|| Educational Policy Committee
The Educational Policy Committee held seven meetings during the 2001-2002
academic year, during which the topics outlined below were addressed.
Upon review of past educational policy legislation, the committee
learned that two important matters of educational policy that had
been approved by the Faculty Council several years ago had not yet
been put into practice. One item, passed by the Council in 1999, was
awaiting approval by the president; the other, passed by the Council
in 1998, had been approved by the president in 1999 but had not been
implemented. The committee worked throughout the year to bring closure
to these two pieces of ever-pending legislation. The details of the
progress made are given below:
Extensive discussion of the problems involved in implementing
legislation passed by the Faculty Council led to a recommendation by the
committee that, in the future, the Faculty Council monitor the progress
of all legislation passed by the Council not only until it is either approved
or denied by the president, but until the policy outlined in the legislation
is put into practice.
||Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded
with Credit by Examination (D 77-81).
STATUS OF LEGISLATION (from the Council Web site): Posted on
the Faculty Council Web site on October 29, 1999. Approved by
Faculty Council on November 15, 1999. Transmitted to the president
on November 16, 1999. Comment by the provost on November 10,
2000: "The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
continues to explore various options. A final decision has not
yet been reached."
The committee chair met with the president and provost through
most of the academic year in an effort to end the delay in enacting
this legislation. In the course of those meetings, the president
asked the committee to answer the fundamental question of whether
it is appropriate to award course grades based on one-shot examinations,
irrespective of whether those grades are included in students'
GPAs. After reviewing data compiled by the Measurement and Evaluation
Center (MEC), the committee reported to the president that one-shot
examinations not associated with organized courses are not reliable
indicators of students' performance in coursework.
The president indicated that he would initiate a policy in the
coming academic year (2002-2003) requiring students who wish
to have credit-by-exam grades included in their GPAs to indicate
their intention prior to taking the examinations, thus precluding
credit-by-exam grades from being counted if the examinations
are not administered through the MEC on our campus. The committee
will follow the progress and assess the ramifications of this
new policy. The committee will also continue to work toward
enactment of the original legislation.
||Recommendations for Guidelines for Undergraduate
Students Pursuing Baccalaureate Degrees in Two Majors (D&P
STATUS OF LEGISLATION (from the Council Web site): Approved
by the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 23, 1998, and
transmitted to president on March 31, 1998. Approval received
on March 8, 1999, from the Office of the Executive Vice President
and Provost. A memorandum was sent to the academic deans, which
sets out the new policies and procedures that will implement
the recommendations for students pursuing two baccalaureate
The committee chair met with the provost, the registrar, the
council of student deans, and the council of academic advisers
to resolve the remaining impediments to implementing the legislation.
Most of the logistical problems impeding the implementation
of the policy were the result of changes to the original legislation
that were made in the provost's office after the legislation
had been approved. Confusion about the original policy's intent
was created by referring to the policy as a "dual degree
procedure" in official correspondence between the provost's
office and the student deans. Of course, the University has
had, for some time, a procedure through which undergraduate
students may obtain more than one bachelor's degree. The current
legislation does not affect that procedure, but only facilitates
students completing coursework by permitting them to enroll
in two majors simultaneously (being assigned two major codes).
Additional procedures were devised after the legislation's passage
that would have required the identification of so-called primary
and secondary colleges in the administration of students' degree
programs; procedures which did little to assist students in
completing their degrees, but which succeeded quite handily
in making the policy unmanageable. These unnecessary changes
to the original legislation were deleted and the intent of the
original legislation was restored.
At the time of this report, the provost has directed the deans
to implement the policy as originally passed by the Council
and as articulated in a statement of procedures written by the
committee chair, based on the discussions with the student deans,
advisers, and the provost.
The committee established a subcommittee on online
instruction, whose task it was to compile all of the URL's of sites
related to online instruction at UT Austin and post them on a page
on the Council Web site. The subcommittee's work is ongoing.
||Recommendation for Residency Requirement in the UT
Austin Undergraduate Catalog (D
STATUS OF LEGISLATION (from the Council Web site): Legislation
posted on the Faculty Council Web site March 14, 2000. Presented
to the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 20, 2000. Returned
to Educational Policy Committee for reconsideration.
The committee voted to forward to the Council in the fall of
2002 a proposal to change the residency requirement for undergraduate
students at the University. The original proposal was presented
to the Council in the spring of 2000 and was returned to the
Educational Policy Committee for reconsideration. At the beginning
of the fall semester 2002, the committee will compile additional
background information, including a report of the residency
requirements in peer institutions, and submit the legislation
to the Council.
The committee was asked by the Council chair to review the recommendations
of the Drake Group on Intercollegiate Athletics. It was the consensus
of the committee that, although some of the ideas presented in the
Drake group's document were consonant with prevailing faculty sentiment
on our campus (and perhaps faculty sentiment in higher education in
general), the precise content of the proposals did not warrant an
official endorsement by the Educational Policy Committee or by the
Council at large.
The committee voted to approve a recommendation by the provost, changing
the eligibility criteria for participation in Honors Day. The provost's
proposal raises the minimum enrollment for eligible non-seniors from
nine hours to twelve hours.
Members: Alice B. Andrews, president, Academic Counselors' Association;
Jennifer F. Barnhill, Cabinet of College Councils student representative;
William Andrew Brummett, Cabinet of College Councils student representative;
Michael E. Crawford, professor, mechanical engineering; Lesley A.
Dean-Jones, associate professor, classics; James W. Deitrick, professor,
accounting; Robert A. Duke, professor, music; Richard R. Flores, associate
professor, anthropology; Steven J. Fitzpatrick, associate director,
Measurement and Evaluation Center; Lita A. Guerra, chair, Student
Deans' Association; Marvin L. Hackert, professor, chemistry and biochemistry;
Jonathan G. Rude, Cabinet of College Councils student representative;
Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, professor, classics; Michael P. Starbird,
This document was posted on the Faculty Council Web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/
on July 29, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.