Category Archives: Uncategorized

Purging of the Wait Lists

Faculty Council is considering moving the college wide date for purging class wait lists from the first Monday of the term to the first Tuesday of the term.

The rationale for this is to allow for Tuesday/Thursday classes to meet before purging the wait lists.

Please leave leave a reply to share your thoughts or responses.

Future Work Group and the College’s Continuing No-Show Drop Policy

Faculty Colleagues, as you hopefully read in Dawn DeWolf’s email,  no-show drops for Winter term will be the same as Fall term.  Faculty Council discussed revisions at two different meetings Fall term and were unable to agree on a recommendation for revised language.  Faculty Council will participate in a work group Winter term with the goal of recommending revised language for no show drops for Spring.  If you are interested in participating in that group, please email Faculty Council co-chairs, Brooke Taylor and Joseph Colton.  If you have input regarding no show drops, comments can be recorded in reply to this post here.

Revised Language for First Week Attendance – Version 2

Faculty Council continues to consider new language for first week attendance in order to meet both federal guidelines and recognize diverse instructional needs.  Based on feedback provided to the previous blog post and discussion in Faculty Council on October 24, 2014, Faculty Council revised the proposed language as follows.  Please review the proposed language and share your input by leaving a reply.

  • Students not attending the first class meeting will be dropped.  For online classes, students who do not complete the first online assignment by the stated deadline will be dropped.  Thereafter individual instructor syllabi policies apply.

New Language Proposal for First Week Attendance

Faculty Council is currently considering new language for first week attendance in order to meet both federal guidelines and recognize diverse instructional needs.  Please review the proposed language as follows and share your input by leaving a reply.  (Note:  this language is only being proposed for face-to-face classes; separate language will be considered to address online and distance learning classes.)

  • Faculty must drop a student if they don’t attend once. Faculty may drop students if attendance is less than 100% in the first week. The course attendance policy will be clearly defined and communicated in the class syllabus.

“NC” Grade: Proposed Policy Changes

Spring Term 2014 “NC” No Basis for Grade Conversation

Should we continue to offer the “NC” No Basis for Grade?

Questions/Issues to Consider:

1. What is the purpose of the “NC” grade?

According to COPPS and our grading rubrics:

NC  (No Credit): Issuing a grade of “NC” is at the instructor’s discretion and is used when the instructor believes the student has not participated enough in the class to earn a grade.  It is not meant and should not be used to replace an “F” or “Incomplete”.  Always include the last date of attendanceP, NP, NC, I and U are not used to compute GPA

 2. How common is it for faculty to assign an “NC” grade at Lane?

This chart reflects the number of credit grades awarded and how many were “NC” No Basis for Grade between fall 2011 and fall 2013. Note what percentages of all grades awarded this represents. (College Now grades excluded)

Term # of Credit Grades # of NC Grades Percentage
Fall 2011 39,079  2,764  7%
Winter 2012 38,204  2,671  7%
Spring 2012 35,632  2,791  8%
Summer 2012 12,518  1,134  9%
Fall 2012 35,291  2,650  8%
Winter 2013 34,584  2,438  7%
Spring 2013 31,616  2,328  7%
Summer 2013 10,512  963  9%
Fall 2013 30,975  1,983  6%

 3. Is the reason for assigning an “NC” consistent between faculty?

Some faculty use the “NC” to provide a grade for students who registered, but never attended.

Some faculty use the “NC” to provide a grade for students who registered, attended for some period of time, and stopped attending.

Some faculty use the “NC” when the student stayed in the class, but did not participate enough to warrant another grade.

Some faculty use the “NC” when students ask that they not receive an “F” to not have their GPA negatively impacted.

Could there be other reasons?

 4. What is the impact of earning an “NC” on the student?

The credit associated with an “NC” is used in the Academic Progress Standing calculation, and it can cause a student to receive an Alert 1, Alert 2, or Alert 3 hold if having this contributes to the student completing less than 67% of attempted credits.

