TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2004
Absences: Bohannon, Tara(exc);
Morishita, Leroy (exc); Nichols,
Dawn Terrell, Mitch Turitz, Pamela Vaughn, Jose Villaran,
Chair Colvin called the Senate to
order at 2:13
Agenda Item #1—Approval of the Agenda for November 30, 2004
Abella, Bernard-Powers m/s/p
Agenda Item #2—Approval of the Minutes
for November 16, 2004
Agenda Item #3—Report from John M. Gemello, Provost & VP for
Academic Affairs: San FranciscoStateUniversity:
A Bridge to Opportunity—DraftUniversity Strategic
Provost Gemello began by noting that the
current draft of the CUSP II strategic plan had been three years in the making.
He hoped to outline the process that had been followed in its formation and the
implications of implementing the plan, with enough time for questions at the
end. He noted that representatives of the commission were present to answer any
questions, including commissioners Ned Fielden, Don Scoble, Vanessa Sheared and
Jason Cole who headed the four subcommittees. He drew senators’ attention to
the list of participants at the back of the document, which included not just
the commissioners but also the other members of the campus community who were
part of subcommittee deliberations.
The CUSP II
draft had roots from three sources: the initial CUSP I report from 1995-98, the
self-study for the WASC 1998-2000 report, and the WASC response to that
self-study. Several comments had surfaced including two main points about
student learning outcomes and graduate programs. This triggered the notion of a
second round of strategic planning. The endeavor incorporated a broad-based
constituency, with administrators, staff and faculty, who meet weekly beginning
in 2002 on into Fall 2004. The commission began by looking at all WASC and
previous CUSP documents, and developed some 50 “driving questions,” which
helped direct the group’s focus. While the first CUSP had used themes as the
organizing device, CUSP the second focused on experiences, and spun off four
groups about the academic; student; employee; and university and its
environment experiences. This generated a comprehensive vision statement and
the challenge for the four planning groups was to develop goals, outcomes, and
strategies. These were woven into a comprehensive plan.
noted that the first goal stated the university’s commitment to equity and
and three were academic goals, the first placing writing as a central piece of
higher education, a notion deemed very important to the commissioners. Goal
three suggested that SFSU offer a high-quality baccalaureate education, that it
support high-quality graduate programs, with a small number of superb ones. The
highest quality should receive appropriate support, which suggested strong
assessment measures. Goal four was the international goal. Goal five recognized
that necessary resources be allocated to allow students, faculty and staff the
capacity to participate fully in university life, addressing accessibility both
to physical and curricular planes. Goal six recognized the importance of
leadership to the community, and goal seven addressed external and internal
was to be endorsed by the commission next month, and if endorsed by the
president would be rolled out at Asilomar. With the approval of the plan,
implementation would begin in Spring 2005. The plan would implement the
university’s avowed role to bridge to the future. Gemello concluded by
expressing pleasure at the chance of working with the entire campus on this
Senator Yee thanked Gemello for the
comprehensive report, which seemed thoughtful and thorough. She was impressed
by the diverse input. As someone who taught in a graduate program she noted language
in the report that spoke to the high quality of graduate programs and the
notion of “signature” programs. She asked what such programs would look like,
and how they were to be identified.
Gemello responded that he had predicted
high interest in this area. If senators referred to Strategy three under the
graduate goal, they would note it stated the need to establish a process to
identify such programs. The Commission had not felt that it was their role to
do so, but rather this required the university as a whole to do so.
Senator Heiman commented on goal two, as he had
been on the academic planning group, and applauded the inclusion of this goal.
He thought that perhaps SFSU was the first university to even tacitly admit to
the problem of student writing and to try to grapple with it. While it would be
difficult to raise everyone to an adequate level of written communication, it
still was ambitious goal. He gave credit to CUSP for this stance and recognized
the need to address writing inadequacies.
Senator Bernard-Powers was dazzled by the
amount of work that went into the document. As she had been part of the first
CUSP, she had questions about how the university would implement such an
ambitious strategic plan. She asked how other institutions had done this.
