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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » Minutes » 2000 Minutes » March 2, 2000

Faculty Senate Minutes

2000 No. 555
March 2, 2000

For All Faculty

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on March 2, 2000, at 3:01 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Gordon Matzke. Approval of the February minutes was postponed to April.

Meeting Summary

– Action Items: Academic Regulations 10 & 23 Proposed Revisions [Motion 00–555–01 through 03]
– Discussion Items: Academic Regulations 17, 18 & 19; Final Exam Schedules; and Difference, Power and Discrimination Task Force Report (Motion 00–555–04)
– New Business: None

Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
Butler, G. Gingrich; Douglas, J. Shea; Gregory, B. Coblentz; Jimmerson, J. Mosley; Johnson, R. Sapon–White; Kimerling, Chuck Rosenfeld; Niess, D. Erickson; Peters, E. Gonzalez–Berry; and Raja, P.H. Hsieh.

Members Absent Without Representation:
Abbott, Ahern, Arp, Barth, Beatty, Bliss, Bontrager, Braker, Breen, Bruce, Clinton, Cloughesy, Collier, Cromack, Daniels, deGeus, Doescher, Downing, Esbensen, Gamroth, Gardner, Green, Henthorne, Jepson, Kerkvliet, Krause, Mallory–Smith, Merickel, Mix, Murphy, Reed, Samelson, Stang, Strik, Trehu, J. White, Witters, and Yim.

Faculty Senate Officers, Ex–Officios and Staff Present:
G. Matzke, President; H. Sayre, President–Elect; K. Williamson, Immediate Past President; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; Ex–officio's: S. Coakley and M. Spraggins; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Staff.

Guests of the Senate:
B. Balz, I. Delson, S. Francis, C. Jones, J. Kerkvliet, A. Torres, and T. Wilcox.


Academic Regulations Proposed Revisions

Joe Kerkvliet, Academic Regulations Chair, presented proposed changes to Academic Regulations 10 and 23. (Note: Proposed additions are in bold and proposed deletions are in brackets.)

AR 10. Eligibility

[b. For participation in intercollegiate athletics, students must meet all institutional, Pacific 10 Conference, nd NCAA requirements. There are many rules that govern the eligibility of students, including those pertaining to amateurism, financial aid limitations, ethical conduct, participation in "outside" competition, and academics. The main academic rules are:

1) Initial eligibility. A high school graduate must have at the time of graduation presented an accumulative six, seven, or eight semesters' minimum grade point average of 2.00 as certified on the high school transcript. Students using GED tests in lieu of a high school diploma and all transfer students should consult with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for determination of eligibility, because eligibility rules are too detailed to be presented here.

2) Satisfactory Progress Toward a Degree. Eligibility for regular season competition after the first year in residence or after the student has used one season of eligibility in any sport shall be determined at the beginning of the fall term of the regular academic year, based upon: (a) satisfactory completion prior to each fall term of a total number of quarter credits of academic work acceptable toward a baccalaureate degree in a designated program of studies equivalent to an average of at least 12 quarter credits during each of the previous quarters in academic years in which the student was enrolled, or (b) satisfactory completion of 36 quarter credits acceptable toward a baccalaureate degree in a designated program of studies, since the beginning of the previous fall term. A student–athlete shall designate a program of studies leading toward a specific baccalaureate degree no later than the beginning of the seventh quarter of enrollment.

3) Enrollment During Season of Competition. At the time of practice or competition, the student must be registered for not less than 12 semester or quarter credits. In the case of sports that begin competition prior to the beginning of classes, a student must have been admitted as a regularly matriculated, degree–seeking student in accordance with the regular, published entrance requirements.

Waivers of some eligibility rules are possible. Students should consult the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics on all such matters.]

b. For participation in intercollegiate athletics, students must meet all institutional, PAC–10 and NCAA requirements. Students should contact the Compliance Office in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics on all such matters.

Kerkvliet explained that the committee learned that the proposed deletions were, in many cases, incomplete or obsolete. He noted that one section under consideration for deletion referring to waivers applied to extra–curricular activities.

