Transcript Senate Meeting
May 7, 2013
Bill Sauser, chair: Please come to order. I’d like to welcome everyone to the May 7, 2013 meeting of the Auburn University Senate. I’m Bill Sauser, chair of the Senate. While we are getting things set up I would like to attend to the minutes from the April 2 meeting. The minutes were posted along with today’s agenda and a transcript is available. If anyone saw any need for correction of the minutes please let me know right now otherwise I am going to declare those minutes approved. Are there any necessary corrections? Seeing none then I declare those minutes to be approved by acclamation.
( I do want to begin with a few brief rules, first senators and substitutes for senators are asked please to sign the roll in the back and get one of the clickers so you can vote. Be sure to sign the roll and have a clicker. Second, if you’d like to speak about an issue go to the microphone and when I recognize you state your name and indicate if you are a senator and what unit you represent. Rules of the Senate do require that senators or substitute senators be allowed to speak first to any issue then after they’ve made their comments guests are welcome to speak, so if you are a guest and you want to speak to one of the issues please feel free to do so after the senators have spoken, and I’ll be glad to recognize you as well.)
Next on our order of business are remarks from our president, Jay Gogue. [0:37]
Dr. Gogue, president: Thank you , Bill. I appreciate all of you being here today. I want first of all to say thank you for a very successful graduation weekend, we had 4 ceremonies, Saturday and Sunday, I think there are two more today we did Pharmacy this morning and Veterinary Medicine this afternoon. They seemed to go well they were down to about an hour and thirty-five minutes each session, so that worked pretty well.
Second thing I wanted to mention to you is that at the last Board of Trustees meeting there were 16 academic items that came through Academic Affairs. All those items were approved, I think about 7 of them were from AUM and the remainder were from this campus, the ones that we mentioned at the previous Senate Meeting.
Third thing that I wanted to mention is that since we last met there have been some allegations that you’ve read about in newspapers dealing with student athletes and about grade changing. We have met with Senate leadership, we’ve used internal audit, we’ve looked at everything we know and don’t find any evidence of that. If any of you have any experience and you have a concern, for goodness sakes please let us know, but we don’t find any evidence of that.
I also wanted to bring you up to date very briefly on several bills down in Montgomery. They are getting down to the last day or two of their session this week. They will have one more legislative session or two and then they have one that they will skip a week and come back to it.
There is a bill that deals with Distance Education. Currently in Alabama institutions are supposed to charge the out-of-state rate for any student involved in Distance Education. The Bill they are working on would allow you to offer competitive rates for Distance Education. [2:27] So we’ve been supportive of that Bill. The second item would allow, makes it permissive in certain cases for veterans to receive in-state tuition. Previous tie with the state, previous linkage, it doesn’t mean that every veteran that applied, but it allows in special cases for permission to allow that veteran not to have to pay out-of-state tuition.
The third item, and this really came from a number of faculty, that the age of majority for research related work be changed from 21 to 18, no it is 19 now and to change that to 18; since in some of our classes we have students that wish to participate in university related research and because of their age they are not eligible, so a change to lower the age of majority or age of consent to 18.
There is a gun bill which all of you have been reading about. It seems to change on a daily basis. From the last that I heard this morning they probably will authorize employees to allow guns to be in their vehicles, but you have to have a permit as I understand. You would have to go through a permitting process to do that.
And relative to the budget, Don correct me, the House passed out a budget increase for higher education, about 1.42%, the Senate has passed one at an increase of about .46%, so somewhere probably between those two or hopefully the 1.42% is what we will end up with. But we don’t know until they finish.
I’d be happy to respond to questions. Thank you Bill.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Dr. Gogue. Of course Dr. Gogue and Dr. Boosinger will be participating in the graduation ceremony tonight and I promised them not to extend the meeting to the point where they cannot make it in time.
Now I’d like to ask Tim Boosinger to step forward for some comments from the Provost’s Office. Thank you Tim. [4:52]
Dr. Tim Boosinger, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs: I know it’s been announced online, but I want to remind everybody about the open forum tomorrow. It will really be about promotion and tenure workshop. I provide and overview and then we will have 4 former members of the university committee there as a panel. They will make a few comments on selected topics and then we will head up for discussion. So it’s an opportunity for anybody that’s coming up for promotion and tenure to ask their questions. I am encouraging heads and chairs to come, especially new heads and chairs. I am concerned that this is the best day we could come up with. If we don’t have a very good turn out we may do this again in August when folks that are gone are back on campus. I think it will be a good forum. And that’s in the Foy Ballroom.
Strategic Planning I’ve talked about in almost every meeting in the last 6 months. We are waiting for all the survey information to get back. We’ve gotten a response now from about 300–400 people just from the survey, we expect to get another 200–300 and then all of that information will be fed back to the Steering Committee. We are kind of doing this on the fly but we started to put a draft together and will add any new information that comes in to that. We hope to have a draft on the president’s desk in about two weeks. You remember the goal was to present this to the Board of Trustees in June. I think it’s June 21. [6:23]
The College of Science and Math Dean’s search we are getting very close to the end. A finalist has been selected and hope to make an announcement next week but we have a couple more process steps to complete. Then the search for a Dean for the College of Liberal Arts, they are conducting off-campus interviews, confidential interviews. Hoping to have on campus interviews later in May or early June. So that’s where we are currently. Any questions for me? Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Tim. Again, enjoy the ceremony tonight. I do want to comment that as your representative, I was able to attend all four of the graduation ceremonies this weekend and they were indeed wonderful. It’s exciting to see so many students and their families in such happy moods, perhaps the best mood I’ve seen the campus in on a weekend in some time. So it was really wonderful to see. I do want to thank those in the room and those throughout campus who worked so hard to make the graduation a success. We have a very hard working Graduation Committee.
