Faculty Senate Minutes, December 5, 2013


Members Present  Members Absent                            Guests             
Doug ShumavonArtak HambarianVarduhi Petrosyan
Melissa BrownAleksandr GrigoryanSharistan Melkonian
Catherine BuonVahram GhushchyanBonny Vosu
Sos BagramyanAram HajianDennis Leavens
Rai FarellyAlen Amirkhanian 
Sargis Zeytunyan                                               Alexan Simonyan 
Arpie Balian  
Sergey Tantushyan  
Arman Zrvandyan  
Tsovinar Harutyunyan  
Gohar Stepanyan  


Agenda for FS meeting December 5, 2013

1)      Approval of Agenda

2)      Approval of Minutes from November 21, 2013 Meeting

3)      Student Participation in Senate Meetings

4)      Approval of a Dean’s List/President’s Honor Roll and Graduation with Honors

5)      Approval of revised Policy on Grades

6)      Approval of revised Policy on Program & Major Change

7)      Approval of revised Policy on Transfer Credit

8)      Approval of revised Program Review Timeline

9)      Approval of updated Academic Program Review Guidelines

10)   Approval of Faculty Evaluation Policy

11)   For Faculty Senate Discussion:

  1. Faculty Development Plan
  2. Evaluation of Deans
  3. Plagiarism Policy
  4. Scanning/Copying Policy


MINUTES (December 5, 2013) 

 A quorum was present at 16:24.

1 & 2.  Approval of Agenda and Draft Minutes from November meeting

     Faculty Senate agenda was unanimously approved with the following changes: a) discussing Agenda Item #4 after Agenda Item #9, and b) adding Standing Committee Reports as an Agenda Item #4.  The minutes from November 21, 2013 meeting were also approved, with a minor suggestion to rephrase the last paragraph of the document.


3. Student Participation in Senate Meetings

     There was a brief discussion about allowing representatives of AUA student community to participate in the Senate and whether such participation will require granting them voting rights as well. FS members debated whether such restructuring of the Faculty Senate is necessary, given the existence of a distinct students body (Student Council) and the fact that such change will require dissolution of the Faculty Senate and formation of another body, University Senate, with both faculty and student representatives.  Melissa Broun spoke in favor of keeping AUA student and faculty representative bodies separate and having an independent forum where both groups can contemplate and vote on issues of common concern.

    Arman Zrvandyan informed everyone that according to the FS bylaws student representatives can attend FS meetings as non-members. Such participation will not result in voting rights, but will allow students participate in FS discussions and even propose future agenda items by communicating with Executive Committee about such proposals in advance. The general agreement was that students can participate in FS meetings as non-members. For that, FS meeting schedules and agendas should be prepared in advance and posted on-line to allow student representatives decide which meetings they are interested in attending. 

4. Standing Committee reports

     Ethics & Grievance Committee – Doug Shumavon and Sergey Tantushyan attended students’ meeting last week, where students asked for updated procedures regarding ethics and grievance. For example, it was unclear to students whether smoking in the restroom is considered to be an ethical issue or not.

     Committee on Extension Programs – Irshat Madyarov, Sergey Tantushyan, Rai Farrelly and Gohar Stepanyan met in October to discuss how the committee charge can be revised to serve AUA  Extension better. Additionally,  Irshat, Artak Hambaryan, Rai and Gohar met with Arpie Balian in November to deliberate on potential areas of collaboration between AUA Extension and the FS Committee on Extension Programs.

     Student Learning Committee – nothing to report.

     Curriculum Committee – CC members met in November to revise AUA Academic Program Review Timeline and Process Guidelines. Both documents were revised and updated.

5, 6 & 7. Revised Policies on Grades, Program & Major Change and Transfer Credit

     Revised policies were submitted for the FS review from the Admissions/Registrar’s Office, and Bonny Vosu was present at the FS meeting to address the questions related to those policies. Revised policies raised numerous questions since many changes and amendments were not explained properly or justified in the documents provided. For example, revised Policy on Grades eliminated “A+” grade, introduced “Withdraw Failure” in addition to previously approved “Failure” and “Withdraw” grades, eliminated the right to repeat courses with C-, C and C+ grades, required completion of “I” grade by the last day of the subsequent semester, introduced new grade appeal policy, etc.  

     Additionally, revised policies were forwarded to the FS at the last moment, and Varduhi Petrosyan suggested either not discussing them during December 5th meeting or forming a separate committee that will handle all the questions related to the revised policies. As a result, there were two separate votes for each revised policy: 1) whether to waive the 3-day advance notice requirement and vote on the policy during December 5th meeting, and 2) conditional on receiving the waiver, whether to approve the new policy. The votes resulted in the following decisions:

  1. Revised Policy on Grades

1)      “For” – 7 votes, “Against” – 1 vote, “Abstain” – 3 votes. Advance notice requirement was waived.

2)      “For” – 8 votes, “Against” – 1 vote, “Abstain” – 1 vote. Revised policy was approved.


  1. Revised Policy on Program/Major Change

1)      “For” – 8 votes, “Abstain” – 2 votes. Advance notice requirement was waived.

2)      “For” – 10 votes. Revised policy was approved.


  1. Revised Policy on Transfer Credit

1)      “For” – 5 votes, “Abstain” – 3 votes. Advance notice requirement was waived.

2)      “For” – 7 votes, “Abstain” – 2 votes. Revised policy was approved. One note here: graduate students cannot transfer more than 25% of the total number of credits required for the degree.

NOTE: The number of votes during this process was not constant since some FS members had to leave the meeting room and came in again later.   

8. Revised Program Review Timeline

     Approved unanimously.

9. Updated Academic Program Review Guidelines

     Approved unanimously.

10. Dean’s List/President’s Honor Roll and Graduation with Honors

     Since the time was up, it was decided to have an e-vote on the proposal for a Dean’s List/Presidential Honor Roll and Graduation with Honors.

11. Other

     Remaining agenda items were left for future meetings. Doug Shumavon informed everyone that he will e-mail a form where FS members should indicate their day & time availability for Spring 2014 semester.  Future Faculty Senate meetings will be scheduled accordingly.


Adjourned at 18:15

Minutes respectfully submitted by Gohar Stepanyan, FS Secretary (2013-14)