The main agenda for the September meeting was to begin to discuss
the organization and issues of the three subcommittees and to appoint
a chairperson to the committee on the implementation of the SAIS.
1: Committee on the Nominations for Teaching and Advising Awards,
2: Committee to Oversee the Implementation of the SAIS
Ms. Lynch, Mr. Combs, and Mr. Ward met with Alice Woody on 8-23-02
in the General Council Office to address the issue of confidentiality
concerning the optional SAIS written comment sheets. The Teaching
Council reviewed the conflicting open records law and the faculty
senate resolution of 1995, which cannot be legally upheld and “promised
more than it could deliver.” Basically, any resident of Tennessee
has the right to read any classroom documents at any time, including
SAIS comment sheets. The distribution of these comment sheets is
currently governed by departmental culture. All instructional faculty,
department heads and staff will receive a letter from Ms. Lynch
addressing the Tennessee open records law. Suggestions were made
to poll department heads to determine what procedures currently
govern the distribution of the comment sheets, and to use some type
of prize or other incentive to increase online SAIS participation.
There was a general concern with the confidentiality of online SAIS
comments. Currently, the rate for online participation is around
30% as opposed to the 80% paper participation rate. We assumed that
the students absent from class the day of the response would account
for the 20% not participating. Going to a totally online SAIS system
would save the university quite a bit of money, but incentives are
probably necessary to realize this goal.
3: Committee to Conduct a Series of Programs to Advise Graduate
There was an issue with whether or not all foreign GTA students
were required to pass the TOEFL and whether or not that would be
enough to guarantee that they could teach in English. Mr. Walker
suggested that the committee create or find an English language-mentoring
program for these assistants.
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