I do have a few comments that I’d like to share and here they come now in my report. First I always like to recognize the Senate officers because they do a lot of work on your behalf. So let me again recognize Ann Beth Presley, our immediate past chair; I am your chair; your chair-elect is Larry Crowley, and he will be receiving this fine rather battered gavel next month and I am looking forward to passing it on to him. And our future chair-elect is Patricia Duffy, there she is. What a day to have a Senate meeting right after graduation, thank you Patricia. Our secretary is Robin Jaffe and there’s Robin; our secretary-elect if Judy Sheppard, she will be taking over the minute responsibilities shortly and is looking forward to it I know. And Gislea Buschle-Diller is our future secretary elect, is Gisela here today? She is out of town today. All of them work very hard. It’s amazing as soon as Patricia and Gislea were elected they started becoming involved right away to get a head start on their duties which is great. Our parliamentarian who served us well not only this year but in other years is Dr. Constance Hendricks; and our administrative assistant is Laura Kloberg. And wow, what clout she has to get a new motherboard installed in ten minutes. That was pretty amazing.
I do want to move on to a comment about Research Week. You say, “Research Week., I thought that was a month ago,” and of course it was. It was held in early April but it was a great success and I want to commend everybody who worked on it, multi-day effort, hundreds of people involved. A lot of people worked hard to showcase what we are doing in research here. We got good public relations, communications and information out around the country, some of you are aware of national coverage of some of our research. Due of course to the tragic events in Boston, but none-the-less I think it was good for people to know that Auburn University is responsive to society’s issues. Great Research Week.
I also want to comment on the Provost Advising Awards. Provost Advising Awards on April 30, just a few days ago the Provost Office sponsored a luncheon and awards program. The purpose of that program was to recognize all the hardworking advisors we have in all the colleges and schools all across campus. They do fine work for us and I want to congratulate the awardees, there were 4 who received awards, including one of our faculty members who is a faculty advisor. And I also want to thank the committee that worked so hard to put this event together. This is the first time such an event has been held and I can tell you I was there, I enjoyed certainly the meal and the awards but the best part was to see the smiles of appreciation on the faces of those people who worked so hard on behalf of the university.
Please participate in the Faculty/Staff Campaign. It’s wrapping up quickly so if you haven’t had the opportunity yet or taken the opportunity to make a donation, please do so. [11:33] It’s not the amount, but of course the larger the amount the better, but it’s not the amount that counts but it’s the participation. We are trying to get 100%. There’s a Web site you can go to if you want to donate online. So please, if you have not already taken the opportunity, maybe when you get back to your office this afternoon or tomorrow, go ahead and make a donation and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. Last time I checked we were right at or a little bit ahead of where we were last year. So that’s good news. A lot of folks are working hard on the Campaign.
We heard a lot about the strategic planning survey, I just want to mention it again. That’s an announcement taken from the AU Daily and I did put the Web site in there, of course if you go to the AU Daily or the Provost’s Web site you can find it as well. But there’s the URL.
We do want everybody to participate. A lot of great work has been done, lot of faculty involvement, which is very comforting I think to all of us. We faculty have been invited to and are having a say in the future of the university and I do encourage you if you haven’t already done so to go to that Web site and provide your opinions.
The next thing I’d like to mention is the ombuds search. The ombuds search is moving along quite well. We have a fine interim ombudsperson, but we are in the process of searching for a new continuing ombudsperson. The search is moving forward. That Web site right there has gone online yesterday and it does have the candidates with materials and resumes, dates, times of the open forums, so everyone will have the opportunity to meet and great the candidates for that important office. [13:32] I want to thank those again who are on that search committee for doing such a fine job.
Dr. Boosinger mentioned the open forum on Promotion and Tenure, which is a very important event in the life of all of us earning promotion and tenure. Please do encourage your colleagues particularly those who are going up or considering going up for promotion and tenure next year to attend tomorrow.
Today’s agenda is all about athletics. We heard an important comment from our President just a few moments ago that there was no evidence uncovered of any academic fraud on this campus, I know many of us, faculty members included, were furious when we heard those allegations, because we suspected that there was no truth to them. I’m glad to say that careful investigations have been made by several parties and no evidence has been found that would indicate any academic wrong doing on the campus. So we are not speaking to academic wrong doing issues, instead we are celebrating some of the successes and the accomplishments in athletics. We will be hearing today from Mary Boudreaux, one of the hardest working people on campus. If you ever go to an athletic event you will find Mary there. You were at the rainy cold baseball game the other night, seated along beside me. Not only is she representing us at athletic events, but she is also a first rate academic and looks at things from a faculty members perspective.
So we will be hearing her report. We also are going to hear a brief report from Steve Lautz. Steve is associate athletic director of compliance. So for those of you who have questions about compliance issues, he’ll make that brief presentation and be able to answer questions as well.
