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Student Senate briefed on academic action plan

Oct. 11, 2007
By Jessica Alfrey

Student Senate heard from Charles McWeeny, dean of the College of Fine Arts, Wednesday night regarding Ohio University's five-year academic action plan. McWeeny chairs the academic action plan committee charged with gathering comprehensive feedback on a draft of the plan presented to the Board of Trustees in August.

Student Senate President Tim Vonville said he will send a copy of the draft to senate members to review for next week's meeting, when they will discuss it and prepare their feedback for the committee.

When finalized, the plan will guide how goals laid out in the university's Vision OHIO plan will be achieved. In addition to visiting Student Senate, academic action plan committee members will attend other constituency senate meetings, launch an interactive Web site and host a series of open forums to gather input on the plan. The committee will submit related comments and recommendations to Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl by Nov. 15. McDavis will present a final draft to the board in December.

Vonville also gave an update on the Student Senate committee that plans to assess last spring's student vote of no confidence in McDavis. The committee will confirm its strategy and create a timetable this weekend. In the meantime, External Chief of Staff Drew Goland said the group is awaiting a request filed with Legal Affairs for the names of voters who participated in last spring's election.

Student Patrick Heery made a presentation to announce several forums planned in coming weeks as part of the university's Difficult Dialogues project. The project, funded by a $100,000 grant, involves more than 200 Ohio University freshmen and seeks to create greater understanding on the topic of religion. The forums will be held Oct. 17, 22, and 23 and Nov. 1. A gay Lutheran minister will lead the first discussion.

In other meeting highlights:

  • Goland announced plans to create a new Web site for Student Senate, tentatively named "Student Senate Infinity." The site will be more blog-based and less formal than the old site in an attempt to better engage the student body. Goland also hopes to create a Facebook account for the Senate in order to "get our word out to more people about what we're doing and what we're about."
  • Academic Affairs Senator Chris Diehl reported that the university will create an annually updated online course catalogue to supplement the biannual print version.
  • University Life Senator Meghan Hanrahan announced she will work on a proposed resolution to create an alcohol amnesty committee. 
  • State and Federal Affairs Senator Bob Redd reported that all three candidates for Athens mayor plan to attend next week's senate meeting to give brief speeches and field questions. 

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