- The Academic Standards and Student Records committee met on October 23, 2004 in the Industrial Education and Technology Center, room D9B. Members present included Dr. Michelle Abrego, Ms. Mari F. Chapa, Dr. Janna Arney, Dr. Eldon Nelson, Dr. Ruth Ann Ragland, Mr. Tom Welther, and Mr. Steve Wilder. Mr. Charles R. Beevers, Director of Environmental Health & Safety and Energy Management and Mr. Julio Ledezma, Facilities Coordinator, were attending as guests.
- The meeting was called to order at 3:20 p.m.
- Since there was no quorum initially, reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting was postponed. Towards the close of the meeting, there was a quorum; however, the chair, being busy taking notes, neglected to return to reviewing the minutes.
- At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Nelson asked Mr. Ledezma what was being done about having too many students in a classroom. Mr. Ledezma replied that before the fall, spring, summer I, and summer II terms, his staff regularly takes inventory to check the original capacity of each class room. If a class is up to three students over the limit, the chair’s signature of the department in question is required. If additional students, beyond the three extra ones, are supposed to be in a class, the dean’s signature is required. The maximum capacity of each classroom is determined by the original floor plan. Normally, when a classroom is filled over capacity, nobody is being dropped to be within the occupancy limit of the classroom. Instead, Mr. Ledezma will contact Physical Plant to add another seat, if permissible, or another location for the class will be found. However, usually, some students drop the class for other reasons than crowdedness, and, thus, emergency measures are often not necessary.
When Dr. Nelson asked where the decision was made concerning the size of a class, Mr. Ledezma answered that this decision was made in the departments. He also mentioned Mr. Jamar and Dr. Adams as being teachers who attract large numbers of students, which often results in more seats being needed. Unfortunately, students tend to move furniture around to alleviate overcrowded conditions, without having the authority to do so. Mr. Welther then asked whether overcrowded conditions in classrooms were created by the departments. Mr. Ledezma answered that basically the departments caused overcrowded conditions and that even conference rooms were sometimes filled with classes due to lack of appropriate space. Mr. Ledezma also mentioned that the university had to be careful about having furniture in the hallways because of existing fire codes. At this point, Mr. Bevers explained that a classroom’s capacity was determined by the fact that each student had to be allotted 20 square feet. In the case of laboratories, such as computer labs or chemistry labs, the square footage needed per student was 50. Once a room included 50 students or more, two exits were required. Tandy 213 is in open violation with this rule.
- Dr. Ragland commented that classes will have to be moved from the main campus to ITEC to alleviate the crowdedness in classrooms on the main campus and further mentioned that up to 80 classes could be taught in ITEC in the evening. Five Business graduate classes were already being taught in ITEC. The BAT office will be housed in ITEC and so will be related general education, industrial technology, and other supportive classes. However, she also acknowledged that even moving classes will not be a permanent solution because the university will keep on growing. She also pointed out that Dean Philips is talking about offering other general education classes in ITEC. Dr. Arney thought that driving from the main campus to ITEC should not pose a problem as ITEC has ample parking; however, going the other direction is a different matter due to the main campus’ parking problem.
- To locate more space, Dr. Nelson inquired what was going to happen to the Duffy Building. Mr. Ledezma responded that he hadn’t heard anything about it. Mr. Welther asked on what basis classrooms were assigned, and Mr. Ledezma answered that classrooms were normally assigned on a first come first served basis. However, he mentioned that capacity was a factor in assigning classrooms, too.
Dr. Ragland offered teaching classes during off hours, such as Friday afternoon, Saturday, or 7 a.m. classes, as a possibility to combat the space crunch. Dr. Arney asked if there were any other dead times. Both Dr. Ragland and Mr. Ledezma then mentioned that noon and 3 to 4:25 p.m. were good candidates. However, Dr. Abrego pointed out that no teachers would be available at 3 p.m. since they were still in school at this time. To assure that classes offered at atypical times would fill, Dr. Nelson suggested to have them taught by teachers most in demand.
- Mr. Ledezma explained next that since the spring 2004 schedule had already been finished, no extra classes could be moved to ITEC with regard to spring. Dr. Ragland noted that Dean Holt was in charge of scheduling classes at ITEC, and Dr. Arney observed that the various departments would have to start thinking about fall 2004.
- Next, the committee explored the capacity of ITEC, with Dr. Nelson asking as to how many classrooms ITEC had. Mr. Ledezma mentioned that there were fewer than 40. Dr. Ragland again mentioned that ITEC could handle a total of 80 night classes and 15000 students in total. Mr. Wilder expressed some skepticism as he thought that there was a preference for morning classes among the students. Dr. Ragland noted that the university needs to establish a waiting list to provide better placement for students.
- At 4:30 p.m., Dean Holt, who came strolling along, offered to give the committee a sweeping tour of ITEC. At this point, the meeting unofficially ended, and the members of the committee followed Dean Holt on a tour that brought home the vastness of ITEC and of the still pending work to be completed in order to fully exploit its potential.