Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee

Attending Voting Members: J. Twombly (SSB), S. Hong (CHBE), M. Bauer (CS), X. Guan (CHEM), N. Menhart (BIO), M. Safar (INTM), R. Steffenson (SSCI), J. Hajek (ITM), R. Ellis (AMAT), T. Pan (CAEE), J. Miller (PSYC), G. Popvic (MSED), G. Pulliam (HUM/CAC), A. Schachman (COA), E. Orklu (ECE), P. Snopok (PHYS), P. Troyk (BME), C. Wark (MMAE), A. Raina (SGA), C. Hood (CS)

Also attending: J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Welter, (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), C. White (UGAA), S. Pariseau (UGAA), K. Spink (PreHealth), J. Hignight (Registrar), A. Hall (Registrar), X. Li (COS), M. Bauer (CS), N. Novak (Galvin Library)

Departments with absent voting members:  ROTC

Quorum declared at 12:43

Adjourn at: 1:40


Documents for this meeting are available at:


Meeting chaired by Ray Trygstad.

Minutes recorded by Rebecca Steffenson.


1. Minutes of the 2/28/17 Meeting (http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/2-28-17minutes.html)

The 2/28/17 minutes were approved unanimously.


Old Business

2. Proposed change to standards for graduating with honors: [G. Pulliam – Humanities]

Proposal calls for the following changes to IIT’s honors requirements:

• Change hours to be completed at IIT from 60 for all levels to 60 hours for cum laude, 75 hours for cum laude or magna cum laude, or 90 hours for cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

• Change the GPA requirements as follows

Cum laude – change from 3.5-3.799 to 3.4-3.599

Magna cum laude – change from 3.8-3.899 to 3.6-3.799

Summa cum laude – change from 3.9-4.0 to 3.8-4.0

Please review the full proposal at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/Graduating with Honors at IIT-2.pdf

Pulliam explained that the goals of this proposed change is to allow students who do the great majority of their coursework here at IIT a tangible benefit. This policy would distinguish them from students who do only 60 hours of coursework at IIT), because it is more difficult to maintain an honors GPA across 120+ credit hours. The proposal still allows for some transfer credits (to accommodate AP credits and transfers up to 36 hours).  

Discussion focused initially on the lower threshold for honors (3.4) and whether this might affect our external reputation. Several counter proposals were offered. It was asked whether transfer students with a 4.0 might maintain honors status as a compromise. There was some support for switching to a straight percentage system, although it was noted that this would not allow students to keep track of their progress.  It was also suggested that more weight could be given to 300 and 400 level courses and that the GPA for honors could be calculated using only 300 and 400 classes for all students or alternatively that 100 level courses could be thrown out of the GPA calculation. Another suggested option was to just count the last 60 hours towards all students’ GPAs.  Given the lack of consensus, the UGSC chair invited counter proposals to be presented at the next meeting. The group also asked UGAA for information about the numbers of students who would be affected by this policy change, and SGA was asked to solicit student input on this issue.


New Business

3. Process for issuing of registration Alternate PINS to undergraduates [C. White – Vice Provost for Academic Affairs]

White came to discuss UGSC opposition to the recent UGAA student pin dispersal announcement.

White noted that his office was seeking to solve an administrative problem and did not realize the potential impact it would have on the advising process. It was noted that communication breakdowns between a small number of faculty and students were driving the change. White asked whether an advising hold might be preferable. Students pins would be put in the portal so they would have the flexibility to register, but advisors would manually have to allow students to register.  Hall noted that advising holds are not possible until the Banner 9 upgrade in late 2017.

UGAA was cautioned against making dramatic changes to correct the actions of a small group of advisors and asked to provide more information about the scale of the problem. There was widespread agreement over the value of face to face advising relationships, but acknowledgement that there could be better ways to improve the advising system. White noted that there need to be common expectations for advising across the university. He is convening the university advising committee to discuss these issues.


4. New co-terminal degree: BS MSE and MAS MSE [S. Nair and S. Acharya, MMAE]

Details are at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/BS-MSE_ME-MSE.pdf

The representatives were not present, so there was no discussion.

Please review it for next week.


5. Elimination of ECE co-terminal degree programs [E. Orklu, ECE]

The ECE department wishes to terminate the following co-terminal degree programs: B.S. Electrical Engineering/Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the B.S. Computer Engineering/Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering co-terminal degrees. The ECE faculty do not wish to continue supporting these professional degrees.

It was noted that co-terminal degrees were not initially presented as new degree programs, because they do not change the requirement of either the B.S or M.S. degrees. If they are not new degree programs they would not need to go through the process of degree eliminations as outlined in the handbook. UFC has formed a co-terminal degree subcommittee and is working on this issue.   

6. New Minor from Industrial Technology and Management: Supply Chain Management [M. Safar – INTM]

Details are at available at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/SCM%20Minor_memotoUGAA_032717.pdf

This is an informational item.


7. Other New Business

No new business was raised.


8. Next UGSC meeting will be April 11, 2017.