Vol. 17, No. 30May 7, 1998

Faculty Senate approves new policies, proposals

A new system of evaluating competence in spoken English for international teaching assistants was adopted by the University Faculty Senate Monday.

Under the new policy, international students will be tested both on spoken English and on their ability to teach, using mock lectures. The resulting combined scores will be compared with scores necessary for six different categories of teaching assistantships.

The categories range from instructor of record, with full responsibility for the class or laboratory, to laboratory set-up instructor, who helps prepare class materials but who gives no verbal instructions to the students.

Under the approved policy, no appeals are allowed into the top two categories-instructor of record and laboratory instructor for nonmajors. International students interested in possible instruction reassignments will be allowed to retake the test, which is administered by UD's English Language Institute.

In other business, the senate voted for suspension of provisional undergraduate academic programs that have not sought reviews for permanent status after four to five years. As of March 31, 1999, these delinquent programs will not be allowed to enroll new majors.

After a lengthy discussion, a resolution seeking to establish policy and procedures for informal student course complaints was sent back to the Faculty Welfare and Privileges Committee. Although committee member Leslie Goldstein told the senators that the resolution would help new professors respond more quickly to student complaints about a course while also allowing professors to refute frivolous charges, several senators suggested the resolution might result in increased bureaucracy and eliminate the chairperson's discretionary judgment on the validity of the course-related complaints.

Three out of four announcements were challenged at the meeting; however, ultimately, all were passed by the senators. Elective course work for the three-year master's degree program in art conservation was reduced from 12 credit hours to 6 credit hours.

A proposed MBA concentration in information technology within the College of Business and Economics was approved after Sen. Tuncay Saydam, computer and information sciences, affirmed the courses were "management technology courses."

Revisions to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the Department of Mathematical Sciences were returned to the department because of missing information, but the Department of Biological Sciences' statement that D minus is not an acceptable grade for chemistry, physics and mathematics courses required of majors went unchallenged.

A sense of the senate resolution urging increased cultural, ethnic, racial, gender and sexual diversity among faculty was passed. The resolution asked "that for all current and future searches to fill vacancies, extraordinary efforts be instituted to identify outstanding minority candidates" and when recruiting faculty who can teach "on diversity issues, non-Western culture and topics related to domestic and international ethnic diversity," all searches for permanent faculty vacancies should be national and international in scope.

New Officers

In elections held earlier in the meeting, Mark Huddleston, political science and international studies, was chosen president elect. Michael Keefe, mechanical engineering, will serve as 1998-99 senate president.

Others officers and committee members elected include Susan McGeary, geology, vice president; Karen Stein, consumer studies, secretary; James Newton, Black American Studies Program, Committee on Committee and Nominations; and Connie Vickery, nutrition and dietetics, and Ardeshir Faghri, civil engineering, Committee on Rules.

-Cornelia Weil