Add/drop policy keeps faculty involved

Faculty Senate voted to endorse a policy requiring an instructor’s signature to add or drop any class after the registration period at its meeting Dec. 4.

The new add/drop policy has been in the works since the beginning of the semester when Vice President for Enrollment Andrew Wright brought a tentative plan to Senate. At that time, faculty responded with concern for their voices in the policy.

Since then, Wright has developed a new policy with faculty’s involvement in mind.

The policy, expected to be implemented before the spring semester, requires new freshmen and degree-seeking undergraduates with less than 30 credit hours to obtain both an instructor and advisor’s signature before adding or dropping classes.

Students with more than 30 earned hours, non-degree students and graduate students only need an instructor’s signature.

“They have to meet the faculty member,” Wright said. “That’s the way it’s been and how it will be, no matter what level the student is.”

He said students often have to run between offices to get an add/drop form signed. The new policy allows students to obtain the department chair’s signature in lieu of the instructor.

If the department chair isn’t accessible, the issue will move up to the college dean.

Wright said terms and conditions are made clear on the form to accommodate students and faculty unfamiliar with the new policy as well as to remind other faculty of the policy details.

“Students have to sign it. It gives the student responsibility if they come back later and say, ‘I didn’t know,’” he said.

Wright said the policy still needs to be tweaked.

“I have chatted with several people to see if (the policy) has met their needs, and it seems to,” Wright said. “I want to find out (if there’s) any feedback from this group, and then go from there.”

Senate Vice Chair Cindy Deloney-Marino asked Wright to consider the chemistry department in making the add/drop policy.

“If students take chemistry, they get a key to a drawer. It is $50 to rekey that drawer,” Marino said. “Apparently this is happening a lot where students drop the course without giving the key back.”

Wright said the new policy should address her concern.

“This is why we’re making that change to bring the instructor back into that process,” he said. “I hope the department chair or dean would know those specifics.”

Faculty Senate made a motion to endorse the policy as Wright presented. The policy now requires faculty involvement before adding or dropping a class.

“That was part of the issue this year,” Wright said. “We took the instructor completely out of the process. It’s feedback (Senate) provided as well as others.”