We don’t have any action items today. I promised not to bring action items forward that we would vote on with faculty members scattered here and beyond, we do though have an action item that is going to be brought forward for future action and after we’ve heard from Brian Parr, I am going to take a straw pole. If you believe this is an issue that needs to be held over until August, I’ll certainly agree to do that. On the other hand if you believe that this is not a controversial item and should be considered next month we’ll do that. I’ll leave the decision to you as to whether this is controversial or not. But I’ll ask Brian Parr to bring it forward. Brian, you don’t think it’s controversial?
Brian Parr, chair of Academic Standards: No I don’t think it’s controversial, but we can see.
I apologize for not having this highlighted where you can see it better. I had a PowerPoint file but for some reason it didn’t want to load. This was a proposed change that was brought to us that I understand came from our associate deans and brought to the Academic Standards Committee to look at and consider. It is on class attendance. Really there are two changes, down in the fourth paragraph, it says, “arrangements to accommodate missed graded assignments due to properly authorized excused absences…” The current policy says to missed exams, and it gives for example mid-term exams or major exams, so the change would be to change it from “missed exams” to “missed graded assignments.” Also to further explain that (if you scroll down to the very bottom) there is a footnote that was added that says, in-class work or discussion that contributes to a participation grade may need to be accommodated differently, such as by prorating the participation grade to prevent penalizing the student for in-class activities missed because of excused absences. In the case of some activity-based classes in which in class performance constitutes a very substantial portion of the final course grade, it may not be possible for a student who has accrued a very large number of excused absences to complete the course.”
So the major change is from allowing a student to make up not only just major exam(s), but allowing them to make up missed graded assignments for excused absences, but with the footnote here to tell you as instructor of the course you still have some judgment in what is actually feasible to be made up.
Bill Sauser, chair: Brian is bringing this as an action item on behalf of the Academic Standards Committee so it needs no second to be placed on a future agenda. I would like to ask if there are any questions or discussion at this time. There is a question, would you come to the microphone. [19:01]
Guy Rohrbaugh, senator, Philosophy: I guess you could count me as thinking this is quite controversial. I would like to convince the rest of you that this is so. What I want to suggest, I understand the motivation here is to take what is common practice and make it a policy, but what I suggest is that we are actually setting in stone what’s actually a bad reading of the original policy. We don’t have it on the screen, but I think if you were to read it you would find that it basically says that there is one large exception to what is otherwise faculty prerogative, major assignments you have to give a student a mid-term if they have one of these excuses. That’s basically what it all comes to.
The current proposal suggests that we extend this loophole to all graded assignments whatsoever. I think in part this ignores the shift in college teaching away from a sort of 2–3 exam per semester model and doesn’t recognize the fact that many of us give huge numbers of tiny assignments. We have people with clickers in classes, we have daily quizzes, we have all kinds of stuff we do now, most of which is worth small tiny parts of the grade and would not be classified as a major assignment. The policy proposes to say that all of these are excusable and you have to keep track of them, whatever they miss they are not responsible for any of it if they have one of the six excuses.
I suggest that the appropriate attitude toward these was often, if you missed it you missed it, that’ too bad. Sometimes that’s just how it goes. And this is a policy that says that that attitude is one that you may not take. I think that the footnote, the language in the footnote is already an indication of the quagmire that is on offer here that may need to be accommodated differently and kind of makes one suggestion for how you might think of this by prorating one student’s score individually (Canvas is not going to calculate this.). I think the current official policy is actually the right one. It shouldn’t be faculty prerogative to say you can’t make up a mid-term, but faculty prerogative really should extend to all the minor assignments. That was the right attitude to have.
I think there is a wider cultural issue going on. I think we all know that a lot of our students are enmeshed in what you might call a culture of excuses. And when they get the sense that maybe they don’t have to do something, they have this piece of paper they have to find the piece of paper and maybe it’s not quite the right one and it’s fake and you are supposed to call the medical clinic and see if it’s real. This document is to say okay you guys are right, you win, if you have something we roll over. I want to encourage something like a culture of responsibility to my students and sometimes that means you take responsibility for something that is not under your control. So I am just going to say that the original document is poorly worded and unclear and I applaud the efforts to clean it up, but I think this is to clean it up in exactly the wrong direction.
So I will be encouraging people, again you’ll hear this speech when it comes back, to vote against this at all costs. Thanks.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you. Would you like to respond before I call on the others? Is there a response you’d like to make or should I go ahead?
Brian Parr, chair of Academic Standards: Not really, we’ll say that the current policy, it doesn’t allude that the mid-term is the only thing that could be made up, it’s an e.g. That’s one of the things for example of exams that should be allowed to be made up. There’s still if you call it a major exam, I guess that’s up for interpretation
Bill Sauser, chair: You are recognized, sir.
Herb Rotfeld, senator, Marketing: I wanted to comment on what you didn’t change. This is a nice policy for the 1980s in the timing I go to such things as the information on planned events and other absences. I want to state something from the syllabus required of the students.
“Prior notice must be provided for any expected or planned events, unexpected emergencies require direct notification as soon a possible by phone or e-mail with documentation as soon as you return to campus. Delayed notifications will not be accepted.”
This item of delaying items for a week even when you know in advance; what we don’t have cell phones, we don’t have e-mail? …they could call. Like I said I am talking about what you didn’t change. This item saying giving them weeks plus to drift in an tell you. They have phones. Unless they are unconscious, notice can be sent easily as they update their facebook page and other pieces of information.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you, do you want to comment? You are recognized.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: I agree with Dr. Rotfeld. I have the same notification policy when I teach a class. Notify me in advance or as soon thereafter if it wasn’t possible to do in advance. I expect the to maintain communications with me.
