University Senate welcomes new provost, discusses academic program review

Terry Ballman began her role as provost in August, replacing former provost David Lee. She previously worked as the dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University, San Bernardino since 2013.

Emily DeLetter

The University Senate welcomed new provost Terry Ballman during its first meeting of the 2018-2019 school year.

Ballman, the former dean of the college of arts and letters at California State University, San Bernardino said she appreciated how welcome she already felt on campus from faculty and staff. She also attended the opening meetings for two colleges, the College of Health and Human Services and the Gordon Ford College of Business.

She told the Senate one concern that she became aware of during the meeting over the number of seats available to students enrolled in the Colonnade connections program.

“We may be offering 1,500 fewer seats than we need, and that creates a bottleneck which will create difficulties for students to complete [connections courses] in time,” Ballman said. “That’s something that the GE [General Education] and Colonnade committee may want to look at, and all of us can think about better ways to address this, which can obviously be a real issue for students.”

She also said she found a consensus for more professional development with department chairs and discussed the purpose of an academic program review.

This review would look at majors, minors, credentials, certificates and graduate programs and would offer a “streamlined’ template to use within different departments to find the impact the program has on students.

Ballman said a freeze on new curriculum will begin and is related to the academic program review.

“It doesn’t make sense if we’re in the process of program review to now be proposing new coursework,” she said. “As soon as the process is over it will be open to new curriculum, and curriculum that is already in the pipeline will be considered.”

Exceptions can be made for minor course revisions, temporary courses, compelling need, structural changes, changes required by an external force or accreditation agency, or a need to accommodate students.

SGA President Stephen Mayer also introduced himself to the Senate. This is Mayer’s first year as student body president and student regent. 

The University also approved a report by the Graduate Council which showed WKU graduate enrollment from Spring 2018. The report was endorsed by the Senate Executive Committee and was passed unanimously by the Senate.

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