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Faculty Senate » 2012-2013 Annual Report

Academic Requirements Committee

2012-2013 Annual Report

To: Kevin Gable, President, Faculty Senate
From: Kira Hughes, 2012-2013 Chair, Academic Requirements Committee
Date: July 17, 2013
Re: Annual Report for 2012-2013

The Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) met biweekly during the 2012 summer term and weekly during the academic year. Meetings during the academic year generally lasted less than the two hours set aside, except for the traditionally heavy weeks after the 7th week withdraw date when the committee met until we completed the docket, often longer than two hours. Summer meetings often did not require the full two-hour period.

The committee considered 1006 petitions, a 1.2% decrease over last year.

Late Course Withdrawals 258
Late Course Drops 285
Late Course Adds 86
Late Change of grading basis 105
Withdrawals from the university 235
Miscellaneous Petitions 14
Deferrals 23

Late Course Withdrawals (258) and Late Course Drops (285) and Withdrawals from the University (235) were the most common actions requested. Petitions for Withdrawals from the University increased 49.4% from last year (235 compared to 119). This continues the trend of significant increases in Withdrawals from the University that has been seen over the last few years; whether or not this increase is related to increasing Ecampus enrollment or overall university enrollment, or some other reason, remains to be determined. This trend should be monitored.

  • Late Course Withdrawals were approved at a 46.1% rate. This is a fairly large increase over last year. Should this approval rate continue to rise, some investigation would seem to be required.
  • Late Course Drops were approved at a 62.8% rate with 3.2% of the Late Course Drop petitions being approved as a late withdraw instead of a drop. This is a fairly large increase over last year. Should this approval rate continue to rise, some investigation would seem to be required.
  • Late Course Adds were approved at a 96.5% rate
  • Late Change of Grading Basis petitions were approved at a 31.4% rate, which is in keeping with the percentage of approved petitions during the 2011-2012 academic year (30%).
  • The number of petitions which resulted in deferrals, typically for clarifying information, documentation and/or appropriate/required signatures, continued to remain low at 3.2%. This is in keeping with the percentages seen in 2011-2012 and 2010-2011.
Revisiting Issues from Last Year

  • Distance Students
    In 2011-2012 ARC reviewed many Ecampus petitions. These petitions typically came from students who signed up for classes but never attended nor logged into Blackboard and assumed, until they received their bill from OSU, that they had been automatically dropped from the course. As the ARC was seeing so many petitions like this, we decided to hold those petitions in a separate file for documentation and review. At the beginning of 2012-2013 we decided we needed to continue to monitor these petitions. With the appointment of Alfonso Bradoch from Ecampus to the 2012-2013 committee we thought this would be an opportune time to informally discuss a "no show drop" policy for Ecampus. The committee discussed this policy with Mr. Bradoch but, due to the significant change in policy/protocol, not to mention workload required of Ecampus staff, it was determined that a "no show drop" policy was not feasible at this time. To further address this issue, the committee reviewed the Registrar’s Office "pre-approval" list. This list identifies those petitions that are simple and straightforward and are approved by the Registrar’s Office staff and not added to the ARC’s docket. The process of updating the pre-approval list may have resulted in fewer Ecampus petitions being seen by the committee and, thus, we experienced a reduction in the desire for a "no show drop" policy. We have ceased collecting Ecampus petitions as a result.

  • Increase in Petitions from College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Pharmacy
    In 2011-2012 there were a larger number of petitions from Vet Med and Pharmacy graduate programs than seen in previous years. It appears that this may have been a one-time issue as the number of petitions seen in 2012-2013 was not concerning. The return to "normal" levels may mean that these two colleges resolved their enrollment management/registration problems.
New Challenges for this Academic Year
  • In Fall term 2012, we lost one of our members. The reason for this was not shared with the ARC Chair. The primary concern with this is simply that this member was never replaced and our committee was short one member. Additionally, we continue to have trouble obtaining two student members (as is required by our Standing Rules).
  • We spent a significant amount of time discussing changes/improvements to the petition. We met with the Academic Advising Council to discuss these changes prior to adopting them. Our primary goal behind the changes to the petition is to provide the ARC with more information from the student’s academic advisor as opposed to simply a stamp from the Head Advisor, and to ensure that the international students have visited with their international advisor prior to making any changes that may affect their VISA status. We expect that the final version of the revised petition will be finalized by the Registrar’s Office very soon and will be in place for use starting Fall 2013.
  • We made a request to visit with the OSU Office of Legal Counsel and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) during Spring 2013 due to the increased number of petitions we had been seeing from students in some state of mental distress. Our primary goals were to seek information about our legal obligations and documentation requirements, and to obtain information from CAPS on their process and criteria for writing support letters for students.
  • As a follow-up to our meeting with OSU legal and CAPS, also during Spring 2013, we met with the Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI) regarding our obligations to inform their office should we, through the petition narratives, learn of any discrimination, harassment or abuse issues. ARC members will use the information provided in this meeting as we review petitions in the future and now know we are obligated to refer petitions to OEI when any discrimination, harassment or abuse issues are detailed in the student’s narrative. Additionally, the ARC understands that Rebecca Mathern will follow-up with the Registrar’s Office staff to develop a process for review of petitions for Title IX concerns prior to being seen at weekly ARC meetings such that any issues of concern are brought to OEI’s attention as soon as possible. A notation will be made on such petitions to inform the ARC that the petition has been sent to OEI for follow up.
  • During Spring term 2013, the ARC Chair met with Susie Brubaker-Cole, Kevin Gable, and Rebecca Mathern to discuss, review, and promote consistency and accuracy in the decision process. Rebecca Mathern is investigating how the petition process works at other universities and will bring this information to meetings slated to occur in the Summer 2013 term. The goal of these meetings is to update the processes and procedures that govern the ARC to ensure consistency from year-to-year. We also plan to review and update the committee’s internal guidelines and discuss training or orientation for new members.
The Registrar’s Office kindly provides statistics regarding ARC petitions at the end of each academic year, and this data is used extensively for this report. For future reporting purposes, it is requested that data is collected on the number of petitions that are reviewed and pre-approved by the Registrar’s Office. Additionally, we would like to see the overall numbers for late drop, wi thdraw, and withdraw from the university petitions specifically broken down by eCampus, Corvallis campus, and from international students. We hope this information could help us understand some of the trends we are seeing (detailed above).

2011-2012 Academic Requirements Membership
Kira Hughes, Chair ’14 College of Forestry
Nancy Allen ’14 Fisheries and Wildlife
Tracy Bentley-Townlin ’15 Disability Access Services
Alfonso Bradoch ’15 Extended Campus
Adam Kent (v. Kneece) ’13 College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
TBA (v. Reesman) ’14
Marilyn Stewart ’13 Educational Opportunities Program

Ex-Officio Registrar’s Office Representatives: Tom Watts (Spring 2013), Amy Flint (Fall 2012 and Summer 2013), and Nancy Laurence (Winter 2013)
Executive Committee Liaison: Donna Champeau