I oppose existing policy. I don’t believe in make-ups, make-ups are just that they are made up, they are never the same exam, you are not grading them in the same way, I don’t consider it fair, there is no way to make it fair, unless you are going to give them the same exam which is also not fair.
So when I was at Indiana University before I taught here, we had no such policies. What we did was typically shift the weight to the final so that they weren’t taking a different exam, so everyone took the same graded items or we allowed a certain number of drops, so that you could miss for free. So the course that I used to run I had high frequency examinations and this was to give students feedback very rapidly on their learning. I had to get rid of that when I came to Auburn because I was told that if they miss, there are make-ups and everything else. So then I began giving much fewer examinations because it became much harder because of this policy and therefore it diminished the students experience and my ability to teach them.
So as we push to get students more examinations and feedback on their performance earlier, well this is sort of against that. I had a student come to my office this semester about a professor who had high frequency quizzes and they missed some and wanted to make them up, citing this policy. Well I pointed out that the policy only applied to major examinations and my interpretation on it was that he had some things on exams that were worth 10 times as much as the quiz. So these were clearly distinct items and as was pointed out that the policy doesn’t apply, which she accepted. The purpose of those high frequency quizzes were to have people come to class and participate and you got half the points for just signing your name. Which if you didn’t make them come it wouldn’t be the case.
I’ve had situations here where I have to teach 250 students in a mega class. The university pushed for efficiency, they want that to occur. That makes the administration of exams or make-ups with all the different students and their schedules very difficult. If I want to do some little things, extra bonus items, little small class assignments; if I have to allow everyone of those 250 students for whatever excuse they come up with to somehow make it up, then I will not be able to do it. And I won’t do it and that will injure the student’s experience. [27:37] So there’s a fine line between accommodating real problems and setting up a system that is real easy to game and becomes a burden on the professors and changes the way they teach their courses to the detriment of the students. And I feel Auburn’s policy has already done that and if you extend it like this it will become quite severe. I have a whole bunch of faculty who would alter significantly the way they taught the course if everything they do even small home works and in-class participation and bonuses and all that stuff is going to be subject to this type of policy.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you and yes sir.
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: I’d just like to comment that I agree with what Dr. Rohrbaugh said and I think I agree with what our colleague from economics has said. On the other hand I think I’d like to suggest that maybe a rewrite of this policy is in order, but maybe it needs to focus more on a model of what we should do with the idea that there’s a way to get exceptions for that without having it be an onerous thing, rather than focus on, well these are the things we can’t do. I think it would work a lot better and would set a tone of rather than putting the faculty in a box and trying to devise a one size fits all solution to what’s a very large and complex problem, to make something that kind of said…normally it would follow this pathway, but there’s some flexibility here without putting hard limits on it. Perhaps that makes more problems, perhaps that means that deans have to work harder to arbitrate such things, I don’t know, just seems to me that that would be a more reasonable approach than what we have here. Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you, we have on other senator waiting to be recognized and he will be recognized momentarily. If you have another comment you’d like to make, please come to the microphone otherwise this will be the last comment before we move on. [29:51] If you wish to make a comment please come forward, and you are recognized sir.
David King, senator, geology and geography: This policy puts into one document the matter of class attendance and make-up, and there are courses on this campus for which those two are unrelated things. For example in distance learning classes there is no make-up policy because there is no class attendance. So that needs to be clarified whenever these kinds of documents are written because it is my understanding that more and more there will be distance learning classes around the campus. The other thing it doesn’t address and this is a problem mainly I think in the sciences is that we also have laboratory classes and there are lots of assignments and things that go on there that are not exam related but then again it’s very difficult to really make some of that up so there’s no…it just says class attendance, which I assume the people who wrote this meant to be lecture classes in a traditional format. But there are other kinds of classes around the campus. I would just encourage that those kind of things be thought out and included when these kinds of documents are revised.
Bill Sauser, chair: Dr. Parr do you have any additional comments?
Brian Parr, chair of Academic Standards: I just want to point out that this committee was only asked to evaluate the change that was proposed and sure there are lots of other problems, but that’s what we focused on.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you. And the chair has heard enough commentary on the issue to believe that it is controversial enough to carry over. What I’d like to do, I’d like to order the following that this remain in Academic Standards prevue. If they wish to leave it alone it would be voted on in August when we have the full Senate back. If they wish to bring forward a revised document we could put it on as an item of proposed action at our June meeting and then consider it in August. So Brian you have the choice of either leaving it as is or making some of the changes that have been recommended and then bringing it back for further consideration.
Of course my ruling is subject to the will of the Senate so if anybody wants to move to overturn my ruling you are welcome to do so. Seeing none we shall move on. Thank you everyone for your comments.
The next item on the agenda is Mary Boudreaux who is going to come forward and make a report on the CIA.
Mary Boudreaux, chair of Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (CIA): Thank you for having me today. [33:22] Before I get started on my presentation I want to remind you that there will be a tour of athletics facilities next week on May 15 at 2:00 p.m. Senators are invited there is plenty of room. If you want to go please send me an e-mail if you want to be on the list then you’ll definitely be included as to exact place where the tour will start.
