Academic schedule to remain unchanged despite snow, MU Faculty Council says

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 7:10 p.m. CST; updated 7:58 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 28, 2013

COLUMBIA — Reading Day will remain scheduled for May 10 despite three recent closings following a pair of snowstorms, the MU Faculty Council decided Thursday.

The council decided Feb. 21 will be counted as an academic school day because MU closed after 1 p.m., allowing for many classes to be held. If it had not been counted, this semester would not have met the number of Tuesday-Thursday class days required by the Collected Rules and Regulations, Academic Affairs Committee Chairwoman Nicole Monnier said.

One option was to hold classes on the currently scheduled Reading Day. In spring 2011, after multiple days were canceled because of inclement weather, Reading Day was held the Saturday before exams began.

This decision allows for scheduling flexibility if another cancellation were to occur this semester, Monnier said.

Non-tenure-track voting

The council also decided to postpone voting for non-tenure-track voting rights until the week of March 11.

Stephen Montgomery-Smith, a council member in charge of counting votes, said the person overseeing the voting process could hypothetically change votes with the current system. The council will use the extra week to look at ways to tighten the voting process so the votes cannot be altered and no one can vote twice.

Course evaluations

The MU Assessment Resource Center presented a redesign of course evaluation forms to be implemented for the fall 2013 semester. Course evaluation forms were last revised about 25 years ago, said Jim Spain, MU vice provost for undergraduate studies. 

One form would be used for all undergraduate and graduate courses. Questions would be modified to incorporate key constructs identified by the Faculty Council and input from surveys given to faculty, administrators, campus leaders, students and other stakeholders. The new form would include a comments section, and instructors could choose to add a class-specific supplement form.

Answers to five evaluation questions would be available to students to view on myZou. Currently, answers to three questions are available.

The council's academic affairs committee will continue to look at the redesigned form, which needs to be finalized by June, Spain said.

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