35th Faculty Senate

Vol. 35, No. 4 (amended)

October 26, 2000

I. Roll Call.

Present:  Bange, Barmore, Brooks, Claflin, Cravins, Gendreau, Heim, Hench, Hollenback, S. Kelly, R. LeDocq, Majak, Marx, Monte, Senger, Stroud, R. Sullivan, Tyser, Van Voorhis.

Excused:  Barnd, S. Krajewski, Odulana, Zellmer.

II. Approval of Minutes.

M/S/P to approve the minutes of the September 28, 2000 meeting.  (voice vote)

III. Reports.

There were no reports from the Interim Chancellor or the Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor.

Chair Bange announced that:

  • Later in the meeting Dr. Mary Hampton, Chair of the General Education Director Search & Screen Committee, will provide the senate with an update on that search process.
  • The 11-9-00 faculty senate meeting is canceled due to the change in the budgeting and planning process.  Presently, the Joint Budget Committee is prioritizing the budget and planning initiatives for governance review.  Chair Bange expects that this priority list will be available for the 11-16-00 faculty senate meeting.
  • The SEC has decided not to pursue the appointment of a task force to draft some policies for distance education and web-based curriculum.  To date, only three faculty have volunteered for this task which is not enough to form a viable committee and the SEC agreed it would be a mistake to proceed.
IV. Replacement for George Arimond on the Joint Promotion Committee.

Dr. George Arimond from the department of Recreation Management/Therapeutic Recreation is not able to serve on the Joint Promotion Committee this academic year.  The SEC is recommending that Dr. Jeffrey Steffen from the department of Exercise & Sport Science be named to replace him for the 2000-01 academic year.

M/S/P to approve the SEC recommendation that Dr. Jeffrey Steffen replace Dr. George Arimond on the Joint Promotion Committee for the 2000-01 academic year.  (voice vote)

V. A Motion for a Moratorium on Changes in the General Education Program.

The following motion from the Senate Executive Committee is brought to the senate for consideration:

M/S that a moratorium be placed on any changes in the General Education Program for the remainder of the 2000-01 academic year.

Chair Bange stated that part of the thinking behind this recommendation is that UW-La Crosse is in the process of hiring the first Director of General Education.  In addition, the intense controversy that arose last year over the addition of two new courses provides additional rationale for a period of stability.  The fact that the campus has an unusually large number of interim academic administrators may be an additional consideration.

Senator Claflin suggested that the general education program is at a juncture where it might be appropriate to pause.  Given the revenue driven budget and the quest by academic units for additional student credit hours, we may be using and modifying the general education program for many of the wrong reasons.  The SEC recommendation may give us an opportunity to pause and reflect.

The senate discussed the recommendation, which is strongly opposed by the General Education Committee.  The committee chair, Mary Hampton, cautioned the senate against placing the moratorium on any changes in the general education program.  She reminded the senate that the committee oversees all writing emphasis courses as well as writing across the major proposals.  Additionally, there are new courses already in the pipeline - what happens to them?

The MOTION that a moratorium be placed on any changes in the General Education Program for the remainder of the 2000-01 academic year FAILED.  (show of hands: 4-yes, 13-no,  1-abstain)

Update on the Search & Screen for the Director of General Education

Dr. Mary Hampton, Chair of the Search & Screen Committee for the Director of the General Education Committee reported that the committee met yesterday afternoon.  As a result of that meeting, the committee unanimously passed a motion that "due to the small pool of applicants, the Committee closes the search, broadens the minimum qualifications, and opens a new search."  Furthermore, in the list of qualifications, the committee is requesting permission to change the word "associate" to "assistant."

On behalf of the committee, Dr. Hampton met with Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor Rada and the Affirmative Action Officer, Al Thompson.  Both have approved the change in the position description and of re-opening the search.  If the senate also gives approval, current applicants will be notified and given the opportunity to keep their application on file.

The senate spent some time discussing this unusual request, and ultimately agreed to trust the wisdom of the members of the search and screen committee.

M/S/P the senate endorses changing the word from associate to assistant in the list of minimum qualifications for the position description of the Director of General Education.  (show of hands: 13-yes, 3 no, 2 abstain)
VI. Discussion of the J-term Report of the ad hoc J-term Work Group.

Chair Bange prefaced discussion of the J-term report with the following scenario of a student enrolled in an English class at UW-La Crosse.  A few weeks into the semester the student decides to drop the course and enroll in a comparable course at another institution within the UW-System.  After all, any student is free to take courses at another institution within the system unless the student has previously received an F in the course.  Then suppose that this other institution decides to offer the course as web-based over the inter-net… institutionally, we do not have control over a course offered like this.  Senator Hollenback reported that indeed the Academic Policies & Standards Committee looked into the issue last year and decided that we will rely on the accreditation process.  He said the committee recognized that the integrity of the course is assured as we only accept transfers from accredited institutions.

Turning to the issue at hand, Chair Bange doesn’t believe that UWL has done any assessment on J-term or M-term courses.  Indeed, in 5 years we have gone from offering one J-term course to offering over 50 courses.  Why would we treat J-term courses differently than we do regular courses?  Last year, the faculty senate approved two policy statements on J- and M-terms: that an n-credit course must meet on on n-different weeks for a minimum of 4 days/week; and that students are limited to taking one credit per week.

Discussion continued on the issue of J- and M-term courses.  The academic deans are not involved in the approval process of whether or not to offer interim courses.  That is done at the departmental level.  The problem is whether or not there is a genuine equivalence in terms of learning experience.  Are the courses being offered viable for that format?

M/S to charge the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to develop a policy for approving courses for offering during J- and M-terms.

In the discussion that followed, several points were raised:

  • Is the motion retroactive to all J-terms or are some courses Grand fathered in?
  • Some departments are already doing assessment.   Economics gives a pre-test and post-test to J-term students.
  • A few courses may lend themselves to a concentrated format - German for example.
  • Like the idea of departments/instructors justifying the material.
  • Presently, four-week summer session courses don't go through a review process.
  • Are they new courses designed for J-term format or old courses condensed to fit J-term?
The MOTION to charge the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to develop a policy for approving courses for offering during the 4-week summer sessions, as well as J- and M-term sessions PASSED.  (show of hands:  14-yes, 1-no, 3-abstain)

VII. Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Submitted by,
Thomas O. Claflin, Secretary