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James Madison University

University Council

Agenda 2003-2004

Proceedings 2003-2004

University Council Members 2003-2004

Proceedings 2002-2003

   - Minutes No. 1 - 10-24-02
   - Minutes No. 2 - 11-21-02
   - Minutes No. 3 - 2-20-03
   - Minutes No. 4 - 4-10-03
   - University Council Members 2002-2003

Proceedings 2001-2002

Past Proceedings 1997-2000

Minutes No. 3 2002-2003


Minutes No. 3  2002-2003
Thursday, February 20, 2003

I.  CALL TO ORDER AND ATTENDANCE: The James Madison University Council met electronically on Thursday, February 20, 2003.

PRESENT:  Mr. Ralph Alberico, Dr. Jerry Benson, Dr. David Brakke, Dr. Doug Brown, Dr. Michael Busing, Dr. Steve Frysinger, Mr. Christopher Gatesman, Dr. Linda Halpern, Ms. Donna Harper, Mr. John Horigan, Mr. Charles King, Dr. Sharon Lovell, Dr. Ramon Mata-Toledo, Dr. Robert Reid, Dr. Lin Rose, Dr. Kathy Stafford, Dr. Mark Warner, Dr. Richard Whitman, Ms. Emily Wyman, and Dr. David Zimmerman

ABSENT:   Dr. Patricia Brady, Ms. Andrea Fischetti, Dr. Karen Forcht, Dr. Michael Smilowitz, Mr. Levar Stoney, and Dr. William Walker.


Committee on Academic Programs:

Dr. Steve Frysinger, Chair, reported that the Committee had met on 11/22/02, 12/6/02 and 1/24/03.

November 22, 2002

A.  BA/BS Degree Requirements

The CAP agreed to the following process for developing the BA/BS degree requirement course listing:

•  Teresa Gonzalez will contact Sherry Hood to come up with a list of courses that are currently meeting BA/BS requirements.

•  The list will then go to the College C&I chairs committee group for review.

•  This group will develop a process for reviewing the list with their department C&I chairs.

•  After the initial list is developed any additions or deletions will be made through the regular C&I process.

•  The C&I forms will be changed to indicate whether a proposed course could fulfill a BA or BS degree requirement.

•  If there are any disputes, the CAP will review on a case-by-case basis.  Teresa Gonzalez will also review the SACS requirements for degrees.


Implementation date:  no later than the 2004-05 catalog.  Teresa will work with the C&I Committee chairs committee to facilitate efficient and thoughtful responses.  If necessary, we will change current catalog to refer to a website for details.


December 6, 2002

A.  BA/BS Degree Requirements

Until the permanent process is put into place, the Dean's office of each college that has the most ownership in a course will handle the decision/evaluation for the degree requirement course substitution.


Departments should put in a C&I request to include courses to meet the BA/BS degree requirements. The C&I committees will come up with a list of courses that will meet the requirements. The additions and deletions will go through the regular C&I process. Any unresolved disputes would be brought before the CAP for a decision.


The CAP endorsed the use of the degree requirements definitions that were stated in the BA/BS task force's report (1999).


B.  Grading Scale for the Graduate School

The committee approved the change in the grading scale to include two additional grades, "A-" and "B-". The plus and minus grades are at the discretion of the instructor. The graduate faculty felt strongly about having better grading options. The new university regulations require that this issue come to the CAP for approval. It was moved, seconded, discussed, and approved the proposed changes. The changes will take effect with the 2003-04 catalog.


C.  The Ability of Students to Major and Minor in the Same Area

Teresa Gonzalez will bring this issue to the Nomenclature Committee that is working on definitions as required by SACS.


D.  Enrollment Management and Interdisciplinary Education

The CAP needs to address the problem of enrollment management and interdisciplinary education. This institutional problem is more than a staffing issue; it is about permitting students to diversify their education by taking courses outside of their major. Many departments have had to delete their minors in the past several years. This severely restricts student choice (and possibly success) and puts more pressure on GenEd to provide the electives students need to graduate, even beyond the GenEd program requirements. The committee continued discussion of this issue at its January 24, 2003 meeting.


January 24, 2003

A.  General Education Restructuring of Cluster I

Violet Allain gave an overview on the restructuring changes being made to the General Education Cluster I. Detailed information was posted to the blackboard site for review by the committee.  The issue will then be discussed in detail at the next CAP meeting on February 28, 2003.


B.  College of Business Curriculum and Instruction Changes

The COB proposes to modify the Accounting program description and requirements. The CAP approved.


C.  Enrollment Management and Interdisciplinary Education

The CAP continued discussion of this issue (started in the previous meeting). The discussion included admissions policies as a possible tool to restrict the number of majors in order to permit other students to minor or complete certificates (or even just take electives) in a given area. Business has been the exemplary program, given that many students in other majors would benefit from a Business minor, but the committee acknowledges that the issue arises in other programs as well. We will attempt to gather data about the issue (both within JMU and from other universities), and to seek a process by which this issue can be addressed as broadly as possible. Our ultimate goal is to present a proposal regarding this issue to Drs. Rose and Brown.


Graduate Council:

Dr. N. William Walker, Dean, reported that the Graduate Council had met as scheduled for the months of November and December 2002 and met electronically for January 2003.  The following actions were reported.


•  Twenty-five electronic faculty/instructor approvals.

•  Forty electronic course approval/changes approved.

•  Revised program in Computer Science to add concentration in Secure Software Engineering approved.

•  New program of Occupational Therapy approved by Graduate Council with degree of Master's of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.).  This program must now be approved by the BOV and SCHEV.

•  Program Change in Secondary Education Master of Arts in Teaching to rearrange curriculum approved.


Old Business:  Admission testing requirements for the Master of Fine Arts program for applicant entry criteria to agree with what is being commonly done in the field was approved.


New Business:

New policies adopted:

Issue:  The graduate grading policy be changed to add A- and B- options to give faculty and students a more accurate assessment.

Action:  Grading policy will change with a target date for Fall 2003 to include A- and B- in the existing graduate grading policy.


Issues suggested for discussion: 

The following suggestions and comments were made by Council members:

-create electronic boards for discussion;

-submit ideas as motion in meeting and then tweak during discussion;

-colleges should apply the "Criteria for Graduate Programs of Distinction" to the program proposal before it comes to the Council;

-Graduate Council needs strong/rigorous standards and criteria; and to develop 5-year plan and strong mission statement.



•  Graduate Student Representative, Stephanie Dupal, reported that the Graduate Student Association is developing well.  She thanked the group for nominations of graduate students to the GSA but needs additional nominations in order to complete the GSA council. She announced that workshops facilitated by graduate students for graduate students have been scheduled to start in January.  The schedule of workshops can be downloaded from the GSA web site.


•  Stephanie Dupal is the graduate student representative appointed to serve on the Committee for Academic Programs.


•  Starting in January, the Graduate Council will meet alternately on each side of the campus. Meetings are scheduled for Thursdays from 2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.


•  The College of Graduate and Professional Programs out-reach/entrepreneurial advisory board for the professional programs side of the College is in place. 


•  Dr. Walker announced that mandatory continuous enrollment would begin in Fall 2003 semester.  A CGAPP one-credit course has been approved for students not enrolled in other courses.  Until then, graduate coordinators should strongly encourage all graduate students to register to maintain graduate standing and to get an accurate student count.  Requests for exceptions to the Continuous Enrollment Policy should be submitted to Dr. Walker. 


•  The Graduate Fair was held November 14.  Attendance doubled over last year's Fair.  The Fair will be presented again next year and we will invite other institutions to participate.  It was suggested that we change the time to 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The time change would allow students to visit the fair during lunch and accommodate travel time for the other institutions.


•  SACS-A committee was appointed to examine the language in the Graduate catalog as to how we ensure significant differences between undergrad and grad programming. 


•  Dr. Walker explained the need to change wording in the Graduate Catalog so the catalog does not imply that it is a legal contract between the student and program.  Please be sure not to imply contract status of statements in the catalog.  All programs should check program literature to be sure there are no implied contract statements.



Commission on Community:


Mr. Christopher Gatesman, reported that he and co-chair Renee Staton are currently meeting with all past chairs of the Commission.  New commission members have been notified and all have agreed to serve.  The first meeting will be held March 7.


Dr. Michael Smilowitz forwarded the following report:  


A.  Standing Committees

Academic Policies

•  The Senate endorsed the "Academic Advising Initiative" contingent upon some minor revisions.       

•  Committee is continuing its analysis of grade distribution data to determine the need for Senate recommendations.

•  The Committee is examining the feasibility/desirability of revising the academic calendar to provide for an entire week of "Thanksgiving Holiday."


Faculty Concerns Committee

•  The Committee has nearly completed collecting survey data from faculty with RTA appointments and is preparing to begin its analysis.

•  The Committee has made arrangements to provide gifts to retiring faculty.

•  The Committee is determining what steps should be taken to provide part-time faculty with access to the Library and UREC during summer.


Student/Faculty Relations

The Committee is exploring possibilities for the Senate to annually recognize the leadership contributions of a member of Student Government.


B.  Ad Hoc Committees

Day Care Initiative

The Committee endorsed the report of the ad hoc committee on Day Care.  The text of the full report is available at: .


Faculty Emeriti Initiative

The Committee remains in its winter hibernation.  All appears well, and they are poised to present their recommendations at spring's thaw.  


"Expanding Horizons" Project

The first activity is scheduled for March 1st.  Professor O'Meara will attempt to convince the 12 year-old participants that questions about the meaning of life are indeed meaningful.  Fortunately, the participants will be provided lunch!


C. Other Business

•  The Senate completed the "Computer Lottery."   For the first time, the lottery was conducted entirely on the web, including submission of entries and notification of winners.

