Topics discussed at this week's Academic Senate meeting included branding for Stan State, movement towards using Canvas, grading policies, and library renovations.
Dr. Rosalee Rush (Communications & Public Affairs) expressed that the campus needs to define the message they are trying to get across.
The branding campaign committee is going to work with a firm with the strongest research background in order to get the strongest message across to as many students as possible. The hope is to get the campus community as engaged as possible.
Blackboard to Canvas
In a shift of topic, Dr. Kimberly Greer (Provost for Academic Affairs), talked about the online program switch from Blackboard to Canvas.
Corey Cardoza from OIT said, “Yes, there is support for the migration” and up to 1,000 courses would be migrated to Canvas.
While there was large support from Provost’s office staff, Al Petrosky, (Management Operations and Marketing), voiced his concern about the lack of consultation with their online program directors. He was concerned about implementation costs and the hassle of having to learn another online system.
Petrosky said, “My major concern is that with such a tepid recommendation coming out of the Technology and Learning Committee is that we’re really going to face a major disruption and the costs seem to outweigh the benefits.”
One of the audience members commented on how there was a lack of transparency when the change process of Blackboard to Canvas was presented. She said she would encourage that they try to find those who are intensive users on Blackboard so they can be included in the program so they can voice their opinion.
Greer responded, “The learning subcommittee sent out notices, we didn’t solicit, it was voluntary.”
The University Educational Policies Committee further discussed the change recommendation from Tech and Learning.
A grading policy was discussed as the next topic. Dr. Betsy Eudey (Gender Studies), who already contributed to the conversations on other topics in the meeting, presented a plan for grading to the rest of the members.
The plan for the grading policy would involve completing a contract, written by the faculty, to address the task of changing the incomplete grade into an actual grade in the PeopleSoft system.
Grade accessibility was another topic that the grading policy will look to address. The hope is that it will make grades more viewable to students and faculty. Dr. Eudey said, "Posting the expectations for course completion within the PeopleSoft grade reporting system ensures that both the faculty member and student can access this information at any time without searching through emails or trying to find paper copies of information."
In keeping up with the theme of future changes around campus, the grading policy was introduced in order to improve and clarify the current existing system of grading. The hope of this new policy would be to make the system simpler for both the students and the faculty.
Lastly, with the library renovations underway, more comments and concerns were pointed out. Melody Maffei (Assistant Vice President of Capital Planning & Facilities Management., Committee Co‐Chair) and Ron Rodriguez (Dean of the Library, Committee Co‐Chair) discussed the future plans of the start of construction that will be happening here on campus.
Annexes will begin to be placed on campus on the grass area in front of DBH this semester in April-May. With these placements it will lead to some changes on campus.
These changes raised some concerns of what will happen to the Ginkgo Bilboa trees that are in place there.
Maffei said that there will be more than 20 trees that will be torn down for these annexes. These annexes will be placed in ways so they won’t have to cut down even more trees.
Dr. Morgan from Sociology raised this concern about these trees, "The current plan appears to be maintaining the majority of the ginkgo trees. I remain cautiously optimistic that this will be the case so that our campus does not lose one of its most beautiful and well known attractions."
The next Academic Senate will be held on March 12 in the Faculty Development Center.