University Senate approves resolution against emphasis on bi-terms

Mitchell Grogg

The University Senate approved a resolution against an increased emphasis on bi-term classes at WKU.

The resolution stated: “The administration must not and need not ‘encourage’ or ‘increase emphasis’ on bi-term classes in any way or change the academic calendar to privilege their delivery or, in turn, enact concomitant shift to a per-credit-hour tuition structure.”

Mac McKerral, University Senate chair, said the current situation regarding bi-term classes works for most faculty.

“If we already have the option of choosing bi-terms if we want, then why not just allow faculty and departments — various departments — to do that?” he said.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, did not immediately offer his opinion on the resolution after its passage in the senate’s meeting.

“I see the resolution. I’ll study the resolution,” he said following the meeting. “I will probably report to the Senate at its next meeting.”

The University Senate also discussed another proposal by Emslie at the meeting.

It called for a change to the university’s grading scale, adding the grades of B+ and C+, which would carry 3.5 and 2.5 quality points, respectively, for grade point average calculation.

“The idea was to encourage students to aspire to a higher level,” Emslie said.

In turn, the senate’s Academic Quality Committee presented an action with a grading scale that would add B+, C+ and D+ grades, but with quality point ratings of 3.3, 2.3, and 1.3, respectively.

Guy Jordan, chair of the Academic Quality Committee, said this proposal isn’t everything the faculty wants.

“But it doesn’t keep it exactly the same, and I think most faculty would appreciate a more nuanced way to evaluate their students,” he said.

Most faculty would prefer to see a system with “minus” grades included as well, Jordan said, but such a system was not proposed because students didn’t support a past proposal to add minuses.

“We’re in a situation where we should not let perfect be the enemy of good,” Jordan said.