Senate announces awards and approves degrees
In its final meeting of the academic year on May 1, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate honored excellence in teaching, approved new degrees and voted to revise the section of the Faculty Handbook related to the selection of department chairpersons, among other topics.
At the start of the meeting, Faculty Senate President Nancy Getchell, professor of kinesiology and applied physiology, presented the 2023 Faculty Senate Excellence Awards to:
- Stefanie DeVito (biological sciences), Excellence in Teaching
- Lauren Genova (chemistry and biochemistry), Excellence in Teaching
- Elizabeth Soslau (education), Excellence in Teaching
- Jonathan Russ (history), Excellence in Teaching
- Christine Hoch (nursing), Excellence in Teaching
- Stephanie Raible (business administration), Excellence in Teaching
- Amy Hagstrom (nursing), Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising
- Erica Selva (biological sciences), Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising
- Jennifer Naccarelli (women and gender studies), Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising
- Waleed Abu-Khader (civil and environmental engineering), Excellence in Teaching for Graduate Students
- Amanda Sensi (chemistry and biochemistry), Excellence in Teaching for Graduate Students
- David Clymer (physics and astronomy), Excellence in Teaching for Graduate Students
- Pascal Kataboh (mathematical sciences), Excellence in Teaching for Graduate Students
- Christopher Tharp (political science), Excellence in Teaching for Graduate Students
John Jebb, associate professor of English and parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate, was awarded the 2023 Jon Olson Exemplary Senate Service Award.
During the meeting, Provost Laura Carlson announced that UD will be participating in a study regarding AI in higher education. UD is one of 12 universities participating in the two-year study meant to examine the current applications of generative AI in higher ed and develop plans for future policies and services.
Carlson encouraged faculty members to submit their ideas for the Proposal Summit,which was held May 19 in Mitchell Hall. These ideas were meant to identify challenges and opportunities, and propose approaches to addressing those challenges. All proposals needed to be sustainable and linked to University priorities.
Carlson ended her remarks by thanking the Faculty Senate as the semester comes to a close.
“It's hard to believe we are nearing the close of the academic year with the last Senate meeting of the semester. It feels like an appropriate time to say thank you to all of you for your kindness, support and engagement over the past year,” Carlson said. “All the initiatives we undertake are collective, and that requires us working together. I've been incredibly impressed by the commitment that this group has to shared governance and its importance and anything that we do is better because of it.”
The Consent Agenda portion of the meeting included a single vote to approve 154 undergraduate and graduate proposals.
On the Regular Agenda, the Faculty Senate approved several degree programs, name changes and the disestablishment of degrees.
The Senate approved resolutions to establish, provisionally for five years, the following:
- bachelor of science in applied physics
- honors bachelor of science in applied physics
- associate in arts in early childhood education
- bachelor of science in hospitality and event experience management – event management concentration
- bachelor of science in hospitality and event experience management – hospitality business management concentration
- honors bachelor of science in hospitality and event experience management
The Senate approved resolutions to establish the following:
- cybersecurity scholars program
- nutrition and dietetics/human nutrition 4+1 (BS/MS) degree program
- discover public policy and administration certificate
- artificial intelligence certificate
- applied physics/quantum science and engineering 4+1 (BS/MS) degree program
- materials science and engineering/quantum science and engineering 4+1 (BMSE/MS) degree program
- computing and data science for soft materials certificate
- chemistry/materials science and engineering 3+2 (BS/MS) degree program
- leadership in social innovation certificate
- permanent status of the doctor of philosophy in nursing science
The Senate approved the disestablishment of the following:
- bachelor of arts in Spanish/political science
- honors bachelor of arts in Spanish/political science
- bachelor of arts in French/political science
- honors bachelor of arts in French/political science
- bachelor of arts in German/political science
- honors bachelor of arts in German/political science
- coaching science minor
- bachelor of science in exercise science
- molecular diagnostics minor
- bachelor of science in health sciences
- bachelor of science in health sciences – occupational therapy track concentration
- international business studies minor
- international business with language minor
- chemical engineering/particle technology 4+1 (BChE/MEPT) program
The Senate approved the following name changes:
- Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition to Department of Health Behavior and Nutrition Sciences
- Department of Theatre to the Department of Theater and Dance
- bachelor of science in exercise science to bachelor of science in kinesiology
- honors bachelor of science in exercise science to the honors bachelor of science in kinesiology
The Senate also approved a resolution to revise the University Breadth requirements. Students are required to take courses from four different subject areas and may not use courses in a subject area that is cross-listed with a subject area that has already been used to satisfy a University breadth requirement. Since the large number of cross-listed courses can cause issues with the completion of breadth requirements, the Faculty Senate voted to remove the cross-listing requirement.
During the meeting, the Faculty Senate discussed a resolution to modify the sections of the Faculty Handbook related to promotion and tenure. Those changes include adding descriptions of engaged scholarship, innovation and entrepreneurship. Several senators were concerned with the wording of the proposed changes, and ultimately the Senate voted to postpone the discussion to the fall.
The resolution that generated the most heated discussion was a proposal to revise the section of the Faculty Handbook related to the selection of department chairpersons. Among the proposed changes is a more detailed description of department chairs that includes equivalent positions. The amendment included requirement that appointments or reappointments can be recommended by a dean only if the person under consideration receives a positive vote by at least a majority of those faculty in the unit who are eligible to vote as defined by the unit’s bylaws, and the majority vote would also apply to interim chair appointments lasting more than one year.
After much back and forth debate, the resolution passed 37-8.
For new business, John Morgan, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Joseph Picciotto, an undergraduate representative, called for the creation of an advisory committee to examine recent changes to the campus bus service.
Further information about the Faculty Senate, including meeting minutes and agendas, can be found on its website.