Senator Landau, Science, moved to accept the proposed revisions to AR 10; motion seconded. Motion 00–555–01 to approve passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

AR 23. Special Examination For Credit

A regularly enrolled student in good standing, either graduate or undergraduate, currently registered at Oregon State University [during fall, winter, or spring quarter] and wishing credit for an OSU course for which a grade has not been previously received, may petition for credit examination under the following conditions:

a. The application for such examination shall be presented on an Official Student Petition and shall bear the [recommendations] approvals of the dean of the student's college, the dean of the college in which the course is offered, and head of the department in which the course is offered.

[d. No student may take a special examination for credit in the term in which he or she completes requirements for graduation.]

d. No examination for credit will be approved for a course in which the student is currently enrolled later than the end of the official add/drop period for the term.

Someone questioned whether the body should consider limiting the number of credits obtained by examination.

Senator Tynon, Forestry, felt that the proposed wording in Section d. was confusing and proposed an amendment to read: After the end of the official add/drop period for the term, no examination for credit will be approved for a course in which the student is currently enrolled. Motion 00–555–02 was seconded.

Following additional discussion regarding proposed wording, Senator Lunch, Liberal Arts, moved to recommit to committee AR 23 and clarify the points discussed; motion seconded. Motion 00–555–03 passed by voice vote with some dissenting votes.


Academic Regulations

Joe Kerkvliet, Academic Regulations Chair, presented proposed revisions to Academic Regulations 17, 18 and 19 for discussion. He noted that, since the Committee was requested to consider adding an A+ grade by both faculty and students, input and guidance from the Senate to determine how to proceed would be appreciated. (Note: Proposed additions are in bold.)

AR 17. Grades

The grading system consists of twelve basic grades, A+, A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, D–, and F.

AR 18. Alternative Grading Systems

3) A grade of S (satisfactory) shall be equivalent to grades A+, A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–.

AR 19. Grade Points

Grade points are computed on the basis of 4 points for each credit of A+ or A grade, ...

Kerkvliet confirmed for Senator Obermiller, Agricultural Sciences, that the U of O grants a 4.3 GPA for an A+. When questioned by Senator Woods, Engineering, why a 4.3 should not be given, Kerkvliet related three arguments: 1) GPA's are all relative; 2) It would lower the GPA for students who do not get an A+; and 3) It would create additional numerical calculations which would necessitate changing financial aid and scholarship requirements.

ASOSU Student Advocate Greg Evans presented research regarding GPA inflation and deflation which indicated there was no significant difference when A+ is added.

ASOSU President Melanie Spraggins noted that the request originated with ASOSU to make the grade scales comparable at both the U of O and OSU.

Senator Lee, Liberal Arts, questioned whether OSU's scale is in the minority. ASOSU Advocate Evans reported that there is a trend across the country to add an A+ to the grading scale. He noted that Berkeley, Stanford and the U of O have 4.3 GPA's in the PAC–10.

Senator Brooks, Business, felt that an A+ must be a 4.3 or the GPA is compromised. Senator Shor, Engineering, felt that the highest GPA should remain at 4.0 and an A+ should be for only truly exceptional students.

President–Elect Sayre related problems experienced at the U of O where faculty are pressured by students to receive an A+.

Senator Landau suggested that an admission be made that an A+ is grade inflation and use it to make OSU students more competitive.

Final Exam Schedules

Barbara Balz, Registrar, discussed the issue of adding a half hour between each scheduled final exam. This discussion was the result of a request at the December Senate meeting.

Balz explained that final exams are currently scheduled continuously from 7:30 AM to 9:50 PM Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 to 11:20 AM on Friday. Friday afternoon of Finals Week is left open to schedule special exams and resolve conflicts with other exams. The schedule allows time for 22 regular exams and eight group exams. When compared to the final exam schedule at the U of O, their exams begin at 8:00 AM and end at 10:00 PM Monday through Thursday and from 8:00 AM to 12:15 on Friday. Their schedule allows 22 regular exams and 3 group exams. The U of O exams are 2 hours in length vs. OSU's 1 hour and fifty minutes and the U of O has 15 minutes between exams vs. OSU's 10 minutes. The real difference comes down to the number of group exams scheduled. Balz determined that both institutions offer about 45 group exams, but OSU allots five additional group exam periods to accommodate courses in Engineering, Accounting, and Sciences.

Balz presented two additional exam scenarios:
1) A 30 minute passing time Monday through Thursday would require exams to begin at 7:30 AM and end at 11:20 PM; and
2) A 20 minute passing time Monday through Thursday would require exams to begin at 7:30 AM and end at 10:40 PM.

