The Sage Occasional

An occasional news bulletin used by the RPI Senate to alert faculty to impending issues.
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Monday, November 3, 2003

YOUR APPROVAL REQUIRED FOR PROPOSED CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES

A proposal for changes to the current core curriculum will be brought to a vote of the full faculty for final approval in a General Faculty Meeting in January. The proposal contains 22 individual objectives that each degree program should enable graduates to meet. According to the Faculty Constitution, these changes must be considered and approved by a majority of the full Rensselaer Faculty. More information about this proposal and the approval process can be found at:
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/issues/core.html

CRITERIA YOU CAN USE TO EVALUATE PERFORMANCE PLANS NOW AVAILABLE

Reports of the Faculty Early Input Meetings in the five schools have been delivered to the President, Provost, and Deans and are available to faculty at the links below. Lists of criteria for performance plan from these reports are also available and we encourage you to use them in evaluating the performance plan in your school.
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/issues/plan.html

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Wednesday, January 15, 2004


FACULTY MEETING & VOTE ON PROPOSED CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES

A General Faculty Meeting to discuss and vote on the Core Curriculum Proposal is scheduled for next week, 2:00 Wednesday, January 21 in CII 4050. At this meeting, faculty will have the opportunity to discuss the 22 proposed Core Curriculum Objectives as well as vote on them. Following the meeting, a week-long balloting process will give other faculty a chance to weigh in.

ELECTRONIC BALLOTING ON CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES TO OPEN NEXT WEEK

Electronic balloting on the proposed 22 objectives for the core curriculum will open at 5:00 Wednesday, January 21 and run though 5pm on Thursday, January 29. Directions for voting in WebCT will be distributed to faculty following the General Faculty Meeting. Faculty who wish to use a paper ballot should contact the Senate Assistant, Francine Fredette, at x8150 or fredef2@rpi.edu.

DISCUSSION OF THE CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES ON-LINE

The full Core Curriculum Proposal can be found on-line at
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/CoreOut2.pdf


The results of a survey of program representatives as well as a variety of position statements on the 22 proposed objectives can be found at:
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/corediscussion.htm

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Friday, January 23, 2004

DELAY AND CHANGE IN FACULTY VOTE ON CORE CURRICULUM PROPOSAL

At this week's general Faculty Meeting on the Core Curriculum Proposal, a motion was made by Sam Wait, Associate Dean, School of Science, that the Core Curriculum Proposal be voted on as a whole rather than as 22 individual objectives. The motion passed 17 to 8.

Per this vote, please expect an email no later than this coming Wednesday, January 28, providing directions for how to vote YES or NO on the Core Curriculum Proposal. You may read the text of the full proposal at:

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/CoreOut2.pdf

Vote and insure that the faculty voice is heard!
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Sage Occasional: Friday, February 27, 2004

PROPOSAL FOR CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES FAILS

The Proposed Core Curriculum Objectives put to vote before the full faculty failed by more than a 2 to 1 margin. The final tally was 144 NO, 64 YES (208 Total) with 45.0% of those eligible voting. More than 50% of the tenure-track faculty voted with smaller turnouts for other groups of eligible voters, a record turnout on this issue.

CORE CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES BACK IN SENATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

The proposal for core curriculum objectives is back in the hands of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee who have requested and received feedback on individual objectives based on positions statements by the faculty and a survey of program representatives. This and other information can still be viewed at:

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/core.html

Members of the faculty wishing to provide further feedback to the Curriculum Committee can contact Christoph Steinbruchel, chair, at steinc@rpi.edu or send a reply to this email, which will be forwarded.

FEEDBACK SOUGHT ON PROPOSAL FOR A +/- GRADING SYSTEM

A proposal for modifying Rensselaer's grading system to include +/- modifiers has been proposed to the Faculty Senate and will be put to a vote of the full faculty, perhaps as early as late April. The Faculty Senate has been working with the student leadership to address concerns about the impact of this proposal and hope to bring some version to vote before the end of the year. Faculty can find information about the proposal as well as post their own comments at:

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/grading.htm

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Sage Occasional: Thursday, March 11, 2004

PROVOST TO ADDRESS FACULTY ON ACADEMIC INITIATIVES

Provost Peterson will make his annual Report on Academic Initiatives at the General Faculty Meeting next Wednesday, March 17, at 2:00 in DCC 337. Topics will include new hires, the compensation initiative, and more. This is your chance to bring questions and concerns for the follow-up discussion period or forward them to Peter Persans, Chair of the Faculty, at persap@rpi.edu.

