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Faculty Senate

Academic Advising Council

Annual Report


Mike Quinn, President and Linda Ciuffetti, President-Elect, OSU Faculty Senate


Kerry Kincanon, Chair -- Academic Advising Council


July 11, 2007


2006-07 Academic Advising Council Annual Report

2006-07 was an active and productive year for the Academic Advising Council (AAC).  We met monthly from October until June, and we discussed many issues related to our charge of sharing information amongst units with academic advising concerns and responsibilities and making policy and procedure recommendations related to academic advising to the Faculty Senate and its various committees.

Full membership for our committee can be found in our standing rules (voting members) and internal guidelines (non-voting members).  Here is the AAC leadership for this past year and their respective meeting responsibilities external to the committee:
Kerry Kincanon, University Exploratory Studies Program: Chair– represented AAC on the Undergraduate Education Council
Mary Ann Matzke, College of Science: Immediate Past Chair – represented AAC on the Curriculum Council and liaison to the Faculty Recognition and Awards Committee (provided input on recipient selection for the Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award and the OSU Academic Advising Awards)
John Shea, College of Engineering: 2004-05 Chair – represented AAC on the Academic Affairs Council
Angela Austin Haney, College of Pharmacy: Secretary and Chair-Elect (2007-08)

In accordance with our internal guidelines, which are posted on the Faculty Senate website at, we held an election at our June meeting for the position of Secretary-Elect (2007-08)/Chair-Elect (2008-09).  Gene Newburgh, College of Education, was unanimously selected for this position.

Secretary Austin Haney took minutes for each of our nine meeting, and these chronicles of meeting agenda items, discussions, and attendance are (or will be) posted on the Faculty Senate website at  What follows here are selective highlights and action items from this year’s meetings:

