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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

REVISED MOTION TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF UNIVERSITY HONORS

On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Professor Archie Holmes (electrical and computer engineering and committee chair) submitted the following revised motion to change the definition of University Honors (also see D 4524). The secretary has classified this proposal as general legislation. The Faculty Council will act the motion at its meeting on May 8, 2006.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council

REVISED MOTION TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF UNIVERSITY HONORS

Motion
The Educational Policy Committee proposes that the Faculty Council adopt the following policy for determining if a student receives University Honors:

Each semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of the fall and spring semesters but not at the end of the summer session. To be included on the University Honors list, a student, who did not graduate at the end of the current semester, must have achieved the following in the current semester:

  • Earned at least forty-five grade points in courses completed in residence,
  • Earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 in courses completed in residence, and
  • Have no incomplete grades (symbol X) in any course taken in residence.

Students, who graduated at the end of the current semester, can receive University Honors by either meeting the above criteria or:

  • Earned University Honors in the immediately preceding two long semesters1
  • Earned a grade point average of at least 3.5 in courses completed in residence in the current semester
  • Have no incomplete grades (symbol X) in any course taken in residence.

Background and Rationale

The current version policy for determining University Honors is shown below:

Each semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of the fall and spring semesters but not at the end of the summer session. To be included, a student must earn at least forty-five grade points and a grade point average of at least 3.50 on courses completed in residence and must have no incomplete grades (symbol X). Students are notified on the semester grade report of their inclusion on the list.


1 On May 8, 2006, the Faculty Council struck and amended the phrase " Have a cumulative in-residence GPA of 3.5 or greater in all courses taken prior to the current semester."
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incomplete grades (symbol X). Students are notified on the semester grade report of their inclusion on the list.

The proposed change addresses the following issue. Students in their graduating semester would not be eligible for University Honors if they have eleven hours or less left in their degree. Given financial aid programs like tuition reimbursement and B-on-time loans, it is not fair to require students to take additional courses to achieve University Honors in their last semester. To preserve the standard that University Honors is meant to recognize, care needs to be taken so as to not create a loophole that would allow students to achieve University Honors their last semester merely because they are taking fewer hours than normal. We address this issue by requiring a student to have shown strong academic performance in the past. This is measured by the student’s cumulative in-residence GPA, and we have set that level to 3.5 or higher.

Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on May 4, 2006. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.