Academic Oversite Committee Meeting Minutes

The Academic Oversight committee is pleased to distribute the minutes from the meeting of September 26, 2012.

September 26, 2012
3:00 p.m.
Trexler Library – PPL Conference Room
Meeting Minutes

PRESENT: Mr. John Bell, Dr. Rodger Berg, Dr. Robert Blumenstein, Ms. Deborah Booros, Dr. Christopher Cocozza, Dr. Brian Kane and Dr. Karen Walton. Guest: Mr. Pete Rautzhan
Dr. Rodger Berg called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

1. Approval of the Minutes – The minutes of August 22, 2012 were approved. Mr. Bell will see that they’re posted in the DeSales Daily.

2. Spring 2012 Schedule of Courses – Dr. Blumenstein reported that he, Tom Mantoni and Scott Mattingly met to review the proposed schedule of courses for spring 2013. He will contact division heads individually to discuss any necessary changes. Division heads are asked to respond to Melissa Lenhart-Young’s email requesting review of the draft of the schedule. Dr. Blumstein will email the division heads the deadline for changes.

3. Dooling Hall – Mr. Rautzhan updated the committee on preliminary plans for the study of the use of the vacated spaces in Dooling Hall once the Gambet Center opens. Because the campus Master Plan includes relocating the Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences closer to the center of campus, Dr. Kane was asked to forward that division’s space needs to Mr. Rautzhan. The other division heads are asked to begin to work with their faculty to identify space needs so that once a formal call is announced, they will be prepared to respond. Because there is a strong likelihood that Dooling Hall will require renovation to most efficiently capitalize on the building’s resources, division heads are encouraged to think about overall program needs rather than specific existing spaces in Dooling Hall.

4. Final Exam Schedule – Dr. Blumenstein reported that he, Dr. Berg and Mr. Mantoni met to discuss options to the university’s current final exam schedule. Several options were considered and the general merits and challenges of each were discussed. The committee voted unanimously to maintain the existing exam schedule. Dr. Berg will respond to a letter from Dr. Brett which prompted the exploration of the matter.

5. On-boarding Procedures – Ms. Booros reported on a recent meeting with a number of people from academic affairs and Mr. Trella, Director of Human Resources, in which the procedures for on-boarding new faculty members was discussed. Each division head is asked to identify and forward the names of the person or people from their division who are responsible for working with Human Resources in the on-boarding process. Human Resources, working with the other involved units, will train the division representatives and develop written on-boarding procedures which will be distributed to division heads.

6. Start Date for Faculty Contracts – Mr. Rautzhan shared a proposal regarding the date of the new employee Enculturation Retreat which seeks to move the contracted start date for faculty from the first weekday prior to freshman orientation to two days prior to freshman orientation and identifying that first contracted day as the date for the annual new employee retreat. Since the change impacts policies in the Faculty Handbook, it was agreed that Dr. Walton should forward the proposal to the Rank and Tenure Committee for consideration.

7. Course Expectations – Dr. Cocozza opened a discussion on how the university might best communicate the expectation of how much outside work is expected for every hour of class time. Anecdotal evidence reveals that undergraduate, graduate and ACCESS students, as well as adjunct faculty members, all bring varying impressions of how much work is expected of the DeSales curriculum. Dr. Cocozza offered the following statement which he suggested could be included in syllabi.

“This course includes 45 hours of classroom instruction. DeSales University expects students to commit at least two hours of additional study time for every classroom instruction hour. Therefore, students should expect to spend 135 hours or more to satisfy the learning outcomes in this course. As this is an 8 week course, students should anticipate spending 17 hours per week, at a minimum, on coursework.”

The division heads were charged to take the statement back to their divisions for discussion. The Academic Oversight committee will conduct a follow up discussion at their next meeting.

8. Dies Academicus – Dr. Berg reported that he has received no suggestions for the January 2013 Dies Academicus. He will send a reminder email to faculty and division heads are encouraged to add the item to their upcoming division meeting agendas.

9. November Faculty Colloquium – Dr. Cocozza suggested that the November 14th Faculty Colloquium focus on instructional technology. The idea was approved. Division heads are charged to poll their faculty for participants and send the names of volunteers to Dr. Berg.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for October 24, 2012 in the Trexler Library PPL Conference Room at 3:00 p.m.