Academic Affairs Committee

The Academic Affairs Committee is an elected, standing committee of the Arts & Sciences Faculty which is responsible for curricular oversight.  The role of AAC is described in the Faculty Handbook Section IV: Policies and Procedures of the College of Arts & Sciences and in Section V: Bylaws of the College of Arts & Sciences.  This page excerpts portions of those documents that pertain to the Academic Affairs Committee.  Click Here for the 2013-2014 Academic Affairs Minutes.

 

Bylaws of Arts & Sciences

The Academic Affairs committee is referred to in the Bylaws in Article VII: Standing Committees of the Faculty as follows:

 

Article VII: Standing Committees of the Faculty

 

Section 1. The Academic Affairs Committee

Responsibilities. The Academic Affairs Committee shall have primary authority in all policy matters concerning curriculum, student academic standards and honors, academic advising, continuing and graduate education programs of the College of Arts and Sciences, the library and media services, and in all matters pertaining to academic schedules and calendars. Each year, the committee shall issue an advisory statement to the appropriate Deans on the appointment and replacement of members of the faculty.

Membership. Membership of the Academic Affairs Committee shall consist of twelve voting members: eight from the faculty (four at large and four divisional, the latter of whom shall be selected from within the division they represent) and four students chosen by the Student Government Association. The students shall be appointed at the beginning of the academic year and remain on the Committee for a period of one year. The Dean of Arts and Sciences serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

 

Policies and Procedures of Arts & Sciences

The role of AAC is further explicated in the Faculty Handbook Section IV: Policies and Procedures of the College of Arts & Sciences.  The mentions of AAC in that document are as follows:

Determining Credit Hours and Number of Courses

Most courses that meet a minimum of 150 minutes a week for up to 13 weeks and include an additional exam period earn four semester units of credit.  Non-laboratory courses that meet a fourth or a fifth hour a week earn a maximum of five credit units.  Laboratory courses earn up to five or six credit units depending on the length of the laboratories (two or four hours).  Studio and performance courses generally earn two to three credit units.  Credit units for short-term courses of variable length are awarded based on the following calculations:  each unit of credit requires a minimum of 8.125 contact hours per term.

As part of course requirements, Rollins faculty expect students to spend considerable time outside of class each week working on course-related activities.  Students should expect to spend three hours out of class for every hour in class.

The credit hours and levels of courses are determined by departments and are reviewed and approved by the Academic Affairs Committee.

Grade Appeals

A student who wishes to appeal a grade will first consult with the instructor to determine whether an error has been made or the instructor wishes to reconsider the grade.  If this is the case, the instructor submits a grade change request to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  If the student is dissatisfied with the results of that consultation and wishes to pursue the matter further, s/he will meet with the chair of the department, who in turn must inform the instructor of the substance of the student’s appeal.  The chair acts as a mediator to attempt to resolve any disagreements and consults with the instructor about the grading process.  Only the course instructor has the authority to change the grade at this point.  The Dean of Students, President of the Faculty, and chair of the faculty member’s department (should the instructor be the chair of the department, a tenured member of the department or division will be selected by the department) must agree by two-thirds that it can be plausibly argued that these conditions are met in order for the appeal to proceed to the Academic Affairs Committee.  Perceived or actual differences in grading policies or standards between instructors, which are not a violation of College policies, are not a basis for further appeal.  Further appeals beyond the chair of the department will be allowed only when the student can furnish evidence that the final grade was affected by the student’s opinion or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards, bias based upon matters unrelated to academic standards, or the failure of the instructor to follow his or her own stated policies or College policies.

If these conditions are met, the student may proceed with the appeal to the Academic Affairs Committee by submitting a letter describing the situation to the Dean of Students.  This appeal must be made within one year of the conclusion of the course. The Dean of Students will request from the department chair a written account of the mediation process described above and its results, if any.  The Dean of Students may request any other appropriate documentation.  The Dean of Students prepares all documents related to the case for submission to the Academic Affairs Committee.  These documents are made available to the student and instructor to review and respond.  Their responses, if any, are included with the materials submitted to the Academic Affairs Committee.  The Dean of Arts ans Sciences shall receive the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee, review all documents, and make additional inquiries if necessary before reaching a decision.  After such review the decision of the Dean of Arts and Sciences is final.

Course Guidelines

New Course Approval

New courses proposed for fall or spring term should be described in detail on a "New Course Approval" form available in the Office of Student Records.  After initial departmental approval, the Academic Affairs Committee reviews all new course proposals and makes recommendations to the department and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  Courses to be approved for a given academic year must be submitted no later than February of the preceding academic year.