Students receiving financial aid and earning an “NC” will not receive credit toward graduation, but the credits associated with it count against their total available to be funded in the financial aid credit limit process.

Students who are receiving financial aid retroactively cannot be paid for an “NC” grade, but can for an “F”.

An “NC” does not calculate into a student’s GPA.

 5. What grade would a faculty member assign instead of an “NC”?

 If the student fails to drop the class by the eighth week of the term, they would receive an “F” for failing to continue to attend and/or not submitting work enough work to warrant a grade beyond “F”.

6. How does an “NC” grade impact Financial Aid?

While the instructions for assigning an “NC” direct the faculty to provide a last date of attendance, this is not a required step in myLane, so it is possible that we could be in violation of the federal financial aid regulations if we pay a student for attending when they were not in attendance.

“NC” grade credits are calculated into the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation and are counted in the total number of credits that can be used with financial aid.

 7. Do the other Oregon community colleges use an “NC” or equivalent grade?

An analysis of sister Oregon Community Colleges, Valencia College and Salt Lake Community College shows that an “NC” No Basis for Grade is not a standard grade utilized and in most cases it has been retired.

Institution NC Grade? Registrar Comments
PCC No
Lane Yes Recording the Last Date of Attendance for an “NC” is not forced in myLane and is often left blank.
Chemeketa No We used to have an “N” grade and that went away in 2009-10. 
Linn-Benton Yes Our Academic Affairs Committee is meeting to discuss getting rid of X “no basis”, and WP “Work in Progress” grades. 
Clackamas Yes
Faculty input the “Y” and it means Never Attended. It counts in attempted credits On our transcript key it says “Never Attended”
We implemented a “Y” grade (never attended) a few years ago because students who never attended were getting both “W” and “F” grades for the same behavior. Just last year, we told faculty that they must (a word we never use here) provide a “Y” grade if the student never attended.
Mt. Hood No
Rogue Yes “Z” indicates no basis for grade (e.g., you do not attend beyond the first third of the scheduled class meetings). If you attend beyond the first third of the scheduled class meetings a grade for the class other than “Z” must be assigned. 
SWOCC No
Southwestern had a similar grade many years ago (it was a “Y”).
We require faculty to administrative withdraw non-attending students by the end of the 2nd week.  Students who attended, but stop out and don’t drop, get “F” grades.
Klamath No At KCC we have no such grade.  The student typically receives an “F” grade in your situations below.  If the student is not happy, we make them do an appeal for a “Late Drop”.
TVCC No Our instructor’s give students “F” grades; we don’t have a grade for students that stopped attending class. 
Tillamook No TBCC does not have a grade for students who stop attending.  They receive the grade they earn, which is a lot of ‘F’s. 
Clatsop No
Until this past fall term, we used Z grade indicating the student stopped attending, or no basis to award grade.  Not all faculty used it the same, and Financial Aid still had to follow up on every student receiving an F or NC to satisfy Department of Education standards.
We did away with the Z and now require instructors entering an F (courses with letter grade) or NC (used in Pass/No Credit courses) grades to enter a last date of attendance.  The interface for inputting faculty grades requires this.
Salt Lake CC No
Valencia No
Umpqua No We discontinued the use of the “Y” (no basis for grade) about six years ago.  Now, instructors must assign an A-F or P grade.  Any grades left blank are reported to the VP/Deans for follow-up.

 

 

Source Material for Academic Freedom Policy Proposal

The proposal for replacing the “Freedom of Inquiry and Expression” policy with the drafted “Academic Freedom” policy derives in part from the University of Oregon’s recent adoption of a revised “Academic Freedom” policy.

The following case was presented in Learning Council on May 9th.

1. Existing policy on AF confuses several different rights and is too broad.

It confuses AF with freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression, free speech, and free assembly. It interjects a civility clause. To the extent any of these are required, they should be separate policies.