Gemello did not find this an easily
answered question. CUSP had worked hard to go beyond just establishing goals,
but also to consider how they would be implemented. Most strategies had been
written in a way that meant they could be accomplished. The campus would need
to set priorities, and identify who would implement what. The campus community
would need to work together, and perhaps it was possible to break the plan into
pieces that were manageable.
Senator Vaughn echoed the provost, as she had been
a commissioner as well, and noted that the document was not a theoretical
document, but had realizable goals and strategies. She expressed the hope that
the university finds a home in this framework.
Agenda Item #4—Report From the Curriculum Review & Approval
Committee: Degree Change
from MA to MS in Biology
Chair Colvin noted that Senator Boyle, as the
representative of CRAC, would present this report, an information item.
Senator Boyle spoke as a representative from
CRAC and the Graduate Council, and stated that the degree change was initiated
by the faculty and had the support of the college, and constituted no change to
the actual program.
department chair Hafernik sought to
put the degree change into context. The department of Biology offered a MA
degree in six concentrations. This was largely the result of tradition from the
beginning of the university, and he noted that over years that the Biology
degrees had changed, and had become more intensive, with a thesis required of
all students, and required increasing amounts of research. The program had high
quality students, whose conference participation and publication was often seen
by others as at a doctoral level. He thought the MS a higher-level degree than
the MA, and that most other universities offered the MS. At SJSU the biology
department had merged with center for Clinical Laboratory Science and offered
the MS degree. Most other science degrees are MS not MAs, excepting
mathematics, and this was an attempt to align degrees. It followed earlier
changes in the undergraduate curriculum moving from a BA to a BS degree.
Chair Colvin pointed out some typos in the
Gail Whittaker, the AVP for CEL, noted that when
this proposal first arrived to Academic Affairs, there had been lots of
discussion and general support for the main ideas of the change. The only
serious concern was connected to the original senate policy, which only
specified what would happen at the BA level. She suggested a change to the
Senator Meredith noted that this proposed
change was only approved by the CSU if new policy was developed.
Senator Yee commented on the vast difference
between the MS and MA degrees.
Senator Axler noted that the change had begun
with graduate student concerns, and that the degree change was very important
to them. Their degree often had more work attached to it, and really was an MS.
Present practice was really just a freak of history and it was time to correct
Agenda Item #5—Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Discontinuance
of the Russian BA Program, 2ndReading
Chair Colvin indicated that the first ten
minutes of discussion had been allocated to the chair of Foreign Languages,
Senator McKeon took the chance to speak as
both a senator and a chair, and indicated her position represented the united
and unanimous choice of department faculty in support this program, one of only
two Russian BAs in the CSU, the only one in northern California. She noted that senators had
heard the main points of the rebuttal already, and she sought to supplement
those ideas with her current speech, and not duplicate what had been said
before. She sought to respond to some comments made by AVP Giardina.
observation was that Russian program faculty had not been a part of the
discontinuance proposal. The process had not been as transparent as presented
comment concerned quality, which she stated was the best in the CSU. Senators
had heard the testimony of the students on the superior reputation of the
program at SFSU, which she regarded as a “crown jewel.” When dealing with
language study, three curricular pillars existed: study of the language itself,
its culture, and its literature. The list of SFSU courses was innovative.
Truncating the program to a minor status meant many upper division courses
would not be offered. She commented on the high quality of the Russian faculty
and observed that lecturers received high marks in their student evaluations.
point in response to Giardina involved the question of the need to study the
language of one’s ancestors. The statistical summary indicated that of 2229
students of Russian, only 600 came with an ethnic background, only a third of
point of Giardina questioned the resolutions of the city council and
supervisors. She read from a letter from a lawyer supporting the Russian BA program.
