The KSC Senate met for the 525th time on Sept. 13, centering discussion on approval for a redesign of the Master of Science Public Health and Nutrition (MSPHN) program and Masters of Science Dietic Internship (MSDI) program curriculum revisions, among other topics.
The meeting kicked off with a courtesy period, in which Assistant Professor of Mathematics Karen Stanish, who serves as chair of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), noted that a search committee was established for the position of Registrar. Additionally, Stanish said she was serving as the Senate Representative on the search committee. The Equinox reported on Oct. 26, 2022, that former Registrar Paul Viau retired, which led Associate Provost Sue Castriotta to join the position on an acting basis. Since then, the position has yet to be permanently filled.
Following the courtesy period, revisions for MSPHN and MSDI curriculums became the centerpiece of discussion, as Dietician Internship Interim Director Stephanie Chmielecki explained the importance of an expedited approval for the programs redesign. “The issue that we’re really having is a significant decline… our applications have declined by 95% since 2018,” Chmielecki said. “We do have a harsh deadline of September 18th, in which updating information about our program will be put onto our accrediting audit website,” she explained. “The redesign really focuses on fewer barriers to entry.”
The debate about the use of an expedited approval process came about after Senator Jacob Favolise brought a point of order, saying that a proposed motion by Senator Graham Warder, violated Article VII of the senate’s bylaws, which state, “the relevant part of the motion to suspend will include the specific bylaw.”
Warder then amended his motion to temporarily suspend the bylaw, which would allow the Senate to act on behalf of the Senate Curriculum Committee (SCC) and the Senate Academic Standards Committee (ASC) in regards to the proposed curriculum redesign.
Typically, curriculum changes are considered by both the SCC and ASC before going to the full senate for a vote, but due to an encroaching deadline, Senator Nicholas Germana, who serves as chair of the SCC, said that it was an emergency situation which warrants quick action.
“We shouldn’t be using the regular process to do something irregular,” Germana said. “I’ve met with the sponsors, I’ve gone through the proposal, I, for one, support the motion,” he said.
Concerns for the move revolved around setting a precedent of circumventing regular order for curriculum changes. Provost James Beeby noted that the decision wasn’t about the nature of the program changes, but rather if there will be one at all if the senate wouldn’t act. “The alternative is we don’t have a program, and I think to make that decision based on timing would be very disappointing,” Beeby said. “This is a very different situation,” he noted.
After debate concluded, the motion to suspend the bylaws passed unanimously, aswell as the motion to change the curriculums. Following the votes, the senate committees delivered reports on current work. Academic Policy Committee (APC) Chair Greg Knouff noted work being done on revising the Academic Honesty Policy to account for improper use of artificial intelligence (AI), the withdrawal policy for courses, as well as collaborative work being done on possible updates to Dean’s List name listings to allow for chosen names, rather than birth names only.
Nathan Hope can be contacted at