Adventures with the Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is an import functioning body on campus made up of mostly faculty, but also students and members of the Administration. The function of the Senate is to establish new polices or to improve/change existing ones in order to ensure a better academic learning environment. Topologically the Academic senate is composed of several committees: Chartered, Ad hoc, Election and Balloting, and several miscellanous ones.

Chartered committees are appointed by the Executive Senate or through the Election and Balloting Committee and exist for a number of years. Ad hoc committees are temporary in nature and are formed on an as-needed basis. Finally, there are committees that are appointed by the President of the University. These are the Administrative Boards and Committees.

The records housed in Archives date back to 1952 when the Academic Senate was called the University Senate; however, some committees actually predate the existence of the Senate. For example, the Library Committee was established early in the history of Youngstown College, in 1937. The purpose of the committee then was to raise funds to build a new library (which was achieved in 1953 with the opening of Tod Hall, the library being housed in the attic of Jones Hall prior to that date).

The processing of this collection was a bit of a daunting task mainly because of the abundance of material and different types of media (over 90 cassette tapes had to be converted to CDs). By the time the physically process was finished, the collection consisted of 13 boxes (16.9 linear feet) and 8 smaller boxes of cassettes and CDs. The physical process took about two months. Digitizing the collection was the next task after physically processing it. The digitizing was more difficult and time consuming. We scanned each folder into one PDF, which meant that each folder had to be broken down into several PDFs by the item, because we determined that scanning the collection by folder was more productive. This also allowed us to use the document feeder on the scanners and break down the larger files into smaller files instead of scanning each page by hand and saving the page as a single PDF.  This process took about six months.

While working on this collection, it was interesting to see the lengths in which academic policies are determined, such as student grievance policies, and the process involved in the creation of new programs, such as the writing of new curricula, the establishment of the Labor Students Program, and the formation of graduate programs.  The Senate was also involved with the transition of the academic calendar from Quarters to Semesters. The Ad hoc committee was created specifically for that purpose. It is clear that this University could not be as successful or as organized without this governing body.

Click here to go to the collection.

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One Response

  1. This is exactly the information I needed to complete my research on an English paper. Thanks for posting!

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