California State University, Northridge

Council of Chairs Meeting of November 19, 2007 Minutes

Attended:  Nancy Burstein (Education), Craig Finney (HHD), Pete Grego (Arts, Media and Communication), Nagy (Engineering and Computer Science), Lynn Lampert (Library Services), Tae Oh (Science and Math), Paul Skolnick (Social and Behavioral Sciences)  George Uba (Humanities), Melanie Williams (Business and Economics)

Maureen Rubin – Director of Undergraduate Studies
Steven Stepanek -  (Senate)

1.  Welcome:  Craig Finney welcomed the Committee and members signed in.

2.  Approval of minutes from October meeting
There are no official minutes from last month’s meeting.  Previous minutes will be posted on the website.

3.  New policies regarding incompletes, disqualified students, and readmission criteria:  Maureen Rubin
Maureen Rubin reviewed the handout and the policy of who can stay once they are admitted.  Current policy – the student must receive a .05 increase each semester.  It was suggested that if a student is disqualified, s/he needs to maintain a 2.0 each semester.

Co-piece “three strikes and you’re out”.  It was suggested that we allow a fourth and final admission but provide evidence that the student was more mature.  Only two other CSUs besides CSUN have a limit on readmits (Channel Islands and East Bay). 

DWIR policy – request for an incomplete.  There is a lack of enforcement with professors who just give students an incomplete and it is ongoing for years.  Statistically, if students haven’t completed in a year, they will not finish the incomplete.  A “request for a grade of incomplete” was passed out – new form that will be used next year.   It was pointed out that there are classes where one cannot get an incomplete.  It was asked if the “I” could be eliminated.  It was suggested that the grading policy of incomplete should be put in the syllabus/course description.  When an incomplete is completed, the change of grade form needs to be completed and this is not on the incomplete form.  Grade rosters can be checked by Chairs to monitor incompletes.  It was clarified that an incomplete means that only a little bit is remaining – much more than 50%.  This should be the same rule for graduate school and Mack Johnson will be reviewing form.  This form will be on the “quicklinks” website. 

There is a concern about advisement for transfer students.  They are often not well advised. Could they take an upper GE class that is designated for  “transfer students only?”  Then professors can give them an orientation to facilitate information and bonding.  Another option, not as well received, is to save classes for transfer students.  They are dropping out and we want to retain them.  How do we help them?  There doesn’t seem to be support for a “mandatory” orientation.  Discussion followed – perhaps send out transfer letters, create a website, instant messaging chat, online advisement.  There is often student resistance – they are opposed to mandatory advisement.  Students may not want these specific classes – not right time.  May want to pilot – HHD, Humanities, Business would be willing to try.  It was suggested that further discussion occur in Colleges to provide feedback.

Question on fifth-week drop – the Chair should discuss the drop with the student and then it goes to the Associate Dean.  The student should have doctor’s letter or other verification.  After week 5 a drop is for “serious and compelling” reasons. 

4.  Proposal for governing drops, withdrawals, incompletes and repeats:  Steven Stepanek
CSU policies were reviewed regarding consistency (e.g., drops, withdrawals, incompletes, repeats). Big question – campus rights versus systems rights.  It was suggested that this resolution is on the right track but needs to be reworded.  The recommendation is that each individual campus should consider the proposal but it should not be a mandate from the Chancellor’s Office.

Discussion followed.  When we accept transfer students they should start fresh.  Currently, we do not limit withdrawals – should we?  S. Stepanek clarified that students can retake the course but not under state funding.  Adding more rules may not facilitate graduation rate.  The rules actually contradict each other – where is the data that it will help graduation rate.  There is no hard data. 

How did the task force come up with the number of units (#2, 18 units, #5, 24 units)?  It’s not clear how these were derived – probably a compromise.   #7 is currently 15 units instead of 16, #8 it’s a C-.  If we are more restrictive, we can keep our policies.  Some of these are disturbing for practical and philosophical reasons.  We need to state that all of these policies are under “state support”.  They can always go to Extended Learning.  It was suggested that #5 add “under state support”. 

5.  Update on Chairs’ Reassigned Time Weight
C. Finney talked to Harry twice about reassigned time and will be discussing the issue with the Deans.  Half of the resources came from the Provost’s office and half from Dean.  Discussion followed – allocation varied greatly among colleges/departments.  It did not seem to be allocated equitably across the university.

6.  Other Business
There was a question about summer FTES and how it was allocated.  It was explained that summer, fall, and spring should give you the annualized FTES. 

The website needs to be updated.  The COC Committee just received funding from the Provost’s Office and we need to find someone to update it. 

Next COC Meeting:  December 17, 2007
Meeting with trustee:  December 14, 2007 1:00



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