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Academic senate extends online classes through Spring, Summer 2021 semesters


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A screenshot taken during the Sept. 15 academic senate virtual meeting.

The academic senate approved a proposal that officially extends online options for classes through the 2021 spring and summer semesters at its Sept. 15 meeting.

Normally for a class to be offered online, it would need to move through a curricular approval process. The academic senate approved a one-time exemption of the process in April for the Fall 2020 semester.

The new proposal extends that exemption of the curricular process into next year. Meaning already busy professors won't have to go through the approval process to move online. 

The proposal was debated and some, like Senator Andrew Criswell of the College of Health Professions, spoke in opposition. 

“The important words in the proposal made in the spring were ‘a one-time exemption,"' Criswell said. “I object to this proposal on the grounds that it is a subversion of the curricular process.”

Senators Alan Rudy of sociology, anthropology and social work and Martha Frank of mathematics spoke in support of the proposal.

“This is the first step towards making things better for spring,” Frank said. “Students need to know how their courses are going to be delivered in the spring, they deserve to know. They should've been told the truth over the summer and they were not.”

Other business.

The senate held elections for several committee positions. They elected Aparna Lhila to the Faculty Liaison Committee, Deborah Gray to the Off-Campus Academic Council, Brad Swanson to the Police Oversight Committee and Shelly Hinck to the Budget Priorities Committee.

Senators approved a proposal that would include the College of Medicine (CMED) in the Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee Operations (ETAC). This will allow CMED faculty to be eligible for future ETAC awards. 

Provost Schutten announced that 762 students met the requirements for graduation in Aug. 2019, this includes 375 master’s degrees and 33 doctoral or specialist degrees.

Recordings of the academic senate meetings are available on CMU's website and are live-streamed at 3:30 p.m. every other Tuesday.

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