Senator Brooks noted that 31 exam sessions would be available if exams ended at 10:00 PM on Friday. His calculations from the schedule represented 37 group exams. He presented an alternate exam schedule consisting of a 30 minute passing time, allowing time for both lunch and dinner, with six sessions each day Monday through Friday beginning at 7:30 AM and ending at 10:00 PM.

Senator Folts, Liberal Arts, felt this would be an enormous grading task for hand–graded exams if the schedule extended into Friday afternoon or evening. IFS Senator Torres suggested determining Friday exams based on whether or not they are essay or multiple choice.

Senator Nishihara, Student Affairs, noted that residence halls close at 5:00 PM on Friday.

Senator King, Business, felt that students should be consulted to determine their stand on the issue.

Senator Coblentz, Agricultural Sciences, questioned whether changing the schedule would benefit the students or faculty and whether the proportion of students having back–to–back finals was known (it wasn't known).

In response to Ex–Officio Coakley's question of whether the same rotational schedule is followed each term, Balz stated that the schedule changes each term.

Senator Wrolstad, Agricultural Sciences, felt that an alternate proposal should be considered, but that it needed evaluation to determine if it is workable. Balz noted that the issue is whether group exams could be reduced or consolidated and if Friday afternoon would be acceptable to schedule exams.

Senator Lunch, Liberal Arts, moved to refer the issue to either the Academic Regulations Committee or the Advancement of Teaching Committee; motion seconded. Motion 00–555–04 to refer the issue to committee passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

Difference, Power and Discrimination Task Force

Alexis Walker, Difference, Power and Discrimination (DPD) Task Force Chair, explained that the group has been meeting weekly since August. The group was told that two major concerns to address were a general lack of clarity about some aspects of the criteria and that the DPD Program didn't seem to be well integrated across the University. She requested input from the Senate on the two following draft documents.

Baccalaureate Core Narrative: Difference, Power, and Discrimination
February 16, 2000

The unequal distribution of social, economic, and political power in the United States is sustained through a variety of individual beliefs and institutional practices. These beliefs and practices have tended to obscure the origins and operations of social discrimination such that this unequal power distribution is often viewed as the natural order. The DPD requirement engages students in the intellectual examination of the complexity of the structures, systems, and ideologies that sustain discrimination, and the unequal distribution of power and resources in society. Such examination will enhance meaningful democratic participation in our diverse university community and our increasingly multi cultural U.S. society.

Difference, Power, and Discrimination Criteria
February 16, 2000

Difference, Power, and Discrimination courses shall:

1. be at least three credits;

2. emphasize elements of critical thinking;

3. have as their central focus the study of the unequal distribution of power within the framework of particular disciplines and course content;

4. focus primarily on the United States;

5. provide illustrations of ways in which structural, institutional, and ideological discrimination arise from socially defined meanings and attributed to difference;

6. provide historical and contemporary examples of difference, power, and discrimination across cultural, economic, social, and political institutions in the United States;

7. provide illustrations of ways in which the interactions of social categories, such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and age, are related to difference, power, and discrimination in the United States;

8. provide a multidisciplinary perspective on issues of difference, power, and discrimination;

9. incorporate interactive learning activities (e.g., ungraded, in–class writing exercise; classroom discussion; peer–review of written material; web–based discus–sion group); and

10. shall be regularly numbered departmental offerings rather than x99 or blanket number courses.

Sayre questioned how the draft addresses broadening courses across campus. Walker responded that nothing in the statement limits it to one college. Senator Robson, Science, suggested that language could be added that specifically references other disciplines.

Senator Schuster, Associated, requested an explanation of why it is important to offer these courses across campus. Walker responded that, in addition to the group receiving the charge to expand the offerings, the idea of DPD in society would be relevant to every discipline. She noted that, since it is a university–wide program, one way for the University to indicate its institutional commitment is to show that it infuses the campus.

Senator Shor expressed the feeling that she doesn't know how to conduct a DPD conversation in a technical course without sounding irrelevant to the subject material.

Senator Lee, Liberal Arts, questioned if the group has considered having each department create its own DPD course. Walker indicated the group has discussed this suggestion and tried to balance what they think should be in the DPD Criteria with what they think is possible.