I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning in Birmingham at 8:00 a.m., I am supposed to be out for 10 days, but I am hoping to be able to go and be at the tour, if not it doesn’t matter the tour will happen anyway. So if you guys want to go just send me an e-mail and I’ll make sure you get on the list.
We’ll go ahead and get started. This is a report from the CIA, committee on intercollegiate athletics and this is just a review of the thing we are going to cover here in the next few minutes.
To start off, this is the charge of what the CIA is. This is a committee that basically helps the president with regard to intercollegiate athletics, provides information to them, looks at policies, gives advice, monitors things with him. You can read the different things the CIA is involved in. We do meet 4 times a year, the fourth meeting is the tour. [34:39] Last year was the first year that we opened the tour up to Senators and we hope to continue to do that each year.
This is the committee composition. Basically you can see it is well represented. The Steering does and excellent job of selecting faculty for this particular committee, in addition of course the A&P chair and Staff chair are also on here, and the SGA president. So we’ve got a good group of people working together. These are the sub-committees on the CIA, we basically have several, academic standards awards, compliance, drug education testing, equity welfare and sportsmanship, priority seating, and then a new one that we started a couple of years ago, the athletic seminar series. And these are the chairs. I want to make a special comment about Randall Clark, he’s been the chair of the drug education testing advisory group for many years and he is excellent. We really appreciate his work.
I’ll start a little bit off on student athlete eligibility, I’m not going to say a whole lot about this, but basically this is the 40-60-80 rule. Steve Lautz, who is in compliance, is going to go over in more detail of what this is. But basically student athletes are a little bit different than the regular student even though we are supposedly treating them the same way. They really aren’t with regard to this. For a student athlete to remain eligible they must have completed 40% of their degree requirements by the end of their second year, 60% by their 3rd year and 80% by their 4th year. If they don’t do that they become ineligible to be a student athlete. I trust that most regular students do not have to do this. But student athletes have to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, really fast. Again Steve Lautz is going to go over this in just a few minutes.
One thing I want to talk about for a few minutes is graduation success rate, these numbers are released every year. The graduation success rate numbers are usually released in the fall and the APR, which I will talk about in a minute, are released in the spring. The graduation success rate was developed in response to comments to college and university presidents who wanted a better indicator of graduation success rates in our college students today. The old rate, the Fed rate, it’s still used, was what was being used previously and it really doesn’t give a good indication. I will compare the two to show you what’s going on there. But there is considerable difference between the Fed Rate and the Graduation Success Rate. One big difference is the Graduation Success Rate includes transfer students, it also includes students that start in January versus just in the fall, and it also excludes student athletes who have left the university but are still in good academic standing. Where the Fed Rate does not do any of those things.
Again the Fed Rate vs. Graduation Success Rate; Fed Rate assesses only first time freshmen in a given cohort and falls in over a 6-year period. It’s very limited because it ignores a large number of transfer students in higher education, but it’s the only rate that allows direct comparison between student athletes and the general student body. So it’s still used for that purpose if you are trying to get a handle on how the student athletes are doing compared to the regular student body.
Again the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) begins with the Fed cohort but it adds transfer students mid year enrollees and non-scholarship students in certain cases to the sample. Again if student athletes leave an institution on good academic standing before exhausting their athletics eligibility they are removed from that cohort.
This is sort of a comparison for the latest GSRs that was released last fall, this is for the 2002–2005 grouping. As you compare the GSR and the Fed rate (on the left) it shows enrolled, but when we add the freshmen that were enrolled in January, that adds to the GSR there is no addition for the Fed Rate. Two-year college transfers get added in, 4-year college transfer get added in, again they are not counted in the Fed Rate. For schools not offering aid they get counted in the GSR they do not get counted in the Fed Rate. So you see the difference in the number of students enrolled is considerably different when you compare the Fed Rate to the GSR. As far as allowable exclusion you can see that there’s basically death, church, military, things like that. You can see those numbers are comparable for the two and then as I mentioned, participants that left eligible are removed from the cohort as long as their academics are still good and also if a university drops a sport because of finances or whatever reason, those student athletes are also removed from the cohort. So those are the total numbers we are looking at now at the bottom there comparing the Fed Rate and the GSR.
As far as how Auburn did for this cohort at 2012, you can see this down at the end it’s .74. This is kind of a dramatic PowerPoint it looks like we are in a hole, but if you look at these numbers they are not that different. Quite frankly, when I do the math it’s not .74 it’s .76, but I can’t figure out what they are doing on the NCAA Web site, somebody’s math is screwed up. In general there really has not been much change, remember these are student athletes that entered Auburn University between 2002 and 2005, so we are 6-year out. So these are student athletes that started quite some time ago. At the bottom you can see some statistics for the individual sports.
This is how Auburn’s GSR compares to the other SEC Universities, again they are kind of the same, Auburn probably could do a little bit better, I think we will, I think we are trending upward. Again this is old data, but it gives you a comparison of how we compare with other SEC schools and how we compare to Division 1.
This is how the individual sports look at Auburn, men’s sports and women’s sports. You can see the GSR compared to the Fed Rate. Down at the bottom this is the Fed Rate, there is Division 1 over on the far left we are talking about over 2 million student athletes and you can see how that compares to Auburn. The far left is all students, the middle is Auburn students, and the far right is student athletes, because those are the numbers that you can compare with the Fed Rate.
