed that the students named under the previous system
were not always meritorious.
Robert Cherny endorsed the perspective of
the previous speakers, suggesting that his large M.A. program was having to
bypass students who were clearly better in grade point average and GRE's than
those from other departments. He further suggested that this version addresses
some of Johnson's concerns about the role of departments because departments
make the nominations and staff the committee. He also endorsed basing the number
on the number receiving degrees rather than the number of degree programs.
Vaughn passed the gavel to speak as senator
rather than chair. She first contested the notion that the previous system was,
in Blosser's phrase, "turf-mindful," for that system was a percentage system.
She also mentioned that some small programs have routinely decided against nominating
a distinguished student when they felt that their criteria of excellence were
not being met by any of the graduates. She threw out the alternative perspectives
that perhaps we should go to the UC-Berkeley model of a single award or perhaps
we should set up an all-university committee. Hu replied to her last question
on the nature of the award by acknowledging that there is no money as part of
Consoli, a member of the subcommittee, spoke
in favor of the proposal, making the main point that these graduate students
will be judged by people outside of their field when they go out in the world,
which makes the college level review quite appropriate.
Johnson commented on Hu's criteria of "truly distinguished"
and "limited," suggesting that these criteria are not exclusive to the current
proposal, for the alternative proposal makes criteria clear and limits the number
of awards. He added that he endorses Consoli's idea of departments reaching
out to other colleagues but suggested that there are many other opportunities
for that in the myriad committees of the university. He concluded that he heard
disturbing echoes of the FMI process in the suggestions that this decision needs
to be pushed upward and in the suggestions for a strict percentage limit.
Betsy Blosser made a distinction between the theory
of the original structure and the way that it acted, suggesting that this proposal
is a move to looking at students who are truly distinguished without looking
at a department by department view of their distinguished achievement. She added
that this proposal also avoids recalculation of the number of awards each year
since it is based on a five-year mean.
Vinay Shrivastava supported Vaughn's suggestion
of one award, adding that it might be better to have one per college. He asked
for amplification on the choice of 7% and five years. Hu replied that 7% is
somewhat arbitrary, but that they wanted a limit. Blosser added that 7% calculates
to roughly 100 awards per year.
Penelope Warren offered an additional perspective
on the debate, while first admitting the bias of having been involved in one
of the committees that worked on this subject. She suggested there might be
some confusion about what we are doing here: some of what is being said suggests
that we are setting up the rules for a competition, and each department will
be allowed to enter certain competitors; this feels different than thinking
of people engaged in the process of forming scholars putting forward those people
they see as demonstrating distinguished performance. She added that there seem
to be lots of places in the institution in which our judgment of the interaction
between student and faculty is taken out of our hands with more and more decisions
at higher and higher levels of the institution--with this one perhaps placed
higher than it needs to be. She envisioned a point where we could challenge
departments to articulate what they do see as distinguished performance and
then trust them to make their decisions about who they feel meets those criteria.
She added that she would rather see the errors made in recognizing more rather
than fewer students, and she questioned the percentage limit.
Provost La Belle spoke in favor of APC's work,
suggesting that they have found some middle ground with the notion of merit
the principle issue. The Graduate Division and the Office of Academic Affairs
administers this award and its ceremony, and he added that it is nice to think
that one is sitting on the stage with the individuals that the university has
collectively recognized. He added that we all seek ways to build community at
smaller levels, and nothing precludes departments from recognizing students
as they wish, but there should be some systematic way of doing this at the university
level. He also suggested that we might put a time limit on it for future review.
Marian Bernstein suggested that one of the
most important things the committee has looked at is the fact that our students
come in with such different skills and to measure on any kind of an absolute
level makes very little sense. This kind of policy allows departments to look
carefully at the type of achievement a student may have made coming in with
more difficulties or less background than another student.
M/S/P (P. Warren, Gregory) to move the
agenda to bring this back at the next meeting.
The motion was approved.
Agenda Item #5 - Proposed Revisions to A.S. #S87-149
Policy for Articulation of Upper-Division and Lower-Division Courses
APC Chair Hu introduced the proposed revisions
to A.S. Policy #S87-149 for articulation of upper-division and lower-division
courses, a consent item from APC. The current articulation policy for community
colleges states that if a community college course is "equivalent" to an SFSU
upper division course they can only do two things: student repeats course; SFSU
upper division course is renumbered as a lower division course. This proposal
adds a third option.
