Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee

Attending Voting Members: J. Twombly (SSB), R. Steffenson (SSCI), E. Orklu (ECE), J. Miller (PSYC), G. Shobeiri (SGA), E. Vosler (ROTC), F. Flury (ARCH), F. Weening (AMAT), G. Pulliam (HUM/CAC), M. Safar (INTM), G. Popovic (MSED), P. Troyk (BME), X. Guan (CHEM), SH Hong (CHBE), C. Wark (MMAE), N. Menhart (BIO), P. Snopok (PHY)

Also attending: J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), N. Novak (Galvin Library), M. Lopez (UGAA), B. Katz (ODL), S. Pariseau (UGAA), R. Ellis (AMAT), J. Rosenberg (SSCI), Y. Mansury (SSCI), M. Shapiro (SSCI), C. Himes (LCHS), C. White (UGAA), J. Hignight (Registrar), V. Foster (Compliance)

Departments with absent voting members: CS, ITM, CAEE

Quorum declared at: 12:45

Adjourn at: 1:45


Documents for this meeting are available at:


Meeting chaired by Ray Trygstad

Minutes recorded by Rebecca Steffenson


1. Minutes of the 11/28/17 Meeting [http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/11-28-17minutes.html]

Minutes approved unanimously.

Old Business

2. Changes to the English language requirements for admission [T. Riley – Undergraduate Admissions and T. McGee & J. Romano – ELS] The changes are explained at https://admissions.iit.edu/undergraduate/apply/international-student-english-proficiency-requirement.


According to the new proposed language, applicants will automatically be placed into IIT’s intensive English program if they do not meet the minimum proficiency or there is evidence in the application that they require more English language training.


Discussion focused on who would determine if applicants were proficient and what evidence would be used to make this determination. It was agreed that PESL should make the determination, based on assessment, for any individual students and that the proposed language needed clarification. There was additional discussion about how to police this policy, and it was suggested that an administrative fix was needed (ie registration holds, course withdrawal blocks). Greg Pulliam will work with admissions to draft new language and PESL will work with OTS on implementation on the administrative side.


3. Late administration of the Writing Placement Exam [G. Pulliam – Communication Across the Curriculum Director]

Our system currently treats students who did not take the Writing Placement Exam the same as students who failed it—it requires them to take COM 101 and to pass it to satisfy their Basic Writing Proficiency (BWP) requirement. The problem arising is that advisors of students who, for whatever reason, did not take the exam are requesting that their currently-enrolled students be allowed to take the exam long after—sometimes years after—that deadline has passed. This effectively negates the goal of the policy which is to ensure that all incoming students satisfy the BWP as early as possible in their academic careers, as basic writing proficiency is an essential element of a successful academic career and thus should not be postponed. The concern is that we are undermining our goals with regard to the BWP if we have a loophole that gives students a way to circumvent this policy. The committee discussed the reasonable grace period for completing the writing placement exam. Students are supposed to take the exam before arriving on campus, but many do not. They are then not able to register for HUM 200-299 which is a prerequisite for many other courses. There was some consensus that the current policy needed clarification in the bulletin and that the policy once clearly outlined should be enforced. Proposed new Undergraduate Bulletin language regarding BWP is available for discussion at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/BWP_Bulletin_Language.pdf 


Clarification was provided on the available windows for students to take the exam.  It was noted that since this is not automatically audited, it would be useful to have a) advising guidelines and b) a way of enforcing the policy.


Motion passes unanimously.



New Business 

4. New degree proposal: Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology and Society [J. Rosenberg – Social Science] Proposal is available at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/STS_Program_Form_UGSC.pdf 


Applied Math asked for clarification of the Math requirement in the curriculum plan (currently listed s MATH 119), noting that Math 130 or above would be more appropriate. The program director was asked about the lack of science or technology credits in a degree called “Science, Technology and Society”. It was noted that the Humanities department had added 21 credits of science to their Journalism of Science degree after objections from this committee and that it would be prudent to have math, science, CS, ITM or engineering credits so that students could gain expertise in field areas that IIT is known for.


Discussion to be continued due to insufficient time.


5. New degree proposal: Dual Degree in Biochemistry and Psychological Science [N. Menhart – Biology and J. Miller – Psychology] Proposal is available at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/Bchm-Psyc_Dual_Degree_Program_to_UGSC_v1.0.pdf 


Discussion postponed due to insufficient time.


6. New degree proposal: Bachelor of Science in Computer and Cybersecurity Engineering [Erdal Oruklu – Electrical and Computer Engineering]

Proposal is available at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/Proposal_-_BS_in_Computer_and_Cybersecurity_Engineering_1-21-2018.pdf 


Discussion postponed due to insufficient time.


7. Discussion: Apparent need to require more detailed justification of change of grade for reason “Other” [C. White via UGSC Chair]

Recently a change of grade form was submitted requesting a change of grade for a student who had submitted late work. In the reasons on the change of grade form, this would be marked as “Other.” Is this acceptable? Does the one-liner of the form attached to “Other” provide sufficient space to explain the circumstances, or should additional documentation be provided? Thoughts? Do we need a policy on grade changes for late work, or do we need a policy on justification for changes of grade for “Other”? 


Discussion postponed due to insufficient time.


8. Other New Business 


Insufficient time.



9. The next UGSC meeting will be February 13, 2018 at 12:45pm in WH 115. 


All minutes and supporting documents may be found on the UGSC website: http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/