Urban Affairs and Public Policy to move to College of Arts and Sciences

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4:59 p.m., Nov. 3, 2010----The School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy will be moving to the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware, and will be renamed the School of Public Policy and Administration.

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The move and name change, which become effective Jan. 1, 2011, were approved during the regular meeting of the UD Faculty Senate, held Monday, Nov. 1, in Gore Hall. Changing the name of the school reflects the range and scope of its activities, instructional offerings, programs and research.

Included in the move to the College of Arts and Sciences are the faculty, personnel, academic and other programs and activities in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, including the Center for Community Research and Service, the Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research, the Institute for Public Administration and the Center for Historic Architecture and Design. This regular agenda item also requires approval by the UD Board of Trustees.

The senate also approved the establishment of a new bachelor of science in marine science major, with a concentration in marine biology. The five-year provisional establishment of the new major in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment becomes effective Feb. 1, 2011.

Academic degrees approved on a provisional basis are subject to approval by the UD Board of Trustees after the provisional time period has passed and the Faculty Senate has reviewed the degree program and recommended permanent status for the degree.

Consent agenda items

Senators also approved requests to revise several programs in the Department of Business Administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, including the advertising minor, and majors in international business studies, operations management, management and marketing.

Consent agenda items do not require the approval of the UD Board of Trustees.

Writing across the curriculum

University Provost Tom Apple updated senators on initiatives to enhance student writing across the curriculum at UD.

“I want to report to you that we had a very good workshop of department chairs, and we discussed how to advance our agenda with regard to writing, and each chairperson felt that they had the proper message to take back to their departments,” Apple said. “A lot of it comes down to resource issues and how to best use those resources to accomplish the writing goals that we have set for our students.”

Apple also addressed the issue of academic rigor, with a particular emphasis on a more comprehensive approach to faculty evaluations and the effect of current student-based evaluations on possible grade inflation.

“We had a wonderful meeting with the Faculty Senate executive committee last week to talk about this issue,” Apple said. “We have an independent faculty group that is going to meet with the Faculty Senate executive committee and the coordinating committee to talk about this issue.”

In looking at the latest data on the level of student grade increases between 2005 and 2009, Apple said student grades during that time have risen by 0.3 to an average grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

“This is a really rapid increase, and my biggest concern is that we are not challenging our students enough,” Apple said. “I have to ask myself, are our students that much better than they were four years ago? I think this is something that we have to look at.”

Monday's Faculty Senate meeting also included college overviews presented by Bobby Gempesaw, dean of the Lerner College of Business and Economics; Kathy Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences; and Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

The next meeting of the UD Faculty Senate is 4 p.m., Monday, Dec. 6, in 104 Gore Hall.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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