University Senate Meeting Notes for June 2011

The GSC President is included as a Senator for all University Senate meetings. The following is his report.

Notes of interest for the Graduate Student community:

  • Dr. Flowers, Dean of the Graduate School, announced a proposal for a grade of "GP" for "Graduate Project". Full details can be found here: PDF
    • The motion passed: 73 for, 2 opposed
  • Dr. Phelps, Teaching Effectiveness Committee, announced a proposed policy for Student Evaluation of Courses. Full details can be found here: PDF 1 and PDF 2
    • An amendment preceding "Purpose of Student Evaluations" clarifying how these evaluations should rank or judge faculty, essentially that it should not be the sole data considered when judging faculty, was proposed.
      • The amendement passed: 60 for, 14 against
    • Some comments from senators expressed concern for a lack of requirement for students to fill out evaluations.
    • Other comments from senators expressed concern on an overemphasis on student evaluations to judge teaching effectiveness.
    • Other comments from senators expressed concern on the inflexibility of the form. The Teaching Effectiveness committee countered with the claim that the online evaluations have more flexibility than the old paper forms.
    • Other comments from senators expressed concern over what data will be reported for job advancement.
    • An amendment following "Every course must undergo student evaluation of instruction each time it is offered" stating "Student participation in the survey is mandatory" was proposed.
      • The amendment passed: 47 for, 28 against
    • Some comments from senators expressed a desire for a threshold of responses for the evaluations for a course to be considered.
    • Other comments from senators asked for a parallel peer evaluation system.
    • The policy passed: 44 for, 27 against
  • Jane Kuehne, Chair, Academic Computing Committee, and Kathy McClelland, Instructional Management Group, presented an information item on replacing Blackboard: PDF
    • The current system, Blackboard Vista, will not be supported after January 2013. The next-generation version of Blackboard was not seen as a viable replacement.
    • Faculty who participated in trying out new systems overwhelmingly prefered Canvas as the next Learning Management System.
    • One faculty member reported a positive response when using Canvas this summer with her students, both from her and the students' perspectives.
    • The recommendation by the committee is to adopt Canvas and begin to move to it immediately.


Created On: Jun 07, 2011

Last Updated: May 06, 2013

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