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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Academic Council Minutes


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Academic Council functions as the primary organizational group for department chairs and deans. The Council functions in an advisory capacity to the Provost/Chief Learning Officer for Academic Affairs. The Council recommends actions to the Provost who either responds or directs the recommendations to the proper person or organization within the university governance structure. These recommendations will indicate the Council's majority opinion on an issue or a call for action. The recommendations will be in writing and will contain the appropriate individual or group to receive the recommendation.

I.             Approval of Minutes from February 10, 2015

  • Motion to approve by Michael Godard
  • Seconded by Greg Streich
  • Unanimously approved.

II.           Department Chair Discussion with Provost (3:30 - 4:00)

A.Learning Communities and Linked Courses

  • There is confusion over the definitions and correct terms for ILCs, linked courses, blocked courses, etc.
    • Multiple linking options exist - some are for gen-eds only, some are for major classes only, some are hidden from student view and only available through an advisor’s enrollment, some we want students to be able to view on their own.
    • Need to create clearly defined distinctions between types based on the needs of departments, so there is no overlap in terminology.
    • Learning Communities do exist and were created by Gen Ed.
  • Glenda Goetz in Academic Enrichment can connect courses in the system, but you must notify her and give her specifics. We don’t want all courses to go to Glenda.
  • Need to determine who is responsible for creating each kind of linked courses - OP (perhaps could handle links at the department level), advisors, registrar, etc.
  • ILCs (Integrated Learning Communities) are listed under the prefix ILC, not the prefix of the department, so students have no way of finding the courses if they don’t already know about them.
    • There needs to be a way to make courses visible to students who self-advise.
    • Invisibility of ILCs makes it difficult for departments to advertise the course.
    • Perhaps add a note to courses within an ILC “to take this class linked to XYZ, go to CRN 12345 to enroll.”
  • Some courses have integrated content and some don’t - in recent semesters, integration has produced a slight increase in grades and better attendance across disciplines.
  • Dawna Butterfield will meet with Laura Miller in Registrar and report back.

B.New Chairs and Continuing Chairs Orientations

  • May be helpful to implement new and ongoing training for chairs. Was discussed several years ago, but talk fizzled.
  • Suggestions for Continuing Orientation topics:
    • Scheduling classes and classroom viewing/availability/scheduling
      • 25Live is not yet efficient. It was supposed to be able to show what department has first use of specific rooms.
      • Do Banner and 25Live Communicate?
    • Evaluating faculty
    • Dealing with unhappy students
    • SRAM
  • Suggestions on how to implement continuing chairs training:
    • Have an orientation in the summer for new chairs and a few throughout the year for continuing training.
    • Short training sessions at each AC meeting.
    • Run training sessions through CTL and chairs can sign up for specific sessions.
  • News of a new chair is not distributed campus wide, so new chairs often are not added to all necessary groups. Need a feasible way to notify all applicable people/groups when chair information changes. A one-stop notification is needed, perhaps coming down from the Provost’s office?

C. Confusing email came from Janice Putnam (who is just a messenger and did not set the short deadlines) to graduate coordinators.

  • Email asked for a projected budget for grad programs
  • Concerns about how accurate that information can be and will resource allocation plans be made based on this kind of ambiguous data?
  • Email should have come to chairs, because grad coordinators don’t even have access to the kinds of information they would need to make projections. Some graduate coordinators did not even receive the email.

C.Readmission of Students and Catalog Issues-ran out of time

III.          Information Items

               A. Academic Advisors ListServe (Julie Carman)

  • A Google group was created for faculty advisors.
    • Faculty advisors in departments are being asked to subscribe to this list.
    • Info will include university wide deadlines, policy changes, etc. Not major specific info.
    • Lots of info will come from Registrar.      
  • Encourage your department advisors to opt into the ListServe.
    • Advisors will not be automatically put into the group, so they must opt in.
    • Faculty can customize how often they receive emails - every update, once daily, etc.
  • Not all information will be relevant to graduate advisors.
  • Julie will send link to Eric Tenbus, who will send the link to all the chairs.