Freedom of inquiry in an academic environment is covered by academic freedom. Freedom of inquiry is the right to pursue research and have access to knowledge and information. It is most often used to protect libraries, library collections, librarians and library patrons, as well as researchers. Academic freedom is usually seen to cover all theses areas win an academic setting.

Freedom of expression, free speech, and freedom of assembly are all protected by the first amendment and are guaranteed in public spaces. As such, there is no need to separately establish policies on these, as they are constitutionally protected in all public spaces and institutions.

What separates AF from these others is that while it is protected by the constitution, it is also broader in some regards (the right to determine course content, methodology, and grading) and narrower in some regards (it applies only to particular roles instructors, students, higher ed institutions) than these other rights due to the academic context. Unlike free speech, etc. , not everyone has the same rights and responsibilities in an academic context. Academic experts (instructors) have nearly exclusive rights to determine course content, teaching methods, grading, and administrators have no rights to intervene unless there is some sort of professional violation (i.e. academic dishonesty, for example). Thus, the need to have an AF policy.

2. U.S. Supreme Court has said that academic freedom is protected speech. However, it has not ruled that AF applies to faculty exclusively. It has said AF means a university can determine for itself on academic grounds:

  • who may teach,
  • what may be taught,
  • how it should be taught, and who may be admitted to study.

Academic freedom involves more than speech rights; for example, it includes the right to determine what is taught in the classroom. In practice, academic freedom is protected by institutional rules and regulations, letters of appointment, faculty handbooks, collective bargaining agreements, and academic custom.[28]

In the U.S., the freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” By extension, the First Amendment applies to all governmental institutions, including public universities. The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that academic freedom is a First Amendment right at public institutions.[29]

3. However, Academic Freedom is unsettled law, as there a number of conflicting legal cases (non-precedent setting) and conflicting interpretations. For example, proponents of “creationism” argue that AF protects the right of educators to teach creationism in the classroom. While opponents argue that AF prohibits creationism from being taught in the classroom as it is a religious belief and not scientifically valid.

Similarly, various groups argue that AF does not protect educators who promote racial supremacy in the classroom under the guise of scholarly inquiry. While libertarian defenders of AF argue that it does protect such speech as a necessary evil of free and open debate and inquiry.

4. The AF policy recently passed by the University of Oregon Faculty Senate is a very good statement because it is simple, open to interpretation, and open to both institutional procedures and legal challenges for clarification. It does not attempt to resolve all of these issues with potentially contradictory or restrictive wording.

Academic Freedom: Proposed Policy Changes

The current policy is called “Freedom of Inquiry and Expression.”

The proposed policy below would replace the policy linked above.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Lane Community College serves the community by providing programs of learning that enable students to pursue and achieve their educational and vocational goals. Academic freedom is indispensable to promoting the pursuit of these objectives. Open, scholarly engagement lays the groundwork for students to acquire knowledge and develop intellectual skills. The college is committed to providing an environment that supports independent, critical thought in the pursuit of knowledge. Lane Community College assumes responsibility to protect its scholarly community from internal or external influences that have the effect of placing limitations on academic freedom and the freedom of inquiry. .

INSTRUCTION. In all instructional environments, including classroom, laboratory, and online environments, instructors and students have the right to investigate, present and discuss matters, including those that are controversial, free from institutional restraint and reprisal. Matters brought up in a class should be related to the content of the class or otherwise be educationally relevant as determined by the professional judgment of the instructor.

It is the responsibility of the instructor to maintaini a scholarly environment conducive to achieving the learning outcomes of the course. Instruction should be presented in a manner that shows scholarship fairly and accurately; that acknowledges differing perspectives where appropriate; that cites sources of knowledge; and that differentiates personal views from scholarly supported positions

SCHOLARSHIP. All members of the college community including students, faculty, staff, and administrators are free to conduct research and produce creative work, and to share their work with others within the professional academic standards of accountability.

Only serious abuses of this policy that rise to the level of professional misbehavior or professional incompetence should lead to adverse consequences.  Any such determinations shall be made in accordance with established, formal procedures.