Vaughn asked about the "CAN" numbers. Hu replied
that "CAN" is strictly a lower division to lower division transfer.
Cherny suggested rethinking some language
in the new section C: the language may suggest that a lower division course
is "comparable in content" to the SFSU course. We have definitions of the differences
between upper and lower division classes. He suggested more elaboration in the
first sentence, saying something to the effect that the courses are seen as
sufficiently similar so that the student should not be expected to re-take the
course even though we acknowledge that there are differences in the level of
Gregory suggested changing the word from "comparable"
to "similar" to solve this problem.
Jerald Combs and APC accepted this
as a friendly amendment.
Cherny added that he thinks more than that word may
be necessary to justify not giving upper division credit, which is why he wanted
the whole sentence. Combs replied that they thought the implication was clear
enough, adding that has been understood in this way with the community problems.
Shrivastava asked for further clarification
from APC about whether the intent is that a similar lower division class will
not be given credit. Hu replied that by law community colleges cannot offer
upper division transfer credit, even though there may be courses that could
be offered at either the sophomore or junior level.
Cherny read some new suggested language from Gregory
for the first sentence after C: "accept the course as similar enough in content
to justify lower division credit without need for the student to retake the
course, but not sufficiently similar to earn upper division credit." APC accepted
this as a friendly amendment.
Marcia Raggio wondered about cases where the
identical course is being taught at a community college as a lower division
course and here as an upper division course. Combs suggested that if the courses
are that similar, we might want to drop our courses back, but we have maintained
in these cases that, while the content may be similar enough so that a student
does not need to take it again, ours are given at a different level of delivery
and peer interaction, which marks a significant difference between the lower
and upper division course.
Cherny reiterated that his intent was echoed by Combs,
but there is a larger problem in that there may be community colleges that are
teaching things that really are upper division courses.
P. Warren suggested that one missing component--perhaps
in the advising process rather than in this policy--is some articulation for
the student's benefit of what it is that the student will miss by not taking
the upper division course here.
Mary Anne Warren asked if the following dilemma
is addressed: a student comes from the community college with fairly similar
courses of some of our upper division requirements, and she does not want them
to have to retake this same material.
Vaughn reiterated that community college courses
by definition cannot be upper division, but the dilemma above is what section
C is trying to address.
La Belle offered some background to the battle
going on behind this proposal, a battle over who gets credit for students enrolled
and over curricula. The legislature and the Chancellor are likely to address
this in the future. Prerequisites to the major are what is at question with
the notion that students should not be penalized for transferring while two
giant systems argue over the curriculum. He added that there are many vested
interests in favor of adding C.
Gregory suggested that the problem is that the first
sentence attempts to address at a very high level of generality a problem that
comes to us in many specific forms. She suggested that we need to decide what
we really mean with that first sentence. She further suggested putting the rest
of C in an explanatory note.
Cherny seconded what Gregory proposed and suggested
that this needed to be rewritten as a policy. He added that we need to protect
our degree requirements if we think it is important that courses be offered
at upper division levels.
Combs suggested we not worry too much about this
opening the floodgates. He added that these agreements are part of agreements
between our departments and other departments with this information put into
a statewide database that educates advisors as to which courses are given credit.
He also took another crack at language for that first sentence of C: "accept
the course as similar in content to the SFSU course but because it is offered
at a different level, no upper division credit will be granted."
Paul Barnes suggested changing this to guidelines
and principles, which provides flexibility to the advisor while offering guidelines.
Hu suggested that people need to understand that
this is a policy not a blank check. Each articulation agreement has to have
P. Warren wondered whether the needs of students
might be just as well met at the department level rather than an articulation
agreement. Jerry Duke echoed Warren, suggesting that if you accept the
course content but not the course, there is no articulation agreement needed.
Combs commented that the last two suggestions provide no predictability for
the students; we are trying to provide some predictability so that it can be
published on the web so that counselors at all the junior colleges will know
what kind of credit they will get at any CSU campus.
Vaughn commented that the questions raised suggest
this needs to come back to committee; she added that APC should not be held
responsible for the form of this because it was composed as a resolution by
the 1987 Senate; she further suggested adding a restatement of the upper/lower
division distinctions in the first "whereas" and wrestling with those courses
that are "sufficiently similar despite their differences both in level of instruction
and in expected outcomes."
The proposed policy has been sent back
to APC; it is still in first reading.
Vaughn encouraged people to engage in on-line discussions
through the Academic Senate listserve.
The Senate was adjourned at 3:30.
Secretary to the Faculty