July 25, 2008
To: Lynda Ciuffetti, President, Faculty Senate
From: Jeffrey Malone, 2006-2008 Chair
Academic Requirements Committee
Academic Advisor, Academic Success Center/UESP
Re: Annual Report for 2007-2008
The Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) met biweekly during the summer term, 2007, and weekly during the academic year. The committee considered 649 petitions; a significantly lower volume of petitions than that of the previous academic year. Meetings during the academic year averaged two hours per week, with some running as long as three hours around the “peak periods,” i.e., weeks eight, nine, and ten of each term. Summer meetings averaged between one hour and two hours in length due to lighter petition traffic. On rare occasions, petitions were reviewed, discussed, and voted on via email initiated by Registrar’s Office. This situation occurred when the decision was especially time sensitive or when a requested item for consideration (medical documentation, instructor’s verification of information/dates, etc) arrived after the weekly meeting had adjourned.
Late Course/Term Withdrawals (224), Late Course Drops (230), and Late Course Adds (125) were the most common actions requested, but the committee was also asked to consider numerous requests to “late change the grading basis” from A/F to S/U or vice versa. The ARC also considered a few petitions dealing with potential waivers of graduation requirements during winter and spring terms.
The number of petitions which resulted in deferrals, typically for clarifying information, documentation and/or appropriate/required signatures, dropped from over fourteen percent in the 2006-2007 academic year to under ten percent this year. This seems to indicate that a suggestion from the previous year’s annual report (requesting that the Registrar’s Office assist the ARC by not accepting incomplete petition forms from students) has been implemented effectively.
Consistent, reliable attendance by committee members was a persistent issue throughout my first two years on the ARC, often hindering our ability to function effectively and efficiently within the guidelines established for our committee. While I acknowledge that the time demands of this committee are quite heavy, especially during the regular school year, I felt compelled to promote a change to this aspect of the culture of the ARC. With the assistance of Vickie Nunnemaker, who stressed the extent of commitment required by this committee during the member “recruitment” process, some intentional and pointed comments by myself early in the fall with respect to attendance, and actively tracking attendance, I am pleased to report, committee member attendance was much improved this year (see the attached excel spreadsheet).
In early March, a student complaint regarding a petition to the ARC was filed with the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. In response to this complaint, I had a meeting with Ronie Sue, OSU’s Equal Opportunity Associate. At that meeting I explained the ARC guidelines, process, and procedures. I also attempted to reconstruct the ARC’s deliberations and decisions regarding said petition. Curiously this student had not chosen to take advantage of their opportunity to request an appeal or reconsideration of our initial finding. In my follow-up conversation with Ronnie Sue regarding her findings (she found no evidence that the student had been discriminated against), she did make a suggestion towards clarifying student options. She indicated that in her review of this situation she found that the process after the initial petition had been submitted was unclear to students and wondered if the ARC couldn’t offer a written synopsis of the potential steps along with the guidelines at the time when the students pick up the petition. This is truly more of a Registrar’s Office issue and decision, but the ARC did draft and forward some language to the Registrar’s Office for their consideration. The potential addition to the materials given to students would be something to this effect:
This message was delivered to the Registrar’s Office after the ARC meeting on May 28th.
I would like to thank the Faculty Senate for the opportunity to serve on and chair this committee over the last three years. It has been a wonderful learning opportunity and has greatly increased my knowledge of the campus and its policies. I would also like to thank Tom Watts, Heather Chermak, Nancy Laurence, Amy Flint, and the Registrar’s Office for their assistance with the work of this committee.
2006-07 Academic Requirements Membership
|Jeff Malone ’08, Chair||Academic Success Center/UESP|
|LeeAnn Baker ’08||University Honors College|
|Anthony Brock ’09||Operating Systems|
|Kelly Donegan ‘09||Horticulture|
|Cynthia Muna ’09 (resigned mid-year)||Disability Access Services|
|Sheila Roberts ’10||Educational Opportunities Program|
Ex-Officio: Registrar’s Office Representatives: Tom Watts, Heather Chermak, Nancy Laurence, and Amy Flint
Executive Committee Liaison: Moira Dempsey