  • Registrar’s initiatives – We were in close consultation throughout the year with our members from the Registrar’s Office about their implementation of new Scheduling and Registration initiatives, including Two-Phase, credit-based priority registration, wait listing, and zone scheduling.  As our members played a role in educating students on the new registration process and wait listing, we held several conversations throughout the year to prepare for and debrief these new phenomena.  We also consulted with the Registrar on confusion that departments and students were experiencing around the catalog phrasing for “enforced” and “other” prerequisites.  Specifically, there is concern that prerequisites listed as “other” are ignored or considered optional.  Some departments have compelling reasons for not making prerequisites “enforced”, yet they will still take steps to dis-enroll students who have not met prerequisites.  The Registrar’s Office has agreed to work on the language to alert students to this possibility and present us with options on placement when we return next fall.
  • Academic Regulations – Several issues related to academic regulations arose this year, and we provided our input to the Executive Committee and Academic Regulations Committee.  As a result of changes to AR 17 and the new stipulation that incomplete work must be completed within a calendar year, we made a suggestion to the Executive Committee that OSU adopt a standardized incomplete form.  We think it is good practice for departments, students, and instructors to have a tangible contract of the processes necessary to complete the incomplete, and most importantly, that there be a record on file in the department in the event that the instructor leaves OSU.  We appointed a subcommittee led by member Carey Hilbert, College of Health and Human Sciences, which created an “Incomplete Form” template.  The AAC edited and approved this form and passed it along to the Executive Committee with the recommendation that this form or something similar be adopted by the university.  According to Faculty Senate President Quinn, some faculty members on the EC resisted the notion of a standardized form, but they did decide on the whole that it could serve as an example if departments wanted to use a standard form internally.  The Registrar’s Office agreed to post the form on its web site and will include a link to the form in a reminder e-mail about the new AR17 policy to faculty at the start of fall term.  In addition to our work related to AR 17, we also provided input to the Academic Regulations Committee about AR 13a (the “Withdraw with Incompletes” policy), which needed to be amended in light of the new AR 17 policy.  We also formed a subcommittee to look into concerns that came to light about the S/U policy as it relates to transfer students – AR 18 1a.  The subcommittee came back in May with suggested revisions which we voted to send to the Academic Regulations Committee.  This committee had already completed its 2006-07 meeting cycle, so we’ve been asked to resubmit our recommendations at the start of fall term.  Our rationale and proposed changes are attached to this report as Appendix 1.
  • Academic Advising Award – 2006 saw the inauguration of the OSU Academic Advising Award thanks to the work of the Head Advisors, the AAC, and Vice Provost Becky Johnson.  Because of some confusing language, we did find it necessary to revisit eligibility criteria.  Our subcommittee, led by Mary Ann Matzke, College of Science, proposed this eligibility statement – “Eligibility is extended to individuals with professional faculty rank as well as fixed-term academic rank faculty whose primary role is advising, rather than teaching, research and service.”  This was unanimously approved by the AAC and is now present in the official award criteria.
  • JBAC Document Review – At the request of then Faculty Senate President Bill Boggess, the AAC was asked to review draft documents provided by the OUS Joint Boards and Articulation Committee related to general education learning outcomes and criteria.  AAC members examined these documents in November and December and provided the Executive Committee with our response in January.  That response is included here as Appendix 2.
  • Testing Center Alert – In February and March, AAC members discussed and reviewed an alert drafted by a grass roots group of OSU constituents (including AAC members Paula Minear, E-campus, and Moira Dempsey, Academic Success Center) in response to the impending absence of standardized testing options (e.g. GRE, SAT, etc.) at OSU.  Counseling and Psychological Services historically coordinated these tests but had to cut the practice due to financial and human resources considerations.  The AAC lent its endorsement to this alert which eventually was forwarded to the Executive Committee and Provost Sabah Randhawa.
  • Summer Session – Maurine Powell from Summer Session approached the AAC about creating a  page on the Summer Session website specifically to assist academic advisors navigate the nuances of summer classes and registration.  The AAC worked with Maurine in January and February on selecting content for this site.
  • Advising Technology – Several AAC members were participants in a needs assessment/requirements gathering process facilitated by Kent Kuo, University Registrar.  Kent led us through a process of considering our wants and desires for the next generation of technology related to advising at OSU, and he and his staff are in the process of drafting a summary report this summer.
  • AAC Membership and Standing Rules – We had multiple agenda items related to our membership and our standing rules.  In November, International Programs requested that Marybeth Trevino, Assistant Program Coordinator for International Student Programs,  be allowed to attend meetings along with existing members Amy Nelson Green from Study Abroad Programs and Renee Stowell from the International Degree Program.  International Programs would still share a vote between the three members.  The AAC voted in favor of Marybeth joining us for our meetings.  At the recommendation of Dr. Charlie Nutt, Associate Director of the National Academic Advising Association, who came to campus for a consultation visit with OSU advisors in January, we also made a specific point to invite representatives of University Housing and Dining Services to join us for meetings.  This unit was listed as a non-voting member, but up until our invitation, had not attended meetings.  Finally, in April, we voted in favor of adding the Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program as a voting member.  This prompted us to look into revising our standing rules, and we realized that our changes from the 2004-05 had never gone through Committee on Committees and had never been approved by the Executive Committee and Faculty Senate.  Changes from both years were subsequently sent through Committee on Committees and Executive Committee and were approved by the Faculty Senate at the June 14 meeting.  Rationale for these changes and the revisions are included as Appendix 3.
  • Milestones – AAC members were again very active in our professional organization, the National Academic Advising Association.  We had multiple members give presentations at the 2006 National and 2007 Regional conferences.  We also bid farewell to three valued members who retired – Debbie Bird McCubbin (College of Forestry), Lee Cole (College of Agricultural Science), and Mary Rhodes (Registrar’s Office).

Recommendations – In my time on the AAC, I have continually been impressed with the strong representation at meetings and the active involvement and participation of members.  This year was no exception.  This is a productive and engaged group – each month our docket was brimming with agenda items – and I feel good about the balance of our membership.  My concluding thoughts as we move into the 2007-08 year:

    • As I reviewed our committee membership, I was again reminded that we should have a student member on this committee.  I know that over the years we have requested that ASOSU appoint someone, but I did not make that overture this year.  Next fall, we should check in with ASOSU again to see if we can get a student appointed to regularly attend our meetings.
    • As stated in the Academic Regulations section of this report, we do have a pending recommendation that we need to resubmit to the Academic Requirements Committee first thing fall term (Appendix 1).
    • Next year, we will continue to work with our members from the Registrar’s Office to refine processes and documentation related to registration, wait listing, and recently amended academic regulations.
    • In the fall of 2005, the AAC unanimously voted to adopt the OSU advising vision, mission, values and goals as best advising principles for the campus.  As we continue our work to ensure that OSU students get quality advising and that our processes and systems help us to help our students achieve learning outcomes related to their educational goals, we’ll want to as a group measure our work against these principles, and think about ways that we can continue to educate students and our faculty colleagues about them.

Appendix 1 – Rationale and Proposed Changes to AR 18 1a (to be re-submitted to the Academic Regulations Committee in the fall of 2007)

TO: Academic Regulations Committee
FROM:  Kerry Kincanon, Chair
Academic Advising Council
DATE: May 10, 2007
RE: Recommendation to revise AR 18

The AAC would like to propose a revision of AR 18.A.1 which deals with S/U grading. Currently the regulation states that a student may take up to 36 credits on an S/U basis, unless the student transfers to OSU. In the case of a transfer student, he/she may take a number equal to the number of terms at OSU multiplied by three up to a maximum of 36. This regulation is extremely difficult to explain to students. Now that we are moving to online degree audit, we are finding that it is not possible to automate this type of counting of S/U credits for transfer students. In fact, we have to artificially cap the S/U credits at 20 which in turn makes the online degree audit inaccurate for a number of students. Therefore, we are proposing that the maximum just be set at 36 credits for all students. Most transfer students take primarily major level courses in their last two or three years at OSU. As stated in the proposed regulation, most departments don’t allow S/U grading to count for major level courses. In fact, we know of only two departments that allow any S/U grading in the major. Therefore, we believe that few transfer students would take any more S/U classes than they already do and the simplification of the regulation would allow a more accurate degree audit for everyone.

AR 18. Alternative Grading Systems

In addition to traditional letter grading (A-F), Oregon State University has adopted two alternative grading systems to be employed in accordance with the provisions outlined below:
a. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U)

  1. Undergraduate students may elect to be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis in any course of their choice a course (except P/N courses) under the following conditions: (a) A maximum of 36 credits of those presented in satisfaction of the baccalaureate degree may have been graded on an S/U basis at Oregon State University. The maximum for students transferring to Oregon State University from another institution is equal to the number of terms enrolled as a full-time student at Oregon State University multiplied by three. (b) A student normally elects the option S/U at the time of registration. Changes either to or from S/U grading will be permitted through the end of the seventh week of any term. (c) A student must obtain the approval of his or her academic advisor or dean in order to elect to be graded on an S/U basis. (Most departments and programs do not allow courses taken on an S/U basis to meet major or departmental requirements.)

Appendix 2 – AAC response to JBAC Draft General Education Outcomes and Criteria


Faculty Senate Executive Committee


The Academic Advising Council


January 10, 2007


JBAC General Education Outcomes and Criteria documents

Members of the Academic Advising Council have had the opportunity to review the draft outcomes and criteria statements provided by JBAC.  We are grateful that our input was solicited and are appreciative of the effort JBAC members have invested in creating these documents.  The general consensus amongst our members is that we found much to agree with here. The outcomes statements and criteria succinctly capture, for the most part, the general knowledge base we expect of OSU students.  However, as we were reviewing the documents, we did notice some omissions and also generated some general comments on the existing AA/OT.

  • The dominant concern amongst our members was that the cultivation of cultural competency and global perspective needs to be addressed more overtly by both the outcomes and the criteria in several if not all of the categories.  The implication of these competencies exists in several of the draft statements.  However, several from our group felt that given that these are aspirations articulated in the OSU strategic plan and manifested in our DPD requirements, we’d be remiss if we didn’t desire this thread to be more explicit in the OUS documents.
  • Some advisors noted that their conversations with prospective employers for our students are always punctuated with requests for well-developed written and verbal communication skills.  Perhaps the Writing and Communication outcomes or criteria statements could specifically emphasize the practice and development of these transferable skills as an absolute necessity of the 21st century workplace.
  • Many in our group strongly favor OSU’s baccalaureate core requirement that students not only take a minimum 12 credits of lab science, but that those 12 credits include courses in both physical and biological science.  We understand historically the AA/OT has been structured differently and the criteria statements in the Science, Computer Science, Math area reflect this difference (physical or biological science).  We feel this is a deficiency of the current AA/OT requirements.  We would prefer that graduates from our institution ultimately had experiences in both areas of scientific inquiry.
  • We appreciate the statement in the Background and Intent section that acknowledges concerns about the AA/OT’s shortcomings in articulating to certain academic majors, and that transfer students are often left with excessive electives depending on their chosen program.  For our advisors in the Science, Ag Science, Forestry and Engineering, twenty-five credits combined in Arts & Letters and Social Sciences undoubtedlyleaves the student with excessive electives when he/she transfers to OSU.  In fact, these advisors will often discourage their prospective students at community colleges from pursuing the AA/OT.  One advisor posed the possibility of creating an AS/OT.  It would still be a general transfer degree, but it would concentrate these electives into more appropriate classes for students inclined toward majors in Sciences and Engineering – in the absence of that student knowing their specific major choice when he/she starts community college.
  • Our members expressed an additional concern related to the Arts & Letters and Social Sciences categories.  The distribution requirements for the AA/OT specify that the minimum ten credits in   Arts & Letters be chosen from at least two disciplines and the minimum fifteen credits of Social Sciences must be also be chosen from at least two disciplines.  We would like to see greater definition in these requirements to ensure students are exposed to a broader variety to their coursework.  For example, a student could technically take U.S. History 201, 202, 203 and U.S. Political Science 201 and 203 at community college, meet the Social Sciences requirement for the AA/OT, but not get exposed at all to the cultural competency and global perspective aspirations we allude to in the first bullet point.

