The purpose of this special meeting was 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 By moving the withdrawal date, it is more likely that students failing will have withdrawn from the pool.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 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.