Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee

Attending Voting Members:  G. Pulliam (HUM/CAC), G. Popvic (MSED), C. Hood (CS), X. Guan (CHEM), N. Menhart (BIO), R. Steffenson (SSCI), J. Hajek (ITM), R. Ellis (AMAT), T. Pan (CAEE), E. Orklu (ECE), P. Snopok (PHYS), G. Shobein (SGA), M. Safar (INTM), J. Miller (PSYC), SH Hong (CHBE), C. Torres (COA)

Also attending: J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), S. Pariseau (UGAA), K. Spink (PreHealth), J. Hignight (Registrar), N. Novak (Galvin Library), C. White (UGAA)

Departments with absent voting members:  ROTC, SSB, BME, MMAE

Quorum declared at: 12:50

Adjourn at: 1:50


Documents for this meeting are available at:


Meeting chaired by Ray Trygstad

Minutes recorded by Rebecca Steffenson


1. Minutes of the 4/11/17 Meeting (http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/4-11-17minutes.html)  

Minutes approved unanimously.


Old Business

2. New Co-Terminal Degree: BS BME and MS Biology for Health Professions [K. Spink – Biology]

a. Details are at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/BS BME+MS Bio for Health Description all tracks.pdf. We expect to vote on this proposal at this meeting.

Motion for the approval of this co-terminal degree passed unanimously.


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

Proposal 1: 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    

Proposal 2: SGA proposes an alternative proposal to use the last 60 credit hours to calculate honors GPAs for all students.

Discussion: Several members argued that changing the honors GPA requirements and changing the credit hours required for honors needed to be treated separately.

Those in favour of the motion noted that using the last 60 hours of all students’ credit hours to calculate honors GPAs would not be in line with what peer universities are doing. It was also noted that the current policy makes it much easier for transfer students to achieve honors GPAs.

Those against the motion raised concerns mainly 1) that this would discriminate against low income students transferring from community colleges and 2) that excluding transfer students from high and highest honors might deter student from choosing to transfer to IIT. Several members also asked for more data. The committee wanted to know if transfer students are getting honors degrees at a higher rate? UGAA is looking into running a report with this data.

No motion to vote proposed. More information will be collected, and this motion will be discussed at a later date.  


4. Communication Across the Curriculum subcommittee review of C-coded courses in Chemistry and CHBE [G. Pulliam – CAC Coordinator]

The CAC committee ran C course reviews of CHBE and CHEM this year. The committee approved seven C courses from CHBE, and did not remove the C designation from any CHBE courses. The committee approved 9 courses in CHEM, and did not remove the C designation from any CHEM courses. All decisions were unanimous.

The report was unanimously accepted by UGSC voting members.


5. IIT Core Curriculum Assessment Committee update [R. Steffenson – Committee Co-Chair]

The HLC wants assessment of the core curriculum to include direct evidence of student learning from each learning goal from 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 before an interim report is submitted in fall 2018. This assessment process should inform future core curriculum changes.

The IIT Core Curriculum Assessment Committee, which is a subcommittee of the University Assessment Committee, is working this semester to assess student work in IPRO with rubrics designed to test whether students are demonstrating core curriculum learning goals through a) assessment of group work at IPRO day c) assessment of individuals by IPRO instructors. It is possible that we will need to directly assess other parts of the core curriculum in the future (ITP, S, H, C, CS, Math). Steffenson will be contacting all course designation subcommittee chairs to solicit input for the core curriculum map.


6. Other old business



New Business

7. Academic Affairs Updates [C. White – Vice Provost for Academic Affairs]

White will be notifying UGSC/UFC of developments more regularly.  Please communicate these messages to your units.

1.       OTS is preparing to upgrade to Banner 9 http://www.ellucian.com/Software/Banner-Student/ in order to take advantage of new features.  The transition is scheduled to be complete in December 2017.   There will be training.


2.       UGAA and OTS will upgrade Degree Works at the same time as the Banner 9 upgrade (http://www.ellucian.com/Software/Ellucian-Degree-Works/), as our current version will no longer be supported.  We will need to upgrade through several versions of Degree Works, a non-trivial task and there may be bumps along the road.


3.       UGAA and the Registrar’s office are now using Course Leaf software (https://www.leepfrog.com/courseleaf/) to manage the bulletin, and are working on integrating this software with our academic processes for course and program changes.


4.       TutorTrac (https://www.go-redrock.com/products/tutortrac/) software will replace the old early warning system. It is accessed through the portal and will be used by faculty to report student issues. Some testing is currently on going in Psychology, Architecture and COS. No one from Armour is currently testing. An Armour volunteer is needed to make sure the software is appropriate for the college’s needs.


5.       In the past, Blackboard was housed on our servers. We recently switched from a hosted solution to a cloud solution. In exchange, we received more Blackboard at a discount.  The cloud solution has made us dependent on Blackboard for support, and we’ve had a lot of outages this semester.  We know this is a problem and we are doing everything possible to communicate our dissatisfaction to Blackboard and to get the issues fixed. 


6.       We are using Blackboard to do math placement and writing placement assessments for incoming students. We are getting students to login and do assessments through Blackboard (such as math placement, writing placement). We are moving towards building orientation modules to run through Blackboard. We can make online versions of faculty orientation and alumni portal information as well.


7.       IIT Online is now called the Office of Digital Learning (https://online.iit.edu) because online tools are not just for distance learners. Lecture Capture, for example, helps students on campus. Online learning is the US is now subject to SARA accreditation (http://nc-sara.org/about). Without SARA accreditation we will not be legally authorized to teach students from SARA accredited states. Therefore, it is important that we not lose SARA accreditation. A draft policy specifying minimum standards for distance learning courses at IIT necessary to maintain SARA accreditation will be distributed shortly for review and comment.   Deans have been asked to participate in strategic planning to determine which courses and programs should be offered for distance learners. 


8.       OTS wants to experiment with new classroom technologies (beyond the projector + podium). They are interested in setting up some experimental classrooms. We are asking for faculty input about what new technologies they would like on campus.  UGSC is asked to submit a list of representatives to serve on this committee.


9.       The Registrar has no official document on the relationship between contact hours and credit hours and is working on developing one in collaboration with deans.


10.   There were 17 academic honesty reports this year for undergraduates. Only 1 of those was a second offence.  


11.   The Office of Disability Services has a new director (Gary Walley), an IIT alum.


12.   UFC has put together an adhoc faculty committee to evaluate the future of IPRO.   IPRO is part of the distinctive education at IIT.  Enrolment is important. The committee is tasked with looking at how to make IPRO more attractive to prospective students.


13.   The adhoc Co-terminal Degree Faculty committee will continue working in the fall.


14.   Academic review will begin the week after graduation. Probation students will be checked one at a time. UGAA will check degree works for comments and contact advisors as needed.


15.   Grades are due Wednesday, May 10 at 12:00 noon. Get your grades in on time or students may not get their diplomas at graduation. The grading portal will close promptly.


8. Other New Business


9. The next UGSC meeting will be September 12, 2017. 

a. Please inform the Chair and the Secretary of any changes in representation for your academic unit before September 1st.