Faculty Senate Meeting
February 24, 2016
Founder’s Room of Lovett Hall
Senate Meeting Agenda (and actions taken):
I. Call to order
A. Rice’s Quality Enhancement Program
B. Honor System Task Force
C. GA revision regarding Distribution Credit
D. Announcements from the floor
III. New Business
A. Proposed members of the Nominations and Elections Committee, update from NEC Chair regarding P&T and Senate Elections (Approved)
B. Proposed Guidelines for Graduate Major Concentrations (Approved)
C. Proposed Dual Ph.D. in History with Instituto Mora (Approved)
D. Proposed Graduate Certificate in Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism (Approved)
E. Proposed revisions to the Graduate Honor Council Policies and Procedures (Approved)
F. Proposed undergraduate Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication (Approved)
G. Proposed Major Concentrations in Sport Management (Approved)
Senators present: Graham Bader, Kate Beckingham, Gwen Bradford, David Caprette, Keith Cooper, Scott Cutler, Jerry Dickens, Claire Fanger, Julie Fette, Jeffrey Fleisher, Christopher Hight, Illya Hicks, Rachel Kimbro, Michael Kohn, Anatoly Kolomeisky, Jonathan Ludwig, Susan McIntosh, Stephan Motowidlo, Luay Nakhleh, Brian Rountree, James Weston, and Kerry Ward. Present for Marek Kimmel: Michael Schweinberger.
Senators absent: David Alexander, Robert Atherholt, Daniel Cohen, Michael Diehl, Charles Geyer, David Leebron, Marie Lynn Miranda, Timothy Morton, Stan Sazykin, Laura Segatori, and Michael Wolf.
(To listen to an audio tape of this meeting, email email@example.com .)
I. Call to Order
Speaker James Weston called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m. He welcomed the assembled senators and guests to the meeting. He congratulated Senator Laura Segatori on the birth of her baby, Nicole.
A. Rice’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP)
Professor Bob Stein, co-chair of the QEP Team, provided an update to the Faculty Senate regarding Rice’s QEP proposal for Undergraduate Experiential Inquiry and Research, which includes training opportunities for graduate students. Stein reviewed the key features of the program and the learning outcomes that both undergraduate and graduate students will achieve. He noted that the SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) members would be on the Rice campus from March 8 – 10, 2016. To view the full QEP presentation, please see: February 2016 QEP.
Speaker Weston suggested that a representative from the Faculty Senate be asked to serve on the QEP’s Faculty Council and Stein agreed. Stein thanked Dr. Stephanie Post and Dr. Matthew Taylor for their work on this important project.
B. Honor System Task Force
Alex Byrd and John Hutchinson, co-chairs of the Honor System Task Force, listed the other members of the group: Gwen Bradford, Alex Metcalf, Richard Stoll, Junghae Suh, Kristin Sweeney, Kaleb Underwood, and ex officio member Donald Ostdiek. Byrd explained that the group has met frequently, it has conducted a survey of the present state of the Honor System, and it will issue recommendations regarding any changes to the current system.
Byrd listed some preliminary recommendations from the task force regarding faculty:
Byrd was asked what led the task force to form these preliminary recommendations. He replied that most of the complaints that the task force has received state that the penalties for infractions were too light, inconsistent, or that the Honor Council made the wrong decision.
Hutchinson explained that both faculty and students were surveyed regarding the Honor System, and they participated in focus groups. He said that one outcome from the focus groups was that students might be evaluating the cost of cheating versus not cheating; if the punishment is not sufficiently onerous, students might decide to go ahead and cheat. He said that faculty judgment of which sanctions are appropriate is important. He asked that a Faculty Senate working group be formed and/or a Senate representative attend the Task Force meetings. Byrd suggested that a Faculty Advisor position to the Task Force be recommended by the Faculty Senate. Hutchinson said that an ideal advisor is one who can present a broad-based view of what the faculty expect, with Faculty Senate input.
Hutchinson thanked undergraduate Alex Metcalf, present for the meeting, for his long-term service regarding the Honor System.
Weston thanked Byrd and Hutchinson for the informative update, and he said that specific recommendations would be presented to the Senate in its March or April 2016 meeting.
