University Senate discusses proposal to eliminate 8 a.m. classes

Senior Francis Wilson speaks at WKU’s monthly university senate meeting. The meeting took place on Thursday, Sept. 20. Many items were discussed including Committee and Advisory Reports, and new business including the Admission Holds Policy, Course Type Cleanup and new Colonnade Courses.

Emily DeLetter

The WKU University Senate held its monthly meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss potentially later class times, additions to the Colonnade connections courses and student voting.

Faculty Senate Chair Kirk Atkinson informed the Senate of two proposals by finance professor Ron Rhoades to potentially eliminate 8 a.m. classes, except when multiple sections are offered, and limit the number of 9 a.m. classes. The report additionally suggested that more classes should be offered from 9:35-10:20 a.m. and “well into the afternoon hours.”

The proposal states that “If students can achieve longer sleep and better sleep quality, it is hypothesized that significant improvements can be made in student success – whether measured by GPA, student retention rates, or other measures.”

The proposal also suggests “enhancing the education of WKU students early on in their college life regarding chromotypes (SIC), sleep quantity, and sleep quality, and the consequences of sleep deprivation.”

The proposal will be forwarded to two faculty committees for consideration next. 

The Senate also approved adding two Colonnade connections courses to the curriculum during the Spring 2019 semester. ENG 404, History of English will fall under the systems category and PS 377, Southern Politics will fall under the social/cultural category. These new courses will open additional seats for students completing their Colonnade courses.

The senate discussed a resolution by Budget and Finance Committee Chair Jim Berger concerning faculty merit pay.

Provost Terry Ballman said she was still concerned about the number of Colonnade Connections courses currently offered for the spring semester but was pleased with the “creative ways” faculty and staff were coming up with new ways to solve the issue.

“This almost is an emergency for our students to graduate,” Ballman said.

She also mentioned WKU’s strategic plan, citing meetings with several deans and department heads to discuss the Comprehensive Academic Review Program (CAMP).

SGA President Stephen Mayer hosted a guest speaker, Francis Wilson, who spoke about the nonpartisan commission to register students to vote.

Wilson said he and a group of students sent out a commission to set up carpools to polls and send out text alerts on election days.

Wilson also mentioned an effort to cancel classes on election day to give students the opportunity to vote in their own district. SGA passed a unanimous resolution Tuesday supporting election day class cancellation.

Reports from the Colonnade General Education Committee, Graduate Council and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee were unanimously approved.  

Editor’s Note: a previous version of this story said the report eliminating 8 a.m classes would be sent to the Provost. The report will be sent to two faculty committees. This story has been updated with the correction and the Herald regrets this error. 

Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.