This document stated that of the best places to provide opportunities, SFSU was
the best place for students. The program explored all aspects of a complicated
language and culture. To study properly it is vital not to only take classes
without a degree possibility. SFSU was the only state university that offered
this degree in the northern part of state. Russian speakers formed an ever
larger percentage of the community.
sought to address the issue of numbers. It had been a huge and difficult task
in the past five years to operate this program when both full professors were
at retirement age, and both had health problems. She understood the college had
difficulty in accommodating the missing faculty. Although the program lost
students, the Modern Language Association had statistics that indicated that SFSU
had 60 students in the Russian BA program, while Stanford had 64. Despite SFSU’s
problems, the department’s options curtailed by the university, and without
admitting new majors, the program numbers were all the more impressive, and
were currently up to 80 students. She found it particularly difficult to
understand the closing of admissions. She spoke to extensive community
outreach, and that while the numbers might not be large, they increased despite
all odds. She directed senators’ attention to San FranciscoCityCollege students’ banner
in support. There were 70 students in their first semester of Russian there,
many of whom had come to show their support.
Senator Klironomos spoke in support of Russian.
If SFSU was truly the city’s university, this program merited retention. The
program was needed to serve our diversity. There was no question that Russian
was vital to the community, which had undergone rapid growth. Discontinuing
went against the grain. Language, literature, and history are all intertwined
and this was a prime opportunity for SFSU to develop ties to the community. The
program needed full-time faculty and more resources, exactly what had happened
in Modern Greek studies. There was excellent quality in the Russian program.
Its discontinuance would have an impact that would stretch throughout
humanities, to all language and literature programs, and would diminish student
choices. At present it was probably the most cost effective program on campus.
As to scholarly research, she noted that lecturers were not evaluated the same
as tenure-track faculty. She thought it best to give it an opportunity to
continue with the addition of at least one tenure-track position, which would
insure its vibrancy.
EPC chair Meredith sought to bring
the discussion down to earth. He mentioned that senators had heard a lot about
what would be lost, and pointed out that the campus was not considering
discontinuing the language but the program. The College was better served and
made stronger by this change. He invited EPC members to speak. He reminded
senators of the very small number of students and wanted to hear more about
what would be gained positively from the discontinuance.
Dean Sherwin responded to these
comments. He reminded senators that a budget plan had been approved by the
college council. He had worked with six of the thirteen department chairs,
which included large and small departments and included faculty well disposed
to language and literature programs. He expressed surprise about number of
votes supporting the MA program, even when the department did not even contest
this. Senator Steier had noted that there were two positions, and that surely
the college could rehire. Most resources were in fact not there, or would not
be. Substantial permanent cuts to budget were a reality. The faculty in
college, the subcommittee and the council had had to make an austerity plan to
minimize fiscal damage. The plan included eliminating staff positions, reducing
classes and eliminating positions. There were many hungry mouths to feed, and a
desperate need to hire tenure-track positions. Also this college, unlike
others, had a four-course norm for teaching. If the program were to continue,
two tenure-track positions would be necessary if quality was desired and the
college would need to dig deeper. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of dollars more
would be necessary. Instead of this, the college could offer 25-30 more
classes: GE, upper-division, and graduate classes. Courses in creative writing
and women studies had high demand, and this might allow the hiring of two full-
time faculty members in other areas or shift to a three-course load. He had
heard last time and continued to hear arguments supporting Russian program. He
addressed what would be lost with the degree and minor. The BA program had
greater visibility, but discontinuance would not significantly affect a large
number of students. As for the impact on the community college system, there
was no evidence of large numbers of community college students coming to SFSU
to do more advanced Russian studies. At the other extreme, it was not true that
those with a minor in Russian could not go on to graduate work.
comparison to Comparative Literature might be helpful, as there many
opportunities still existed, study abroad for example, and 9 instead of 12
classes per year. There was not the pressure to have graduates do the teaching
in secondary schools the way it happens in some other languages such as
Senator Abella, as an EPC member, supported a
vote to discontinue. No one would argue that the Russian program was not an
asset. He spoke of an issue that drove his decision - the difference between
taking courses and actively pursuing a degree. The numbers showed that very few
students earn the MA or BA degree. He offered some anecdotal evidence that
suggested a need for more 214 classes, other humanities classes, and that the
need was greater elsewhere. He thought a
Russian Minor would suffice.
