ACADEMIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE (ASC)
Annual Report
(2015-2016)
Submitted by Dr. Steven Williamson, Chairperson


Members

Susan Perez, Diana Tanner, Pingying Zhang, Kathaleen bloom, James Gleaton, Christine Weber, Stephen Stagon (appointed to complete Edwin Harris’ term) and Megan Kuehner, Registrar.
The Academic Standards Committee reviewed multiple policies and issues in the 2015-2016 Academic Year. You will find a summary of each major item below.

Academic Appeals

The ASC concluded that the Faculty Association does not have the authority to modify the University Academic Appeals Committee Bylaws.

Grade Inflation

Based up the data and analysis that Megan provided, grade inflation does not seem to be a problem. Some minor changes were noted, believed to be primarily based upon the implementation of the plus and minus system. No changes or corrective action was recommended.


Multiple Policies from the Registrar’s Office were reviewed with minor changes made.

They include:
1. A revision of Enrollment Services’ policy on “Academic Standing” was approved as an information item. The revision was to clarify and simplify the policy. The revised policy defines “Good Standing” as an overall Institutional GPA of 2.00 or better. It further clarifies that if a student fails to achieve a 2.0 Institutional GPA while that student is serving “Academic Probation” that the student is eligible for suspension. The revised policy continues to recognize that College requirements may differ from Institutional requirements and that the student must meet the College’s requirements to continue within that college. Further it recognizes that the length of suspensions also are determined by the Colleges. The Committee was in agreement that the revised policy represented minor changes that served to clarify and simplify and did not need an ASC or faculty vote and could be immediately implemented by Enrollment Services. Policy as an information item is attached.

2. A minor revision of the Enrollment Services’ policy on “Graduation – First Baccalaureate Degree Requirements” was approved. The nature of the revision was simply to clarify the minimum number of residency hours required at UNF for a UNF degree and the minimum number of hours required within any major. In addition, the policy continues to provide departments the flexibility of determining a higher percentage of credit hours and/or a higher percentage of major courses completed at UNF while also allowing departments to define “major courses.” The Committee was in agreement that the revised policy represented minor changes that served to clarify and did not need an ASC or faculty vote and could be immediately implemented by Enrollment Services. Policy as an information item is attached.

3. A minor revision of the regulations on “FTIC and Transfer Admission” was approved by the committee. The Committee was in agreement that the revised policy represented minor changes that served to clarify and did not need an ASC or faculty vote and could be immediately implemented by Enrollment Services. Policy as an information item is attached.


University Course Withdrawal Dates

The ASC held a special meeting in June to discuss the possibility and mechanics of delaying our class withdrawal date to late in the academic calendar. All of those present in the meeting believe that such a move will have a positive impact on our students, our University, and our faculty. By delaying the withdrawal date students will have more of an opportunity to determine the likely impact of the class on their GPA before being required to make a withdrawal decision. In all likelihood, this will improve our retention rate and influence our freshman to sophomore 2.0 or better GPA matriculation metric. This could have a major impact on our State University rating and thus the money the University is budgeted to receive. Additional money means a better University and a better place for faculty to work.

Other factors included in the discussion were the actual calendar dates and the impact on the ISQ process. The relevancy of the administration of the ISQs is the general belief that faculty would prefer those student failing the class to not be among the ISQ raters. By moving the withdrawal date, it is more likely that students failing will have withdrawn from the pool. The CBA currently requires a 3week window for the administration of our Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaires (ISQs). However, after discussion both Earle Traynham, Provost and Academic VP, and John White, UFF President and all others attending agreed that two weeks would provide adequate time for the ISQ Administration and that as far as the CBA agreement went, that it could in some way be fast tracked. Tom Serwatka, VP & Chief of Staff, suggested that instead of only relying on e-mails to ask students to complete the ISQs that we should also include texting. This also met with a general agreement and the mechanics will need to be addressed by the administration.


Thus, if we look at the Academic Calendar in reverse – during the fall and spring semesters – we have the following:


Week 16 – final Exams Saturday through Friday
Week 15 – ISQs open ISQs close Friday at 5.00 p.m.
Week 14 – ISQs open Saturday at 8.00 a.m.
Week 13 – Last day to withdraw from class, closes at 5.00 p.m. on the Friday before ISQs open

Summer Semesters to be adjusted based upon terms accordingly.

Finally Withdrawal after the Withdrawal date will continue to be possible based upon student petition of extenuating circumstance will be possible but WP and WF will change to a simple W.

These changes will be presented to the Faculty Association Executive Committee in August 2016 and if approved will be presented at the September 2016 Faculty Association meeting for immediate implementation.