Minutes of the General Education Committee Meeting

April 1, 2002

325 Graff Main Hall


Meeting was called to order at 3:36 p.m.


Members Attending:  Emily Johnson (chair), Tom Pribek, Jess Hollenback, Roger Reinsch, Sandy Grunwald, Mary Leonard, Jean Hindson, Brenda Soto-Torres, Mike Winfrey


Consultants:  Diane Schumacher, Theda Holder


Guest:  Laura Nelson


Minutes of the March 4 meeting were approved.


Copies of Tom Pribek’s notes from the last meeting, Emily Johnson’s memo on outcomes and the report from the General Education Conference in Dallas, Texas were distributed.


CST 110  Backlog

The following information and comments informed the discussion and decision-making concerning this issue:


By 2006, 350 fewer students will be entering as freshmen, barring changes due to budget considerations.  However, this will not have a very big impact on the backlog problem. 


Laura Nelson reiterated the seriousness of the situation.  The problem has developed and exists independently of whatever effect (expected to be minimal) enrollment management will have.


Records and Registration has requested 44 sections for next fall; that request has the support of the Dean of CLS. 


Students need to be made aware of the consequences of putting off taking required courses.


Some committee members are uncomfortable with recommending specific numbers of sections to be offered.


M/S/P (2 abstentions). The GEC recommend to the Provost that he make an effort to ensure availability and the necessary funding for General Education courses in general and, in particular, for offering 44 sections per semester of CST 110 for the next two academic years (with 40 sections being the minimum acceptable number). A two-year time frame would give the GEC an opportunity to see what effect additional sections would have on the backlog.


Instead of taking a stance on the issue of blocking upper-level students from taking CST 110, the committee endorsed the recommendation that all juniors and seniors who have not yet taken CST 100 be advised by e-mail that they should take the course as soon as possible.  The committee also endorsed a document that will be circulated to all academic advisors and to the Racquet with the intention of strongly encouraging upper-level students to complete the CST 110 requirement as soon as possible.  Laura Nelson said that the Communication Studies Dept. is committed to offering as many sections as necessary of CST 110 during May Term and Summer Session to answer the demand.  Steps will be taken to publicize the availability of extra sessions, as needed, this summer.


Goals/Student Learning Outcomes

After considerable discussion it was decided that the Goals/Outcomes to be circulated for feedback across campus would include 6 main items. The first 5 statements were agreed upon by consensus at the March 4 meeting. The sixth statement includes a revision of Jess Hollenback’s statement on “systems”.  Outcome number three (knowledge of a wide array of disciplines) would have bullets which flesh out the intent of “wide array of disciplines” and would include # 6 of our list of agreed upon statements and #’s 5, 6, and 7 of the Non-consensus items.  Emily will revise the draft and send it out to the committee for immediate feedback.


Other items of business for the last two meetings:

1) Use of Innovations in General Education funds for faculty development in Gen Ed.  Funds should be designated as soon as possible yet this fiscal year(subcommittee of Mike Winfrey, Sandy Grunwald and Emily Johnson will meet on this.)

2) NSSE report (representatives from the project will give a short report to the committee at the next meeting)

3) Writing in the Major Program proposal from Computer Science (handed out; please read for the next meeting)


At the April 15th meeting GEC will also consider development of a plan for next year. Topics to be considered include

1) Discussion of an integrated freshmen-to-senior General Education program

2) Discussion of the Freshmen Experience, including role of UWL 100 in Gen Ed


Meeting was adjourned at 5:44.


Respectfully submitted,


Jean M. Hindson