Senator Ulasewicz, also a member of APC and
EPC, mentioned some factors in the EPC decision. She noted that the Russian
community had provided many letters of support, some 243, and with such major
documentation, no one on committee had felt this was an easy task nor taken
lightly, but one factor was that this was the only program on campus without
tenure-track faculty. She noted the great need not to have this program
whither, but without tenure-track faculty there was already a withering, and
she supported discontinuance.
Senator Steier spoke as a baseball fan and made
metaphorical comparisons to baseball. He also spoke to the value of people.
Something that does not appear to have value may indeed possess it. He observed
that there had been faculty with health problems who were unable to run the
program, thus leading fewer people to stay in the program, and that using math
in this situation was disingenuous.
general point he did not like the university having its market plan direct
programs. If literature courses were replaced with composition courses this was
not the same. If there was an idea of the university, it had to include a
certain constellation of programs, and the institutional program should be
supported, whether numbers were great or not. Otherwise this whole business
seemed like cold war stuff, and that Russian was not important anymore.
extend debate 15 minutes
Carrington, Heiman m/s
Senator Bernstein echoed Steier. CityCollege
seemed to have many Russian sections, and she asked what was SFSU’s problem.
The university could move this program back into solvency. Once upon a time it
had core faculty, but the campus seemed to be losing sight of what this place
was all about. SFSU was not a college but a university. All through the CUSP
document there were statements made about internationalizing the campus and yet
getting rid of Russian went against this. If the community realized what SFSU
had, the program would grow.
Senator McKeon stated that SDSU’s Russian
program offered only four courses, and yet kept the BA and MA. SFSU was able to
do more courses, and maybe do the same with their program. Another comparison
between the two programs: there were 16 FTE there and here were over 23. The
university traditionally approved a position for around 20 FTE. When she
queried the department chair at SDSU as to how the program could be maintained,
the answer was that the university would support the program because it was
central to the mission of the university. In the new CUSP document, it seemed
important that theory and practice would go together.
Senator Hom also commented on the CUSP report,
and asked how canceling Russian could be consistent with its principles.
Senator Heiman reminded senators that they had
already voted to discontinue the MA in Russian at their last meeting. He recognized
that the Foreign Languages department had taken a strategic stance to preserve
the BA. Repeating some statements he made at the last session, he thought that
having a BA program created legitimacy to allow the creation of a critical
mass. He was troubled by the notion that class size and number of students
determined decisions. When he considered the senate’s role as a visionary body,
and considered what kinds of programs a great university should offer, he felt
that a BA in Russian should be on the list.
Senator Meredith summarized what he regarded as
the three possible options: keeping the minor but with reduced classes; offer
12 classes with the addition of one or two tenure-track faculty to jumpstart
the program; or discontinue. He did not see large numbers of community college
transfers coming if the Russian program were to grow. The program could always
be brought back if discontinued, but as long as interest was at its current
level, he did not see a need to continue.
Senator Steier requested a roll call vote.
26 against discontinuance
Colvin explained that the Academic Senate would recommend against discontinuance.
Agenda Item #6—Recommendation from the Academic Senate Executive
Committee, SFSU: Resolution In
Support Of Re-nominating Kathy Kaiser for Faculty Trustee -1st
Chair Colvin noted that Williams would introduce this item.
Williams, Chelberg m/s/p
Vice-chair Williams spoke of the issue of
re-nominating Kathleen Kaiser as the faculty trustee, and that this resolution
was being distributed throughout the state. Kaiser stood up for the CSU, she
was outspoken, supported faculty, and was an outstanding scholar and
Cherny remarked that he had served with
Kaiser during his term as statewide senate chair and they had visited half the
campuses together, with her stated goal to visit every campus at least once. He
found the description of her in the resolution solid and Williams’
characterization of her as accurate.
The resolution was unanimously
Agenda Item #7—Recommendation from the Curriculum Review & Approval
Committee: Revision of the
Masters in Public Administration—A Consent Item—1st & 2nd
Chair Colvin noted some
typographical errors in
the agenda, and that the degree in question was the MPA, the Masters in Public
Administration. In the absence of CRAC chair Nichols, Senator Boyle would
introduce the proposal.
Senator Boyle stated that the proposal came to
senate as a consent item from the Graduate Council and CRAC. This was a
graduate program only, and the proposed changes were improvements to program.
