Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee

Attending Voting Members: G. Popvic (MSED), J. Twombly (SSB), P. Troyk (BME), X. Guan (CHEM), N. Menhart (BIO), R. Steffenson (SSCI), J. Hajek (ITM), E. Orklu (ECE), M. Safar (INTM), S. Hoon Hong (CHBE), A. Moller (PSYC), G. Shobeiri (SGA), C. Adams (ROTC), F. Flury (COA), C. Wark (MMAE), P. Snopok (PHY), J. Budiman (CAEE), C. Hood (CS)

Also attending: J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), S. Pariseau (UGAA), K. Spink (PreHealth), J. M. Lopez (UGAA), V. Foster (Compliance), S. Pariseau (UGAA), K. Spink (Pre Health), C. Torres (ARCH), L. Woods (Digital Learning), R. Betts (COS), E. Friedman (COS), M. Bauer (CS), S. Ren (CS)

Departments with absent voting members: HUM, AMAT

Quorum declared at: 12:47

Adjourn at: 1:43


Documents for this meeting are available at:


Meeting chaired by Ray Trygstad

Minutes recorded by Rebecca Steffenson



1. Minutes of the 9/26/17 Meeting (http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/9-26-17minutes.html)

Minutes approved unanimously.


Old Business

2.  Discussion of policy/guidelines for converting contact hours into credit hours [C. White Vice Provost for Academic Affairs]

C. White not present. P. Troyk. Reported back that the guidelines he had received from G. Welter were only for summer courses and did not shed further light on this discussion.

3. Other old Business

No further old business raised.

New Business

4. SGA Proposal for Graduating with Honors at Illinois Tech [G. Shobeiri SGA]

This proposal would lower the minimum GPA for Magna Cum Laude from 3.8 to 3.7 and Summa Cum Laude from 3.9 to 3.85. The minimum for Cum Laude would remain 3.5. Please see the document at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/SGA_Graduating_with_Honors_Proposal.pdf for the full proposal including a discussion of the justification.

The SGA representative was asked about the justification for this proposal. It was noted that the recent proposals to amend the honors system were meant to address cases in which a student performed poorly in their first or second year but later recovered, and that this proposal to relax standards for the two highest category of honors did not seem to address a particular problem.

The Registrar was asked to provide additional data about the number of students who graduate in each category now and how that would change under the proposed system.

5. New Degree Proposal: Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Technology [J. Hajek ITM]

Proposal at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/BS_in_Cybersecurity_and_IT_Proposal_2017.pdf

ITM has an existing specialization in cyber security. The proposed degree would meet the current ABET requirements for cybersecurity and IT. The department has the resources to set up the new degree, because it would only require 3 new courses (2 of which already exist at the graduate level).

Questions were raised about the School of Applied Technology status and whether it had the authority to propose new B.S. degrees. Dean Betts expressed concerns about conflicts and competition with other programs including CS. That concern was echoed by ECE. Dean Carlson reported that a meeting was scheduled for next week and would include Law, Armour, and CS. CS reported that the department recently hired a faculty member who focused on cyber security and that there was an existing cyber security course (CS 458). Other units with concerns should contact ITM.

6. Discussion of Office of Digital Learning online course production fees effective Spring 2017 [L. Woods Office of Digital Learning]

Digital Learning recently informed course schedulers of policy changes to online lecture capture. Digital Services will still provide unmanned lecture capture for free, however if departments want manned operation lecture capture they will be required to pay $1,000 per course. Woods said that this decision was driven by budgetary concerns, but that further changes will need to be implemented to make sure that IIT courses comply with federal regulations requiring online courses to have regular and substantive faculty-student interactions. Digital Learning will provide faculty development sessions on designing substantive interaction in online courses and supplementing lecture capture starting the week of November 6th.

Digital Learning was asked to explain the process by which this policy change had emerged, and specifically whether end users (students and faculty) had been included in the discussion. Woods reported that students and faculty had not been consulted, again noting that budgetary concerns were driving the decision. Several UGSC and ex officio members expressed concerns that administrative costs were being passed onto academic units in the middle of a budget cycle and right as spring schedules were due, and that these factors would force academic units to cut online sections. In addition, it was noted that academic units had not been given adequate time or input to determine how these changes would affect the quality of online courses. The consensus was that academic units needed to see side by side comparisons of manned and unmanned lecture capture so they could make informed decisions. Woods noted that Digital Learning has not yet produced these side by side comparisons, but that they would be able to do so. There was also some concern that unmanned lecture capture courses could be problematic if there was no one to troubleshoot technical problems. Woods said that there would still be someone monitoring classes from master control. Woods did not have data about the number of sections or students that would be affected by this change.

There was strong support for developing a UGSC resolution calling for a moratorium on the lecture capture policy change until all stakeholders had a chance to participate in the process. There was consensus that more time was needed in order to make informed assessments about how the quality of IIT online courses might be impacted. Proposals for the UGSC statement should be sent to Trygstad.


Digital Learning was also asked to consider faculty input in future changes to the delivery of regular and substantive online education as these decisions have the potential to affect faculty workloads. Some faculty reported inadequate classroom set ups for online sections. It was also suggested that Digital Learning explore technology options that could improve quality.


7. Core Curriculum Rubric Scoring on IPRO Day [R. Steffenson Core Curriculum Assessment Committee]

The Core Curriculum Assessment Committee has begun evaluating. The Core Curriculum Assessment Committee requests that each department volunteer a faculty member to participate in core curriculum rubric scoring on IPRO day on November 17th.. Please submit the name for your department to Rebecca Steffenson, rsteffe1@iit.edu. Steffenson will follow up with an email request.

8. Other New Business

9. The next UGSC meeting will be October 24, 2017 at 12:45pm in WH 115.