Administrative Withdrawal: Proposed Policy Changes

The following was presented and discussed at Learning Council Friday, May 9th, and also at Faculty Council the same afternoon.

Motivation: Compliance with DOEd and Financial Aid.  The Federal standard requires students to attend once during the first week.  “attend once” = “participate in one educational activity”

Current COPPS language: “Students who do not attend 50 percent of the class sessions by the end of the first week may be administratively withdrawn.”

Proposed change to COPPS: Will be administratively dropped

Possible new wording also being considered:  Students must attend at least one of the first two meetings of a class during the first week. Students who do not attend one of the first two meetings of a class in the first week will be administratively withdrawn.

Draft of Amended Faculty Council Charter

Faculty Council Charter
Review Draft

1 Mission Statement

1.0 Faculty Council contributes to the quality of education at Lane as the deliberative faculty representative group on academic matters. It may also consider other matters brought before it.

2 Roles

2.1 As provided for by the LCCEA contract, Faculty Council may refer issues on academic policies of the college to a vote in which the whole faculty may participate. The Faculty Council shall be responsible for defining and ensuring timely college-wide debate and subsequent voting process, and for formulating and publishing the results.
2.2 As provided for by the LCCEA contract, Faculty Council’s responsibilities include grading policy and the campus-wide student evaluation instrument.
2.3 Faculty Council provides a campus-wide forum for faculty to collaborate in governance over academic issues and policies within its authority as established by tradition, contract, and need;
2.4 Faculty Council appoints/recommends faculty to serve on committees such as the Curriculum Committee, Assessment Team, Academic Requirements Review Committee, including other standing curricular committees;
2.5 Faculty Council works in concert with Administration, Governance Councils, The Lane Community College Education Association (LCCEA), and other faculty groups to address campus-wide issues;
2. 6 Faculty Council provides faculty perspectives in response to issues raised by the college administration, LCCEA, or any other college body.
2.7 Faculty Council provides a critical nexus of communication between faculty, staff, and administration.
2.8 Faculty Council addresses issues, sparks discussion, develops solutions, and assists with implementing changes.

3 Operation

3.1 Freedom of Discussion
3.1.0 In realizing its role, any issue that impacts on the faculty at large, excluding legally confidential matters, may be considered by this group. However, Faculty Council does not engage in dealing/bargaining.

3.2
Communication

3.2.0 The Faculty Council will keep faculty informed about campus issues by:
3.2.1 Receiving reports from division representatives to the Faculty Council
3.2.2 Reserving a portion of the agenda for those outside of the Faculty Council to introduce issues, give reports, etc., as appropriate.
3.2.3 Directing Faculty Council representatives to keep divisions informed
3.2.4 Hosting forums.
3.2.5 Appointing Faculty Council representatives to college councils and committees, and receiving reports from them.
3.2.6 On-line communication to representatives and the faculty at large.

3.3 Academic Program Decision Making
3.3.0 The Faculty Council provides a means for faculty to make decisions on academic matters by:
3.3.1 Acting as a forum for discussing ideas and proposals
3.3.2 Acting as the approval body for faculty on college-wide instructional plans
3.3.3 Establishing task forces on issues that need a plan or proposal submitted to Faculty Council
3.3.4 Making decisions
3.3.5 Providing an avenue for developing relationships among faculty members
3.3.6 Working in conjunction with the LCCEA and respecting each other’s jurisdiction

