Faculty Senate meets to discuss Gen Ed changes, performance review

Jack Payton
  Staff Writer

The UNCG Faculty Senate met on November 2 to discuss visions for the remaining fall semester  and the months beyond, wanting to ensure the senate get a “picture as the year rolls along.”

The primary focus was communication, with a “development of forums” being planned upon for the faculty’s use in discussing the new policy changes and strategic plan, as well as addressing feedback and ensuring implementation of the changes.

Brad Hayes, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees, was also present, having done a Q&A with the faculty the week before, and scheduling another in December. Feedback from the previous session is expected to be back next week, with any changes or notations to the strategic plan detailed.

Provost Dana Dunn presented the upcoming performance review of UNCG’s various programs of study, which will determine which may be falling behind or shrinking. The review will also make change recommendations. The analysis system previously used has shifted the numbers it looks for and the way it grades to ensure that smaller programs are not unfairly judged in the upcoming review.

Further, UNCG has decided to invest in the Parr Predictive Analytics Program, which will analyze and mine student data to identify factors inhibiting students, with a volunteer faculty implementation committee acting on these changes to ensure students are able to perform to the best of their ability.

This was more significant than usual due to the enacting of recent legislation mandating tuition freezes for students’ first eight semesters. While beneficial, as it prevents cost creep from edging students out before degree completion, it also means overall tuition will increase for incoming students, as they will have to make up for revenue loss from tuition-frozen students.

It will also impact part-time or long-term students, who will have to deal with sudden tuition increases.

The faculty decided to work on streamlining what programs they could, and encourage students to graduate in a timely manner to avoid tuition issues.

Other college growth concerns were addressed, such as the establishment of intake caps, and establishing more support for teachers. Tenure is also set for revaluation, as is the teaching loads calculations to ensure every department is given the needed support structure for success.

The UNCG General Education program is undergoing a survey and review for improvement, given lackluster results and reviews in recent years.

General Education Council Chair David Carlone called the conversations ‘intellectually stimulating,’ and stated that members of the program have come up with many ideas to improve Gen Ed classes.

“Previous students just saw a box to check-off…not a framework where they are motivated to understand,” Carlone said.

There are also plans to make classes more interesting and innovative, with more focus on discussion and critical thinking.

The Budget Committee also presented the upcoming changes in tuition and fees for the school. George Michel, the Committee chair, stated they would be making changes to the process to ensure transparency and make the process clearer for all.

“We are the vehicle for these changes,” Michel said, “but we want to make sure you think so as well.”  while

The next faculty senate will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at 3 p.m. in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room, and will be open to the public.

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