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Shared Governance

Academic Council

Co-chairs: Turina Bakken and Tina Rettler-Pagel

Academic Council email

For membership and meeting schedule, approved policies, agendas, handouts and meeting notes visit the Academic Council on Sharepoint.

Past reports:

Feb. 24, 2017

The Academic Council continues to sort through options generated for the Voice of the Student/Course Feedback issue. They have also thumbed an updated draft of the Emeritus policy and this will soon be presented to the Assembly.

Feb. 9, 2017

The Council continues to sort through options generated for the Voice of the Student/Course Feedback issue, while also trying to close the loop by revising the draft Emeritus Policy put forth to the Assembly in 2015.

Jan. 12, 2017
The Academic Council met on Jan. 12. They continue to work on the Voice of the Student/Course Feedback issue. They’re sifting through more than 140 options that have been generated by categorizing and creating criteria.

The Council is also working with the Student Affairs Council (SAC) on Textbook Affordability by providing feedback and acting as a loop-out partner when needed. Some Council members will serve on the SAC’s Textbook Affordability subteam.   


Dec. 8, 2016

The Academic Council met on Dec. 8. They’ve begun brainstorming and capturing possible options for their Voice of the Student/Course Feedback issue. The Council will continue to work the issue, reach out and loop out to appropriate groups and stakeholders, as needed.  


Nov. 10, 2016

The Academic Council met on Nov. 10 and received updates from the Program Chair/Director pilot from Business and Applied Arts and from the Academic Integrity Steering Committee.

The Council continues to research and gather information related to the Quality of Instruction/Voice of the Student issue.  

Oct. 28, 2016

On Oct. 28, the Academic Council continued discussing the Quality of Instruction/Voice of the Student issue, verifying stakeholders, gathering background information, ensuring the issue statement is clear, and defining the full meaning of “course improvement”.

Oct. 13, 2016

The Academic Council met on Oct. 13. The Council heard feedback from the College Assembly on the draft Course Feedback Issue Statement. Upon considering any revisions and capturing noted Assembly interests, the Council then began the full Issue Analysis process. They’ll continue at their next meeting.         

The Workload subgroup will soon share best practices from the first round of pilot programs. They continue to work on refining the framework and documentation needed for second round pilots and loop-out sessions.

Sept. 29, 2016

The Academic Council met on Sep. 29. They were joined by Kevin Foley from the Student Affairs Council, who shared new developments pertaining to the textbook affordability issue.

An update was provided on the status of the Workload pilot and its next steps. The Council began analysis of the Quality of Instruction/Course Feedback issue. They thumbed a draft issue statement which will be shared at an upcoming College Assembly meeting.

Sept. 15, 2016

The Academic Council met on Sep. 15. They began the first meeting of fall by reviewing their charge and ground rules.

An update was shared on current and future Council issues, including being a loop-out partner for the Student Affairs Council on the Textbook Affordability issue. They also discussed planned “loop-in” updates to the Council regarding several current college projects and pilots.

The Academic Council will soon start a full analysis of the Quality of Instruction/Course Feedback issue.

August 10, 2016

On Aug. 10, the Academic Council welcomed new members and new co-chair Tina Rettler-Pagel.The Council began drafting a work plan for 2016-17, a combination of: issues currently in progress; other college strategies or departments that should be looped into the Academic Council; identification of new issues.

July 13, 2016

The Academic Council met on July 13, with several new members in attendance. The Council is determining next steps for the Workload professional model.They also completed an activity that promotes the idea of embedding Interest-based Problem Solving into the Madison College culture.

May 13, 2016

The Academic Council met on May 13. They’re determining the next steps for the Workload process now that they have gathered information and feedback from the initial pilot

They will make the final selections of new Council members the week of May 23.

April 11, 2016

The Academic Council convened on April 11. Meghan Conlin, senior project manager in the new Academic Strategy and Analysis (ASA) unit, shared the framework for a new program analysis tool being piloted this semester. The Council offered feedback and ideas on the tool.

The next meeting will involve a visit from the faculty chair of the Academic Integrity Team, deciding upon the next priority issue and planning for workload pilot review. 

March 25, 2016

The Academic Council continues to assess the performance of the workload pilot program.

Feb. 26, 2016

Training for the Council’s Workload pilot program continues. The Communications Subteam is gathering loop-out feedback.

The Council provided a sounding board to the issue of general education credits for new students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree.

Feb. 12, 2016

The Academic Council met on Feb. 12. The Academic Freedom Policy was thumbed and sent to the Assembly.

Guests from the Student Affairs Council reviewed the Standards of Progress Policy. The Academic Council shared feedback.

The Council held workshops for 26 programs and departments who expressed interest in piloting the new workload framework. More one-on-one team meetings are scheduled. The Communications Subteam will review all the loop-out feedback.

Four subteams will create issue statements around online teaching schedules, course evaluations, prerequisite course policy and the role of program director. 

Dec. 2, 2016

The Council conducted an extensive loop-out process regarding workload, which included online surveys and convocation breakouts. A feedback report was generated based on the information gathered. The Council is assessing the feedback for themes, and will determine how to drive those themes into the current draft.

A pilot process was also designed with 25 programs or departments signing on to participate. Overview sessions will be held for program and department leads and deans on Feb. 9.

The Academic Freedom statement has been refreshed and will go back to the Assembly for final thumbing on Feb. 10. 

