MU Faculty Council discusses incorporating MU in the Evening

Friday, November 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 3:29 p.m. CST, Friday, November 20, 2009

MU spokesman Christian Basi clarified on Friday that MU does accept degrees from the MU in the Evening program. This updates an earlier version of this story.

COLUMBIA — The MU Faculty Council heard a motion Thursday afternoon to discontinue the MU in the Evening program as a separate degree program and incorporate it into the traditional education structure at the university.

MU in the Evening is a program that allows people to finish or start their bachelor's degree with other working adults. Students earn a bachelor of general studies and are allowed to take classes from whatever field they choose.

The evening program was started for MU staff that wanted college course options. According to J. Wilson Watt, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, the focal group is gone. Almost all of the staff have gone through MU in the Evening or earned their degree some other way, Watt said.

"This isn't the right mode anymore," Watt said. The review committee established to examine the program agreed MU in the Evening was no longer serving the need.

The review committee found that the evening program is viewed by the public as a second-rate option to a conventional MU degree. Watt referred to it as "MU lite."

Even the human resources department at MU wouldn't accept applicants with MU in the Evening degrees, Watt said. MU spokesman Christian Basi clarified on Friday that MU does accept degrees from the evening program.

He was also quick to say this does not mean night programs are going away. The motion would simply integrate the program to the core campus educational structure.

The motion is the result of research and discussion between all the departments and the provost's office. The council will vote on the motion when it reconvenes in January.

The council also discussed the motion to have nontenure track faculty serve on campus-standing committees. The issue was raised at the last meeting and the council voted unanimously Thursday to allow it.

The council also talked about:

  • the strength of MU's Academic Progress Rate, a standard of measurement for the NCAA to determine the academic success of student athletes; MU's score is among the highest at public universities;
  • the town hall meeting with UM President Gary Forsee scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Monsanto Auditorium in the Life Sciences Building; and
  • the faculty evaluation system and a possible revision that could include more specific questions.

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Paul Love November 20, 2009 | 1:16 p.m.

I find myself somewhat at a loss to explain why the University won't accept degrees from University programs. I understand a large portion of of the original intent of MU in the evening was to provide courses for employee's who couldnt' attend in the day, however a large number of other people also attended those courses for degrees. I'm afraid if they University itself believes those degrees to be invalid they should refund the money they charged for those hours and degrees. I might understand if others felt the degrees were devalued but when even University HR wont accept it you are peddling a bogus product.

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