INSTITUTE-WIDE DISCUSSION OPENS ON +/- GRADING PROPOSAL

An Institute-wide discussion on the Plus/Minus grading proposal kicks off next week with a panel discussion by faculty and students at the General Faculty Meeting (March 17, at 2:00 in DCC 337). Members of the faculty are invited to continue this discussion with students in classes during Grand Marshall Week, March 29 through April 2, in preparation for a vote of the full faculty, perhaps as early as late April. Faculty can find information about the +/- grading proposal as well as post their own comments at: http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/grading.htm

NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR SENATE ELECTION SLATE

Nominations are invited for open positions in the Faculty Senate and its committees. Please send your nominations to Bruce Nauman, Chair of the Election Committee, or come prepared to nominate from the floor at the General Faculty Meeting (next Wednesday, March 17, at 2:00 in DCC 337).

Positions open in the SENATE include: Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Senators from Hartford, Architecture, Engineering, Science, and 3 Senators at Large. Positions open on the Committee for PROMOTION & TENURE include Representatives for Engineering, H&SS, and, At-Large. Positions open on the Committee on PLANNING & RESOURCES include Representatives for Architecture and Engineering. Positions open on the CURRICULUM Committee include Representatives for Engineering and Science. Positions open on the ELECTION Committee include Representatives for Engineering and Management.


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Sage Occasional: Monday, March 29, 2004


FACULTY ENCOURAGED TO DISCUSS +/- GRADING PROPOSAL IN CLASSES THIS WEEK

Members of the faculty are encouraged to discuss the +/- grading proposal with students in classes this week in preparation for a vote of the full faculty in late April. Talking points prepared by the
Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee and the Student Senate are attached.

The proposal includes the following grading scale for undergrad
students: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D; F. For graduate
students: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C; F. Numeric equivalents are A =
4.00, A- = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.0, etc. Further information about the +/- grading proposal can be found at:

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/2003-2004/issues/grading.htm


VOTE IN SENATE ELECTION!

The Faculty Senate Election opens this Wednesday and runs until 10:00 am on Wednesday, April 7. In addition to positions in the Senate and standing committees, 4 constitutional amendments are at issue.
Eligible voters will receive their ballots electronically. Make sure to vote!

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Sage Occasional: Friday, April 16, 2004


FACULTY VOTE ON COMPROMISE +/- GRADING PROPOSAL STARTS MONDAY

In response to student concerns and in cooperation with members of the Student Senate, the Faculty Senate voted this week to put a revised +/- grading proposal to vote before the full faculty next week. Two crucial revisions have been incorporated to respond to student concerns:

* The transition plan now calls for phrasing in grade modifiers over a 3-year period, beginning with the 1000- and 6000-level courses, moving to the 2000-level courses, and finishing with the 4000-level courses.
* The transition has now been delayed 1 year, to start in Fall 2005.

Both of these modifications were developed in cooperation with the Student Senate and are intended to minimize the impact on currently enrolled students. The ballot will be mailed electronically on Monday, April 26, and voting will be open for 1 week. Please vote!

RESULTS OF SENATE ELECTION RATIFIED

The results of the Faculty Senate Election have now been ratified. Please join us in congratulating the following new members of the Senate and its Committees:

Vice President Achille Messac
Recording Secretary Joel Plawsky

Senator from Architecture Ning Xiang
Senator from Engineering Shekhar Garde
Senator from Science Chjan Lim
Senator at Large Sharon Anderson-Gold
Senator at Large Sandy Sternstein
Senator at Large Bob Degeneff

Promotion and Tenure, Engineering Sunderesh Heragu
Promotion and Tenure, H&SS Larry Kagan

Planning and Resources, Architecture William Massie
Planning and Resources, Engineering Dan Berg

Curriculum, Engineering Mike Wozny
Curriculum,Science John Schroeder

Elections, Engineering Steve Cramer
Elections, Management Richard Leifer

In addition, ballot amendments for administrative title changes, Faculty Committee on Honors, quorums and petitions, faculty
satisfaction survey were passed.

New members of the Senate and its Committees will be welcomed and retiring members thanked at a closing year reception following the final meeting of the Faculty Senate on April 28 in the Russell Sage Dining Hall, meeting at 2:00, reception at 3:30. All members of the faculty are invited to attend.

 

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Sage Occasional: Monday, May 3, 2004

FACULTY APPROVES PLUS/MINUS PROPOSAL 3 to 1

The full faculty voted last week to approve the +/- grading proposal by a 3 to 1 margin. With the high turnout of 43.6%, the vote was 74.8% voted APPROVE (151) and 25.2% voted DISAPPROVE (51). The proposal calls for a transition to phase in grade modifiers, beginning with the 1000- and 6000-level courses in Fall, 2005. The Faculty Senate has now forwarded the proposal to the Provost for implementation.


SENATE ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2003-04 AVAILABLE

An Annual Report of Activities for the Faculty Senate is available to faculty on-line at:

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/AnnualReport2003-04.pdf

Vice-President Bruce Nauman (nauman@rpi.edu) has now assumed the Presidency of the Senate with Cheryl Geisler moving on to serve as Chair of the Faculty. Thanks to all who have made this a good year!