Faculty Senate Meeting
November 20, 2019
Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library
Senators present: Gwen Bradford, Gregory Chambers, Sergio Chavez, Nate Citino, Dennis Cox, Erik Dane, Michael Diehl, Daniel Domingues, Mahmoud El-Gamal, Sarah Ellenzweig, Christopher Fagundes, Esther Fernandez, Dawn Finley, Pat Hartigan, Chris Johns-Krull, Marek Kimmel, Eden King, David Leebron, Jun Lou, Angel Marti-Arbona, Seiichi Matsuda, David Messmer, Ed Nikonowicz, Jamie Padgett, Doug Schuler, Ray Simar, Scott Solomon, Jesús Vassallo, Nicole Waligora-Davis, Pablo Yepes, Colin Zelt
Senators absent: Charles Geyer, Emilia Morosan, Rob Raphael, Ray Simar
(To listen to an audio tape of this meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Senate Meeting Agenda (and actions taken):
Speaker Chris Johns-Krull called the meeting to order at 12:09 p.m.
Johns-Krull reminded the audience of the plenary meeting to approve December degree candidates on December 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the McMurtry Auditorium. He also said that the December convocation would be later the same day at 2:00 p.m. in the Stude Concert Hall. Faculty are welcomed, but not required, to attend, especially if they have a student graduating.
Jeff Fleisher, chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC), introduced the proposal to create two new majors in the Department of Kinesiology. He said the proposal was a relatively straightforward change that took two already established concentrations and turned them into majors. He said there were no actual curricular changes. He said in some ways, this was an end to a long process of restructuring in the department. He said there was some discussion in the CUC about the proposal, but the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Johns-Krull clarified that although they came out of one proposal, there would be two majors created so there would be two separate votes. Jesús Vassallo seconded the motion to approve the creation of the Health Sciences major. The motion passed with 100 percent voting in favor. The proposal can be viewed on the Senate website. The voting record is on the faculty wiki, accessible with net ID.
Doug Schuler seconded the motion to create a major in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology. The motion passed with 100 percent approval. The proposal can be viewed on the Senate website. The voting record is on the faculty wiki, accessible with net ID.
Fleisher explained that Medieval and Early Modern Studies already exists as a longstanding major. He said the proposal for a minor was fast-tracked through the CUC because the structure for the program already exists. Fleisher explained that part of the history of the minor was that originally, minors were not part of the Rice curriculum and some Humanities programs created “second majors.” In recent years, the Dean of Humanities moved to get rid of the second majors, and now there have been a series of proposals to create minors.
Pablo Yepes seconded the motion to approve a minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. The motion passed with 100 percent approval. The proposal can be viewed on the Senate website. The voting record is on the faculty wiki, accessible with net ID.
April DeConick, chair of the Graduate Council (GC), said the name change proposal was relatively straightforward and there was not any major discussion in the GC. She said the change from a Master of Arts to Master of Science was in order to conform with what other institutions were doing.
Vassallo explained that the Present Future program is the School of Architecture’s post-professional degree. He said the program is very small. He explained that years ago, their accrediting agency requested architecture schools change the name of their masters programs because the titles were creating confusion. Rice’s program made the change relatively early, and chose Master of Arts because they believed it would make the program more attractive. However, in the past few years, the name actually made the program weaker because it made recruiting difficult. He said Master of Science is the preferred name for the program.
Senator Jamie Padgett asked how a Master of Arts or Master of Science is differentiated in the architecture field. Vassallo answered that for a bachelor’s degree it is clear that science is intended to be the professional degree, but at the masters level, the distinction is just branding and there are not other curricular differences.
Schuler seconded the motion to approve the name change. The proposal passed with 100 percent approval. The proposal can be viewed on the Senate website. The voting record is on the faculty wiki, accessible with net ID.
DeConick explained that three years ago the Faculty Senate passed standards for major concentrations in graduate studies. The concentrations are official designations that show on a student’s transcript. She said major concentrations are not a requirement for graduate programs and they were put in place mainly with the Department of Psychological Sciences in mind, due to federal regulations. A year after the standards were created, the Department of Psychological Sciences created a number of concentrations.
Christopher Fagundes, senator and Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences, described the field of health psychology. He said the job market for the health psychology and behavioral medicine is very good. Eden King seconded the motion to approve the proposal. The proposal passed with 96 percent approval and 4 percent abstentions. The proposal can be viewed on the Senate website. The voting record is on the faculty wiki, accessible with net ID.
Johns-Krull adjourned the meeting at 12:28 p.m.