Room, Lovett Hall
Agenda (and actions taken):
I. Call to order; Announcements
*Extra Senate Meeting: April 4, 2012
II. Speaker’s Report
Deputy Speaker’s Report
Motion to approve Non-thesis Master of Arts option in Philosophy (Approved)
A. Motion to approve Post-Masters
Artist Diploma in Music (Approved)
B. Motion to approve Professional
Science Masters Track in Space Studies (Approved)
C. Motion to approve Latin
American Studies major (Approved)
D. Motion to amend Senate
Constitution to increase number of NTT-Teaching seats to three
(Approved as amended)
E. Motion to reduce LPAP
graduation requirement (Approved)
F. Motion to approve a change in
rules on Pass-Fail within the major (Approved
G. Motion to approve new
graduation honor: Distinction in Research and Creative Works
(Tabled until next Faculty Senate
Senators present: David Alexander, Randy Batsell, Kate
Beckingham, Carl Caldwell, David Caprette, John Casbarian, Marcia Citron,
Danijela Damjanovic, Rebecca Goetz, Ramon Gonzalez, Jane Grande-Allen, Mikki
Hebl, Illya Hicks, Michael Kohn, Scott McGill, Susan McIntosh, Helena Michie,
Fred Oswald, William Parsons, Brian Rountree, Stan Sazykin, David Scott, Jane
Tao, Ruth Lopez Turley, and James Weston.
Senators absent: Shirine Hamadeh, Anatoly
Kolomeisky, David Leebron, George McLendon, Matteo Pasquali, Robin Sickles, and
PROCEEDINGS (To listen to an audio tape of this
meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I. Call to order, Announcements
Speaker Susan McIntosh called the
meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. The only
announcement was a reminder that the next Senate meeting will be held on
Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
2032 update – Summary of International/Global session will be posted; next
session on Research is scheduled for April 23.
Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee will begin parallel conversations in the fall, with Rice 2032 summaries as a
leadership elections will be held April 18
Conflict of Interest Policy draft has been posted on wiki
degree program guidelines—update
archiving will be activated for Fall 2012
Jane Grande-Allen, Deputy Speaker
and Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC), gave an update of
the NEC’s actions.
- Promotion and Tenure Committee:
elected for Engineering seat
substitution pending (appointed by Speaker)
Two Provost Appointments
- Nominations for Faculty Senate seats are due
today; elections will follow as needed:
Social Sciences--3 (1 is 1-year term to stagger
Shepherd School--2 (1 is rotating 1-year term)
- The NEC will begin compiling University
Committee recommendations soon.
Business : Proposal for a non-thesis Master of Arts option in Philosophy
McIntosh introduced the proposal
and explained a few important points:
- The program is for students admitted
initially to the Ph.D. program who decide instead to seek a terminal M.A. and
complete extra coursework instead of a thesis.
- Non-thesis M.A. options exist in History and
institutions with non-thesis M.A. in Philosophy: Yale, Brown, Columbia,
Richard Grandy (Philosophy) and
Vice Provost Paula Sanders explained that this program cannot be compared to a
professional master’s degree, nor does it signify failure to earn a Ph.D. Lora Wildenthal (History) stated that, in
the History Department, where a similar degree can be awarded, it often
signifies someone whose life goals have changed; this degree is a way to show
that they achieved success while at Rice. The Senate voted unanimously for approval,
with one abstention. Please use this
link to view the approved proposal: Non-Thesis Masters of Artsoption in Phiilosophy.
Motion to approve a new Post-Masters Artist
Diploma in Music
McIntosh presented the proposal and
reviewed the following points:
The proposal is a 2-year program for elite
musicians aspiring to perform professionally.
- No new resources or faculty are required;
Masters student levels will be adjusted to maintain current enrollment levels.
- Almost all peer institutions offer a similar
Ben Kamins (Music) explained that the
current doctoral program in the Shepherd School of Music is geared towards
achieving an academic degree, to the exclusion of those students who are more
performance-oriented. Kamins also
explained the large ensemble component required in the proposed program,
including a combined faculty and advanced student ensemble. The Senate voted unanimously to approve the
proposal: Post-Masters Artist Diploma in Music.
Motion to approve a new Professional
Science Masters track in Space Studies
McIntosh stated that the proposal combines core courses in science and
engineering with a professional skills component in business, policy,
communication, and a 3-6 month internship. David Alexander was available to
answer questions, but there were none. The Senate voted unanimously to approve
the proposal. (Alexander recused himself
from the vote.) Please use this link to view the approved proposal: Professional Science Masters in Space Studies.