4 Organizational Structure

4.1 Membership
4.1.1 Divisions will make provisions for faculty members to actively participate in Faculty Council.
4.1.2 Members of the Faculty Council are representatives by division. Faculty in each division will elect their own representatives to send to the Council. Each division will have two representatives chosen from different disciplines or instructional units. Representatives will serve two-year terms, be selected during spring term in alternate years, and may serve for consecutive terms.
4.1.3 Special elections may be held when needed to fill vacant positions.
4.1.4 Full-time and part-time faculty teaching during the forthcoming academic year shall be eligible to be elected as division representatives.
4.1.5 Elections shall be conducted within each division according to the established division practice or by secret ballot. The previous year’s representative whose seat is not up for re-election shall conduct the nominating and voting processes.
4.1.6 Although divisional representatives are the decision making members, Faculty Council meetings are open to the entire college community, and attendance by any interested party is encouraged. The goal of the Council is to foster effective communication and collegial discussion of issues for the entire faculty.
4.1.7 All faculty members are encouraged to participate in other college committees and task forces as well as any other college activity that involves faculty. The Council shall actively solicit/encourage full faculty participation in shared governance and in promoting/maintaining transparency in all college processes to the extent allowed by law.
4.1.8 Regular attendance of Council representatives will ensure continuity in the decision-making.
4.1.9 All members shall have equal access to the same information that, to the extent practical, consists of primary documents as well as digests and analysis.
4.1.10 The Faculty Council shall include a non-voting representative from the Office of Instruction & Student Services (OISS), LCCEA, The Associated Students of Lane Community College (ASLCC), and LCCEF.

4.2 Meetings
4.2.1 Regularly scheduled meetings shall be held. Face to face votes shall only be held when at least half the membership is in attendance. Votes may be held by e-mail if the members present at a meeting vote to do so. Only Council members will participate in voting, which is distinct from the referendum process and the co-chair electoral process.
4.2.2 Agendas will be divided into sections with suggested time limitations on each.
4.2.3 To save time, people are expected to talk to the co-chairs about any last-minute adjustments to the agenda before the meeting.
4.2.4 Persons wishing to elicit opinions, input or help from Faculty Council shall be asked to submit a brief description of the problem or situation that shall be distributed to the council members prior to discussion of the issue. Council members will be encouraged to review the material prior to the meeting.
4.2.5 Issues that need research and reflection will be referred to standing committees of the college or task forces, so that when a proposal is returned to the Faculty Council, the members can discuss the issue more effectively.
4.2.6 A chair will be appointed by the co-chairs at the time of forming a task force, and will be listed under Committee Reports and will be asked to schedule reports to the council with the co-chairs.
4.2.7 Persons/committees/task forces will submit items that need decisions or discussion by Faculty Council to the co-chairs. Copies of these items will be sent out with minutes prior to the next meeting whenever it is possible. This will provide ample opportunity for those who might be affected by the issue to review and discuss it prior to the Faculty Council meeting. If it is impossible to distribute before the meeting, the written information should be brought to the Faculty Council and distributed at that time.
4.2.8 Proposals from committees should have the difficulties worked out as much as the committee is able before the submission to the Faculty Council.
4.2.9 Co-chairs will delegate tasks to other Faculty Council members in order to encourage full Council participation in the functions of Faculty Council. Persons shall be assigned to track each important issue and report as necessary for the development and resolution of the issue.
4.2.10 It is the responsibility of all persons present to be succinct and to the point (i.e., if committee has not met, or has no reports, the proper response is “no report”)
4.2.11 Meetings will be conducted using a modification of Roberts Rules of Order, such modification being the right of any council member to make a motion for consensus on an important item for vote. If the motion is seconded, consensus will be required to be pursued in good faith by all council members. Council appointments are not subject to consensus.
4.2.12 If a council member’s motion for consensus on an item is pursued within a meeting, and consensus is not achieved, Faculty Council will declare a reflection period until the next Faculty Council meeting. At the start of that next meeting a consensus vote will then be held. If consensus is not achieved, a majority based vote will be taken, and then both majority and minority reports will be issued. The representative who made the original motion for consensus will write the report for whichever outcome (majority or minority) he/she winds up on. The co-chairs will write the remaining report. This may change depending on how we resolve 4.2.11.

4.3 Criteria For Agenda Items
4.3.0 Criteria for selecting the agenda items:
4.3.1 Does it concern teaching and learning at LCC or in higher education?
4.3.2 Does the Faculty Council have the necessary information to address the issue?
4.3.3 What is the time line?
4.3.4 Requests to make presentations to the Faculty Council should be submitted in writing.