She drew senators’ attention to the accreditation process, with the target date
of 2006, which were summarized in the senate documents. Attention could be
directed to the following items: The
total number of units for the degree would be increased from 37 - 41 to 39 - 43
although the number of units (when including prerequisites) would be decreased
by 6 units and the total number of courses will remain the same. The
number of courses would remain the same. No new resources were needed, and
Stowers, the program director, was prepared to answer any questions.
Agenda Item #8—Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Discontinuance of the BA in
Liberal Studies: Concentration in NEXA 1st Reading
Meredith, Boyle m/s
Senator Meredith observed that the senators had
two proposals in front of them, one on a concentration, and one on a minor.
NEXA was a very old program, the courses largely offered through GE, with an
option of a concentration, although fewer than one student a year took this
option. The Liberal Studies council had made no attempt to rebut this program
change. EPC had voted 17-0, with one abstention, to discontinue. He reviewed
the arguments from EPC: the program was richly endowed with a superstructure,
which included a .75 staff position, and...4 release time for the director. The
practice of team-teaching with tenure-track faculty was no longer the norm and
was unlikely to be resumed.
Dean Sherwin offered abbreviated remarks.
Contrary to a statement in the first paragraph of the rebuttal, the discontinuance
proposal had been up-front and did not concern a degree program. The deans did
understand the impact on the GE program. If the rebuttal’s claim that their
vision was unique, there would be cause for worry. But in fact there were
multiple programs around the country that involved multidisciplinary
approaches. Even if they did not emphasize convergence, they did similar
things. The rebuttal chided deans for their lack of commitment to the
convergence model, and argued that discontinuing would land a devastating blow
to interdisciplinary study at SFSU. Yet he thought that the university’s
commitment was built into the Segment III and GE courses. NEXA played a
prominent role in several Segment III clusters. Hundreds of courses on campus
presented multidisciplinary perspectives. Back in 1970’s the program took the ideas
of dysfunction between science and humanities and generated a very innovative
program that bridged the divide between the sciences and humanities. The only
significant conceptual change in NEXA he noted was that courses had moved
further on. The rebuttal suggested NEXA was a strong advocate for innovation, but
this was not borne out by action. He
noted that Axler and he were chided in the document for advocating for college
specific programs. He noted that SFSU faced financial problems, which had not
existed for NEXA before, and that difficult decisions for academic programs
observed that the operating budget and the actual cost to university were
different. NEXA complained that its goals could be reached without budget
reductions. Other programs did manage to reach or exceed their reenrollment
while keeping costs down, often by cutting back courses. Savings that might
have been realized, in fact were not in NEXA’s case. There were high administrative
costs for a program this size. If the Segment III courses were dropped, there
would be lots of problems, and the university had not yet generated an
implementation plan, which more appropriately was the province of other
offices. The university would need some substitutions for the GE courses and a
lot of the impact would depend on NEXA, or NEXA type courses. Many courses could
remain. NEXA reached 800 students, or more accurately really only about 500 per
year. There was little to say about minor or liberal studies, with very few
students - with only 3 in the last 9 years for the minor. NEXA did not have either
a long or good enough track record.
and Senator Axler added some
additional comments. He noted that the external review had recommended that the
degree programs be discontinued for lack of numbers, and that of the liberal
studies concentration in NEXA, of the thousands of liberal studies students,
only five took the minor in the last five years. This had been discussed in the
college councils of Science and Humanities but had garnered no support from the
chairs. The resource costs were high for the program, some 15,000 dollars a
year, and chairs knew that that sum only accounted for 5/6 of the costs, which
were closer to 18,000 dollars, which also did not include such items as fringe
benefits. The rebuttal understated the real costs to the university, as costs were
distributed at a lecturer not a tenure-track rate, meaning actual costs were
greater. With .4 release time, the director scheduled for 56 FTES, and did no
hiring. In comparison, in Geosciences, the department chair received the same
release time, arranged a larger number of classes (48) classes with 428 FTES
and had to do RTP work, hiring, and all else that went with department chair
life. The NEXA website indicated that courses were taught cooperatively, but this
was no longer true. Of the 19 courses, only 6 were team taught. NEXA was reliant
on lecturers, and as of Fall 2003, in the eight classes offered, six were
taught by lecturers. The university had a stated goal of more tenure-track
faculty. NEXA recognized many of these issues, and had responded that it could
do more with more resources. But these would need to come from somewhere else.
