Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate votes to increase Winter Session class times

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11 a.m., Feb. 9, 2012--Course meeting times for University of Delaware Winter Session classes will increase from 90 to 105 minutes beginning in 2013 as the result of a resolution approved by the UD Faculty Senate at its first meeting of the spring semester, held Monday, Feb. 6, in Gore Hall.

Because of various scheduling factors, only 21 and 20 days of instruction are available for Winter Sessions in 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

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The resolution, submitted by Jeff Jordan, president of the UD Faculty Senate and professor of philosophy, also calls for the senate, in the spring of 2014, to review the desirability of 105-minute daily class times during Winter Session. 

The vote followed a presentation on scheduling constraints within the academic calendar by Peggy Bottorff, associate provost for administration and enrollment services, and Jeffrey Palmer, University registrar. 

Provost remarks

University Provost Tom Apple said that he was enthusiastic about the upcoming Faculty Senate discussion on promotion and tenure. 

“This is something I feel very passionate about, in terms of making UD a great research university as outlined in our strategic plan, the Path to Prominence,” Apple said. “When our faculty come up for tenure, I think we should ask, ‘Have they made a positive national impact?' This is why we solicit letters. It’s not a question of whether the contribution was made through teaching, research or service.”

Apple also citied the series of student writing contests that have been offered with the goal of increasing student writing across all disciplines at the University.

“Last fall we had some robust writing contests, including: the First Year Experience Essay, No Apathy (written in the form of a newspaper editorial on national or international political issues), and The Shortest for UD’s Brightest (a 100-word essay on the future of UD),” Apple said. “Our current contest, When Scientists Write (focusing on the natural sciences), has a March 16 deadline.”

Student writing contests coming up for fall 2012 may include topics such as the Nov. 6 presidential election and the subject of diversity. 

Apple also said that he would like to see the Provost’s Excellence in Writing competitions named after the late faculty member Patrick White, who died Jan. 29. A UD alumnus, Dr. White taught in UD’s Department of English for many years.

“Many of you know the University lost a very good friend in Pat White, who taught here for decades and was an inspiring teacher,” Apple said. “We had a memorial service for him on Friday [Feb. 3] and I came away from that with the idea that it would be nice to have this writing contest named after Pat White, or ‘Whitey,’ as most of us knew him.” 

Senate business 

Additional resolutions approved by the Faculty Senate include:

    • A request to endorse policies of the UD Office of Admissions;
    • Disestablishment of the Southern Delaware bachelor of science in education-elementary teacher education program;
    • Disestablishment of the master's and doctoral degrees in operations research;
    • Recommendation, provisionally for seven years, to establish of a new program leading to the Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, effective June 1; and
    • Revision to the resource economics major, changing the name to environmental and resource economics. 

Regular agenda items require the approval of the UD Board of Trustees.

Approved announcements for challenge items on the consent agenda included:

    • Revising the middle school social studies concentration within the elementary teacher education major;
    • Revising the bachelor of mechanical engineering;
    • Revising the accounting major to add back a requirement, and to add a C- requirement in certain required courses;
    • Revising the dance major;
    • Revising the major in public policy to include the 4+1 in urban affairs and public policy;
    • Revising the major in public policy to include the 4+1 master of public administration;
    • Revising the bachelor of science degree in organizational and community leadership;
    • Revising the master's and doctoral degrees in entomology and wildlife ecology;
    • Revising the master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics; and
    • Revising the master of music performance concentration (conducting). 

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

Coming up

Upcoming Faculty Senate items include:

    • Monday, Feb. 13, from 3-5 p.m., in 130 Smith Hall, an open Faculty Senate hearing on budgetary matters, with UD President Patrick Harker;
    • Monday, Feb. 20, from 3-5 p.m., in 104 Gore Hall, an open Faculty Senate hearing on promotion and tenure revisions; and
    • Monday, Feb. 27, from 3-5 p.m., in 104 Gore Hall, an open Faculty Senate hearing on a proposed policy regulating faculty suspensions (involuntary leave with pay).

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate is 4 p.m., Monday, March 5, in 104 Gore Hall. 

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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