GEC  Meeting

Monday, November 21, 2005

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Room 325 Graff Main Hall




Present:  Members - Sandy Grunwald, Jon Fields, Emily Johnson, Eric Kraemer, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Soojin Ritterling, Brian Udermann.

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

Guests:  Diane Morrison, Bob Carney, Rob Wolf, Mary Leonard, Billy Clow, Mike Winfrey, Dianne Sewell, Sheri Ross, Lisa Heise


I .  Approval of November 7, 2005 Minutes - M/S/P Unanimous


II.  Second Reads

        A.  Courses

1.       FIN 207: Personal Finance.  Proposed for GE Liberal Studies Category II D: Self and Society - Document submitted to GEC further explained societal aspect of course, how personal finance decisions drive societal outcomes, how financial choices we make are derived from social systems, and how the need for financial literacy is ever increasing.


All Changes to proposal as requested in previous read were completed.


Q:  Will course be altered in any way as it becomes GE?

A:  Fundamentals of course will not change


Q:  Will enough sections be offered to accommodate increase in demand?

A:  Depends on resources available to offer more courses.


M/S/P unanimously to include FIN207 as a GE course in GE Category as proposed, effective Fall 2005


B.  Writing in the Major Proposals

1.       Art Department - All revisions to proposal were made from suggestions in 11/7 GEC meeting.

M/S/P unanimously to approve proposal retroactively effective Fall 2003

2.       Theatre Arts - A bit more clarifying discussion regarding formal/informal writing requirements.

M/S/P unanimously to approve proposal effective Fall 2005


3.       Clinical Lab Science

Diane Sewell and Mike Winfrey discussed the WIMP for Clinical Lab Science majors.  Students produce approximately 30 pages or more pages of formal and many more pages of informal writing with their lab reports and other assignments within this program. Written proposal provides a course by course description of requirements. This is an update to the WIMP that has been in effect since Fall 2000.

M/S/P unanimously to approve proposal retroactively effective Fall 2000


III.  Announcements

A.  PHL Art course, Dean’s signature -  Discussion ensued regarding purpose of Dean's signature.  Is it simply to indicate that the Dean is aware the course is being proposed?  How much authority does he have to approve or disapprove based on course content, category placement, etc?  Where does Dean's authority end/GEC authority begin? Is Dean's signature an indicator of resources available? 


                Topic of procedures and purpose of Dean’s signatures should be discussed at a subsequent meeting.  Preference expressed that in the future, faculty member proposing course is provided clear guidelines of procedures needed prior to course coming to GEC. Faculty should not be subjected to the new procedures midstream. It seems reasonable that faculty/departments proposing GEC courses follow procedures similar to that required of courses coming before UCC regarding feedback from potentially affected departments.


                Dean did asked Associate Dean to gather input from other CLS departments offering courses in the Aesthetic Category. Faculty member proposing the course was not included in on the email discussion that took place.  Faculty member did meet individually with the Dean.  Course will be offered in the spring semester and as a summer abroad course, regardless of whether it becomes part of the GE program. Dean did indicate an intention to sign the form with reservations or under certain conditions.  M/S/P to give the proposal a first read at the 12/05/05 meeting if GEC receives a signed form.


B.  Education majors 47 v. 48 credits - Music Ed majors are coming up one credit short of 48 General Education requirements and asking for exceptions.  Music Ed is among highest credit bearing majors, students are already here 5 - 5 and 1/2 years to finish.  GE and Music courses alone comprise 109 credits, and that is without including School of Ed core courses.  Discussion regarding the role of General Education in the Baccalaureate degree.  Can program look at courses that might be reconsidered and counted for GE within the major?  Is it to be considered on a case by case basis--concern that a few waivers will produce a flood of requests.  This is a potential outcome regardless of whether new policy is created or exceptions are made--either way a new precedent is set.  Suggested that if it's just one credit short, that can be accommodated, but more than one credit short, the student needs to take an additional GE course.  Emily indicated that she will bring up in UCC the role GEC should play in waivers or substitution petitions regarding the GE program.


C.  Listening Session #1 and other feedback

 Concerns raised included that some majors would not be able to count enough credits within major as General Education, even though the numbers within the new Core program would be smaller.  Regardless of reduction of credits within the Core Curriculum, some students would take longer to finish their degrees with the new structure. 

·      Questions regarding UWL110 and outcomes, as well as whether it could be an academically legitimate course.  Questions regarding level of involvement of academic staff.

·      Role of modern languages in new structure questioned, not clear on BA/BS and whether that would be impacted.

·      Emily encouraged the committee & campus to consider:  “How many credits of a Baccalaureate program should be General Education?”

·      Questions raised whether it's advisable to support a general education system that is perceived to detract from major programs.

·      Ultimately, what is the identity of UW-L?  Are we a liberal arts university with majors, or are we a university of programs with general education support?


IV. Old Business 

A.       Design Team Recommendations--Next steps

1. Emily suggested that GEC take the curricular recommendations one by one and break them down as specific motions to vote up or down.  Emily strongly encouraged everyone to bring ideas for amendments/alternatives to each motion that might work.


    Emily reiterated that the Design Team Report was accepted by GEC as a working document; nothing was set in stone. Design Team members recognized feasibility of their design would create some discussion.  Regarding the freshmen experience/ UWL 110 one basic question is “Do we want to provide a consistent experience for all students?


  Possibilities of creating a pilot program for UWL110 were suggested, as well as coming up with a clearer picture of what exactly UWL110 will be.  First hurdle will be to consider whether it's best for our students, then whether it's affordable.


3.   Discussion regarding the proposed Overall Structure.  Concerns are that many majors use a good portion of GE as part of their major, but many of these requirements are hidden pre-requisites. Sandy provided a handout of some majors in the College of Science and Health that detailed the GE courses required and the possible impact of the new structure on actual number of distinct GE credits students might need to complete.  These would have the impact of potentially increasing time to degree.  Any decisions regarding GE curriculum must consider the fit with majors, college core requirements—and what role GE should play in the Baccalaureate degree.


B.   Writing Coordinator - Emily is drafting a  letter to the Chancellor, further explaining why we need a writing coordinator and why the General Education program can't fund the position.  She hopes to clarify some misperceptions, and will provide copies of the letter to GEC.


VI .   New Business: none


 Next meetings:

A.        Monday, December 5 (D-Team report: discussion)

B.       Possible additional meeting: Monday, December 12 – Vote on D-team recommendations