NEXA offered some good courses, and had some good faculty, but was not
attracting new tenure-track faculty.
preserve some courses with some enrollment increase money. He did not see a
problem with the courses but with the superstructure. The rebuttal had stated
the enrollment numbers inaccurately. There were problems not making target, any
tenure-track hires. EPC had voted 17-0 with one abstention.
director of NEXA, summarized the rebuttal, which focused on the entire
discontinuance of the program. NEXA was willing to discuss growth money, and
augmentation to keep the program alive. The concentration and minor were
secondary functions of the program, and the mission addressed disciplinary and
interdisciplinary themes. NEXA brings disciplinary together with interdisciplinary
perspectives and involved hundreds of students. It contributed 16 Segment II
courses and constituted a large percentage of courses in three Segment III
clusters. The deans were proposing to eliminate all NEXA courses, and had not consulted
with GEC until NEXA had requested them to do so.
expressed willingness to work to address each item mentioned in the MOU. The
program could address any and all paradigms, and issues of budget. The deans
had had secret consultations, and NEXA had never been consulted. The deans
encouraged secrecy. The deans alleged that NEXA had not meet target, but this
was true for many other programs. NEXA was caught between a rock and a hard
place, and it did not look like the university would support it. The arguments
for discontinuance could be used against any other department or program. This
was an inherently unfair situation. NEXA contributed to GE and enriched the
whole university. The impact would be considerable. He asked if fiscal
considerations should drive everything. He asked about other interests. He
asked if a hasty and secretive process was collegial. The welfare of the students
was not taken into account by the deans. No program was perfect, but when a
program enriched whole university, it should not be jettisoned. He drew senator’s
attention to students and faculty showing support at the rear of the senate
Senator Axler refuted that the welfare of students
had not been considered by the deans. Many things were fair to debate in the
senate, but this was not one of them. Deans can act in a manner that can be
disagreed with, but their motives should not be questioned.
Green apologized, but spoke of the programmatic
Senator Bernstein indicated that she had taught
in NEXA for a long time, that the concept was marvelous, but that the current
situation was abysmal. Leadership was the problem and the program needed an
Senator Klironomos had a question for the
deans. She asked how the funding for the program had worked out over the span
of the time of the program. The funding obviously got diminished and the
program turned to general fund.
Senator Axler observed that NEXA had obtained
no external funds for twenty years, a sign of problems.
Sherwin stated that an initial grant had given
a certain level of support, but since mid 80s the university had done its best
to keep the program going, but could not maintain it at same level.
Green indicated that the initial grant
was to set up NEXA program, but as an entire program. While initially
administered by academic affairs, it had migrated into the colleges of humanities
and science. NEXA raised funds for conferences, but since the early 90s, funds
have diminished in the humanities.
Senator Abella had two questions. The first was
whether anyone from liberal studies could answer why they did not offer any
Dean of Liberal Studies Goldsmith
responded that when the whole proposal came up there had been some confusion
about NEXA which seemed like a liberal studies major, NEXA had not been a part
of the liberal studies council. She went into some history. When NEXA first came
into being, administrative choice allowed it to be a major, an easy choice for liberal
studies students. However, it was governed by the NEXA steering committee.
Liberal studies never addressed NEXA except at they meshed with the general
program. When approached, the liberal studies council had no great sense of the
impact of this discontinuance on liberal studies.
Green responded that NEXA had never been invited
to the liberal studies council. NEXA had participated in everything they had
been invited to.
Goldsmith responded that the Liberal Studies
council was not responsible for the NEXA concentration in NEXA, which was not
their purview, and was a NEXA program. If NEXA went away, there would not be a
great impact on the liberal studies program.
