The charge to the Undergraduate Council is as follows:
The Undergraduate Council is responsible for recommending to the President, Provost, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and reporting to the Faculty Senate on matters pertaining to undergraduate courses, curricula, institutional programs, and degrees of the University. Responsibilities include periodic evaluation of academic policy and existing or proposed programs. The Council shall advise the President, the Provost, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies on the development of future undergraduate programs at the University and shall aid them in developing, reviewing and updating the University's statement of academic goals and objectives.
The following document outlines specific procedures to be followed when reviewing and recommending changes in undergraduate academic policies and curricular matters at the University of South Florida, subject to approval by the Provost.
The Council will operate to meet its charge in keeping with the following overall philosophy:
The Undergraduate Council seeks to carry out its responsibility consistent with the mission of the University and its stated functions. In meeting this responsibility, the members should not view themselves as representative of a college but rather as individuals concerned with the programs of the University. As the University seeks to meet the needs of undergraduate students and the metropolitan community, to promote scholarship and research, and to be responsive to social and academic change, the Council will evaluate academic proposals by their potential for contribution to these goals. The Council will also be mindful of the University's obligation to provide a sound general education for all undergraduate students, as well as preparation for professional or occupational pursuits.
The Undergraduate Council will address itself to questions about undergraduate academic policies related to admissions criteria, orientation procedures, academic standards, the curriculum, and graduation requirements. In addition, the Undergraduate Council may serve as a reference body to other university councils, committees, or administrators on matters of program policy and as a recipient of requests for the development of undergraduate courses or programs from agencies outside of the University.
Meeting Procedures for Council Recommendations:
The outline below describes the steps through which curricular or academic policy matters would proceed from the point of initiation to final approval. A time frame is included for most of the processes. In all instances in which the Undergraduate Council deliberates a specific proposal, the initiating department or program will be informed of the date and place of meeting at which time their proposal is to be discussed. On that occasion the initiating department or program should be appropriately represented at the Undergraduate Council meeting.
Meetings will be held on the second and fourth Mondays of the month for Semesters I and II from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After consultation with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Chair may call additional meetings as necessary. Meetings require a quorum. A quorum is a simple majority of the faculty membership and/or their substitutes. Committee members who find it impossible to attend a meeting or meetings of the Council shall designate substitutes from their own areas or disciplines. Agenda for the meeting and appropriate information should be made available to the substitutes. Persons so designated and prepared as substitutes may exercise voting privileges. It is essential that members regularly attend meetings and avoid the use of substitutes because of the nature of the work and the extensive preparation required in order to vote in an informed manner on each proposal. Therefore, the Chair will request a replacement for a member who misses two meetings in a calendar year without notification. The Chair will consult the Council before such action is taken. Exceptions to this policy will include a member who takes a leave of absence during some part of the calendar year, or is not enrolled or employed during the summer, or where special circumstances prevail.
Proposals will pass when a simple majority of those present vote in favor. The Chair votes only to break a tie. No proxies will be accepted.
All meetings are open to interested persons in the University community (as broadly defined). Visitors may speak upon recognition of the Chair. The Council may act to restrict visitors' participation by a majority vote.
Members are notified of the meetings at each preceding meeting, in the minutes, and by the agenda e-mailed shortly before the meeting itself.
The style of the minutes will be as follows: time, date, and meeting place; list of members and guests present; old business; new business; recommendations for approval; date and time of next meeting.
As recorded in the Undergraduate Council minutes, it was agreed that the minutes would paraphrase the discussions and provide the record of what has happened. When something is defeated, people want to know why. The minutes would be used as a reference. Thus, if a point has not been brought out in the discussion, it should be brought into the debate for the minutes.
Minutes are e-mailed to Council members and to guests who attended the meeting in addition to interested persons who request a copy. Minutes are available on the web at http://www.ugs.usf.edu/ugc/agmin.htm after they have been approved by the Undergraduate Council.
Normally, items will be placed on the agenda of the meeting nearest 30 days after receipt in order for the Council to have adequate study time. In the event the agenda for that meeting is full, the item will be placed on the agenda at the next opportunity.
I. Academic Policy:
Step 1. Initiation from any appropriate area of the University to the Undergraduate Council.
Step 2. Council will attempt to meet 30-day waiting period to respond to proposal submitted. During the 30-day waiting period, referral of the proposal to implementers for feasibility studies may be made, and during this period of time any interested person or group may contact Council members for clarification or to make suggestions. The initiator will be notified.
Step 3. Undergraduate Council Action:
- Approval - a recommendation will be given to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, with a statement of the reasons for the Council's approval.
- Disapproval - the recommendation for disapproval will be forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies with a statement of the reasons for Council's negative vote.
- Table - if a motion to table the academic policy proposal is made, the steps which must be taken for the proposal to be brought out from tabling must be outlined. This is true for all motions to table made by the Council.
Step 4. Decision from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies:
(Whenever possible, decision to be given within 30 days from the time of receipt of the recommendation from the Council.)
- If yes - the proposal is processed through the Undergraduate Council and to the initiators of the proposal.
- If no - a negative decision should be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for its rejection.
II. Course Proposals:
All course proposals MUST be submitted using the Online Curriculum Proposals site.