January 25, 2007

Minutes of the Rice University Plenary Faculty Meeting

Thursday, January 25, 2007, 4 pm

McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall

I. Summary of Faculty Senate Activities
II. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Degree Candidates
III. Presentation and Approval of Graduate Degree Candidates

A verbatim recording of the proceedings is available by contacting the Faculty Senate at 713-348-5630.

Attendance: approximately 10

Faculty Senate Speaker Marjorie Corcoran called to order the Plenary Faculty Meeting at 4:02 pm. President Leebron was out of the country and unable to attend the meeting.

I. Summary of Faculty Senate Activities

Marj Corcoran, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, provided a brief summary of the Senate’s activities during the fall semester.

During the first semester of the 2006-2007 academic year, the Faculty Senate put together a number of working groups to address a variety of issues in parallel, including:

  • course evaluations (created 9/6/06)
  • athletic admissions (created 9/6/06)
  • non-tenure-track faculty policies and procedures (re-authorized 9/6/06)
  • university standing committees (re-authorized 9/6/06)
  • email privacy (created 11/15/06)

Non-Senators may serve on and chair Senate working groups. Details of the working group charges and membership can be found on the Senate website.

The Senate met with the Chair of the Committee on the Rice Undergraduate Program (CRUP) three times, including a two-hour meeting to elicit input from all faculty members.

The Senate met twice with the Vice President for Enrollment to learn about the challenges Rice University will face as it grows its student body.

The PRES-FAC faculty email list was updated extensively to add those faculty who had been omitted from the mailing list and remove those faculty who no longer worked at the university.

Faculty were encouraged to visit the Senate website.

II. Presentation of Undergraduate Degree Candidates

Stan Dodds, member of the Committee on Examinations and Standing (EX&S), stood in for Deborah Nelson-Campbell, Chair of EX&S. Dodds presented the list of 90 candidates recommended to receive undergraduate degrees. Dodds noted that there were no requests for exceptions.

The Committee on Examinations and Standing moved to approve the list of candidates for graduation. The candidates for undergraduate degrees were approved unanimously.

Dodds presented an additional item for consideration. The case involved an undergraduate student who was granted a Bachelor of Arts degree with dual majors in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and in Policy Studies in spring 2006. She declared her major in March 2004, the same year in which Biochemistry and Cell Biology instituted the Bachelor of Science degree. The clear intention was for her to receive the Bachelor of Science degree, but the correct paper work was not filed. All parties are in agreement as to intent. Approval of this request would involve a retroactive change in degree status to award both a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

The Committee on Examinations and Standing moved to approve this retroactive change. The motion to award two degrees instead of one degree with dual majors was approved.

III. Presentation of Graduate Degree Candidates

James Faubion, Chair of the Graduate Council, presented the list of 154 candidates recommended to receive graduate degrees. Faubion noted that there were no requests for exceptions.

The Graduate Council moved to approve the list of candidates for graduation. The candidates for graduate degrees were approved unanimously.

VI. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 4:14 pm, with the next faculty plenary meeting scheduled for May 11, 2007.