Faculty Senate conducts policy house cleaning

Professor Rainer Newberry laughs while discussing his history with the UAF Faculty Senate. Zachary Sherman/ Sun Star

Professor Rainer Newberry laughs while discussing his history with the UAF Faculty Senate. Zachary Sherman/ Sun Star

The Faculty Senate passed three motions during their final meeting of 2015 on Dec. 7.  These changes included policy adjustments in B.A. minor requirements and academic probation and consolidation efforts with one masters of engineering program

Language option removal

The current UAF catalog’s system of minors allows for students to avoid the 15-credit minor complex required for the bachelors of the arts degree by taking as few as 12 credits of a foreign language, Alaska Native Languages or American Sign Language. This change was part of UAF’s preparations for the expected streamlining of the UA curriculum as ordered by the UA board of regents.

Minutes from the Faculty Senate meeting indicate the discontinued system allowed for a “loophole” that gave students the ability to subvert the current 15-credit minors already available in languages.  The removed system did not require students to take any classes above the 100 level or require any of the credits to be taken in person at UAF.

“It was really just house cleaning, making us follow our own policies,” Rainer Newberry, a professor at UAF, said about the changes.

Changes to Academic Probation

The faculty senate moved to reword the UAF academic probation policy.  The changes are adjustments in the language that equate to a need to have both a semester and a cumulative GPA that falls below a 2.0 before students are placed onto academic probation.  The changes were made to prevent a single semester placing a student on academic probation and limiting them to 13 credits in the following semester.  Those limitations can affect some forms of student aid, such as the Alaska Performance Scholarship, which requires students to take 15 credit hours for eligibility.

Additionally, the summer sessions will now be given equal weight as fall and spring semesters in determining academic probation status.

Both changes will take effect beginning in the fall semester of 2016.

Removal of Master’s Program

Changes were made for the removal of the Master of Electrical Engineering program from the UAF catalog.  The change is primarily a cosmetic one, as the Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering has been retained and now allows for a non-thesis completion option.  The change will take effect in the Fall semester of 2016.

The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be on be held on Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the UAF Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom and is open to students and the public.

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