This is how the GSR compares between Division 1 and Auburn. I’ve got the right number .76 instead of .74, but anyway this is how they compare, so it’s not that different from Division 1 overall.
So that’s the GSR the Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a little bit different. This is basically a different metric where what they are doing is looking at each team. Each student athlete on each team basically gets two points; one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible. They can loose those points if they become ineligible academically or if they leave the school. If they do both then that’s an 0 for 2. So each team is trying to make sure their student athletes keep their 2 points. They way you calculate the APR is to take the teams total points, divide by the points possible, multiply by 1,000, and that is what the APR is going to be.
This is just an example that comes right off the NCAA Web site, a lot of this comes off the NCAA Web site, it’s highly plagiarized I admit, yet it’s a good place to go to get basic information. This example give Division 1 Football team, they have 85 grants and aids, if 80 student athletes remain in school and are academically eligible, but 3 remain in school but are academically ineligible and 2 drop out, that’s going to add up to 7 points that they lost. So 7 from 170, which is their total possible points is going to be 163, multiply by 1,000 and that teams APR is going to be 959. You’ve got to keep in mind because this is a percentage kind of thing of course the teams that have a lot of student athletes they can loose more and have it not count as much against them as a team that only has a few student athletes, if they start loosing their points it really impacts them a lot faster than a team that has a lot of members.
Then NCAA calculates this rate as a rolling 4-year figure and it takes into account all the points that they can earn for remaining in school and being academically eligible during that period, and teams that do not earn above an APR specific benchmarks face penalties ranging from scholarship reductions to more severe sanctions. Teams that score below 925 and have a student athlete who basically is 0 for 2, both failed academically and left school, can loose scholarships up to 10 percent each year and under the immediate contemporaneous penalty structure. So it is very important for the teams to pay attention to what’s going on. For coaches to pay attention to what’s going on with their student athletes.
This is another thing that Steve Lautz is going to talk about, they are basically changing things, they are starting to ramp up the minimum APR for post-season play. They are ramping it up so that, right now it’s 900 but they are going to ramp it up to 930, so that if teams do not have a 930 in the future they will not be able to participate in post-season play. Right now if this rule was in effect there would be some champion, basketball especially, they would have never made it to the tournament, much less been champions.
This is what Auburn’s APR looks like, by the way this is last year’s posted in spring 2012. The spring 2013 is just about to be released so I will give you that information next year, but from what I’ve heard it is going to be better than what it is this year. Right now as you can see all of our teams are in pretty good standing as far as the APR is concerned. [46:06]
Talk a little bit about Title 9, Meridith Jenkins, the senior woman administrator here at Auburn was kind enough to give me this information. Remember Title 9 basically came about protecting women and women’s sports. In order to be in compliance with Title 9 guidelines a university that receives federal funding must comply with one of the three following prongs; proportionality, meaning athletic participation must substantially mirror the student body population, there must be a history of adding women’s sports to the athletics program, and they must be meeting the interests and abilities of the female students. At this point in time, Auburn is meeting all three of those prongs, remember they only have to meet one, but they pretty much are meeting all of those prongs.
This shows information that goes back to 1992–1993 of how many male athletes there were compared to female athletes. Then of course the male student body to the female student body, how many men and women were attending Auburn. Back in the day is was obviously way off, we were way, way skewed, we basically were not in compliance with Title 9. Started adding women’s sports, added soccer, added softball, added equestrian to meet one of those prongs. What I like about it is Auburn…what a lot of schools did in response to Title 9 is go in an eliminate men’s sports rather than add women’s, and Auburn’s reaction was to add women’s, which I think was fantastic. So it didn’t hurt the men it just helped the women. As you can see the numbers get better and better and it’s pretty much equal. Another thing Auburn has to pay attention to is because it has to be proportional, and there was a trend for a while where there were more women attending college than men so athletics has to keep up with that to make sure the proportion stays the same. They have done a good job with keeping up with that.
Financial aid component, there is a requirement that the aid percentages must be within one percent of the participation rates. Auburn provides the maximum number of scholarships in every sport with the exception of equestrian, but they became fully funded in 2010–2011, and they are in compliance with the financial aid component. The next slide shows the financial aid percentages and you can see over these several years things have gotten better and we’re pretty much right in line with that one percent that’s required.
Other things that are happening as far a Title 9 and this is also just because it’s mandated by the federal government, is that you have to make sure that other things are equal. This is a list of things that Auburn has to conduct a comprehensive review of to make sure they are equal for men and for women in sports. I have participated in some of these reviews in the past and they are doing a very good job of making sure women are treated the same as men with regard to a whole variety of things listed here. Right now they are undergoing another review.
I want to talk about some of the great things our student athletes have been doing, there are some accolades here. I’ll start with the Rhodes Scholars, 2009 Jordan Anderson, he was a men’s swimming and diving captain, he was a Rhodes Scholarship. In 2010 Erica Meissner and Krissy Voss were Rhodes Scholar finalists. 2011, Dan Mazzaferro was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, and last year Ashton Richardson was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Auburn is the only SEC institution to have 5 student athlete finalists in the last 5 years. You don’t hear this in the news, this is something Auburn should be proud of.
