February 27, 1996

CEFO Minutes

(J. Carter, Secretary)

M I N U T E S

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING FACULTY ORGANIZATION Tuesday, February 27, 1996 @ 12:30 PM CARC Building - Room 101
Dr. Rick Lejk opened the meeting at 12:37 PM. The following individuals signed the attendance sheet:

COLLEGE OF ENGR: R. Snyder, P. Tolley. COMPUTER SCIENCE: M. Allen, S. Lambert, R. Lejk, J. Quinn, H. Razavi, J. Robinson, K. Subramanian. ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: B. Barry, J. Bowen, E. Braun, J. Carter, J. Chaffin, D. Liou C. Liu, J. Patten, R. Priebe, W. Shelnutt, D. Smith, P. Wang. CIVIL ENGINEERING: D. Bayer, J. Evett, J. Graham, R. Janardhanam, M. Kane, E. King. MECHANICAL ENGR & ENGR SCIENCE: R. Coger, P. DeHoff, R. Dubler, H. Estrada, Y. Hari, J. Hill, R. Keanini, R. Kim, J. Raja, R. Wilhelm. ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING: T. Dahlberg, A. Edwards, R. Greene, G. Metze, M. Miri, D. Phillips, M. Sleva, F. Tranjan. CAMERON A.R.C.: T. Rufty. ENGR RES & IND DEVMT: J. Roblin. COMPUTING SVCS & LABS: J. Grant. GUESTS: None. Total documented attendance: 47 (38 Voting members attended; a quorum of 40 was not attained.)

I. Minutes of the January, 1996 meeting. The minutes of the 01/27/96 meeting were approved as submitted.

II. Mentoring program, Patty Tolley. A peer-to-peer mentoring program is up and running. Students are actively mentoring other students. A peer-to-peer tutoring program for supplemental instruction is underway. A partnership with tutorial services has been set up. We will be looking to identify courses which will be targeted for this program. Retention data is being collected, and reports are coming. If there is specific information which is needed as this study is done, please contact Ms. Tolley.

III. Research update, Toby Rufty. A new internal processing form is being used. Please throw the old ones away. Please type the forms. All principle investigators identified at the top of the form must sign it at the bottom. Take care to note item #17, the conflict of interest statement. Also, it should be understood that social security, or FICA, expenses are charged to the contract or grant money. Students do not pay their own FICA expense.

IV. Peer review of teaching, R. Lejk. The college policy concerning the peer review of teaching was approved by the faculty on February 21, 1995. Guidelines were later provided, but were not voted into policy, as they are to be considered as guidelines only. Some important points should be clarified. Probationary faculty are to be reviewed twice per year, self evaluations by all faculty are to be done once per year. A concern has been raised that the frequency of reviews for probationary faculty is too great. A reduction to once per year has been suggested. Due to the lack of a quorum, no action was taken. Faculty are reminded that the CAFETERIA course evaluation system is to be in place by the Fall of this year.

V. Plus/Minus grading system, Medhi Miri. In December of 1994, the Vice Chancellor wrote a request to Sally Ives to consider the adoption of a plus-minus grading system throughout the university. This was done in response to a request which came from the student government organization. Many different opinions were expressed concerning the advantages and disadvantages of such a system. The following suggestion was offered: A = 4.0 A- = 3.7 B+ = 3.3 B = 3.0 B- = 2.7 C+ = 2.3 C = 2.0 D = 1.0 F = 0.0. It is noted that such a system is optional, as each individual faculty member has the right to assign grades. The plus/minus grades would be available to those faculty members who would choose to use them. It was also noted that not all of the possible plus/minus grades are included. Considerable discussion followed where opinions were expressed which ranged from a total rejection of the concept, to approval of the concept with the inclusion of all of the possible plus/minus values assigned to A, B, C and D grades with both A and A+ being worth 4.00.

Because of the wide range of opinions on the subject, a straw vote for clarification of the faculty position on the subject was requested from the floor. The question was raised: "How many faculty members present elect to reject the current plus/minus grade system proposal?" Result: 17 to reject, 15 to accept, 6 did not vote. The proposal has not yet been put in place, and must be approved by the faculty council.

