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Senate Summary | October 2023

If you missed the Academic Senate meeting on Oct. 2, 2023, or need a refresher, then keep reading for the highlights from the meeting. For more information on the Academic Senate, click here.

Debate Calendar

SACSCF Proposals

The following people presented on the changes to the Student Course Feedback Instrument:

  • Jess Tidswell, SACSCF chair
  • Jim Agutter, associate dean, Undergraduate Studies
  • Anne Cook, director, Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Adam Halstrom, SCF program manager

The SACSCF is proposing four changes to the Student Course Feedback Instrument. The changes will streamline the survey for students and provide, reduce survey fatigue, simplify over-complicated questions and provide research-based response options. The changes will also provide increased opportunities for faculty development by eliminating questions and details that faculty find less insightful and following good statistical practices to facilitate better faculty development, comparisons and trends across time.

Information & Recommendation Calendar

Academic Enterprise Planning

Dr. Mitzi M. Montoya, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Overview of the strategic planning process that is currently underway to align academic planning, strategic planning, campus planning, resource planning and institutional effectiveness planning across colleges and departments.

The EDI Interfaith Initiative Overview

Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal, Vice President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion gave an explanation of the major objectives of the Interfaith Initiative along with information regarding the off-campus partner, Interfaith America, and the expected initiative outcomes.

2023 Q2 completion report

T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies, provided an update on the ongoing work of the Completion Project and the current state of persistence and completion for undergraduate students at the U.

Graduate Council 7-year Reviews

Helene Shugart reported on the following:

Department of Chemistry

This internationally renowned department offers research expertise and instruction across seven areas of chemistry: analytical, biological, physical, inorganic, organic, materials, and chemical education. The unit’s long-standing legacy of scholarly excellence and innovation continues, as apparent in its impressive number of endowed chairs, effective recruitment and mentoring of junior faculty, and strong, successful research and curricular programs. In order to sustain and enhance the strengths of this program and keep pace with anticipated increased enrollments, the department is encouraged to review and identify opportunities to increase TA, RA, and faculty lines; explore campus resources to enhance operational and administrative support; and continue its ongoing efforts to enrich students’ educational experiences.

Department of Linguistics

This department seeks to advance knowledge, via instruction and scholarship, regarding the structure, acquisition, and processing of language across local, national, and global communities. Departmental and faculty support of undergraduate and graduate students as well as junior faculty is very strong and effective, and it is reflected in high satisfaction and morale across these cohorts. Going forward under new leadership, the department is encouraged to seek productive modes of interaction and resolution of disparate faculty commitments; consider programmatic changes to the end of increasing student enrollments; and identify and work with institutional resources to address long-standing space constraints.