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Academic Regulations Committee

Academic Requirements Committee

Annual Report 2002-2003
July 21, 2003 TO: Bruce Sorte
Vickie Nunnemaker
OSU Faculty Senate
FROM: Sarah Ann Hones
Chair, 2002-2003
Academic Requirements Committee

SUBJECT: 2002-2003 Summary Report

Academic Year Statistics for the OSU Academic Requirements Committee

Attending Members:

Sue Ann Bottoms, SMILE Program
Chere Pereira, College of Science
Sheila Roberts, Educational Opportunities Program
Sarah Ann Hones, Retired from committee, June 2003
Joe Toth, Valley Library-Left OSU in June 2003
Non-voting Member of Registrar’s Office:
Mary Rhodes
Heather Chermak
Tom Watts

Diane Belair, Disabilities Services-left OSU in winter term, 2003

Sheila Roberts is the incoming Chair for the 2003-2004 academic year.

The Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) met weekly beginning the first week of summer term. This year the committee met on Wednesday mornings beginning at nine o’clock. Average meeting times were 1-2 hours each week.

The Academic Requirements Committee received 2278 petitions in AY 2002-2003. The committee reviewed an average of 54 petitions each week. (524 petitions were pre-approved by the Registrar’s office.) Of the petitions completed by the committee and denied, 18 were re-reviewed and approved by Dr. Bob Burton.

Continuing Concerns expressed by ARC:

  1. In Summer 2002, the Academic Requirements Committee received three petitions requesting late withdrawals from three consecutive terms. Each of the petitioners was a freshman, and each had medical documentation of depression. The current and past chairs of Academic Requirements and Academic Standing Committees, along with members of the Registrar’s Office, met during summer 2002 to discuss how to handle these petitions. Using academic regulations as our guidelines, we told these students they must petition the Academic Standing Committee for reinstatement (all were suspended) before petitioning the Academic Requirements Committee. The ARC invited Dr. LaDonna Johnson, from Student Health Services, to speak with us about depression. No specific guidelines are established for dealing with these situations.
  2. Many students ask to do audits after week two. The guidelines do not allow this. The ARC does not understand this particular guideline. It seems that audits would be allowed through week seven – along with withdrawals and S/U grading.
  3. Distance Education/Online course work does not have a standard method for recording attendance. Since withdrawal petitions require this information, this is a constant difficulty for the ARC.
  4. Slash courses continue to be a source of difficulty for the ARC. Often instructors say the 500-level courses have the same content as those at the 400-level. Then they suggest we allow a student to change the course level to 500-level. We recognize the university is dealing with these same concerns.

Recommendations for Consideration:

  1. The Academic Requirements Committee meets every week – including summers and breaks – for one to two hours. Sometimes these meetings are longer, depending on the number of petitions reviewed each week. In the two and a half years I have served on this committee I have NEVER seen a full contingent of members. I believe this is because of the length and commitment of appointment to this committee. This committee is one of the hardest working committees I have seen. To do our job well, we need internal consistency in membership. We suggest a few alternatives to the current system of appointments to the committee.
    1. Staggered appointments – Assign members to two-year commitments. Note length and commitment of appointment so that members understand the commitment from the first day. The first Wednesday of summer term is the beginning of this committee’s tenure.
    2. Assign a group of new members (6-8) every year so they can receive training during the first year. This committee requires some training time during meetings.
    3. Assign student members to this committee. Consider graduate level students.
    4. Assign two groups who meet every other week with a Chair who meets every week and acts as a link between the groups. This system would require only two-three meetings a month for each general member of the committee.
  2. Ask the ARC to keep an internal record of their discussions. This year’s committee maintained constant dialogue about our concerns and issues. These were shared with Bruce Sorte in a May 2003 memo.
  3. Quarterly Report-Business Meeting – Establish a quarterly meeting that is open to other committees and faculty to discuss concerns such as:
    Agenda items would be solicited from Faculty Senate, other quarters and distributed on the web before the meeting. Meeting minutes would be posted to the Faculty Senate website.
  4. Working Session each term – Use one week each term for a work session. This year we invited Health Services and Counseling personnel to address issues with us during our weekly meetings.

  5. Attachments: