October 26, 2020

Recap of University Senate’s Oct. 19 meeting

Here is a recap of the University Senate’s meeting on Oct. 19. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on the Senate website closer to the next Senate meeting on Nov. 16.

Chair remarks. In her remarks, Deborah Nichols, chair of the University Senate, shared a personal story about overcoming obstacles and perseverance, and encouraged senators to find strength as they continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Nichols addressed the results of the third survey distributed to Purdue faculty and staff regarding fall reopening plans, noting that a fourth survey will be distributed soon to address concerns regarding the spring semester.

President's remarks. President Daniels reviewed recent updates to the Purdue COVID-19 dashboard, citing low infection rates among faculty and lecturers and no evidence of classroom spread. Daniels outlined the number of courses that involved in-person instruction in the fall, saying Purdue offered the most in the Big Ten. He discussed mental health concerns among young people during the pandemic and expressed a desire to offer as normal a residential experience as possible under the circumstances. Daniels thanked senators and faculty for their work to support the effort. He then transitioned to the approaching first football game. Daniels said he believes the stadium would be one of the safest places for students to watch football games but until the Big Ten allows that, Purdue plans to host outdoor watch parties for students with several COVID precautions in place.

Educational Policy Committee nomination. Senators approved the following nominee for the Educational Policy Committee and proposed term of service: Vanessa Quinn, College of Engineering and Sciences (Purdue Northwest), three years.

University Resources Policy Committee student nomination. Senators approved the following student nominee for the University Resources Policy Committee and proposed term of service: Matthew Agnew, Purdue Student Government, one year.

Faculty Grade Appeals Committee student nomination. Senators approved the following student nominee for the Faculty Grade Appeals Committee and proposed term of service: Adin Bogard, Purdue Student Government, one year.

Support of Spring 2021 academic calendar. The Educational Policy Committee presented for discussion its support of the temporary Spring 2021 academic calendar as previously outlined. The changes outlined in the temporary calendar are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senators voted to suspend the rules so that they could vote on the matter after a discussion. Senators passed the resolution.

Extension of student “withdraw/drop” deadlines during Fall 2020. The Educational Policy Committee presented for discussion an extension of the student deadline for withdrawing or dropping a course from Oct. 26 to Dec. 4 for the Fall 2020 semester. The rationale proposes that changes will mitigate impairments to student academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and cites deadline changes made during the Spring 2020 semester as precedent. Senators voted to suspend the rules so that they could vote on the matter after a discussion. Senators passed the resolution.

Extension of student grade format change deadlines during Fall 2020. The Educational Policy Committee presented for discussion an extension of the student deadline for changing a course from letter grade to pass/no pass from Oct. 26 to Dec. 4 for the Fall 2020 semester. The rationale proposes that changes will mitigate impairments to student academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and cites deadline changes made during the Spring 2020 semester as precedent. Senators voted to suspend the rules so that they could vote on the matter after a discussion. Senators passed the resolution.

Fall 2020 challenges for ITaP.  Karl Browning, chief information officer of ITaP, gave a presentation on the challenges faced by ITaP during the Fall 2020 semester.

Reading Day added to fall calendar. During new business, the Educational Policy Committee, Student Affairs Committee and Purdue Student Government presented for discussion the addition of a voluntary Reading Day to the fall calendar on Nov. 4. Senators voted to suspend the rules so that they could vote on the matter after a discussion. Senators passed the resolution.


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