Jan. 15, 2016

The Academic Council last met on Dec. 11. The team is leading an extensive loop-out related to workload issue and its eventual new framework. Three breakout sessions were held during convocation. Faculty and staff are invited to complete a brief survey. Email the council with questions or for more information. All feedback will be analyzed.

Workload pilots are being planned across several areas of the college.

Dec. 11, 2015

The Academic Council met on Dec. 11. They are coordinating a strategic loop-out process on the workload framework. In early January, detailed materials will be distributed to provide a common context on which to give feedback. There will be electronic and face-to-face options, including three breakout sessions during Convocation.

The Council is also planning other priority issues to work on in the spring semester.

Nov. 13, 2015

The Academic Council met Friday, Nov. 13, to edit the workload documents and to discuss plans for the loop-out on workload. The Council formed a small work team to further develop and implement the loop-out plans. 

The hope is to collect as much feedback as possible on the plan over the next two months.  

Oct. 28, 2015

The Academic Council expects to present some short-term suggestions to implement in fall 2016. They plan to define longer term goals for the more complete implementation of a workload model based on respect for the professionalism of teachers and the profession of teaching.

Oct. 9, 2015

Two new ground rules were thumbed at the council’s October 9 meeting. The rules involve striving for complete perspective and valuing the passion and experience of others.

Development of the workload issue continues with discussions regarding possible faculty models, core responsibilities, non-teaching service and more.

They hope to present short-term enhancements for fall 2016 implementation with a longer-term vision and move to a professional model ongoing.

Sept. 25, 2015

The Academic Council continued to discuss Academic Freedom Policy and faculty workload. The team determined their theme for the 2015-16 academic year: "Academic Innovations with Roles and Responsibilities."

Sept. 9, 2015

The Academic Council continues to work with a faculty and staff subteam to define Academic Freedom. They hope to present to the Assembly within the next month.

Another subteam created an outline for an Emeritus program. They presented it to the Assembly on September 9. The Assembly thumbed this opportunity for further development. 

The council is exploring new faculty categories for a workload policy.

Aug. 19, 2015

The council is working with a faculty subteam to define academic freedom.

Another subteam has crafted an outline for an emeritus program that will leverage contributions from retired faculty. Both academic freedom and the emeritus program are in final vetting stages.

The team continues to polish an Issue Statement regarding workload: “How might we design a flexible faculty workload system to utilize faculty talent and expertise in alignment with the college mission, values and goals?”

July 24, 2015

The council is coordinating policy work on academic freedom. The first phase of the work will be completed this summer, with updates shared at Convocation.

The definition and promotion of academic freedom will be shared with the Higher Learning Commission in 2016.

A sub-team is drafting a proposed model for an emeritus program to utilize the talents of our retirees. The goal is to present a best option to the Assembly in early fall.

The team is researching methods of approaching workload.

June 17, 2015

The council has delved into faculty workload and the issue of "how might we design a flexible faculty workload system to utilize faculty talent and expertise in alignment with the college mission, values and goals?"

One work team is fleshing out definitions related to teaching, non-teaching and professional development. A second work team is exploring options around an Emeritus program that would include faculty, staff and administrators.

The council is building on the work of the C.A.C. related to permanent part-time faculty models.

May 8, 2015

The council is forming a small group to frame issues/make recommendations and is close to handing off the Emeritus issue to a group outside the council and are looking for volunteers to be on this team.

The council held a discovery discussion regarding faculty workload facilitated by Kathleen Paris. As a result, a team has been formed to identify recurring themes and potential opportunities.

Shawna Carter will be the Academic Council’s representative for the Comprehensive Campus work team.

The council will continue to meet regularly over the summer.

April 23, 2015

The Academic Council continued a discussion on workload. The team analyzed and discussed aspects of the issue such as learning facilitation, service, professional development and definitions of each component.

The council members are attempting to summarize work done by the Contract Alternative Committee last year on the issue to further define their focus.

April 10, 2015

The Academic Council met to discuss President Daniels’ recommendations regarding the metro campuses.

The group also established expectations for substitutes when a council member is unable to attend a meeting.

Plans were developed for creating a work team to develop Emeritus status at the college. The team also considered which aspects of faculty workload they would address first.

March 26, 2015

Report not yet available.

March 13, 2015

The Academic council has received briefings on the metro campus issue as well as budget recommendations. They also recently developed policy recommendations for substitutes on the council. The team has also had conversations regarding the issue of faculty workload and the establishment of an emeritus status for retirees.

Feb. 27, 2015

The Academic Council has completed work on the summer school issue given the thumbs up by the Assembly on Feb. 25. They are now gearing up for the faculty workload issue.

The council met Feb. 27 and debriefed the summer school issue thumbed by the Assembly on Feb. 25. The best option has now been forwarded to Dr. Daniels. The council brainstormed process improvements in preparation for tackling the faculty workload issue. An IBPS facilitator will help them through this next project.

Sarah Johnson from the academic integrity team shared her team’s purpose, and the council agreed to serve as a conduit for new policy recommendations when appropriate.

Feb. 12, 2015

No updates.

Jan. 30, 2015

The council will propose a summer school policy to the Assembly at the Feb. 25 meeting.

They will not post summer courses, available for student viewing March 23, without instructor names. Time must be allowed for schools to make assignments.

The team is exploring the best approach to the faculty workload issue in collaboration with the Employee Relations and Professional Development Council.

Sarah Johnson, a faculty leader on the academic integrity team, has been invited to present to ensure ongoing collaboration on policy issues.

Published March 1, 2017. Updated March 9, 2017.