WMU News

Faculty Senate approves research policies, hears presentation on classroom civility

May 19, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Faculty Senate May 13 approved policies on the ownership of research records and technology and heard a presentation on civility in the classroom by two student affairs administrators. In an earlier meeting, the senate approved a policy on repeated courses by undergraduate students.

In their presentation on civility, Diane K. Swartz, dean of students, and David W. Parrott, associate dean of students, presented material on the newly revised Student Code and court decisions dealing with constitutional rights and due process. They also provided senators with descriptions of disruptive behavior by students and points of practical advice on dealing with such behavior.

"We encourage faculty members to contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs for consultation when there is an incidence of disruptive behavior by a student they wish to discuss," Swartz said. "In addition to allowing us to be of assistance to the faculty member, it may help us identify a pattern of behavior of a student that takes place in other classes as well."

Technology records policies

The policy on technology sets out guidelines for the ownership, distribution and commercial use of technology developed by WMU faculty, staff, students and others participating in WMU programs. The policy on records seeks to assure appropriate retention and access to research data.

The technology policy deals with such issues as intellectual property and related rights, patents and patent rights, copyrights, trade and service marks, and trade secrets. Among its provisions is that royalties will be shared equally between WMU faculty, staff, students and others when they are involved in the development of a patentable invention using WMU resources.

Both policies were recommended to the senate by its Research Policies Council and are to be administered by the vice president for research. Recommendations to approve them have been forwarded to the administration with an indication that they will expire Oct. 7, when revised policies are expected to be presented to the senate.

Repeated courses policy

At its meeting March 11, the senate approved recommendations to the administration changing the University's policy on repeated courses by undergraduates to calculate two grade-point averages for each student. The new policy was developed and proposed by the Undergraduate Studies Council.

One GPA would include grades for all courses taken and be used to determine class rank and honors. The other, to be used for all other purposes, would be an adjusted GPA to be calculated with the allowance of up to 20 credit hours of repeated course work.

The current policy allows students to repeat a course only twice or a total of three attempts; however, there is no limit on the number of courses a student may repeat. The new policy would place no limit on the number of times any one course could be repeated, but it allows departments or programs to do so. Both the current policy and the proposed one state that the most recent grade is the one used to calculate the adjusted GPA.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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