GEC Meeting

Monday, January 30, 2006
3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

325 Graff Main Hall



PRESENT:        Members – Sandy Grunwald, Jon Fields, Emily Johnson, Stephen McDougal, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan,
                            Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann

                 Student Representative – Devyne Strand

                 Consultants – Keith Beyer, Chris Bakkum, Bruce May, Betsy Morgan, Diane Schumacher


 I .  M/S/P.  Approval of Minutes January 18, 2006


II.  Announcements: 

  1. Emily reported briefly on the AAC&U Liberal Education conference
  2. Attendees for March General Education conference are still sought.  No committee members have come forward indicating availability to attend.  Emily asked that GEC members identify colleagues who indicate interest and may benefit from a national/international perspective general education programs.


III.  Discussion/Action Items – Continuation of agenda items from January 18

  1. Design Team Recommendations

1.       Additional Feedback  

2.       Overall Structure recommendations - motions

§         Categories – University Foundations I

o   Discussion:  Reflection upon retreat discussion of whether it is feasible to require the completion of foundational credits within the first 60 credits.  Some suggestions have been to increase that requirement to completion within 75 credits.  Discussion of whether this is an arbitrary change of policy that creates more work and fails to accomplish GEC goals.  If increased to 75 credits, perhaps a policy isn’t even necessary.

o   Chair indicated that most feedback sent her from various departments consistently indicated a need for written/oral communication as a foundational competency, as well as information literacy

o   Chair suggested that committee look at the concept of competencies that GEC deems integral to a student’s progress such as: Communication, Math, Science, Diversity, Global Perspectives?  Suggested that perhaps competencies would provide a general starting point for deciding which courses are foundational.  Question: would competencies be a step backward from where GEC is and not be easily communicable to students? Other discussion suggested  that basic skills and general exposure to disciplines seemed to be intermixed in discussions, and a look at skills students should possess might focus the discussion again on what can be considered foundational without requiring too much from students or “over-structuring” the curriculum.  GEC could create criteria for acceptance of courses into a foundations I level.  Courses could address more than one competency area; for example, a Global Art course could provide a Global perspective and still satisfy another general education category.  Questions regarding whether the idea of competencies would unnecessarily complicate advising and student perceptions of requirements.  Encouragement from consultants to simplify and use consistent language in creation of new structure.  Suggestion that UF I be a common core of 4 interdisciplinary courses that clearly address the four broad goals/categories of the learning outcomes

o   Motion to Include a University Foundations I structure into UW-L core curriculum – Questions regarding whether that would necessitate a UFII, and whether students would have to be finished by 60 credits.  Discussion whether majors and existing structures are too diverse to agree on foundational knowledge beyond a first year core as previously approved by GEC.  Feedback that instructors would find it helpful as to the types of learning experience students would have had as they enter their junior year.

    M/S/P to include a UF I in curriculum.  7 in favor, 1 opposed.

§         M/S/P to require that UF I be finished in the first 60 credits.  Unanimous.

§         Proposed structures submitted for UF I:  2 proposals distributed by GEC members.

o       Proposal 1:  Within first 60 credits students required to complete 22 foundational credits in addition to First Year Core:  Math (3-4), Diversity (3), Self & Society (3), History (3), Science (4), Health (3), Communication (3).

o       Proposal 2:  Within first 60 credits, students required to complete 13-15 foundational credits in addition to First Year Core:  CST110 (3), Health & Wellness (3), Diversity (3), Math (3-5).

§         University Foundations II – Discussion regarding whether a UF II needs to exist, or whether the rest of the requirements beyond UF I would take care of itself within the current general education structure.  Design team initially suggested the concept of skills, breadth, and depth, with skills being foundational.

o       Proposal 1:  All credits not mentioned in UF I would be UF II

o       Proposal 2:  UFI - History (3), Natural Science (3-5), Arts (2), Humanities [eng lit, phil, etc…] (3), Social Science (3), Minimum of 12 credit hours from areas outside your major area.  Total credits after 1 credit capstone course would be 36-39 credits.

§         Seminar UWL 300 – No motion. Suggestion that it needs to be more clearly defined or will not be approved.

§         Further discussion that some majors (science) will not accommodate proposed structures, and whether policy be adopted to oblige one college/major.  Questions whether colleges could re-assess their own structures in response to a re-structuring of core curriculum.

3.   To Be discussed at next GEC meeting: 

§         Members review proposals and come prepared to discuss make up of UF I and II

§         Content of UF I (and UF II) and other core requirements

§         Timeline and Strategies for campus communication and implementation

§         Feasibility studies

§         Funding

o       Student Association

o       Innovations Fund –  priorities and deadlines

o       Faculty Development Fund

o       OPID grants

§         Timeline for implementation

§         Other strategies



Meeting Adjourned 5:30pm