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March 8, 2012 Volume 33, No. 23

Task force presents Faculty Council with recommendations for distance learning


Burden of proof for alleged faculty misconduct also discussed

Faculty Council had a busy meeting March 8 in Memorial Union.

The council heard recommendations from the Online Academic Programs Task Force, a proposal for a kiosk at Memorial Union and discussed the burden of proof in faculty bylaws for alleged misconduct.

The task force, made up of faculty, staff and administrators, recommended in a report that online courses be comparable in content to traditional classroom courses. The group is also examining if professors should be paid the same whether they create online or classroom courses. 

Harry Tyrer, Faculty Council chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering, pointed out that faculty are “paid for online course creation but not for classroom course creation.” Tyrer asked for one standard.

Clyde Bentley, associate professor of  journalism and a task force member, recommended creating an online advisory council to work with campus divisions to develop distance learning and degree programs.

Next up was Craig Roberts, a professor of plant sciences who led a discussion about a proposal to memorialize alumni killed in wars with a kiosk in Memorial Union. Roberts hoped that any kiosk would blend with the building’s Gothic architecture and interior décor.  

“I don’t want something looking like a video game,” Roberts said.

Finally, the council examined the burden of proof in alleged faculty misconduct. 

Previously, the council recommended “clear and convincing” as the standard of proof. But Chancellor Brady Deaton, in letter to the council dated Feb. 29, said he preferred “preponderance of evidence,” a lower standard. Members debated the differences.