Senate to make syllabus proposal

Mike Stunson

A University Senate committee and the Student Government Association were able to reach a compromise on syllabus transparency at this month’s University Senate meeting.

The senate’s Academic Quality Committee agreed to propose a resolution that will require professors to post syllabi for their classes online before the end of the first week of classes.

University Senate Chair Kelly Madole said she hopes to see a proposal by the next senate meeting on Dec. 16.

SGA voted at a meeting earlier this month to pass legislation that supported a policy that would promote online access to course information for students.

SGA originally wanted the deadline for professors to post their syllabi to be the first day of priority registration, but SGA Executive Vice President Kendrick Bryan said he is a fan of the compromise.

“Of course the students would care for syllabi to be posted when they register for classes, but I am still happy we worked this out,” Bryan said.

Madole said the proposal may not include TopNet, but anywhere online that is accessible for students.

“TopNet is only a few years old, and who knows how long it will be around,” Madole said. “TopNet just happens to be the best particular vehicle right now, but it may not be in the future.”

SGA President Colton Jessie said he was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t much conversation regarding the resolution at the committee meeting.

“There was some controversy back and forth in the beginning, but we met with the Academic Quality Committee, and we compromised,” Jessie said. “The resolution is pretty agreeable for both sides.”

Madole said she didn’t expect much uproar from professors at the meeting regarding SGA’s hopes for syllabus transparency.

“I think the students had the chance to talk with some of the faculty that may have addressed concerns,” Madole said. “It is definitely a reasonable thing to require professors to post their syllabi online.”

Bryan said he’s happy SGA was able to help make these changes.

“The organization is constantly looking for ways to change campus life, and we will continue to look for ways to improve student life,” he said.

Jessie said he hopes to see the changes go in effect by the next academic year.

“Hopefully by the time next fall rolls around it will be something that really benefits students,” he said.