Senator Abella observed that there was insufficient
faculty support, but this program appeared to play by different rules. It
sounded like faculty needed to develop a new curriculum.
Senator Axler observed that no support came
from the department chairs. That did not mean that all faculty feel this way.
He sought to clarify one point - the accusation of hasty and insufficient
consultation with faculty. There had been several meetings with faculty, and
there had been discussions over a long period of time. NEXA’s traditional
funding pattern was to provide release time to develop new courses. When deans
complained that no new development was taking place, NEXA responded that it no
longer had the budget to develop. He found other faculty across campus were expected
to do this but NEXA had not.
Green made a clarification that the
program had had two directors and since he arrived in 2002, he could only speak
from that time. The program recruits faculty from departments, and compensates
those faculty. If support was not coming from chairs, it seemed that the chairs
were not encouraging this during this time of trouble, which was not the same
as no support. He had indicated to the deans that with a new money scenario it would
take some time to do this, but our rebuttal made clear that there were plenty
of plans in the works to keep the program alive. Meetings with the provost and
deans occurred only after discovery of the secrecy of previous meetings.
Undergraduate Studies Buttlaire spoke
to consulting with liberal studies program about this impact, with a two-fold motivation.
One was the concentration, the other the emphasis on liberal studies. There
were three students in the last nine years with BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration
in NEXA. The second issue was the emphasis within liberal studies program, and
only four out of thousands opted for this. Discontinuing would not have any
impact on liberal studies.
proposal would return in second reading on December 14.
Agenda Item #9—Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Discontinuance of the NEXA Minor, 1st
Meredith Ulasewicz m/s
Senator Meredith noted that EPC had voted 16-1,
with one abstention for this discontinuance. He thanked students for their
Senator Ulasewicz pointed out that there were two
separate proposals, which might require clarification in future discussions.
Senator Meredith observed that constitutionally
the senate would vote on the discontinuance of a degree program. His
understanding was that in this case the discontinuances of degrees would mean the
ultimate elimination of the whole program, with perhaps some courses migrating
to other departments.
Green asked if it were possible to give
visiting faculty and students a chance to speak.
Renae Smith indicated that she would not have
come to SFSU without NEXA, a program she found unique in whole bay area. While
it was asserted that something similar could be taken at MIT, this was not
true. Here there was a thesis and a BA. The program required students to think.
Other liberal studies courses were much easier than NEXA. A doctorate in
education was her plan, and NEXA was not something found in other affordable
institutions. The thesis was unique and appropriate to the program. It required
students to create something from their program of study.
Terri Kramer was a student assistant at NEXA
soon to graduate. He had noticed NEXA right away, especially the Segment III
clusters which captured his interest and was exactly what he wanted to learn.
Six NEXA courses had all profoundly influence his perspective. It seemed a
shame to see the program go, especially as it seemed to be on technical points.
Marcia Green spoke in support of the program. It
made great difference to her as a teacher and scholar. It provided many
services that should not be eliminated. Good programs take time to develop, and
Maxamilian Rankenberg was a graduate student in English. While the deans argued for
reforming, they needed to consider what elimination would mean. NEXA could not
be compared to geology or physics, as it was not exactly a program nor a field
of study, but more a way of study, a method. There was no wonder people did not
major in this. Eliminating NEXA would eliminate the only venue taught by
faculty from different disciplines, and it taught how to communicate, and see the
story from another side. He considered the criticism of lack of students
inaccurate. It was not a field of study but a way of study - a different way of
approaching the university.
Ruth Mahaney was a part-time lecturer in NEXA
for four years, and had taught in interdisciplinary programs for much longer.
One interdisciplinary problem was that faculty had no home. For many years NEXA
had been adopted by humanities, but with no representation at the chairs’
council, there were issues of where NEXA lived, and who represented it. One
confusion was what was being proposed, which affects whether NEXA exists or
not. It was not realistic to think NEXA courses would magically find a home.
NEXA provided one of the most diverse teaching experiences ever. Her courses
were overenrolled for four hears, and her experience of the students was
interesting, the best. Elimination seemed shortsighted.
Agenda Item #10 —Adjournment
at 5:05 pm.