University senate met Feb. 22 in the David Letterman Communication and Media Building to review and approve measures progressing through other parts of university governance and the Student Government Association. Sara Barker, DN
Professor evaluations, textbook costs, student code reviewed at university senate
Affordable textbooks and a revision to professor evaluations are one step closer to potentially becoming realities at Ball State.
Representatives from governance and the Student Government Association followed up on their legislation and measures at university senate Feb. 22.
Here is a rundown of the major developments reviewed at the Thursday session:
SGA platform point: affordable textbooks
No voting took place on the OPTiC platform point in university senate; however, SGA student senate approved a resolution in support of open educational resources on campus Feb. 14.
SGA president Greg Carbó presented the progress student government has made on its initiative to university council.
According to Carbó, having faculty support would allow SGA to create a committee dedicated to open educational resources. The committee may work to secure funds that could incentivize open educational resources for faculty.
“Really, I’m bringing this up today because next [university] senate we’ll be able to talk about it more,” Carbó said.
There was no discussion among senators about Carbó’s request.
This is not the first time a proposal regarding affordable class materials has reached the governance system. In March 2017, faculty council discussed efforts to make textbooks more affordable.
At that time, one committee thought electronic textbooks may have been the best bet for students.
Faculty council: professor evaluation diversity question
Originally proposed as an additional question on professor evaluations, a modification to an existing question was first approved by faculty council and then by university senate.
The teaching evaluation committee revised the original additional question into a modification of an already-existing question.
Previously, the question read “My instructor is respectful when I have a question or comment.” After revision, the question now reads “My instructor treats me with respect.”
University senate approved the latest revision unanimously.
Campus council: revisions to the student code
University administration and students in campus council approved proposed changes to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities at their last meeting Feb. 8.
The revisions reached university council Thursday, with director of student rights and community standards Mike Gillilan presenting changes and providing a shortlist of pertinent changes.
These included pulling the Office of Greek Life out of the umbrella of the Office of Student Life, adjusting student disciplinary processes to reflect actual procedures the university has taken and incorporating gender-inclusive pronouns into the written language of the document.
Campus council chair Kathy Berryhill said “the paper matches what’s happening in real life” after edits, and agreed with Gillilan that changes were made largely to “clean up” the document.
Some university senate members expressed concern about differences in regulations they felt may result from the separation of the Office of Greek Life and the Office of Student Life.
Gillilan responded, saying the separation doesn’t affect the disciplinary procedures each office may take on individuals. Additionally, despite the separation, both offices will report to associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment services Ro Anne Royer Engle.