As far as APR this is some statistics that Gary Waters provided for me, over 50% of our teams had perfect APR scores for the last academic year, 75% of them have mulit-APR of 950 or higher. During the past year we had over 80 student athletes graduate. Walter Byers Award, that’s one of the most prestigious awards that are given by the NCAA, there were 6 finalists in the country, 2 of them were from Auburn. That’s remarkable. The other universities that were represented were Brigham Young, Winthrop, Washington University in St, Louis, Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. That was just phenomenal.
Little bit about Boyd McWhorter and Brad Davis, I give a more detail on that in a few minutes, but we have had more recipients of those awards than any other SEC school in the last 5 years. SEC scholar athletes of the year, Laura Lane and Blanche Alverson. Laura Lane won this award for 2 consecutive years and she was the only student athlete to win this award in gymnastics for 2 consecutive years. NCAA post gradate scholarships, I write all of these letters for these students, it’s fun writing them these are great students we’ve had 3 student athletes when this PowerPoint was written there have been more since I wrote this PowerPoint that have received NCAA post graduate scholarships and they are listed there, Erica Meissner, Katy Frierson, and Indy Roper. And then of course Ashton Richardson won the Bobby Bowden Award.
President’s Award recognizes a graduate in each college or school who has completed at least 3-semester at Auburn with a minimum grad point average of 3.4 and possesses outstanding qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability. It is the highest honor bestowed to any member of the graduating class. Three of these students were scholar athletes, Ashton Richardson, Amy Howard, and Kyle Owens. That’s fantastic.
Little bit about the SEC Academic Honor Roll, this is something that is provided every year. To give you some background as to how you get on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, they have to have a grade point average of 3.0 or above for either the preceding academic year or have a cumulative grad point average of 3.0 or above at the nominating institution. If they attend summer school it will be included in there. It includes student athletes eligible, they can be receiving an athletic scholarship, recipient of an athletic award and non-scholarship student athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons.
Prior to being nominated a student athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36-quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution. And they must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.
The next few slides we are going to go through quickly the spring SEC academic honor roll members for 2011 summer and fall and spring 2012. I am mostly showing these so you can see the variety of areas that these student athletes are majoring in. Some of you may recognize them these are not all people majoring in basket weaving, these students are in all different types of majors and again some of you may have taught them and should be very proud of them. These will be listed in the minutes so if you want to go back and take a look you can.
A little bit more about the Boyd McWhorter and the Brad Davis Awards. These are the awards that are given by the FARs to the student athletes. Two are selected from each school a male and a female and each student who is chosen at their university will get a $7,500 scholarship for the Boyd McWhorter one. This is for outstanding academic and athletic achievements during their college career, it’s given at the end of their college career at the end of their academic eligibility. What happens is we choose our two, and the others schools do as well, and then send our nominees up to the academic office, they collate everything and send it back out to all the FARs. The FARs read through all the documentation and then rank them, we are not allowed to rank our own, we rank everybody else. Then we send it back and based on the rankings what happens is only 3–4 student athletes are picked and those go back to the FARs and we vote on them at our meeting. Auburn was the only school that had both as finalists at the end to be voted on, the only one for this particular award. Blanche Alverson and Ashton Richardson.
Brad Davis is very similar except this particular award is more for community service activity. Again, same process we pick our two it goes to the SEC office, put everything together and it goes back to the FARs, we rank them, then only 3–4 come back. Auburn University again, the only school that had both student athletes as finalists, all 4 of our students were finalists for these awards, no other school had that. So it is quite remarkable how well our student athletes are doing with respect to these awards.
More stats on Grade Point Averages and things like that, again this is provided by Dr. Gary Waters. This is for the fall semester of 2012 it gives average team GPAs, etc. Again very good, our top team GPA was women’s tennis, top ten cumulative GPA–men’s cross country, team with the most 3.0+ GPAs–equestrian, and with the highest % of 3.0+ GPA–men’s cross country. So this is really good information, good data.
Just want to remind you that we do have this department seminar series that we’ve developed. If you guys get a chance to go it is an opportunity for the committee on intercollegiate athletics to get information out to the faculty/staff, students if they want to come about different aspects of athletics. Just wanted to give you a reminder that that is going on. We are recording these and they are available online if you are not able to attend the sessions. Here is the link. http://www.auburntigers.com/cia/
Just want to finish up with the SEC FARs. I am the faculty athletics representative as chair of the CIA. Just want to let you know about the other FARs. Again we added 2, Texas A&M and Missouri and this gives a little information about what their background is. We have one as provost, that’s Vanderbilt, 2 are associate deans, 3 are department heads and chairs, and 8 of us are professors. This also gives the background of what our areas are. And there are 3 lawyers in there, you should see them go at each other at these meetings. I sit back and say I have no idea what you are talking about. This is their background here.
Again I just want to thank the faculty, staff, administrators who are helping our student athletes achieve their goals. I can’t believe that other SEC institutions don’t have student athletes that are Rhodes Scholar level type students. What makes a difference is we have people in place here that help those student athletes get to that level. Helping them get there. I can’t say enough about how, Paul Harris for example, how much people work with the students to make sure that they are recognized for what they do. So I want to thank you all and please thank your fellow educators, staff, whoever. Thank them for helping these student athletes achieve the goals they have achieved. It’s remarkable, I love standing up here. You are not seeing any on this in the news, it’s too good of news and I want to make sure that we somehow get this out because this is really good news. And this is the truth by they way it’s not lies.
