General Education Committee Minutes

November 1, 2004 (as amended)
325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:  Mary Leonard Anderson, Jess Hollenback, Emily Johnson (Chair), Eric Kraemer, Cris Prucha, Brian Udermann, Mike Winfrey

Excused Absence:  Sandy Grunwald, Bruce Riley, (Terry Beck-consultant)

Consultants Present:  Chris Bakkum, Keith Beyer, Diane Schumacher

Guests Present:  Katie Lindemann, Dean Stroud, Lee Ann Fatura


I.        M/S/P to approve the Minutes of 10/18/04.


II.     Service Learning and General Education –

·        Lee Ann Fatura and Dean Stroud visited the GEC to discuss how service learning could potentially play a role in Gen Ed and/or the First Year Experience.    

·        Lee Ann is an Americorps Vista Volunteer who has been brought to UWL as part of the Campus Compact.  Her role is to help move the conversation forward about what service learning is and the role it can play in an undergraduate education.  The ultimate goal is that service learning at UWL will be self-sustaining after the 3-year grant is over.  Lee Ann’s office is located in the Involvement Center (222 CC) and she can be reached via email at, or by phone at 785-8872.    

·        Dean and Le Ann will be invited back to a future GEC meeting to show a film on service learning.  Emily will send out possible dates via email.


III.   Chair’s Meetings –

A.     Several concerns were raised at the Chair’s Meetings, and the general sentiment was that faculty are feeling bombarded right now and they need time to focus on doing their course reviews.  Concerns/comments focused on:

·        Advanced electives posing a challenge to students in terms of trying to fit in major courses and GE courses

·        The FYE component and the perception that it will dictate the entire 1st year along with general concerns about limiting the flexibility of choices for students

·        Technology skills

·        The amount of time it takes for Gen Ed to do anything

·        Giving faculty models of a new structure vs. “don’t you dare!”

·        Increasing the number of credits vs. decreasing the number of credits

·        How much should Gen Ed fit accreditation standards of various depts/majors?

·        Learning outcomes will result in “teaching to the test”

·        Strong support for a freshman seminar in some cases

·        Strong support for integration of knowledge to permeate Gen Ed

·        Humanities are split into many categories while the sciences are lumped into one

B. Conference Reports – Emily gave a brief report about AGLS and mentioned an exciting session that discussed using accreditation agency outcomes that serve to strengthen Gen Ed programs.  She also pointed out that lack of understanding of the role of Gen Ed programs have, in some instances, eliminated allowed the probram to be eliminated.  

C. Gen Ed Mission Statement (who vs. that) - Either “who” or “that” is grammatically correct, so Emily’s recommendation was to leave it as it was (“…life- long learners that are knowledgeable…”) in the 10/18 minutes.

D. First Year Teleconference – GEC members are invited to attend on Thursday, December 2nd from 12pm-3pm.  Emily will send an email with a link to the website and further information.


IV.  Old Business

A.     What makes a course a GE course? – Emily charged committee members to seriously think about the list for the next meeting so that it can be used to notify faculty of the kind of courses the GEC wants to see it its GE program.  Does it say what we want it to say?  Does it limit possibilities?  Does it clearly articulate what type of course we’re looking for?  How can we define it more clearly?

B.     Assessment Strategies – Emily suggested that the GEC’s strategy for assessment be to send out a call within the next month for volunteers from departments to give a class during spring semester (and eventually offer something in return if necessary).

C.     Wording for Call for Proposals – Emily distributed a copy in review form and will send out a cleaned-up copy and a link to the web address where it can be found.  GEC members suggested adding recommended budgetary guidelines ($3000/team and $1500/individual), an indication of how many projects might be funded, and examples of successful projects in the past.

D.     PR and campus communication strategies –

·        Emily distributed a grid with proposed Gen Ed program outcomes and a draft flowchart that explains where the GEC has come from and where it’s going.  Neither will be made available yet, but suggestions were sought.  Considerable discussion occurred.  Opinions and recommendations were varied and ranged from support of to opposition to each of the handouts.  The comments made in summary were:  the grid looks good for now (with some tweaking) as an internal document;  and from a PR standpoint, the timeline needs to be looked at in terms of outsider perception of what has been done in the last 14 years.  The structure subcommittee will further discuss the grid at their next meeting (and eventually, maybe the flowchart too).  


V.     New Business

A.     Policy re: Second Writing Emphasis course if in a WIMP minor – Moved to next mtg.

B.     Rethinking our timeline and goals for ’04-’05 –  Emily distributed a revised timeline.

C.     Faculty Senate issues - After brief discussion of whether the GEC should ask Faculty Senate to give “approval” or “provisional approval” to the SLO’s, M/S/P to send as a motion from GEC to Faculty Senate that which is asked for in #6 of the revised timeline.

D.     Alumni Survey – Emily charged the structure subcommittee with taking a look at the Alumni Survey and deciding if GEC wants to try to do another one.


VI. Other – Nothing to report.


VII. Next Meetings

A.     Monday, November 15 (Health WIMP)

B.     Monday, November 29 (possible course reviews)


Meeting Adjourned at 5:40pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Katie Lindemann