C. Revision to the 2016-17 General Announcements: "Distribution Credit: Academic Planning for Distribution Requirements"
Susan McIntosh, chair of the University Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC), explained that the proposed change to the 2016-2017 General Announcements came from Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson and the Office of Student Advising. She stated that the CUC and the Executive Committee (EC) approved the proposed change (shown below), and she wished to inform the Senate.
“Each student is required to complete at least 4 courses of designated distribution courses of at least three credit hours each in each of Groups I, II, and III. The 4 courses in each group must include courses in at least two departments in that group. For the purpose of this rule, a course taken at another institution and transferred to Rice as an equivalent distribution course will be counted as one of these courses provided that the course earns at least 2.5 credit hours.”
D. Announcements from the floor (none)
III. New Business
A. Nominations and Elections Committee
Deputy Speaker Rachel Kimbro, chair of the Senate’s Nominations and Elections Committee, presented the 2016 membership of the NEC for Senate approval:
David Alexander, Natural Sciences
Kate Beckingham, Natural Sciences
Keith Cooper, Engineering
Michael Diehl, Engineering
Claire Fanger, Humanities
Charles Geyer, Shepherd School of Music
Jeffrey Fleisher, Social Sciences
Rachel Kimbro, Social Sciences
Kerry Ward, Humanities
The Senate unanimously approved the NEC membership.
Kimbro announced that electronic elections for seats on the Promotion and Tenure Committee have begun in the Schools of Engineering, Humanities, and the Jones School of Business for the Fall 2016- Spring 2019 term. She said that the deadline for voting is February 25, at 5:00 p.m.
Kimbro also announced that the call for nominations for seats on the Faculty Senate will begin the week after Rice’s Spring Break, followed by NEC recommendations to President Leebron for faculty members to serve on University Committees.
B. Proposed Guidelines for Graduate Major Concentrations
Graduate Council Chair Kathy Ensor explained that the proposed guidelines document is to allow departments and groups to offer Ph.D. and master’s level concentrations, which would be noted on the student’s transcript. For example, she said that the Statistic Department’s sub-focus in Biostatistics could become a concentration. Ensor said that any department that wished to offer a concentration would use the proposed guidelines document, which states the minimum standards required. The approval process would be the same as for any graduate academic program, she said, starting with review by the Graduate Council. If approved, the proposed concentration would be sent to the Faculty Senate for approval. Ensor noted that the Graduate Council has received a proposal from the Jones School and the Economics Department to jointly offer a concentration. She also said that broad enthusiasm exists for graduate concentrations and that having the concentrations noted on transcripts could improve job opportunities for students. Susan McIntosh noted that a sub discipline in a STEM field (with a CIP code) is recognized by the federal government for visa programs for international students in some fields, allowing them to remain in the United States for 29 months instead of 12 to complete their work.
McIntosh reminded the senators prior to voting that some edits to the document were requested on the Senate’s wiki space, including an inconsistency in the definition of a major concentration.
Weston said that the guidelines document had been approved by the EC. The Senate voted for approval, with two abstentions. See: Guidelines for Graduate Major Concentrations.
C. Proposed Dual Ph.D. in History with Instituto Mora
Graduate Council Chair Kathy Ensor presented the proposed Dual Ph.D. in History between Rice University and Instituto Mora (Mexico) for Senate approval, which she said had been approved by the Graduate Council and the EC. Alida Metcalf, chair of Rice’s History Department, and Associate Professor Moramay Lopez-Alonso, were also present.
Metcalf explained that the dual degree with Instituto Mora was based on the Rice’s dual degree program with Universidade Campinas in Brazil, and that the goal is to create a much more international program. Lopez-Alonso said that by combining efforts with Instituto Mora, students will become better historians of Latin American and Mexican history. Metcalf and Lopez-Alonso said that the annual seminar between Rice and Campinas (Brazil) would now include Instituto Mora (Mexico).
The Faculty Senate voted to approve the dual Ph.D. program, with one abstention. Please view the proposal here: Dual Ph.D. in History with Instituto Mora.