Motion to approve a new major in Latin
Lora Wildenthal, chair of the subcommittee of the University Committee
for the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC) which reviewed the proposal, stated that
the subcommittee thoroughly checked the quality of the proposal, including the
breadth and depth of the courses in the program. She said that there were a few
items for which the subcommittee had questions, and these items were promptly
addressed. She stated that the CUC recommends approval of the proposal by the
Jose Aranda (French and Hispanic Studies) was present to discuss the proposal.
He said that the focus was to develop a program that was distinctive from the current
Hispanic Studies major. After a short discussion, the Senate voted to approve
the proposal, with one abstention. Please use this link to view the approved
proposal: Latin American Studies.
Motion to amend Senate Constitution to
increase number of NTT-Teaching seats to three
McIntosh announced that the motion to increase the number of NTT-Teaching
seats on the Senate (NTT-Research remains unchanged) comes from the Working
Group on NTT-Teaching, chaired by Dave Caprette. In addition, she stated that
the motion has been moved and seconded by the Executive Committee for
presentation to the Senate.
Change paragraph 7 of section 2
of the Constitution to read,
members are to be, and elected by,
benefits-eligible faculty holding non-tenured, non-tenure track teaching
appointments at the ranks of instructor, lecturer at any rank, artist-teacher,
associate professor, or professor in the practice, excepting adjunct, visiting,
and post-doctoral appointees."
Caprette explained that one reason for the motion is the large increase
in NTT faculty at Rice over recent years, as shown on the chart below.
In addition, Caprette predicted
that NTT-Teaching numbers will continue to increase due to:
in Writing and Communication
NTT hires to meet high enrollment needs
individual cannot effectively represent 126 full time (242 total) teaching
faculty in 7 academic schools plus Baker, UG-Dean, and Provost’s office
to engage teaching faculty to develop and implement Rice 2032 initiatives
Caprette was asked if the working
group had considered guidelines regarding representation by school. Caprette
replied that the topic was discussed, but the working group decided not to make
the motion more complicated. After a short discussion, amended wording for the
original motion was moved and seconded, and is shown below.
Change paragraph 7 of section 2
of the Constitution to read,
"Three members are to be,
and elected by, benefits-eligible faculty holding non-tenured, non-tenure track
teaching appointments at the ranks of instructor, lecturer at any rank,
artist-teacher, associate professor, or professor in the practice, excepting
adjunct, visiting, and post-doctoral appointees. No
more than one representative may come from one school."
The amended language was
discussed, including a request to table the proposal until the next Senate
meeting. However, McIntosh pointed out that if the motion were delayed, there
would not be enough time to run an election before the semester ends. The Senate
voted to approve the amended language, with two Senators opposed. The vote to
approve the now-amended motion was held, with the Senate voting unanimously for
A second motion was presented for
a one-time waiver of the By-laws Section 3, which requires that “elections for
Senate members will occur before the second Monday in April” (April 9, 2012),
Election for the
Non-Tenure-Track Teaching seat(s) will occur before April 20, 2012.
The motion was moved,
seconded, and then unanimously approved by the Senate.
to reduce LPAP graduation requirement
McIntosh explained that the proposed
motion is to reduce the current Lifetime Physical Activity Program (LPAP)
graduation requirement of two courses carrying zero credits to one course
carrying one credit, as recommended by the CUC and supported by a recent
resolution of the Student Association (SA).
Motion: that the present Lifetime Physical Activity Program (LPAP)
requirement be reduced to one course, and that this course carry a single
McIntosh stated the following points:
LPAP was structured in two tiers: a required first course for freshmen that
introduced students to a variety of physical activities, followed by a second
course that focused on their choice of activity.
- LPAP is
now buffet-style and has migrated away from freshmen to juniors and seniors who
must have two LPAP courses to graduate.
practice of zero credit for required LPAP (non-required LPAP carries one
credit) reduces perceived value.
Jeffrey Kripal, chair of the CUC, said that the CUC was asked to look at
three issues: the current requirement
of two courses, whether the courses should be for credit, and whether Rice
student-athletes should be exempt from the LPAP requirement. The CUC recommended the reduction to one
course, carrying one credit, and to maintain the requirement for athletes. A lengthy discussion ensued, including
comments from Kevin Kirby, Vice President for Administration; John Hutchinson,
Dean of Undergraduates, Registrar David Tenney, and a representative from the
Student Association. Selected comments
are shown below.
