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Faculty Senate makes ‘minor’ decisions with the help of student attendance

Submitted by Alexis Williams on November 19, 2012 – 2:31 pmOne Comment

A undergraduate curriculum meeting in Dickinson Auditorium Nov. 2 advanced the Faculty Senate’s process with the help of supportive professors and featured student attendance for the first time this semester.

George Jensen, chair of the rhetoric and writing department, presented his own undergraduate curriculum suggestions before the Senate. The most prominent amendment to the curriculum document is to remove the requirement for a minor. He said that his amendment would not eliminate the option of a minor, just the mandating of one.

“I support that,” said Wendy Lyons, a sophomore double-majoring in small business management and technical writing. “I came into college at [age] forty. I didn’t know what I was doing; I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Within the first semester, I met amazing people within rhetoric and writing and College of Business [who] make it very easy for me to determine which direction I wanted to go. As soon as I did that, I learned that I am going to be in college for a long time, and it’s what I came to expect.”

Lyons continued to elaborate on her reasons behind supporting Jensen’s proposal.

“Anyone double-majoring knows that they’re going to have to put hard work and dedication into it,” Lyons said. “Not only am I double-majoring, but I am also minoring in creative writing and accounting.” She also said that adhering to differing requirements among the colleges would be unnecessarily overwhelming, if the UCR document remains unchanged.

Faculty Senate President Laura Smith-Olinde then called a vote and the body decided, by a large consensus, to eliminate the requirement for a minor from the curriculum document.

The next item up for debate was the residency requirement. Currently, UALR mandates that its undergraduates complete 30 hours of upper-level coursework. Nickolas Jovanovic, associate professor of construction management and civil and construction engineering, said that this requirement is “fine the way it is.”

“The Engineering and Information Technology curriculum is mostly standardized, therefore my EIT students do not confront obstacles with the requirement,” Jovanovic said.

History Professor Edward Anson disagreed.

“Then, unlike EIT, history is not standardized. It differs from university to university,” Anson said.

Back-and-forth debate between the departments eventually prompted Joanne Matson, rhetoric and writing professor, to propose a simple language alteration to the residency requirement.

“Would anyone object to making the requirement 30 hours of residency hours,” Matson said, “15 of which must be upper-level?”

The faculty voted almost unanimously for the language inclusion. After the meeting, Lyons voiced her opinions about attending the meeting.

“I feel like even though [the curriculum] is not perfect, they are definitely working to make it better for us.”

“I really think students should be more involved, because they don’t know,” Lyons said. “Until they know about this, how can they learn?”

Smith-Olinde announced the genesis of an ad hoc committee that is to devise a course of action by January 2013 that will address the instructional load of AP credit. “Ad hoc” (meaning “for this” in Latin) committees are formed temporarily to resolve a specific community problem, and are dissolved after they have served their purpose.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Donaghey Student Center’s Ledbetter Hall. Student attendance is  highly encouraged at these events.

 

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