USF Undergraduate Council - Minutes of October 27, 2003

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Present: Glen Besterfield (chair), Deborah Condosta, Myung Kim, J. Brian Moorhead, William Armitage

Absent: Terry Engle (excused), Silvia Fiore, Chris Ponticelli(excused)

Guests: Ava Chitwood, Teresa Flateby, Verna Glenn, Autar Kaw, Janet Moore, Wei Zhang

The meeting was called to order at 3:12 p.m.

  1. The minutes of September 22, 2003 were approved as submitted.

  2. Announcements/Discussions

    Exploitation in the Classroom and Workplace
    Glen Besterfield drafted a memo to the Faculty Senate regarding the proposed policy on exploitation in the classroom and workplace stating that the Undergraduate Council does not disagree with the intent of the policy, however, the Undergraduate Council is not able to support the policy in its present form.

    Improving Graduation Rates
    Retention is a national issue that needs to be addressed. The results of several studies show that the most important area in retaining students is the Advising Area. All of the University of South Florida advising areas are understaffed. USF is currently studying the tracking system implemented by the University of Florida. Following discussion, the Undergraduate Council will examine the retention issue further.

    Academic Major/Minor
    The Undergraduate Council briefly discussed the definition of an Academic Major and Minor and made the following changes:

    Academic Major - The major is the depth component and field of specialization for a baccalaureate degree in which the student concentrates on one subject or a group of related subjects. The sequence of courses provides a body of knowledge, methods of study, and practice appropriate to a subject or subject area. The content usually is defined by one department unit but may be defined by one or more departments units to develop an interdisciplinary concentration.

    Academic Minor - In addition to major programs, many departments offer an academic minor that requires approximately may require up to one-half the upper-level credits required for a major. Students interested in a particular minor should obtain the specific requirements from the appropriate department. The department may require the same admission or retention standards as required for the major.

    Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal / Declaration of a Major
    The Undergraduate Council reviewed the changes made to the Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal policy and the Declaration of Major policy and approved of the changes.

    Biology Proposal
    The Biology Department Curriculum Committee has proposed that the department not accept courses more than ten years old, either as credit toward the Biology majors or as a prerequisite for other courses in the Biology department, as a result of returning degree and non-degree seeking students in the Biology department whose science courses are considered outdated (more than ten years old). The previous proposals suggested to the Biology department are not agreeable to the Biology department. The suggestions were:

    1. Strongly recommend that the students retake the old science courses, or;
    2. Require an examination to get into the courses.

    The Undergraduate Council suggested the following solutions to the Biology proposal:
    1. Retire the Biology courses after 10 years.
    2. Change the prerequisites for the courses every 5 years.
    3. Have a gateway group of courses with a specific required G.P.A.

  3. New course/curriculum proposals

The next meeting will be Monday, November 10, 2003. The meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.

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