CAA to vote on chemistry class revisions

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs will add revisions for two chemistry classes to their agenda at 2 p.m Wednesday in room 4440 of Booth Library.

Both classes are general chemistry courses: CHM 1410, General Chemistry II and CHM 1415, General Chemistry Laboratory II.

Marita Gronnvoll, the CAA chair, said they would be doing the usual waiver reports.

“They’re very uncontroversial so they don’t take much time at all,” Gronnvoll said.

CAA will add the revisions and vote to act on them in the same meeting because of extenuating circumstances.

“Usually the way it works with CAA is that we get a revised or a new course proposal and it’s added to the agenda on the first week and acted upon the following week,” Gronnvoll said. “But these are kind of rushes, they’ve got some deadlines, so we are going to vote to set aside the bylaws and add these to agenda and act upon them on the same day.”

That does not always happen, although Gronnvoll said it was not a particularly controversial thing to do.

“What that means is that the people who are coming to the meeting have to be sure that they have read those course proposals because we are going to act upon them the same day,” Gronnvoll said. “That is the only thing that kind of makes them more controversial.”

A representative from the chemistry department will be present at the meeting to talk about the changes.

“I don’t know who that will be at this point, but they will come and talk about why they are proposing these changes, and it looks to me the reason they are proposing the changes are in keeping with the new university learning goals,” Gronnvoll said. “So they just want to update their courses.”

These updates include making the learning goals more explicit.

“I think in some cases, these courses have been around for such a long time that the original proposals have been misplaced, like they don’t have the original proposals,” Gronnvoll said. “So they figured it’s probably a good idea to have some paperwork in the mix somewhere that shows what these courses are doing. I think that’s really all it is. It didn’t look to me like the changes were really controversial.”

CAA is still waiting for a new member to be appointed by Faculty Senate.

“To my knowledge, they have not done that yet,” Gronnvoll said. “I haven’t been informed that they have done that yet so I don’t know where it is.”

Because CAA is down one member, this means they might have problems reaching quorum in the future.

The vice-chair will not be present at the meeting because she is traveling, so they will be down two people for the meeting.

“If we don’t have eight voting members then we can’t do anything,” Gronnvoll said.

CAA might not be able to do anything about the two chemistry proposals if they do not have eight members at Thursday’s meeting.

She said the chemistry classes are facing a deadline for the courses to be revised, and this is concerning because if CAA does not reach a quorum they will not be able to vote on the courses on the same day as they were planning to.

“The bylaws are very clear that you have to have eight voting members, which means everyone has to show up at the meeting Thursday,” she said.

The missing member of CAA is going to be back from sabbatical in January.

“It’s kind of scary because there are so many weeks when we need things to be approved,” she said. “I don’t know if we’re going to have a quorum. The tough part is November when the faculty is traveling on conferences. It’s not unusual to have two or three faculty members gone at a given time. It’s gonna be a challenging semester as far as that goes.”

Gronnvoll said she did not anticipate the meeting taking more than a half an hour, but there will be heavier agendas in weeks to come.

“As we start facing catalogue deadlines, getting things ready for spring and for next fall, people are going to be really pushing to get things through,” Gronnvoll said.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]