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Members in attendance: Teresa Berry
Paula Carney
Baldwin Lee
Jo Lynch
Chris Oswalt
Kay Reed
Richard Strange
Chad Toney
Esteban Walker
Mark Hedrick

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.

Three Subcommittees:
1: Committee on the Nominations for Teaching and Advising Awards, Norma Cook,
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 Students, Teresa
Berry, Chair

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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