Changes next semester to the co-​​op prep course and a res­o­lu­tion on fac­ulty raises were among the items dis­cussed Wednesday in the Fac­ulty Senate’s final meeting of 2013 before winter break.

At the start of the meeting, a Senate Agenda Com­mittee report noted that there would be changes made to the co-​​op prepa­ra­tion course this spring. The changes will be piloted in a couple of the courses next semester, and then based on the out­comes, fac­ulty can review the mate­rials and make rec­om­men­da­tions based on their spe­cific units.

Co-​​op stu­dents are required to take the prepa­ra­tion course that covers topics such as career explo­ration, writing resumes, inter­views, and work­place eti­quette. The goal is to make the course more reflec­tive and strengthen the inte­gra­tion of class­room study and co-​​op work.

Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs, re-​​affirmed to the Senate that the cur­riculum is the purview of the fac­ulty and said it is the faculty’s duty to con­tinue to push for edu­ca­tion reform.

There is no ques­tion that the fac­ulty owns the cur­riculum,” Director told the Senate, “but we all have the oblig­a­tion to con­stantly review cur­riculum and review how we deliver courses to make sure we are doing it in the best way possible.”

Later in the meeting, the Finan­cial Affairs Com­mittee pre­sented its rec­om­men­da­tion for a 3.5 per­cent merit raise pool to fac­ulty salaries begin­ning fiscal year 2015. It would take effect July 1, 2014.

Jacque­line Isaacs, a mechan­ical and indus­trial engi­neering pro­fessor who pre­sented the committee’s rec­om­men­da­tion, said salary increases are essen­tial to retaining quality fac­ulty and hiring new ones.

The fac­ulty salaries have shown a lot of suc­cess and brought a lot of good things to the uni­ver­sity,” she said. “We need to con­tinue to sup­port our faculty.”

The Senate passed the res­o­lu­tion, which is a rec­om­men­da­tion to the uni­ver­sity admin­is­tra­tion. Com­pen­sa­tion rates for fac­ulty and staff are ulti­mately deter­mined by the university’s senior lead­er­ship team and announced in the spring.

An infor­ma­tional item also noted at Wednesday’s meeting was a pro­posal in the works that would change the point in the semester when a stu­dent can drop a course or receive a “course with­drawal” grade. The cur­rent policy states stu­dents must do so two to three weeks before finals, and the pro­posed change would extend the dead­line to the last day of classes. Any change to this policy would come before the Senate at a later time.