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Faculty Senate discusses religious observance policy, athletic director Mohajir visits Exclusive

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 19:12


Staci Vandagriff, Photo Editor

Athletic director Terry Mohajir spoke to the faculty senate Friday afternoon in the Delta Economic Center about how he wishes to have a strong relationship between athletics and academics.

The Faculty Senate took time Friday to discuss resolutions proposed this semester.

            Andy Mooneyham, associate professor of education, presented a religious holiday observance policy that didn’t seem to please the senate.

            Mooney and the committee looked at other universities’ policies to make sure they created something similar.

“The policy is tailored for our university as well,” Mooneyham said.

            In the policy it is stated that the university will make reasonable accommodation, upon appropriate request, for such religious observances.

“It would be the student’s responsibility to let (the professor) know within the first 11 days of classes,” Mooneyham said.

            Many of the senate members were confused about why the policy wasn't left up to the administration.

"Why should faculty senate decide?" Bill Humphrey, professor of animal sciences, asked.

            The senate discussed whether it was appropriate to allow faculty to decide if an absence is legitimate or not.

            John Hall, professor of psychology and counseling, said the policy has to be real simple.

"It needs to be something that we don't have to fill out forms on," Hall said. "I think this will really burden faculty with all the other things they have to do."

            Mooneyham stressed that it was just a procedure.

"The form is for the student's if they want to fill it out," Mooneyham said. "You just have to know that a student may come to you."

            It was decided the committee would reconvene and revise the policy.

Athletic director Terry Mohajir introduced himself to the faculty senate and explained his wish to have a strong relationship between athletics and academics.

“On behalf of the athletic department, we have an open door,” Mohajir said.

            As a former student and student athlete, Mohajir is often asked about his athletic experience at ASU.

“My athletic experience wasn’t nearly as good as my academic experience.” Mohajir said. “I don’t think you guys realize how important you mean to our student athletes.”

            Mohajir told the senate that 60 percent of athletic students made the honor roll and it was the first time in history for a combined gpa of 3.0 or above. More than half of the football team had a 3.0 and four teams won the gpa award this year, including men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and football.

            Melissa Jackson, director for the Wilson Advising Center, told the senate that they were looking to revise the mission statement. In a study done in 2009, it was found that on the ASU campus, there was no common mission within the colleges. “We want to have common themes with what advising is,” Jackson said. “Advising is about helping to build a relationship with the student.”

            Jackson said it is vital for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to advising, and they would like the revised statement to be included in the faculty handbook.

“We are looking for support to embrace advising,” Jackson said.

            The revised Adjunct Faculty Resolution passed with a majority vote after amendments and corrections were added.

            The Faculty Credentials Resolution didn’t pass until after amendments were made.

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