4.4 Standing Committee Representatives
4.4.0 Faculty Council shall recruit/ appoint representatives to other college decision-making bodies.
4.4.1 Recruitment will be by faculty-wide solicitation of statements of interest and qualifications to be considered by the council members, except when a sitting representative wishes to renew her/his appointment. In that case, the council will vote on the renewal without a campus-wide solicitation.
4.4.2 Except in cases where a single statement of interest has been received and the council members decide by consensus to appoint the candidate who submitted it, appointment will follow a vote.

4.5 Committees
4.5.0 To facilitate the smooth and efficient operation of the Faculty Council, committees and task forces shall be formed as required.
4.5.1 The co-chairs shall maintain a list of all task forces, chairs and members.
4.5.2 These task forces shall cease to exist when their mission has been completed.
4.5.3 Faculty Council appointees to curricular committees and task forces (such as Curriculum Committee, Assessment Team, Academic Requirements Review Committee) shall submit upcoming agenda items to co-chairs in time to be published with the agenda, as well as make reports to Faculty Council upon invitation.

4.6 Co-Chairs
4.6.1 The Faculty will elect two Faculty Council members to act as co-chairs. To be nominated, the member must have attended more than half of the regularly scheduled meetings during the immediately preceding year or have served as a Faculty Council member for at least one year with a 50% or better annual attendance record within the past five years. Co-chairs will serve for two years and elections will be held every year such that the terms of the co-chairs overlap.
4.6.2 In the event of a resignation, a special faculty-wide election will be held for a replacement to complete the resigning co-chair’s term.
4.6.3 Co-chairs will participate as members of the council in addition to performing their duties as co-chairs.
4.6.4 In the event that a sitting co-chair’s division elects two new members, not including the co-chair, the co-chair will continue to carry out the duties of co-chair until the end of his/her term, but will not otherwise participate as a representative of her/his division.
4.6.5 Whereas in the past, the Faculty Council co-chairs received re-assignment time equal to one class per term to represent faculty interests, unless otherwise negotiated in bargaining, Faculty Council co-chairs receive a stipend, as well as budget of $500 to be spent on Faculty Council business
4.6.6 The co-chairs shall:
4.6.6.1 Keep order at meetings.
4.6.6.2 Keep discussion to a reasonable time schedule.
4.6.6.3 Poll the members for decision making at the end of discussion.
4.6.6.4 Wrap up each meeting with a restatement of action items.
4.6.6.5 Establish a calendar of meetings.
4.6.6.6 Keep the budget.
4.6.6.7 Keep a list of operational procedures (printing, mailing, room reservations).
4.6.6.8 Keep a list of Faculty Council actions and accomplishments.
4.6.6.9 Act as representatives & liaisons for Faculty Council as needed.
4.6.6.10 Keep the Faculty Council & faculty informed of instructional issues and developments.
4.6.6.11 One of the co-chairs will serve as the Faculty Council representative to the College Council and the other will serve as the representative to the Learning Council.

5 Amending the Faculty Council Charter

5.1 The Faculty Council Charter shall be amended when two-thirds of the Council members vote to form a committee to amend the charter and charge that committee with proposing specific changes.
5.2 Such committee will meet and form language in response only to the changes charged to them by Faculty Council based on the aforementioned voting mechanism.
5.3 Faculty Council will take the proposed language from the committee and publicize the proposed amendment language in a manner to best reach all college faculty, notifying them of upcoming discussions and a vote.
5.4 After publicizing the language to all college faculty, Faculty Council must place the proposed amendment language on the agenda for discussion for two open meetings.
5.5 After the publicizing and open meeting requirements have been met, only then can the amended language be considered for a vote by Faculty Council.
5.6 Amended language to the Charter must meet with approval by a two-thirds’ vote of the Council members to be made official as Charter language.