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Steering Committee Minutes 11/12/2014

RWU Faculty Senate

Steering Committee Minutes

November 21, 2014

Present: S. Bosco, G. Graham, J. Platania (Chair)

Members discussed the following motions:

1.         MOTION (on the Provost’s syllabus guidelines) to charge the Steering Committee with regularly reviewing the guidelines and to make recommendations for changes as needed.  (Senate Executive Committee)


2.         MOTION that the Steering Committee be charged with reporting to the Senate on deadlines for approvals of faculty searches.

With respect to review of the guidelines distributed by the Provost, the Committee compared the syllabus guidelines (attached as Appendix to Minutes) to the RWUFA 2012-2016 Contract language addressing content of course syllabi (lines 1114-1118 – Course syllabi stating course and lesson learning outcomes; evidence that these outcomes are communicated to students, and that course content and assignments are designed to accomplish course learning outcomes. Course syllabi should clearly describe examination and homework policies, grading standards, student accessibility policy and attendance policy.)

Comparison indicates the guidelines include all the elements identified in the Contract. In addition, in the Provost’s email faculty are requested to send any suggestions “for additions or changes”. Syllabus Guidelines 8-15-2014 Question: Have any suggestions be received by the Provost? Committee agreed this is a reasonable outline of what is acceptable – (in light of NEASC standards). It did not appear to the Committee that any of the recommendations were objectionable. However, the possibility of including possible statements or language to avoid on a course syllabus might be beneficial; i.e., any loosely defined grading criteria that could potentially be challenged. Perhaps a review of syllabi for language that could be perceived as challengeable – Senators may want to discuss this w/ department colleagues and report to the Steering Committee as we continue our review.

On the second issue, it appears that position approvals occur at various times of the year, making it difficult for recruitment efforts. At the last Senate meeting the Provost mentioned that there is variability in the budget process with regard to faculty lines due to retirement notifications, for example. Through our discussion it is apparent that the recruitment and hiring process varies from school to school and over time. As a result, the Steering committee recommends that a clear process be developed by Administration and communicated to the schools and college.

Finally, the Steering Committee is requesting that the Senate advise the Steering Committee on the status of the action of the recommendations made by the Committee on the organization as reflected in the Minutes of 10/4/2013 Steering Minutes 10-4-2013

Respectfully submitted,

J. Platania

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