The meeting was called to order by the Senate Chair, Dr. Irfan Ul-Haq. Dr. Ul-Haq is a mathemetics professor at UW-Platteville. Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting was not challenged, thus moving the Senate on to the reports.
“No updates on vaccinations, but still very hopeful to hold a clinic soon for campuses,” Tammy Evetovich stated. Because campus does not know when vaccinations will be available to students and faculty, the May 2021 graduation ceremony will be hosted virtually, and the in-person ceremony is postponed. She also gave a shout out to “ITS for partnering with Academic Affairs to improve the technology-based efforts moving forward.” With no questions or comments, the Senate moved on.
Human Resources Director Sarah Vosberg reported “a bi-weekly paycheck will go into effect in May 2021.” Vosberg had brought up the bi-weekly paycheck issue in previous meetings but was unsure what the date was going to be. This bi-weekly paycheck makes it so that anyone on a one-month paycheck, or any other system of payment, will now be moved to a bi-weekly paycheck; this includes the branch campuses as well as the main campus.
In new business, the Senate discussed the academic misconduct policy. The policy would not “let a student withdraw from the course to avoid academic misconduct,” Melissa Gormley stated. If an instructor has knowledge of academic misconduct in their class, and if the student asks for a withdrawal, it should not be approved. However, if the instructor does approve it, the Registrar’s Office will have knowledge of the misconduct and will stop the withdrawal. This will appear in the handbook and catalog hopefully by March 3. Ann Farrelly moved and Marc Seals seconded it.
There were a few new program proposals for the main campus. Kristina Navarro presented the Master of Science Sports in Administration, and there were enough students interested in it to have a break-even point. “It would be 30 credits total, and we already have three of the courses, just need to add on seven new courses,” Navarro said. Gail Hoffman motioned with Rich Dhyanchand seconding it. Navarro then also proposed a graduate certificate in Sports Administration. Both proposals were accepted by the Senate.
Mark Levenstein then proposed a graduate certificate in Applied Bioinformatics. According to Ardeshir Bayat from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Bioinformatics is defined as the application of tools of computation and analysis to the capture and interpretation of biological data.”
Levenstein then added that “there is a high level of compensation for Bioinformatics, and it is a much-needed scientist field.” A motion was made by Ann Farrelly and Jeffery Huebschman seconded it. The meeting was then adjourned by Irfan Ul-Haq.