UW Oshkosh Faculty Senate addresses coronavirus emergency plan

Amber Brockman, News Editor

The UW Oshkosh Faculty Senate discussed plans about how the university would continue instruction if the coronavirus threat became imminent to campus.

“There are a lot of different ways that this could go,” Faculty Senate President Druscilla Scribner said. “If we had to move instruction online, there would be support for faculty to help them redesign their course within Canvas in order to provide that online instruction.”

UWO Provost John Koker mentioned the possibility of shortening the academic semester to 12 weeks depending on the threat imposed by coronavirus.

The faculty senate also discussed the switch to online Student Opinion Surveys instead of administering them in class. This change will be implemented in fall 2020.

One faculty member that was critical of the current system, Karl Loewenstein, said the Student Opinion Survey is inefficient for the evaluation of teaching.

“The Student Opinion Survey is a flawed tool forced upon us by the system,” Loewenstein said. “We’re begging the question whether this is a useful tool at all and perhaps we should try to figure out if there is any data that shows that any of these questions actually improve instruction.”

The faculty senate voted to approve the following changes to curriculum:

-create Indigenous Studies Certificate

-discontinue Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate

-create Business Analysis Certificate

-create Business Analysis emphasis

-change ECON BBA elective requirements

-add to theatre electives for minor — 210, 212, 214, 216, 264

-replace Biology Major’s Healthcare-Science emphasis with Biomedical Science Major

-increase the number of required African American Studies courses to four and redesign minor