Question: Why not two courses?
Answer: Due to the increased enrollment
at Rice, we do not have the resources to accommodate two courses for all
students. Currently, it is mainly seniors who take LPAP courses.
Question: which LPAP requirement
will be in effect for students next year-- the GA in use when they entered
Rice, or the GA in use when they graduate?
Answer: Students have the option to
graduate under the current GA or the GA in use when they entered Rice, but they
cannot retroactively adjust credits. If this motion passes, next year’s
graduating class could thus ask for a single LPAP course versus two.
Question: What do Rice’s peer
institutions do regarding physical education?
Answer: About 50% of our peer
institutions have some requirement. In some cases, swimming instruction is
Randy Batsell moved to call the question (ending discussion), and it was
seconded. The Senate voted to approve the motion to end discussion, with three
opposed and one abstention.
Next, the Senate voted to approve the original motion, with four opposed
and one abstention. The new language will appear in the General Announcements for
the 2012-2013 academic year.
to approve a change in rules on Pass-Fail within the major
McIntosh said that the motion, proposed by the CUC, and moved and
seconded by the EC, is to approve a change in rules on Pass-Fail within the
major, making it possible for students to take courses within their major
department or area pass/fail, as long as the courses are not used to meet the
requirements for their major. Currently, pass/fail courses are only allowed
outside the student’s major. The proposed change in the General Announcements
is shown below:
Undergraduates may register for
courses on a pass/fail basis. Students:
May not take as pass/fail those courses required for the major or used to meet the requirements for
their major specifically required
for the major or courses falling within the major department or major area.
Kripal explained that the motion has come to the CUC many times, and its
purpose is to encourage risk-taking within a student’s own major. Kripal was
asked how electives that are required for one’s major would be affected. He replied that if the elective is required
for one’s major, it may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. In further
discussion, it was noted that once a student fulfills the requirements for
his/her major, he/she may take more classes in their field pass/fail, but they
cannot count towards the major. John Hutchinson proposed a simplification in
the motion’s wording, shown below:
“Students may not take as pass/fail those courses used to meet the
requirements for their major.”
Batsell moved to accept the amended language, and it was seconded. The
Senate voted to approve the amended
language, with four opposed. The amended motion was now discussed.
Caldwell spoke against the pass/fail system as it is currently configured.
Kripal replied that although sympathetic to this idea, the CUC was simply asked
to look at this focused request. Another
Senator spoke up against pass/fail classes, while a third spoke in favor of
them. Ramon Gonzalez stated that while some students may be trying to get away
with something, others are genuinely interested in the course. Batsell
recommended that next year the Senate look into the intellectual effect of
A vote was held on the amended motion, which the Senate voted to approve.
Twelve Senators voted for approval, 6 voted against approval, and 3
to approve new graduation honor: Distinction in Research and Creative Works
McIntosh provided some background information on the proposed Distinction
in Research and Creative Works, which will appear on the students’ diplomas and
transcripts, unlike departmental honors. She said that the Senate passed this
issue to the CUC in December 2010. Provost McLendon appointed an ad-hoc
committee, chaired by Matt Taylor, in February 2011. The resulting proposal was passed to the EC
with the CUC’s recommendation. At this point, the EC circulated the proposal to
Deans and Chairs for comment; the 17 comments received were shared with Taylor,
who agreed to revise accordingly.
McIntosh said that the revised proposal was presented to EC, and further
revisions were suggested, resulting in the proposal posted on the wiki for
review by faculty. Revisions included:
process changed from new school-wide committees to individual departments
beyond “Research” to include creative works
specificity of university-wide criteria
and oversight procedures to avoid “distinction inflation”
to additional burdens on faculty, including IRBs
review of the program by Dean’s Council
Senators asked what the distinction will add to Rice, to which Taylor
replied that it is a way to recognize the great work of students using other
worthy criteria instead of their grade point average. It was noted that while departmental honors
also serve this purpose, they only recognize a few students. John Hutchinson spoke in favor of the
distinction, while Danijela Damjanovic expressed the concerns of her colleagues
in the Math department. One of the SA
representatives in attendance at the meeting said that the distinction might
help to reduce the number of students seeking double and triple majors, which
is the current method students use to stand out from the other students.
A discussion regarding evaluation criteria for the proposed distinction
began, but as it was time for the meeting to close, the proposal was tabled
until the next Senate meeting, where it will be the first issue discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.