A-Senate: Senators debate name changes, get ready for more objections

Academic Senate voted in favor of changing the name of the Applied Business Practices minor to Applied Business Communication at its regular Tuesday meeting. However, the name change was met with objections from A-Senators, sparking a heated debate in the process.

Bill Dailey, chair of the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts, raised an objection to the name change. 

"We are worried that the study of communication in this minor will be narrowed to the study of how to use communicating to turn a profit," Dailey told A-Senators during Tuesday's meeting. "It all runs the risk of increasing the likelihood of unethical choices, not including others in decision making, not showing respect in a manner of course, not revealing the truth or not revealing all the available information." 

The chairperson said he believes students should come to the Communication and Dramatic Arts department if they want to learn proper ways of communication. He said it should not be up to the business information systems professors to teach the ethics in communication. 

"It all rings of equating morality with legality which is the approach used by far too many miscreants and politicians," Dailey said. "It is the way the world works sadly, but I am not sure it is the way we should be testifying behavior or reasoning in our classroom. If you put that pressure on a part of communication, then you start down a slippery slope."

Karl Smart, chair of the Business Information Systems department, said there are no other changes being made to the current minor besides a name change. 

"Four of the six courses have the word communication in it," Smart said. "No department in my mind really owns a term. We're really not attempting to appropriate a decades-long recognized discipline into another." 

Smart said the departments have different audiences and must prepare their students to serve their specific audience. 

The Undergraduate Curricular Committee also heard the objection from Dailey during their April 9 meeting. However, they overturned the objection with a 12-2 vote with one abstention. 

Andrew Spencer, chair of the Academic Senate and a music professor, said A-Senators should be ready for more objections in the coming weeks. 

"There will be some objections while we unveil our new general education classes," he said. "There will be interesting debates during the next two meetings." 

The next Academic Senate meeting is at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 in Pearce 138.