D. Proposed Graduate Certificate in Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism (GEM)
Graduate Council chair Kathy Ensor said that the GEM certificate from the Department of Religion has been awarded to students for several years. However, she explained that due to adoption of the Guidelines for Graduate Certificates in 2014, the GEM certificate program required revising in order to comply with the guidelines. Ensor said that Religion Department chair April DeConick had worked with the Graduate Council to meet the certificate requirements, which has resulted in an even stronger program. She said that the proposed certificate was unanimously approved by the Graduate Council.
The Faculty Senate voted to approve the GEM certificate, with one abstention. Please view the certificate here: GEM Graduate Certificate from the Department of Religion.
E. Proposed revisions to the Graduate Honor Council Policies and Procedures
Duane Windsor, temporary chair of the Graduate Honor Council (GHC), explained that two years ago, the Faculty Senate approved separating the current Honor Council into two bodies—one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students. He said that he then chaired a Senate working group with the charge of writing a policies and procedures document for the GHC. The document was approved by the Faculty Senate, then reviewed by several entities, including the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (DGPS), the Research Integrity Officer, Rice’s legal counsel, and various administrative officers, all of whom approved of the document with some revisions. Windsor said that he was now asking the Senate to approve the revised document.
Windsor said that changes to the original document include changes in language to clarify items and to ensure confidentiality. He said that more substantive changes include the definition of a graduate student, separation of the GHC policy document from the Honor Council Constitution, and expanded representation on the GHC to include all seven schools. Windsor said that the proposed changes come recommended by the working group and were approved by the Senate’s Executive Committee. DGPS Seiichi Matsuda thanked Windsor for his work, which he said was a heroic task.
Jerry Dickens asked why two Honor Councils are needed. Windsor said that the student body at Rice is approaching 4,000 undergraduates and 2,500 graduate students, which has overwhelmed the current Honor Council. In addition, he said that the current Honor Council does not have graduate student ombuds, thus it does not allow for peer representation for graduate students. He also referred to the earlier presentation from the co-chairs of the Task Force on the Honor System, in which it was stated that increased faculty involvement is needed. Windsor said that the GCH will be comprised of half faculty, half graduate students.
The Senate voted unanimously to approve the revised document, which can be viewed here: Graduate Honor Council Policies and Procedures.
F. Proposed Undergraduate Certificate in Languages and Intercultural Communication
Susan McIntosh, CUC chair, said that the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication (CLIC) has been issuing certificates since 2011, but due to adoption of the Guidelines for Certificates, the program needed revision. McIntosh said that all departments impacted by the certificate program have been consulted, and they support it. She said that the certificate would add considerable value for the students, especially the language immersion/study abroad component. McIntosh noted that certificates have a five year sunset clause, so the program will be reviewed again in five years. She said that the CUC vote for approval of the certificate was 14 in favor, none opposed, and two abstentions.
Rafael Salaberry, CLIC Director, said that the certificate program does not compete with the majors offered by departments. He said that the certificate focuses on oral language skills while departments focus on the written language. He also stressed the importance of the study of culture and the study abroad component in the certificate program. He said that the summer study abroad program has expanded from 30 students per summer to 55, and that funds are available to help students with tuition.
Salaberry was asked to compare Rice’s program with similar institutions. He said that Rice’s certificate will be unique. He said that one objective of the certificate program is for Rice students to have a way to showcase their study of both language and culture.
McIntosh said that an earlier version of the proposal included the Common European Frame of Reference language test, and that some CUC members expressed concern that students might complete the CLIC certificate program, but fail the language exam. She said that the language test in the current version of the proposal will be to show the proficiency that the student has achieved, not just a pass/fail of the B2 (Independent User) level.
The Senate voted to approve the proposal, with four senators abstaining, and one vote against the proposal. View the approved CLIC Certificate.
G. Proposed Major Concentrations in Sport Management
CUC Chair Susan McIntosh reviewed three proposed concentrations for the existing Sport Management major: Sport Analytics, Sport Law, and Sport Leadership. She explained that the CUC had reviewed the proposal, requested a few revisions to strengthen the program, and then approved the proposed concentrations, as did the EC. McIntosh asked if the senators had any questions; there were none. The Senate voted to approve the proposal, with one abstention. The approved proposal can be viewed HERE.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.