September 2011

Meeting Date: 
September 14, 2011

 

ACA Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 8:15-10:00am

SSB Glenn Maloney Room

 

8:15   Breakfast and Social Time (Sponsored by ACA)

8:30   Welcome from ACA President Theresa Thomas

Theresa welcomed everyone and acknowledged the hard work of our members, as well as past and present executives, that has made our organization's voice heard and valued on campus.

On that note, Theresa announced the new ACA theme for this year: “Sharing Our Voice.” She spoke about communicating our collective experiences and expertise in order to postiviely affect changes on campus. With the increased focus on improving UT's four-year graduation rate, Theresa stressed the importance of getting feedback from members about the difference facets of this issue. To ensure that our organization's ideas and thoughts on the matters at hand are heard, the current executives are sitting on a number of committees that are discussing and ultimately changing policies.

8:40   Brenda Schumann and Dan Knauft, Associate Registrars from the Registrar’s Office 

Brenda spoke about the One Time Exception Policy (OTE) and went over some key points concerning the policy. More specific information can be found via the online 2011-2012 General Information Catalog. 

  • Students must initiate the OTE drop or withdrawal by the last class day. Forms must be returned to the student's dean's office before the first day of final exams. 
  • Any OTE drop or withdrawal allowed will be subject to the same academic and financial aid rules governing other drops or withdrawals taken during the semester. 
  • The OTE drop is considered an academic drop (Q drop) and is included in the six Q-drop limit. The OTE withdrawal does not count toward the drop limit and will result in "W"s on the student's record. 
  • The standard add/drop form will be used to execute OTE drops. Please write “OTE” in the upper right-hand corner of the drop form and mark the drop as an academic drop. 
  • The Registrar is not tracking the number of OTE’s a student has used.
  • OTE drops require the professor's signature. If a professor refuses to sign the form, then the Dean’s Office in the College may override, although this should be the exception, not the rule. 
  • A student may not OTE drop if there are pending investigations of scholastic dishonesty for the class in question.
  • If a student has been here longer than two long semesters, then they must have a D+ average or lower in the course to use their OTE. Students in their first two semesters at UT may use their OTE regardless of their grade in the class. 
  • Students may use their OTE to withdraw for any reason, except for academic dishonesty, and no professor signature is required. 
  • Students with dual majors will need signatures from both colleges. 

Brenda also discussed the new "mid-semester deadline." The deadline for dropping classes, withdrawing and changing classes to pass/fail is now on the same day, which falls on the 60% mark in the semester. This change was made so all deadlines will align with financial aid's 60% mark. This semester, the mid-semester deadline falls on November 1st. Students must initiate the form by November 1st at 5:00pm and have a grace period of 5 business days to submit the form. Dates on the forms should reflect the November 1st deadline, as the forms will be filled out on the day the drop is initiated. 

Dan spoke about the new online grade change process and answered questions. 

Professors may now change grade to grade, grade to incomplete, incomplete to grade, and extend an incomplete all online. As we make the transition this fall, both paper forms and the online system will be in use, but in the spring everything will be online. Training sessions and online video tutorials will be available through the student deans' offices and department chairs.

The Process: Instructors authorized by the department complete the online grade change form, which is then sent to the dean's office. The dean’s office either approves or denies the grade change and it is sent to the Registrar for final approval. The Registrar then either approves or rejects the decision. Upon approval, the system will automatically change the student’s grade/ symbol and recalculate GPA. The Registrar will update scholastic probation status manually. The Registrar’s Office will notify students of the grade change, possibly by SAN so that it is recorded in the Advisor’s ToolKit. 

At the end of Dan’s discussion, the idea of moving fall registration later in the semester to be more in line with the new drop/ withdrawal/ pass-fail deadline was presented. Brenda said that this issue was going to be further discussed in the future, but for now the dates for registration are staying where they are. 

9:10   Jennifer Sims, Staff Ombudsperson

Jennifer spoke about her position as Staff Ombudsperson, where she acts as a resource for staff members to speak confidentially and openly about concerns they have concerning their jobs at the University. Her office reports to the Office of the President, not the Human Resources department. Jennifer stressed the importance of confidentiality in her office. They do not keep any records or identifying information on staff members once a case is complete. Jennifer remains impartial in cases, and it is up to the allows the staff member to determine the course of action they wish to take. Jennifer listens to concerns and assists with developing appropriate options. Some common reasons staff members often consult an Ombudsperson include performance evaluations, reorganizations, lay-offs and general work environment stress. Visiting the Ombudsperson's office is not like going to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), where you can visit during work hours with supervisor approval. Due to her commitment confidentially, she will not sign anything to identify a person to a supervisor. If you cannot make it to her office during work hours, then she can meet you after hours. Jennifer can be contacted via e-mail at staffombuds@austin.utexas.edu or phone at 512-232-8210.

9:25   ACA Committee Showcase Spectacular (Speakers from past committees speak)

Former chairs spoke about their committee involvement last year to encourage members to join and participate this year. Clipboards were available for members to sign up for different committees at the end of the presentation. 

Ana Dison spoke about the Professional Development Day and the ACA Mentor committees.

Kristin Tommey and Jay Guevara will chair the Advising Expo this fall. The event will be held in the Student Activities Center from 10am-2pm in the Ballroom. This was a quick decision, and because involvement is so important to the event success, they will gauge the members to see how many could actually participate via online survey. 

Melva Harbin and Kristen Anton are the co-chairs for the R.O.A.D. Committee. They will send an email to ACA when the first meeting will be this fall. All members are encouraged to join/ attend.

Angie Martinez and Alejandra Zamorano are the co-chairs for the FUNdraising Committee.

Juanita Gonzales and Lovelys Powell discussed their recent involvement with the Holiday Planning Committee.

Andrea Chytil spoke about the Nominations Committee.

Wendy Boggs talked about her work with the Awards and Recognition Committee.

9:50   General Announcements

Jay Guevara, ACA Treasurer: Remember to pay your dues and complete your membership application by Oct. 1st.         

Kristen Anton: If you're interested in participating in the UT/ACC Advisor Networking Forum, please register by Sept. 16th at 5:00pm. 

New ACA members and staff in new positions were recognized.

Jeff Hallock announced that he is leaving UT to go to St. Edwards University. 

Brad Popiolek: Postcards with information about the major exploration website, Wayfinder are available to hand out to students. Please contact Brad if you'd like more, or if you did not pick up your stack of 100 at the meeting. He thanked the ACA membership for all the help in developing the content for the different majors on the site. Wayfinder just added its 100th major. Brad also announced that he is leaving UT to take a job in San Francisco. 

Lauren Campbell: The Bridging Disciplines Program has a new BDP program called "Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies," and they will be holding information sessions for students throught the semester. Postcards with infromation about BDPs are available to hand out to students. 

Eirin Gould from the Career Design Center (formerly the Health Professions Office) spoke briefly about some recent service changes. They will have a new website soon and will continue to offer the advising aids for health professions courses online.

**Please check the calendar on the ACA website for meeting dates and times, advising-related events and more! Including:

September 23       UT/ACC Advisor Networking Forum (8am-1pm ACC Cypress Creek Campus)

September 27       Advising Expo (9am-3pm, SAC Ballroom) possible date

October 2-5          NACADA Annual Conference in Denver

October 12           ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, Glenn Maloney Room)

November 9          ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, Glenn Maloney Room)

December 14        ACA Monthly Meeting (8:15-10:00am, TBA)