Faculty Senate

Department name changes, grad programs approved

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2:20 p.m., March 8, 2012--Name changes for three college departments and the   addition of several new graduate degree programs were among the items approved by the University of Delaware Faculty Senate during its regular meeting, held Monday, March 5, in Gore Hall.

Regular agenda items approved by senators include the following name changes: 

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    • Department of Women and Gender Studies (formerly the Department of Women’s Studies);
    • Department of Applied Economics and Statistics (formerly the Department of Food and Resource Economics); and
    • Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences (formerly the Department of Medical Technology). With that change, the major in medical technology becomes the major in medical laboratory sciences.

The Faculty Senate also approved new doctoral programs in bioinformatics and systems biology and medical sciences (interdisciplinary), as well as a master’s degree program in Chinese technical translation. Senators also approved adding a graduate certificate in health coaching.

Regular agenda items require approval by the University's Board of Trustees.

Consent agenda

During the consent agenda portion of the Faculty Senate meeting, action included revising electrical and computer engineering degrees (bachelor's and honors) and revising requirements for the minor in fashion history and culture and the major in history education. 

Other consent agenda items approved by the senate include adding new minors in health and wellness, as well as new degree requirements for the master's degree and doctorate in marine policy.

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

Provost's presentation

University Provost Tom Apple expressed his appreciation to the Faculty Senate for holding recent open hearings in February on promotion and tenure, a proposed policy regulating faculty suspensions and a report from President Patrick Harker on the University’s budget situation. 

“I thought the discussions we had at those open meetings were some of the best we’ve had on campus. I know a lot of people in this room put a tremendous effort into that and I want to personally thank them,” Apple said. “There is a real good reason why we are becoming a great research university and that we do the great job of educating our undergraduate and graduate students -- it is because of the people we have in this room, who care about quality and care about us doing a great job.”  

General counsel report

Larry White, UD vice president and general counsel, discussed faculty options concerning the unauthorized posting by students of test questions, notes and other classroom materials on websites that often pay for such materials. 

“This topic seems to recur at the beginning of every semester,” White said. “The sites that spring up almost like a fungus, with about the half-life of a fungus, are designed essentially to provide study aids to students, and make a buck at the same time.”

White said that UD faculty have three basic options for dealing with such situations:

    • Faculty members can contact the UD General Counsel’s Office and request assistance in sending a “take-down notice” to the offending website;
    • Faculty members can send a take-down notice on their own; or
    • Faculty members can include in their syllabi a notice to the effect that their lectures and other course materials are copyright protected and that students are not authorized to commercialize the notes they take down in class, the test questions they answer or any other course related materials. Students violating this rule would be subject to discipline under the code of conduct in UD’s Student Guide to University Policies.

For more information, visit this website.

Promotion and tenure

Jack Baroudi, professor of accounting and management information systems and former chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure, reported on the Feb. 20 open hearing on promotion and tenure. 

The hearing provided an opportunity for faculty to discuss proposed changes to promotion and tenure standards that were necessitated by Article 11.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Many faculty were concerned that the proposed changes would have unintended consequences and could weaken standards. 

Suggested modifications from the open hearing included:

    • An external review of teaching only when no workload is assigned to scholarship;
    • Faculty choice (a combination of modifications 1 and 2);
    • Excellence in all academic achievements;
    • Excellence in all—taking into consideration differences in workload;
    • Differentiate the review process/standards for continuing non-tenure track and tenure track faculty; and
    • Pause and wait for CBA 11.5 to be renegotiated.

Baroudi said a sense of the senate would be sought during the next regularly scheduled meeting of the UD Faculty Senate in April. The ultimate goal would be to vote on recommended changes during the May 7 meeting of the senate.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held at 4 p.m., Monday, April 2, in 104 Gore Hall. A general faculty meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m., at the same location.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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