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Senate Makes Headway in Curriculum Meeting

Submitted by Alexis Williams on October 17, 2012 – 1:15 pmNo Comment

What began as a re-hashing of document language gradually progressed into deliberation for UALR professors and members of the Faculty Senate during the Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements meeting on Oct. 5.

The purpose of these assemblies is to discuss and amend recommendations to the UCR document that was presented before the faculty in April. The past UCR and Faculty Senate assemblies have yielded little advancement in the way of amending the document in question; recommendations were either not official motions or were heavily disputed. During the Friday meeting, the voting body adhered to parliamentary procedures more sternly and voted on proposals and motions with far greater frequency than in previous meetings.

“This making a motion, playing with the words, and making another motion? That’s not the way to come up with ideas,” said Rhetoric and Writing Professor JoAnne Matson.

The Senate chose to reduce discussion of the document’s vague and controversial language to a succinct motion, motion second, minimal comment and debate, and then a final vote. The body voted to amend the educational outcomes and core competencies outlined in the UCR, while carefully distinguishing core competencies from graduation competencies.

“How do we assess a student’s commitment to ethical behavior?” English Professor Paul Yoder asked the Senate, quoting a focus of the UCR’s proposed educational outcome.

“Jail-time behavior?” Senate Secretary Andrew Wright said jokingly, in reply to Yoder’s question.

The Senate voted that the UCR document include, as per Yoder’s recommendations, a paragraph stating the relationship between the outcomes and the “rest of the document”.

Jovanovic

Nick Jovanovic’s curriculum proposal, which he has presented at every Senate meeting, finally received attention during this time as the voting body discussed its contents.

“I sent you all my proposal, and I think now is a good time for you to ask me any questions you have about it,” said Jovanovic, assistant professor of construction management and civil and construction engineering. “I’ll be happy to explain why I chose [each section of the proposal].”

Jovanovic’s proposal lists several existing courses that a student can take to satisfy the requirements of each subject. It also contains a clause that allows for the addition of other courses into the curriculum, provided that they are added via a formal procedure (identified in the document).

The Senate also voted to delete ENGL 2338 (Literature Themes) from Humanities, and instead include ENGL 2335 (Intro to Literature) and ENGL 2339 (Mythology), on the basis that Themes classes were always nearly empty.

Students and faculty alike are encouraged to attend these open meetings of the Faculty Senate and undergraduate curriculum requirements. Students are invited to voice their opinions during each meeting. Apart from Forum journalists, no student representation, governmental or otherwise, has been present in any UCR meetings conducted this fall semester.

“I wish more students would show up to these meetings,” Secretary Wright said. “These matters affect them personally.”

The next Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled at 1 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Donaghey Student Center’s Ledbetter Hall, and the next UCR meeting is scheduled at 1 p.m. Nov. 2 in Dickinson Auditorium.

The UCR document can be printed off from the “Office of the Provost” page on UALR’s website.

 

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