UAS approves German Secondary Ed, minor, language changes to policies

GVL / Amy Hammong
Student President Jack Iott speaking at the UAS meeting.

GVL / Amy Hammong Student President Jack Iott speaking at the UAS meeting.

Lizzy Balboa

The Grand Valley State University Academic Senate approved memos altering the language of the Faculty Handbook for faculty mentoring and tenure review process, along with a proposal for a German Secondary Education minor at its Nov. 30 meeting. It also approved collaboration between the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee and learned about GVSU’s accreditation process.

The UAS members voted unanimously to approve the memo to add language to the Faculty Handbook that provides faculty-mentoring opportunities to non-standard appointments, or faculty members who begin their academic jobs at any time other than the beginning of the fall semester.

Figen Mekik, chair of the UAS, said mentoring is currently available to all faculty members, but it is not required.

The UAS also approved a memo from the Faculty Personnel Policy Committee to include stronger wording for early tenure process. The memo regarded new faculty members who bring in years toward tenure from previous teaching jobs and how their applicable years are affected by the university’s new “two-review” process. Currently, professors have a pre-tenure review in their third year at GVSU, but those bringing in two or three years from other institutions would follow a different process with the inclusion of the new language.

The change would allow professors bringing in two years toward tenure to undergo a pre-tenure review in their fourth year instead of the usual third year. Professors bringing in three years would only receive a tenure review in the sixth year, unless candidates request at the time of their hire a pre-tenure review in their fifth year and the dean approves.

The senate also agreed to formalize a process to allow the University Curriculum Committee to consult the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee when it must deal with program changes with large budgetary aspects. The UCC has done so in the past, but the UAS called for the process to be made official in the Faculty Handbook.

The UAS voted unanimously to approve a German Secondary Education minor as well.

During the meeting, GVSU Assessment and Accreditation Officer Julie Guevara requested volunteers from the UAS and Student Senate to join the administration in planning for the university’s next assessment by the Higher Learning Committee. In light of recent changes to the accreditation process, Guevara will form a self-study committee in winter 2013 to discuss the new process and criteria for accreditation. Interested faculty members can contact Guevara at the provost’s office.

Additionally, Student Senate President Jack Iott reported that over 50 percent of faculty and more than 2,000 students have responded to the fall break survey, so the senate is progressing in developing its proposal.

Iott also announced that the theme of this year’s Presidents’ Ball is “1950s: Let the Good Times Roll.”

The next UAS meeting will be Jan. 25 at a downtown location. The ECS will meet is Dec. 7, and the committee will discuss the addition of an LGBTQ minor, revisions to the student code of conduct in regard to appropriate faculty responses to disruptive classroom behavior, and graduate academic policy on reserved course numbers.

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