Faculty Senate Adopts New Academic Standing Standards

Posted: January 23, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

At its meeting this week, the Faculty Senate passed a motion regarding undergraduate academic standing that eliminates the designation of “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory” standing and instead relies solely on GPA.

Under the new policy, a 2.000 cumulative GPA will be required for graduation. The policy also allows degree-seeking students to repeat courses, with the latter course’s grade incorporated into the GPA. The original course remains on the transcript, however. In addition, an academic clemency–subject to the respective dean’s approval–for students absent from the university three or more years, will be available. Up to 16 credit hours may be removed from the cumulative GPA, although the courses remain on the transcript.

The task force that presented the policy looked at more than 20 different systems used by other universities in developing their proposal. “We tried to duplicate the current system by using GPA only, to make it simpler,” said Hal Gortner, task force chair.

Another motion passed by the senate eliminated a little-used “graduation with recognition” designation under its current form and established a new form of recognition for students graduating with between 45 and 59 credits earned from George Mason and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.800.

More details on the new provisions can be found on the Faculty Senate web site.

Also, the Committee on Effective Teaching presented a draft course evaluation instrument to replace the existing evaluation used by students at the end of a course. Egon Verheyen, committee chair, said the new form has been pilot tested, but he requested that faculty members use the proposed evaluation in their classes this spring as a further test. “The reaction so far has been that it’s better than what we have,” he reported.

Several members of the senate’s External Academic Relations Committee traveled to Richmond earlier this week for the General Assembly’s new session to lobby for increased funds for higher education as well as to support a bill that would require university Boards of Visitors to have a faculty representative on their boards.

Write to at