Senator Landau was bothered by the emphasis on United States society. Walker stated that this is not a change from the current criteria. She noted that the group agrees that DPD problems are world wide but felt that recommending the U.S. focus makes people aware that there are problems here. Walker indicated that occurrences in other countries could be used for comparison to the U.S. Senator Gross, Liberal Arts, suggested that the word ‘primarily’ be kept in mind but it allows one to use examples outside the U.S., such as the Holocaust.

Senator Robson noted the issue of gender discrimination and suggested expanding from the U.S. perspective to include other communities. Several other comments were made in opposition to the proposed U.S. focus.

Senator Lee, Liberal Arts, noted that DPD is a faculty development program and is designed to assist faculty to learn how to integrate courses. Senator Koch, Engineering, also felt there were many opportunities to integrate DPD courses into curriculum.


– Faculty Awards Deadline – March 6 is the deadline for submitting nominations for awards selected by the Faculty Recognition and Awards Committee
– Fireside Chat – President Risser invites staff and faculty to share ideas, ask questions, and engage in lively conversation about OSU on April 11, from 3:00–4:30 in the MU Lounge.
– Committee Interest Forms – Forms indicating preferences to serve on University and Faculty Senate committees are due in the Faculty Senate Office in early April.
– Joint Meeting – The joint AAUP, AOF, IFS meeting will be held on April 29 on the OSU campus.


Interim Provost White congratulated the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Political Science, and others involved in sponsoring the McCall Lecture held the previous night. He felt that it was a class event which brought in an engaging speaker, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Staff Fee Policy – White requested input on OUS recommendations regarding the proposed Staff Fee Policy, of which the Chancellor is supportive. The President at each institution would determine whether programs on their campus would be participating. The following has been agreed to:

  • Employees would be allowed to take courses at $20 per credit.
  • Limited to 10 credits per term.

  • Criteria under consideration include:
  • Allowing employees to transfer their allotted credits to a dependent attending either the employee's place of work or another OUS campus.

  • White noted that potential risks include:
  • Other State agencies might feel that Higher Education employees are receiving an additional benefit.
  • This benefit may work against Higher Education in the Legislature in salary distribution conversations.

  • Senator Shor wondered why OSU hasn't done this.

    Tony Wilcox, Health & Human Performance, felt that OUS should be ambitious and aim for a 12 credit limit if there is an opportunity. He also asked where the IRS stands on taxable benefits. White responded that the Provost's felt that each campus should be able to set the cap on credits but the Chancellor feels that all OUS institutions should be the same. The program will be evaluated after two–years. White was not aware of any IRS problems.

    White indicated that the program will be in effect this fall following a public hearing and revisions to the OAR's.

    Interinstitutional Faculty Senate President Gary Tiedeman reported that IFS is solidly behind the proposal.

    OSU and OGI – Conversations are proceeding within OSU and the Oregon Graduate Institute to create a partnership alliance that would greatly increase the capacity of engineering and high technology research. All political and financial issues have not yet been identified or resolved.

    In response to Senator Nelson, Engineering, questioning why an alliance with OGI and not PSU, White indicated that the entrepreneurial spirit and the quantity of research at OGI is the highest in the State. White noted that the deans at both OSU and PSU are supportive and that an alliance with OGI will not exclude any OUS campus.

    Senator Shor questioned the extent of combining the two programs. White responded that details have not yet been worked out, but felt that instructional aspects would be under OSU and that the research enterprise would be a public–private alliance. He noted that an issue group and task force has been formed to address these issues and that there is certainly no interest in doing anything that will disadvantage either group.


    President Matzke thanked Joe Kerkvliet and Alexis Walker for the effort their committees have put forth.

    A task force has been formed to determine if there are alternatives that could boost the size of salary increases at OSU in the future.

    Matzke expressed disappointment that budget figures for next year are still not yet available. This puts departments in the uncertain position of trying to determine whether to make commitments to graduate students and new hires while not knowing whether resources will be available.

    Matzke noted that the Sizemore initiative looms on the horizon and encouraged faculty to work to promote the role of higher education in the State in an effort to educate the public.


    There was no new business

    Meeting was adjourned at 4:55 PM.

    Respectfully submitted:

    Vickie Nunnemaker
    Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant