Proposal might separate senate

Ashlee Clark

University Senate members might be dealing with a split with one of its committees this semester.

A recommendation to separate the university curriculum committee from the senate was made last semester by a subcommittee of the UCC.

The curriculum committee reviews course programs and academic policy proposals. The change would be meant to make that process run more efficiently.

The recommendation was tabled in November – but some senate members say it might be proposed this semester.

The general education committee would also separate from the senate in the recommendation.

“I don’t think it helps the University Senate or the university itself,” senate Chair Doug Smith said.

But some curriculum committee members say the move would speed up the process.

Under the recommendation, proposals would be sent to either an undergraduate or graduate curriculum council after going through an undergraduate or graduate college curriculum committee, according to the recommendation. The proposals would first go to a department committee.

Curriculum proposals would no longer be sent to the senate.

If appropriate, proposals would be sent to the university teacher education or general education committees.

Right now, proposals have to go through departmental, college and university curriculum committees before being brought to the senate. The process can sometimes take as many as two months to complete, Smith said.

In order for the split to happen, a task force would be formed and a faculty vote would be needed, said Darlene Applegate, chair of the curriculum committee.

The subcommittee formed in spring 2003 proposed removing the curriculum review bodies from the senate, Applegate said.

The recommendation was presented to the full curriculum committee in the fall. The recommendation was revised but never voted on because the curriculum committee didn’t have a quorum, Applegate said.

Smith said he prohibited the entire committee from proposing the change under parliamentary procedures.

“Coming from the entire committee would give it the weight of the entire committee,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’s the view of the entire committee.”

The curriculum committee tabled the motion to approve the amended recommendation at its Nov. 25 meeting, Applegate said.

Retta Poe, vice chair of the curriculum committee, said a senate member could still make a proposal to separate individually.

“If something’s broken, you just try to fix it,” she said.

Smith said it is a good thing that the curriculum committee wants to shorten the proposal process, but there are other alternatives besides taking the committee out of the senate.

Issues with the wording or language of proposals can be a time-consuming part of the process, Smith said.

Smith said some other ways to help minimize the proposal process is to add an editor position or prevent overlap between members of the college and university curriculum committees.

Smith said separating would in some ways take the senate back to how it was before the union of the Faculty Senate and Academic Council in 1999.

Applegate said separating the two groups would be similar in terms of having two distinct university bodies, but it would not necessarily be the same as it was before the University Senate.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected]