Staff Writers

Students and their advisers may be seeing less of each other in 2005 after the Undergraduate Council voted unanimously to change UT's advising policy on Tuesday.
Undergraduates are currently required to meet with their adviser once a semester to be cleared for registration. This policy, though created to encourage faculty interaction, has resulted in more problems than it was intended to solve, according to the Undergraduate Academic Policy Committee report.
The new policy will require students with more than 30 credit hours earned at UT to meet with advisers only once a year in a semester assigned by the last digit of their student identification number. Transfer students, freshmen and those on academic review will continue mandatory meetings with advisers on a semester basis.
Though these changes will reduce the number of required advising appointments, students will still be free to consult faculty as needed.
According to Academic Policy Committee findings, the existing policy is not enforceable, some faculty view advising each semester as a nuisance and quality of visits results in a signature on a card.
Advising was not the only UT policy the Council voted to change. Withdrawals will no longer fall under a withdrawal passing or withdrawal failing designation. Instead, there will be a universal W that will constitute hours attempted, but not be factored into the GPA.
This will aid incoming freshmen attempting to maintain a 2.75 GPA for the H.O.P.E. Scholarship, according to Richard Bayer, Dean of Admissions.
"It's to the advantage of the students," Bayer said.
Debate arose about the 12-week period of withdrawal at UT while other Tennessee universities set withdrawal deadlines between the 5th and 9th weeks of any semester.
"I think 84 days is too long. What message are we sending to students if we allow them to drop on the twelfth week out of a 15-week semester?" Mary Albrecht, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, said.
"Reducing the number of weeks too far will overload the advising centers with appeals from students with legitimate appeals after the deadline," University Registrar Monique Anderson, said. She mentioned that experiments with earlier UT deadlines yielded up to 800 appeals per semester.
The Curriculum Committee suggested changes to course descriptions and listings for the College of Nursing and the College of Social Work.
Also addressed was the dropping of courses listed in the catalog but not taught in the past four years, according to Robert Hinde, associate professor of chemistry.
He described a plan to streamline the course catalog by requesting departments to list specific semesters for each course to be taught. This extra planning would prevent departments from describing courses in the catalog that are no longer taught.