So as I said last year if you are trying to figure out what platelets have to do with athletics, platelets do make the ultimate team players. Thank you, I am going to let Steve come up here and give you a little bit more information. [58:43]
Bill Sauser, chair: Before I call on Steve, I first want to thank Mary Boudreaux. She knows something about platelets and she knows something about athletics as well. She is our chief academic who is watching out for the academic interests in the athletic program, she does a marvelous job. And Mary I want to thank you very much for what you do.
I want to call forward Steve to make his presentation. This is Steve Lautz who is associate athletic director of compliance. He just has a few comments to add that have to do with compliance issues.
Steve Lautz, associate athletic director of compliance: Thank you for having me here. My name is Steve Lautz. I am the associate athletic director of compliance. Dr. Boudreaux talked about the academic progress rate, I’ve got a laser pointer here which may work, maybe not, the APR that we submitted in June 2013 requires the old number 900. The new number, which we will be submitting in October of this year will require the new 930. And this is the phase in which we have gone through. So the numbers that we will be reporting later this year will be almost a year behind (8 months behind), it’s trailing data but it is much more on point or timely than the GSR and the FED rate that you see that’s trailing from 2003–2005, they looked at earlier. So I just wanted to show that to you quickly and note that the numbers are increasing, meaning higher standards. There are a couple of reasons for that change one is that there are more exceptions allowed. Our student athletes that turn professional don’t count against us, student athletes who transfer to another 4-year institution with a 2.6 GPA or better do not count against us, we don’t loose those points any more. When the number was originally invented by the NCAA, I have to laugh when Dr. Boudreaux says my number was 76 and theirs was 74, I feel that the NCAA says we make up numbers along the way but that 920 that was out there originally moved to 925, 930 is a little bit of a made up number based on, as Dr. Boudreaux said, the eligibility point and the retention point. Every student athlete who is on aid regardless of the sport can receive one point each semester for eligibility and one point each semester for retention. So a student athlete who is on for 2 semesters can receive 4 points. 4 for 4 if that individual transfers out but leaves with a 2.6 or higher and goes to another 4 year institution, instead of loosing that point as we used to going 3 for 4 we actually would go 3 for 3. Again it’s a made up number. But that’s where the numbers come from.
I wanted to talk about primarily about the eligibility component, the e number and that’s what this PowerPoint is. There are 4 real pieces to the eligibility puzzle, the first being that every student athlete has to complete a certain number of credits toward his or her degree each academic year. For incoming students in their first year they must complete 24 credits, if they come in early and use the first summer semester then the fall, spring and the backend summer semester, you can bookend the summers, but you get 24 credits that you must earn. You don’t have to declare a major at that point so we can use any credits to count to that 24 credits. All students, regardless of their year must earn 18 credits just in the fall and the spring. So you cannot load up and take all of your classes in the summer session to meet those requirements. Part of that fall and spring requirement came from student ethics themselves when legislation was pending. They want to be competing against other student athletes who are real student athletes that are taking classes each semester that are making progress toward their degrees each semester and not just loading up on classes in the summer. So student athletes are student athletes each semester.
A further requirement is that during each semester student athletes must pass at least 6 credits toward their degree. So in a scenario if you are a volleyball athlete, or football, or soccer, where your competition is in the fall, you cannot just slack off and take all of your classes in spring and be eligible, you will run into this 6 credit rule. The big sports, crossover swimming, men’s and women’s basketball where you are competing in both semesters you may loose eligibility after the fall and be ineligible in spring, or vice versa, you may regain eligibility after fall and be eligible in the spring. So the 6 credit rule keeps you on point there.
Dr Boudreaux talked about the 40-60-80 requirement, beginning at the third year the fifth semester every student must declare his or her major. I like the comment, we don’t really care how long the student athletes stay here we’ll keep taking their tuition money, but the NCAA requires that you move along and make progress toward graduation with a 5 year calendar. Doing that insures that you are making 20% of your degree in each year so the beginning of your third year you have 40%, and the beginning of your forth year you have 60%, and the beginning of your fifth year you have 80%. That is pretty straight forward, that changed about 6–8 years ago, where it used to be 25, 50, 75. That jump from 25 to 40 is significant. As student athlete young men and women are trying to figure out what they want to do, they really have to get on the ball pretty quickly so that the beginning of semester 5 they have 40% of a degree completed.
Additionally there is a GPA requirement, a minimum GPA to graduate at Auburn University is a 2.0. the NCAA drafts legislations based on your institutional minimum, so for Auburn after one year your second semester you have to have at least 90% of that minimum requirement, so 1.8; entering your third year a 95% or a 1.9; and the forth year and beyond you need 2.0. And that goes in perpetuity beyond that forth year.
So those are the 4 real pieces that go together for that eligibility piece. I would say that once our student athletes have met that eligibility piece we want to make sure that it’s in a major that they like and enjoy and are making progress toward it, but they are also making that retention point so hopefully they graduate with an Auburn degree that is useful for them in the future. Open it up to any questions.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you Steve. Are there any questions for Steve? If not, I want to thank you as well, we’ve heard two knowledgeable individuals speaking to us about athletics and academics and naturally if you have any questions you may certainly address either one of them through e-mail or in the future.
Is there any unfinished business to come before the Senate? Seeing none is there new business to come before the Senate? Seeing none, I declare the meeting adjourned. [1:06:50]