Photo by Eric Goodwin / Assistant News Editor
Update May 17: This article was updated to clarify that the committee meeting only voted on recommendation for approval of policies, opposed to voting on the full measures themselves.
Members of the MTSU Board of Trustees met Monday to discuss academic affairs, student life and athletics, in addition to voting on university policy item recommendations such as tenure and approving a new major.
The board, which replaces the Tennessee Board of Regents, has the power to approve the operating budget and make changes regarding student and academic affairs, in addition to other duties.
The board voted 4-0 to recommend setting in place definitions and rules regarding tenure for faculty members and the appeals process in relation to that. No major revisions were made from the former TBR policy.
While policy 301, which describes the admissions process and requirements for a prospective student to be admitted, passed 4-0 for recommendation, some members expressed concern at the lack of a criminal background check during the admissions process.
Vice President for Student Affairs Debra Sells said there is no current measure in place to check the criminal record of students being admitted to MTSU. However, criminal background checks are not commonplace in the admissions process at most universities in Tennessee.
Nonetheless, Chairman Stephen Smith said the university “should look at the criminal record, or lack thereof.”
The committee agreed to discuss the issue at a later date.
The last piece of policy to be voted on for recommendation, which creates a new major in the College of Media and Entertainment, passed 4-0.
If approved by the full board, the former Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication with a concentration in New Media Communications will be a standalone Bachelor of Science degree under the title of Interactive Media.
Journalism Professor Kenneth Blake said the rapidly changing pace of the industry requires the college to adapt to trends. Blake said the major uses tools such as virtual reality, augmented reality, video games and mobile platforms to equip students in the media industry.
All policies recommended at committee meetings will go before the full board for approval at a later date.
Committee meetings are typically held in MTSU President Sidney McPhee’s Conference Room. The president, overseas in China, joined the discussion over the internet, but lost connection a few minutes into the meeting.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in 206 Cope Administration Building. The board will discuss audit and compliance procedures. All meetings are open to the public.
For more coverage on the Board of Trustees, click here.
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