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Faculty Senate Votes on Course Changes at Final Meeting of the Year

Updated: Apr 26

The last faculty senate meeting of the semester was highlighted by discussion on a new Masters program and other new courses. 


The senate motioned to table the proposed Masters of Science in Computer Science last week, and faculty continued to debate the program, citing lack of faculty involvement in the program’s creation as a large issue.  


The program was suggested by Belmont’s administration, but the proposal was primarily written by Jeff Donahue, who does not formally take position at Belmont until the fall.  


“To hire somebody with tenure to write your proposal without any involvement of the faculty seems way more extraordinary than Provost Gregory is giving credit to,” said Andy Miller, who began discussion on the program last meeting. “Is it even in order to have a proposal written by somebody who’s not right now on our faculty?”  


Other faculty members shared Miller’s concerns.   

“It’s not a comment on the worthiness or their proposal, it just seems out of order,” said senator Lora Harding. 


The senate voted on whether to approve the program; it failed with a vote of 17-13.


Discussions also occurred on Belmont’s proposed interdisciplinary studies minor. Dan Schafer voted to remove the program. 


“The opportunity, from my perspective, is giving students the chance to craft what will be a rigorous academic inquiry that crosses and connects disciplines,” said James McIntyre, Assistant Provost for Academic Excellence.  


However, faculty senate members were concerned by the lack of direction presented in the program.  


“I think there should be some sort of requirement that this decision be made on a timeline just as if you were someone in liberal studies,” said Schafer. “There would be a timeline, and I don’t see any of that here. That’s why I’m against it.” 


Additionally, lack of faculty oversight was brought up as another issue with the program.  


“Unless I’m incorrect, the people who have been approving these minors are not faculty. They are administrators or staff,” said Miller. “I think it's really important to have faculty oversight and approval somewhere.”  


The senate voted and the proposal to implement a minor in interdisciplinary studies failed, with 19 votes against and 11 in favor.  


The faculty senate will resume in the fall. 


This article was written by Anna Blubaugh

This article was updated on April 26 for accuracy.

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