B. EAB Training for Departmental Advisors March 11 (Betsy Kreisel)

  • Academic Advisors have been using EAB student success collaborative for several years.
  • Much of the info could be helpful to faculty advisors and chairs.
  • They are offering on-site training - best sessions for dept chairs and advisors will be afternoon
  • You can view the tool if you want access- to get access, contact Mona Duncan or Betsy Kreisel.
  • Training is different from last year, because the tool is different.
  • Consultant from EAB is willing to come back to campus if there is interest.


C. Data Protocol Update (Provost)

  • We want an accurate representation of the institution and are trying to get as consistent as possible.
  • Spreadsheet will have multiple columns, including:
    • Who causes us to do this (required by feds, etc.)
    • How often to report (annually, etc.) - Can automate a reminder annually or as needed, saying “This report was filled this time last year. Do you need to file soon?”
    • Who is responsible (may be best to assign to a position, not a person)
  • Don’t hit send on anything that only one set of eyes have seen
  • First pass is to see what is missing and will be by dollars.

IV.          Discussion Items

A. Catalogs and the Process of Adding New Programs (Mike Grelle)


  • All program additions and updates (except minors) must go to Missouri Dept of Higher Education for approval.
  • What has to go to the Board of Governors? New program proposals, offsite proposals, deletions, minors.
  • We have a Mar 1 deadline for programs changes in the catalog
    • Changes and updates need to be past our Board of Governors by Dec 1.
    • Realistically, if you need to have a proposal done by Oct/Nov, start the spring before.
  • Spend some time looking through the Policy tab on the above Website.
    • The Academic Program Actions link under the Policy tab includes deadlines and forms you can download and complete.
    • Need to have all the documents on the list or MDHE could send the request back, which delays the process- they most often send back for financial projections.
  • Try to submit requests as program changes. MDHE reserves the right to say that you have a new program, not a program change, but if they accept the request as a program change, the process is less involved.
  • Once a program is approved, you can start advertising, but the program will not be in the catalog until the next year.
    • For students who want to major in an upcoming program, perhaps we should declare them as open options until their program appears in the catalog.
    • Financial aid is awarded to full time, degree seeking students only.
    • Another option is to enroll them in an existing program until the new one is available.
    • No solution was offered when gen ed requirements change between catalog years.
  • If we get MDHE approval, we can put the updates in the new catalog, saying that the program is contingent upon CBHE approval. (CBHE has never said no to what MDHE has approved)
  • Chairs requested not to attach minors to a catalog year - Banner can’t monitor two catalog years, so students that choose a minor in a later catalog have to switch catalog years.
  • Suggestion for an online catalog with tabs and links, so could be updated as needed
    • Software we have now doesn’t support those functions, but such software is available
    • The current order of events is to change banner, then change the catalog

Finals Schedule

  • After sharing option 4 with departments, some concerns were raised:
    • Only half an hour between exams
    • Would more exams per day increase the chances of students having too many exams on a single day.
    • One department presented concerns about the fee involved for students to change their finals schedule. The fee is not new and has been part of the finals experience for a few years now. Students who must take a final on another day due to having too many scheduled does not have to pay the fee. The fee is purely for a student’s convenience and they have to get it approved by the Office of Student Engagement and Experience first.
  • Overall positive feedback for option 4 - no schedule will be perfect, but this is a good option.
  • For variant classes, go with the closest scheduled exam time. Has not caused scheduling problems for students in the past.
  • Suggestion to move the finals scheduled in the proposal for the 3:30 (which are scarcely populated) to the middle of the day, lessening the likelihood of a student having finals scheduled back to back.
  • Motion was made to recommend finals schedule option 4 to the Provost; seconded and approved.           

V.           Action Item


VI.          Future Agenda Items


Thank you to Dean Gersham Nelson and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for providing the snacks and refreshments for our meeting today



Remaining Schedule for 2014-2015

April 14 2015 3:30 Union 237B

May 12 2015 3:00 * Union 237A

June 9 2015 3:00 * WDE 2401