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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 12, 2000)
Appeals hit senate committee
When the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
raised its admission standards in 1997, some
thing else increased as well - the number of
appeals filed by academically dismissed stu
Now, the 10-member academic standards
committee, which reviews the appeals of acade
mically dismissed students, is too small to deal
with the number of appeals, said Max Kirk, for
mer chairman of the Committee on Committees.
The issue was brought before the members
of the Academic Senate at their Tuesday after
noon meeting in the Nebraska East Union.
A new motion presented at the meeting
could change both the size of the committee and
the way its members are selected.
Don Gregory, director of general studies and
an associate professor of English, said the com
mittee has reviewed more than 20 appeals each
year for the past four years.
Although it is necessary for only four or five
members of the committee to view each appeal,
with just 10 members, the committee often finds
it difficult to schedule a time when enough mem
bers are able to attend, Gregory said.
Furthermore, no new members have volun
teered to serve on the committee.
“The same people end up reading more than
their fair share of appeals,” he said.
When appeals are submitted, the committee
members read them and determine whether it is
in the best interests of everyone involved, includ
ing the university, to allow the students to remain
Factors such as learning disabilities, high
school, previous college performances and ACT
scores are all taken into consideration.
Kirk, a construction management professor,
presented a motion that would increase the num
ber of members on the academic standards com
“Because we’re getting a lot more appeals in
front of this committee, we need a lot more peo
ple,” Kirk said.
The motion would also change the way
members are selected.
Currently, committee members simply vol
unteer. If the motion would pass, they would
instead be chosen by the colleges’ deans.
The motion would also allow staff members
to serve on the commitjpe. Currently, ohly facul
ty members can serve.
Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Walter Mientka said many of the cases presented
to the committee were measured by how well
students performed in the classes taught by fac
Because only faculty members know the
expectations they have of their students, it isn’t
fair for the staff members to determine the stu
dents’ academic fates, Mientka said.
However, Kirk said some faculty members
actually requested staff members be allowed to
serve because staff members often write the
the executive committee was also unsure
whether staff members should be allowed to
serve on the committee.
“This was discussed at length, and we didn’t
agree,” Latta said.
Other members, including Kathy Prochaska
Cue, thought the lack of volunteerism hinted at a
“Since we know (volunteering) is an impor
tant part of our role as leaders, why isn’t this
working? I think it isn’t seen as a valued role by
faculty members,” Prochaska-Cue said
No action was taken on the motion at
Tuesday’s meeting. The issue will be discussed
again next month.
“If we can get 22 people to volunteer by the
next meeting, this isn’t an issue anymore,” Kirk
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Senate identifies semester goals
A new semester means new items on the
Academic Senate agenda.
Gail Latta, Academic Senate president,
said establishing a wayto negotiate contracts
between the university and faculty members
regarding the ownership of intellectual prop
erty tops the priority list.
Intellectual property, which includes
Web pages and recorded lectures and courses
on videotape, among other things, is a rela
tively new concept, Latta said.
When a faculty member writes a book or
undertakes other projects outside of the
classroom, the professor is entitled to those
profits, Latta said.
But when professors build Web pages or
record lectures, they use university
resources, she said.
The question then is: Who gets the royal
“The institution doesn’t fully compen
sate faculty for what they do with their
knowledge,” she said.
Forums addressing this issue have been
scheduled by the Academic Senate tor
Thursday in the Nebraska Union and for Jan.
21 in the Nebraska East Union.
Also this semester, the Academic Senate
is rewriting a bylaw that could change the
way faculty members’ time is allocated.
Faculty members are expected to divide
their time among teaching research, service,
extension and administrative duties.
The rewritten bylaw would allow faculty
members to spend more time in the areas
they excel in, Latta said.
“We want to respect academic freedom
while addressing the needs of the depart
ments,” she said.
A post-tenure review policy implement
ed almost two years ago will also be looked at
by the Academic Senate.
The policy stated if professors had two
consecutive years deemed below satisfactory
by end-of-the-year evaluations, they would
undergo a broader review.
But the criteria for what was below satis
factory wasn’t in effect until after the new
policy was approved. Latta said the policy
was unfair until the criteria had been in effect
for two years.
Flu slams Lincoln;
students fare OK
By Matthew Beermann
Winter means flu season, but this year the bug
is hitting the community particularly hard.
According to the Lincoln-Lancaster County
Health Department, there have already been more
influenza cases reported this year than at the
height of last year’s season.
Hospitals around the city are completely full,
and ambulances are being forced to deliver
patients in rotation so no one facility is over
whelmed. More than 400 cases had been reported
by Jan. 7.
But students may have gotten off lucky.
“I don’t think we’re seeing as much flu here on
campus as in previous years because more stu
dents and staff are getting vaccinated,” says Linda
Rizijs, assistant director of the University Health
Because influenza is a virus, it mutates every
few years, so doctors must continually monitor
for new forms of the illness and develop new vac
1 his year s strain [Influenza A] is the same as
the previous few years, so the vaccine is closely
matched to the virus - meaning that you’re better
protected by it,” Rizijs said.
The Centers for Disease Control estimated
that this year’s vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effec
tive in preventing the flu. All cases reported local
ly have been Influenza A.
Rizijs said it wasn’t too late to get a flu vacci
nation for $8, at the University Health Center.
“Groups of people who are in close contact
are at risk and should get vaccinated,” Rizijs said.
“This can make college students more vulnerable
- classes, greek houses, dormitories - one person
coughs, and everybody gets it.”
Rizijs said students who had been exposed
could lessen the blow.
“If you know you’ve been exposed, and you
get to the Health Center within 24 hours,” she
said, “we’ve got ways to prevent the flu from set
ting in or make it less severe.”
Most cases of influenza are not severe, but in
some cases, they can be lethal. People with
extreme symptoms should contact the Health
Center or their doctors immediately.
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