•  The Senate resolved to request that the search for the Dean of Education be conducted according the prescriptions of the Faculty Handbook.   The Senate further resolved to request the Handbook Committee to clarify the language in sections III.C.5 and III.C.6 to delineate clearly those deans that are administrative and professional faculty positions in the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.



Mr. Levar Stoney, SGA President, forwarded the attached report.


Elections Reform Policy Adopted

After a semester of deliberation and debate, the Election Reform Ad hoc Committee led by Senator Lauren Newman was able to propose a new and improved election policy to guide the SGA through future elections.  In the policy the committee included more defined and objective guidelines for campaigning that the past regulations lacked.  The policy also included a new method on which students will now elect their leaders.  Beginning this spring SGA elections will now be held online.  It is our hope this will increase student participation and interest in the SGA elections process.


Safe Rides

Vice President of Student Affairs Lyndsey Walther-Thomas has begun to diligently lay the foundation for a Safe Rides program to begin operations for the next academic year.  Safe Rides would provide a safe ride home for JMU students during the weekend and protect against the hidden alternative to drunk driving that may occur on the streets of Harrisonburg.  VPSA Walther-Thomas is currently going through the process of verifying the program's recognition as an independent organization.

Front End Budgeting (FEB) Review
In addition to hearing contingency requests from non-FEB funded organizations, the Finance Committee completed its biannual review of the FEB status of all nine FEB organizations.  Approval of seven of the nine FEB groups was granted in committee, while two groups (NAACP and BSA) were not given approval within committee.  The decision on both groups were brought to the Senate and overturned by overwhelming votes.  Each organization will continue with its FEB status for the next two years.  A FEB Reform Ad hoc committee was formed to review the SGA's policy on front end budgeting.


Student Senate Focus:  Student Services

The Student Services committee has focused their efforts on organizing the creation of free and informative student planners for incoming freshmen for Fall Semester 2003. The committee also is working to develop an online events calendar for student organizations to better publicize their programming and to offer easier access to such information for all students at JMU.



Mr. John Horigan, Honor Council President, provided the following information.


Informal Resolutions:  agreements between a faculty member and a student accused of violating the Honor Code.  The agreement is essentially a contract between the instructor and the student regarding the violation, generally including an admission of guilt, and the sanction for that violation.  The maximum sanction that may be imposed by this course of action is failure of the course without the option to repeat/forgive.  Average number of Informal Resolutions for any academic year is highly variable. 


As of 2/19/03 for '02- '03:  47


Formal Resolutions:  hearings granted to a student accused of violating the code for any of the following reasons: First, the accused refuses to sign an Informal Resolution, or denies guilt.  Second, the faculty member involved deems the violation too serious to be dealt with by only one faculty member.  Third, the student has one or two prior violations, whether informal or formal.  A Formal Resolution requires that a hearing panel be convened with four students (three Honor Council Representatives and the Council Vice President), and three faculty representatives as the deliberations panel.  The decision of guilt is made before intent and sanctioning.  Only after a decision regarding guilt is made is the panel informed of any prior violations.  Minimum sanctions that apply are as follows: for a first violation there is no minimum sanction.  For a second violation suspension for one academic semester and failure of the course without the option to repeat forgive.  Lastly, for a third violation the minimum sanction is expulsion.  In past years the average number of Formal Resolutions per year has fluctuated around two. 


As of 2/19/03 for Fall Semester '02: 2

As of 2/19/03 for Fall Semester '02: 3 under investigation (resulting from fall violations)

There is currently one appeal going before an appeals panel.



New Representatives are added to the council at the start of each semester.  Any full- time student, undergraduate or graduate may apply.  We are currently conducting interviews for new representative applicants.  Interviews will be completed by the 21st.


Student Education Committee

The Student Education Committee has begun Residence Hall presentations on the topic of the Honor Code in an effort to increase awareness of the importance and value of academic integrity at JMU.  The committee also does classroom presentations in the Fall semester.


Faculty Relations Committee

The Faculty Relations Committee is currently working on preparing two tri-fold pamphlets for faculty members on how to report violations as well as how to get involved in the Council.


Publicity Committee

The Publicity Committee has been working on organizing a panel discussion to be held in April to focus on the importance of integrity in an academic community.  


Honor Advisory Board

The Honor Advisory Board met on November 17, 2002.  Several amendments were passed to revise procedures.  Debate was opened on altering the Second sanction of the Honor Code to include a notation on the student's transcript.  All members of the Board agreed that there will be no vote on the issue until further research has been completed.  Katie Ferguson, Head Investigator, has undertaken large parts of the research and will present her findings in a proposal to the Board.


Center for Academic Integrity

John Horigan has accepted a nomination for a one-year term on the Board of Directors of the Center for Academic Integrity.




No report was received from UPB.




NOTE:   The next meeting is scheduled to meet Thursday, April 10, 2003.  





Linwood H. Rose, President



Donna E. Burch, Secretary

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Last Modified: 10/30/2003