MQs, Equivalencies and Eminence, Oh My!

Standards and Practices Committee Chair

The title of this article pretty much describes the breakouts that I facilitated at the Fall Plenary Session. Among other things, the Standards and Practices Committee is charged with overseeing the Disciplines List and issues dealing with minimum qualifications (MQs), equivalences and eminence.

Well, I now know that I never have to worry about what to talk about at Session.

I was in charge of four breakouts this Session and I can say that the biggest topic in all of them were disciplines and equivalencies. All the attendees at these breakouts provided great topics for discussion, both in the breakouts themselves and for the future.

Disciplines List
One of the breakouts informed and alerted attendees to the start of the new two-year cycle for additions of new disciplines and revisions to existing disciplines on the Disciplines List. We last voted on changes to the List at the Spring 2007 Session. The next vote will be at the Spring 2009 Session. Between now and then, there will be several opportunities to review and discuss proposed revisions. Look for information in early 2008 on the Senate's website about this; we will also be sending out a letter to local senate presidents about the process. Another breakout was in response to an earlier resolution calling for exploring changes to the academic preparation necessary for some disciplines, possibly the use of specific bachelors degrees for a discipline (as opposed to the current designation of any bachelors degree) with related experience. The discussion will help the Standards and Practices Committee further its work on this. We also took a look at a new way to present the Disciplines List. The Committee had tasked Julie Adams, the Senate's Executive Director, with this and we thank her for taking the lead. Response to the proposed presentation was positive and we hope to go forward with it.

Equivalencies and Eminence
Wow, what a lively discussion in these breakouts! There are many questions out in the field about the equivalency process, including the use of eminence. We had conducted an online survey before Session about eminence practices and were able to report on the preliminary results (sorry, no bright path just yet) which the Committee will use to work on guidelines for eminence. I received a lot of good questions about equivalencies in general; I am still collecting the questions (and my thoughts) and will report on them in another Rostrum article or maybe an email to local senate presidents.

In addition, the Committee is working in conjunction with the System Office on a FAQ document for the minimum qualifications, equivalencies, credentials, and lots more. I handed out a draft of the FAQ for review-we hope to put it on the Senate's website and get feedback from all of you on this. I am confident that the final product will be useful for all of us.

I want to thank all the members of the Standards and Practices Committee (Julie Adams, Janet Fulks, Susan Myers, Beth Smith, Lynn Welch) for all their help throughout the year. And a special thanks to Mark Snowhite, Standards and Practices Member Emeritus who was a great help with these Session breakouts. Thank you one and all.