A few other cursory questions arose for us as we examined outcomes and criteria:

  • Why is Math included in the Science, Computer Science, Math area when it has its own distinct category with its own outcomes and criteria?
  • How were the campus representatives selected for each area?  Why didn’t OSU have representatives contributing to the Arts & Letters or the Social Sciences categories?

Again, we appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback and look forward to the campus visitation by JBAC representatives in the near future.

Appendix 3 – AAC Standing Rules Amendments – Rationale and Changes


The Committee on Committees and the Faculty Senate


Kerry Kincanon, Head Advisor, UESP, and Chair of the Academic Advising Council


April 18, 2007


Rationale for changes to standing rules

The Academic Advising Council submits these changes to our standing rules for your approval. In reviewing our standing rules, we recognized that there needed to be more detailed delineation of our charge and the role of the immediate past chair.  We also realized that we have attendees who should be voting members, but were not designated as such in our existing standing rules.

Additions, Deletions, and Clarifications

  • In our initial statement of purpose, we felt compelled to clarify that the work of the Academic Advising Council is a support committee for advisors who work with undergraduate students.  Graduate student concerns are managed by the Graduate Council.
  • Two years ago, we made amendments to our guidelines which further delineated the required commitment of the AAC member elected chair.  These changes and the recent implementation of the OSU Academic Advising Award for professional advisors necessitate more specificity in our standing rules about the role of the immediate past chair in the two years subsequent to his/her tenure as chair.
  • We wanted to clarify additions to the ranks of our voting members in the last two years.  We put forward a change to our standing rules in June of 2005 to add the Academic Success Center as a voting member.   This change was never approved by Committee on Committees or Faculty Senate, so we are resubmitting at this time.  On April 11, 2007, the AAC unanimously voted to add the College Assistance Migrant Program as a voting member as well. 
  • We struck the qualifier “to include Office of International Education” from the Office of International Programs line, as it is understood that International Education is part of International Programs.
  • We added a paragraph that states our rules for non-voting members, and clarifies that the list of non-voting members of the AAC shall be maintained through the guidelines, hence the deletion of the specific membership list.

Thank you for your consideration.

Academic Advising Council – changes approved by AAC on April 11, 2007 and Faculty Senate on June 14, 2007
Standing Rules

The Academic Advising Council furnishes support and information to those units on campus that provide academic advising for undergraduate students and makes policy and procedure recommendations to the Faculty Senate for consideration.

The Council shall be composed of a Head Advisor or designated representative from each academic college and one or more representatives from each service unit involved in advising students, and a student representative. Each of the academic colleges and the service units represented shall have one vote on the council.

The Chair and Secretary shall be chosen by the Council in a manner to be determined by that body.

The immediate past chair of AAC shall participate on the Faculty Recognition and Awards Committee in selecting the recipient of the Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award and the OSU Academic Advising Award and shall be a liaison member of the Curriculum Council. The following year, this individual shall be a representative to the Academic Affairs Council.  In the even that the immediate past chair is unavailable for the selection of the Dar Reese award, the AAC will select an alternative representative. In the event that the individual cannot fulfill his or her duties, the AAC chair will appoint a replacement.

AAC MEMBERSHIP (voting members, limited to one (1) vote/unit; includes being on listserv)
Head Advisors: Includes each academic college, as well as UESP, School of Education, and the Cascades Campus.

One or more reps representatives from each of the following service units involved in advising (or providing support for advising):

  • Academic Programs and Academic Assessment
  • Academic Services for Athletics
  • Academic Success Center
  • Admissions
  • Athletic Compliance
  • Career Services
  • College Assistance Migrant Program
  • Educational Opportunities Program
  • Extended Campus
  • Minority Education Office
  • Office of International Programs, to include Office of International Education
  • Registrar's Office
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps
  • SOAR
  • Student Representative

Additional Listserv Representatives (non “voting” members)  Non-voting members: The non-voting membership of the AAC consists of units whose work may affect academic advising, but whose mission, goals, or responsibilities are largely unrelated to academic advising (e.g. Central Computing).  Non-voting members are listed in the AAC Guidelines, and a vote of the Council to change the Guidelines is required for a unit to become a non-voting member.

Central Computing
College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
Dean of Students
Graduate School
Multicultural Affairs
Services for Students with Disabilities
Student Conduct
University Counseling and Psychological Services
University Housing and Dining Services
Veterinary Medicine