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May 17, 2004

Academic Senate faces action-packed agenda

UCSC's Academic Senate will hold its spring meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 21, at Thimann 1. Alison Galloway, Academic Senate Chair, has addressed the following letter to members of the Senate outlining issues on the agenda.

The meeting will be followed by a reception at University Center, hosted by Acting Chancellor Chemers and the Academic Senate.

Dear Colleagues:

The Spring meeting of the Academic Senate will be “action”-packed as we have a large number of important issues to address.

The printed Notice of Meeting contains only legislation and resolutions, those items which the Senate must take action on at this meeting. To view the Notice in its entirety, including reports and draft minutes go to: http://senate.ucsc.edu/meetings/04may/A04may.htm This is done in part as a cost-saving measure but also to serve as a transition to the online format for this notice which will be initiated starting Fall 2004.

The meeting will be followed by a reception at University Center, hosted by Acting Chancellor Chemers and the Academic Senate. I urge everyone to make the effort to attend. This meeting allows a number of people to attend in new capacities: Acting Chancellor Chemers, Interim Campus Provost/EVC Delaney, and Senate Vice-Chair Faye Crosby.

As usual, the slate of officers and committee members will be presented to the Senate for ratification. The Committee on Committees has worked very hard over the past several months, evaluating the work each committee is doing and finding the combination of members to fill the openings. As the scope of Senate work has changed, COC’s role has also evolved. Fortunately we have selected an excellent COC for next year as well.

The resolution on the non-Senate teaching faculty has undergone considerable revision and will be returning in a simplified form for our consideration. Coupled with this are a series of bylaw changes proposed by COC that will enable the non-Senate teaching faculty to participate in specific Senate committees at such time as they establish a procedure to nominate representatives.

The Committee on Educational Policy has three amendments to Senate regulations to propose. The first rewords our regulations on declaration of minors while the second changes the timing for withdrawal from courses to a point somewhat earlier in the quarter. The latter of these has garnered student attention and should be carefully considered. The final amendment addresses the General Education writing courses. This proposal falls in line with the proposal from the Writing Program and the Council of Provosts to enhance the ability of the core courses to meet the needs for training in writing for our entering class.

The Committee on Academic Freedom along with the Committee on Faculty Welfare is proposing a resolution on the Patriot Act, calling for a reporting structure for the Chancellor and stating faculty opposition to components of this Act. This is a lengthy proposal and deserves careful consideration.

The Committee on Faculty Welfare also presents a resolution calling on the administration to move forward on the establishment of a child care facility. The lack of available care in the community for the children of faculty and staff has reached a level that seriously affects parents’ ability to combine work and family. This situation has adverse effects on our ability to recruit and retain junior faculty who are most likely to have younger children.

Finally, the Committee on Planning and Budget reports on the growing deficit accrued by UCSC University Extension (UNEX) and calls on the central administration to form a task force to advise 1) on the best course of action to take at this time and 2) how UNEX can be best integrated into the academic mission of the campus. This is a complex issue but one that may become critical in the growth of our role on the Central Coast and in Silicon Valley.

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