VI. Engineering Technology academic advising strategy, Jack Carter. The ET department is in the process of putting into place a structured approach to academic advising. An extensive software database system has been developed to provide on-line access to student programs of study for the purpose of direct academic advising. The software provide numerous reports including the program of study with documented transfer coursework and deficiencies, matriculation schedule, GPA calculations, and others. Programs of study are tested against the catalog and tested against prerequisites and graduation requirements. COGE, language and math/science goals are also monitored. Each program within the department has a primary advisor. (Not all departments currently use this approach. It is the responsibility of that advisor to advise all incoming students. The primary advisor then supervises the continued advising process which includes:

SOAR. All incoming students are advised in group session with the express purpose of getting the students through the initial registration process. 
INITIAL ADVISING SESSION. When final transcripts have arrived, the primary advisor meets with each individual at least once prior to the next registration period. During that advising session, the student's academic record is placed in the software system with all transfer coursework, transfer deficiencies, and current coursework entered. The student is then provided with hard copies of the resulting program of study, matriculation schedule, program map (a list of courses meeting specific requirements), and a prerequisite list. This session takes about 20 minutes.

At the end of the student's first semester, he/she is reassigned to one of the other faculty members for advising purposes for the remainder of his/her career at UNCC.

CONTINUED ADVISING. The student will report to his/her advisor prior to each registration period to update the program of study and attain registration approval. Updating the program of study software takes only a few moments, since the only data entry required is the placement of letter grades on the data entry form.

RECEIPT OF INTENT TO GRADUATE. When the intent to graduate materials are received, the advisor updates the program of study software with any completed coursework not yet entered, and then can print out reports including GPA calculations and a graduation checklist. This approach almost totally automates the graduation check process.

The department started this strategy in the 1995 - 1996 academic year, as a pilot project by the electrical engineering technology faculty. The other departments are just now beginning to utilize the system for the 1996 - 1997 academic year. It should be noted that the use of the system is not mandatory. It is being provided for those who choose to use it. Also, it is streamlined for engineering technology with its unique problems associated with its upper-division status. The system could be modified for use by the engineering and computer science departments with some rewriting. The software was written in compiled QuickBASIC 7.0 and runs on an IBM PC in DOS or Windows´┐Ż using VGA graphics. It also runs in the SunPC environment on MOSAIC, with the data files provided by a single server. The department is making use of the latter platform with all of the student data files stored in Jack's personal account. Access is provided through a simulated network drive with permissions provided only to advising faculty. If anyone would like to know more about the system or to see a demonstration, contact Jack Carter.

VII. Dean's report, Dr. Snyder. Robin Coger was introduced as a new faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science department.

At this point in the strategic plan process, there is no more important activity than that of assessment. The issue of assessment necessary is to determine how well we do what we claim we are doing. Dr. Snyder is pleased to abolish the committee on strategic planning, but now announced the need to create a committee to proceed with the continuation of the planning process. We are now in the cycle for budgeting and the strategic plan plays a primary part in that process. The strategic plan is not an end to itself. It should be revisited. A planning/assessment/facilitation team will be created to assess the progress on goals and deliverables, calling attention to both achievements and needs. Volunteers are solicited. The group should be small and augmented with people from outside the faculty. Anyone interested in serving on such a group should make that interest known to the Dean.

The advising system presented by Mr. Carter can be a piece of such an assessment. Data can be generated to determine what is happening to students in progress. We have no other convenient source for such data. A common database across the departments would be valuable.

VIII. Upcoming elections, R. Lejk. Contact members of the executive committee to nominate faculty to serve for the coming year in elected positions within the college. Openings include CEFO president, president elect, and secretary, FAPSC & alternate, FCGC & alternate, graduate council & two alternates.
 

The meeting was adjourned at 1:47 PM.

Submit corrections/additions here: ( jcarter@uncc.edu)