General Education Committee Minutes

April 4, 2005

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:  Mary Leonard Anderson, Sandy Grunwald, Jess Hollenback, Emily Johnson (Chair), Eric Kraemer, Cris Prucha, Bruce Riley, Mike Winfrey

Members Absent: Brian Undermann

Consultants Present:  Chris Bakkum, Bruce May, Diane Schumacher

Guests Present:  LeeAnn Fatura


I.  Old Business

      A.  The Faculty Senate Report will be discussed at Faculty Senate on April 14th.  Since the first version, the recommendations have been changed and turned into “GEC Commitments for Program Quality and Improvement.” Suggested changes and comments were as follows: 

·         The section titled “What Have We Learned?” will be changed to “Program Assessment and Other Information” and subtitles will be added.

·         On page 3 the paragraph beginning with “An ad hoc GEC committee…” will instead begin with “In response to course reviews…”.

·         Web addresses in the document will be renamed as word or short word hyperlinks, and then the full URL listed in the reference section. 

·         It was suggested that the “Course Review” section was too long, please get back to Emily with your suggestions on this.  On a similar note, it was also suggested that the “Student Perceptions” section be cut-down and put into an attached spreadsheet. 

·         A shorter executive summary will be available for general campus release in addition to the full report. 

·         Most of the “Commitments” have already been shortened.  However, questions were raised as to whether Commitment #3 implied that we are going to do away with the distribution model.  Emily will work on the wording that includes “a broad liberal education.”  Commitment #9 was changed to “Exploring ways to make the program…”

·         In the attachment of GEC activities 2001-2005 the fall workshop and SENCER grant will be added.

·         The UW-System and La Crosse Mission, bylaws and Strategic Plan will not be attached for Faculty Senate. 

      M/S/P  GEC unanimously endorsed the commitments for program quality and improvement as revised.  


B.  Recommendations for the Summer Design Team were discussed.  At this time, suggestions are that it include two GEC members, two Faculty Senate members and others with a commitment to general education.  If you would like to nominate someone for the committee, let Mike Winfrey know.  Emily will not be a part of this team.


     C.  The Writing Coordinator Proposal has been rescheduled for April 18th.


II.  New Business

A.  The ad hoc committee discussed the changes that they are proposing and the rational behind those changes. One criteria used by the ad hoc group was to eliminate some of the redundancy found across all categories of outcomes. The group considered the course review data, the revised outcome suggestions submitted earlier by Deb Hoskins, member of the Structure subcommittee, and the revisions suggested by the assessment group under the direction of Terry Beck. The subcommittee felt that revisions to the outcomes made them more general and applicable to different areas.  The following suggestions were made for further consideration and revision:

·         Under “Critical Thinking”, there is an absence of quantitative knowledge, but the committee felt as though understanding models and patterns captured much of the old quantitative area.  The math department had been consulted and were satisfied with the revisions. The inclusion of understanding graphical knowledge is address under #1.  The concept of “interpret” should be added as it is a skill different from “synthesis.”   

·         Aesthetic Perspective outcomes were eliminated, and subsumed under “Global Connections and Human Diversity.” Several individuals expressed concern about this revision.  Arguments made that favored eliminating this outcome were based on the idea that other specific disciplinary areas did not have their own outcomes.  Those opposed to the elimination felt that some mention of the fine arts or aesthetic perspective is necessary as it would be too easy to overlook their importance based on the revisions that were made. Since the Math Department had been consulted regarding the reworking of the quantitative area, consultation with those representing the Fine Arts will be sought for #4 to determine if the revised outcomes adequately represent expected learning outcomes in those areas. 

·         Under “Effective Communications” the conversation was focused on whether words such as comprehend, summarize, drawing inferences and collaboration were missing from this section.  It was also suggested that #3 and 4 be combined.

·         Under “Ethics and Responsibility”, the word ethics will be added to #1.  Concern was voiced that #2 and 3 imply that you only need to be able to defend your own point of view, rather than taking into account other perspectives. This outcome will be revised.  A definition of civic engagement was handed out from ADP.  After considering this definition, it was suggested that civic engagement should included both understanding and participation. 

·         Concern was raised as to whether creativity or novel ideas were missing from the revisions?  Other suggestions can be sent to the ad hoc committee ASAP. The group will meet on Monday during regular GEC time.


III.  Announcements

A.  Emily, speaking for Mike Winfrey, announced that we have been awarded a SENCER grant.  The grant allows UW-L to send a team to San Jose, California this summer to begin to develop an interdisciplinary learning community.

B.  Service-Learning Workshop is scheduled for April 22nd from 10 am –2 pm – attendance is encouraged.

C.  Mary attended a workshop last Friday about assessment of advising including vision, mission, goals and outcomes.  Doug will send out the revised notes.  Melissa Schulz in the Academic Advising Center will be the advisor responsible for general education.


IV.  Other

      A.   The student who sent the letter about a personal finance class will receive a response on behalf of the GEC. The Business Department is considering applying for general education status for its Business 207 (a personal finance course), which may fit this student’s suggestion. 


Meeting adjourned at 5:45 pm


Respectfully Submitted,


LeeAnn Futura, Guest recorder