Academic Policies Committee

Submitted by: Clifton Sutton, Chair
Committee Members: Robert Ehrlich, Karen Hallows, Peter Pober, James Willett

The Academic Policies Committee met three times during the academic year 2005-2006 and used e-mail to take care of a lot of business when it was not practical to meet face-to-face. The committee completed the items of business indicated below.
  1. We performed the annual review of catalog copy relevant to academic policies.
  2. In Spring 2005 it was suggested that we consider a review of quality concerns (of academic programs and faculty) associated with the UAE campus. It was decided in the fall that it was too early to do anything, and thought that it was appropriate to allow pertinent departments and committees (e.g. General Education Committee) at our Virginia campuses first review the UAE programs, and that the Academic Policies Committee should not yet be involved. (Item AP2005-1)
  3. We considered the development of an Undergraduate Council to deal with undergraduate curricular matters that may have relevance to more than one academic unit. After receiving more negative feedback than positive feedback, with a common specific complaint being that the creation of such a body might slow down the approval of new programs, it was decided to not recommend that an Undergraduate Council be formed. (Item AP2005-2)
  4. We considered several suggested changes to the academic calendar, with a specific focus being to determine if there was a good way to fulfill the Student's Senste request to create additional reading days (especially in semesters when current policy provides no reading day period). We got a lot of feedback on the suggested changes from students, the Staff Senate, members of the faculty and the administration, and from fellow Senators. Overall, while there was some strong support for each of the suggested changes, there was more opposition to them. In the end, it seemed best to not recommend any changes to current academic calendar policy. A statement summarizing the reasons to not recommend any changes will be presented at the Senate's May 3 meeting so it can become part of the minutes. (Item AP2005-3)
  5. We considered a proposal that students completing associate's degrees at community colleges outside of Virginia be made possibly exempt from most of GMU's gen ed requirements (as students with associate's degrees from Virginia community colleges are). After communication with the General Education Committee it was decided to let them consider this matter. (Item AP2005-4)
  6. We moved that a slight change, concerning non-degreee undergraduate students, be made to the Periods of Academic Suspension portion of the GMU catalog. (See the minutes of the 2/22/06 meeting for details.) The motion passed. (Item AP2006-1)
  7. We will move at the Senate's May 3 meeting that a three year calendar covering the 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 academic years, created by following exisiting academic calendar policy, be approved. (Item AP2006-3)
The Committee currently has one additional item, which is indicated below, that it expects to consider during academic year 2006-2007. There are no other items that will carry over to the next academic year.