Academic Senate prepares letter for BOT

Academic+Senate+prepares+letter+for+BOT

Kara Toay

The Academic Senate intends on sending a letter to the Board of Trustees, discussing the controversy of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking at commencement, which was one of a few topics on the table at the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The letter the senate approved is intended for the Board of Trustees and cited controversy around Snyder’s administration and concern from faculty as reasons why Snyder is an inappropriate choice. Some who were in attendance stated issues with the process that brought Snyder to speak at commencement, including professor of biology and AAUP President Brent Graves, who added that Snyder speaking is taking away the attention from the students who are graduating.

“The procedure isn’t the issue. The issue is that it’s Gov. Snyder,” Graves said. “There are a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, who do not see Gov. Snyder as a role model.”

One of the issues regarding Snyder speaking at commencement was a student on the committee not having much communication about the invitation, and only being asked if he would have a problem with inviting Snyder to speak. It was also mentioned by academic chair Alec Lindsay that from now on, the foundation will be choosing who will speak at commencement and the provost will serve on the committee but the provost will no longer be responsible for the selection.

Senate members discussed what to do for choosing future commencement speakers and the idea of choosing scholars, scientists or other people to speak instead of sitting politicians who have power over the university.

The senate also discussed changes to courses and policies as well as changing graduation requirements at at the meeting.

Changes to the admissions process for the RN’s who want to get a baccalaureate in the nursing program in The Admissions and Academic Policies Committee (AAPC) proposal were approved. The modifications made states that in order for students to be admitted into the nursing program, they must be able to provide proof of an RN license, have an associates degree and have at least a 2.5 GPA.

The senate approved the addition of new courses as well as a change to a mammalogy course and a modification in the fisheries and wildlife management program in the department of biology. Similar alterations were approved in the chemistry department, school of clinical sciences and psychology department that were brought up in the Committee on Undergraduate Programs (CUP) report.

They also approved a second reading of a CUP report that proposes a change to classes in the political science department.

ASNMU also brought forth a resolution that students get the day of the general election off to vote, which will be addressed again at the next meeting.

The senate discussed and did not approve a modification in graduation requirements, which would require a foreign language class to graduate and make the classes more diverse. The issue of the language requirement had been tabled previously. Physics Department Head Dave Donovan spoke on the issue.

“I think language is very important, but I don’t think we should be taking down lab science, math requirements, things we have built in, especially when math is just getting started. I think it should have a chance to see how it affects people,” Donovan said.