GEC Meeting

Monday, April 17, 2006

3:30 p.m. 325 Graff Main Hall




Present:  Student Rep – Devyne Strand

Members – Sandy Grunwald, Jon Fields, Becky Belter, Stephen McDougal, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann

Consultants – Keith Beyer, Chris Bakkum, Diane Schumacher

Guests – Dick Sullivan, Sue Kelly, Sandy Krajewski, Chuck Lee, Deborah Buffton, Ronda Knox, Carmen Wilson, Kenny Hunt, Dave Riley, Joyce Shanks


A special invitation was sent to Faculty Senate members to attend this meeting.     


 I .  M/S/P unanimous approval of Minutes April 3 & 10, 2006


II.  Announcements

  1. Innovations Fund – Chair indicated that she has not posted the call for proposals since the focus on FYE seems premature given that it is possible that Faculty Senate may not approve the proposal.  Some members of FS are asking for a clearer description and set of criteria of FYE courses.  If the proposal passes senate, a revolving deadline could be established until funds are exhausted. 
  2. Feedback from Student Association and others – a handout was distributed that included comments by students regarding to proposed structure.  Some of the more significant feedback was a need for more diversity within the curriculum, and many were in favor of a FYE course.
  3. Reminder: NCA visit:  1:45-2:30 on Tuesday, April 25 – Chair encouraged GEC members to attend.


III.  Fine Tuning of  University Core – Old Business  

  1. Overview/Review of latest changes in structure

1.   BA and BS – credits in humanities – further discussion ensued surrounding the concept of whether GEC has the authority to dictate a differentiation between BA/BS.  A visiting faculty senator quoted the by-laws of UCC, which state that they are responsible to work with colleges to establish baccalaureate requirements.  Chair reminded GEC members that they were to solicit feedback on an additional humanities course for the BA degree, no feedback was offered.  In terms of the second science requirement for BS, a potential resource issue was identified as the implications of implementing such a policy were considered.

M/S to add an additional 3 credits to a BA requirement.  Motion Failed Unanimously.

M/S/P GEC reconsider BA/BS degree requirements and remove them from the proposed structure.

        9 yea

        1 no

M/S/P unanimously to recommend to Faculty Senate that they ask UCC to consider BA/BS requirements as previously voted upon by GEC.


The point was made that the above motions will impact the credit numbers as stated on the current draft of the proposal.

2.   Clarification of requirements and Pre-reqs  courses in UFIII – a reminder was issued that GEC has voted upon a 41 credit minimum requirement for the proposed core, with no double dipping on Civic Engagement or International Experience courses.

        B.  Other considerations for program revisions 

1.       Infusion of diversity, global perspective, citizenship – Chair distributed a handout with a proposal for the infusion of these three elements across the curriculum.  Designations of courses that included these elements could be indicated similar to how writing emphasis courses are currently identified.  Research indicates that more than a  single diversity course is needed to effectively impact an understanding and sensitivity to diversity. 


Considerable discussion took place.  Concerns included adding this requirement at this time, resources (do current courses exist that could potentially fulfill diversity, global understanding and citizenship?), national trends and recommendations about an infused curriculum vs. single course requirements, oversight for each category given the lack of current support for Writing Coordinator, responsibility for establishing the criteria for each area. 


M/S to table the discussion of the infusion of diversity, global perspective, and citizenship.

Discussion:  these additional guidelines address the concept recently introduced by the university that “The view from the bluff is global.”  Currently there is no room in the proposal overtly identified specifically for global perspective or citizenship.  Further discussion included concerns that this will facilitate “micromanagement” of faculty, countered by the idea that a set of guidelines for teaching faculty might be valuable.  Some campuses require the infusion of diversity into every course within their core curricula.  The point was identified that diversity, global perspectives, and citizenship are aspects of previously identified learning outcomes.  GEC has to address them intentionally in order to fulfill their mission.  The question was asked whether this particular aspect could take a backseat until more crucial pieces of the proposed structure are solidified and passed/denied.  The point was made that other learning outcomes are addressed specifically and overtly by categories within the proposed structure.


2.   First Year Experience Discussion – Concerns about resources and a realistic timeline for implementation were discussed.  Chair suggested that GEC needs to decide whether it values the FYE concept as important for student success and learning.  Recommendations should be based on what is good for students while also acknowledging that resources would need to be identified.  The proposal represents a systematic process of being sure every freshman has the same opportunity to connect with faculty, learn about campus resources, identify strategies for academic success, etc.  In addition, the FYE course provides a venue for initial assessment of student skills and knowledge.   By consensus, the committee valued the idea of the FYE.  Suggestions included the option of a gradual adding of FYE courses over several years rather than expecting all freshmen to be able to enroll in such a course as soon as Fall 2007. Additional concerns focused on giving up “content” to include FYE material.   


        C.  Concerns with presenting the plan to Faculty Senate

1.       The loss of History and Literature as independent requirements will arise in FS.  Some discussion revolved around the impact this would have on these departments in terms of personnel, as well as whether students will be disserved by a proposal without those specific requirements. Questions were raised as to whether history and literature fulfill specific objectives exclusively?  Decisions should be based on the best interests of student learning.

2.      Possible scenarios:  Faculty Senate will not pass the proposal and will give no feedback.  Or some aspects of the proposal will be adopted, or the plan in its entirety will be passed.  If all of it passes, further discussion will revolve around how to implement and phase in aspects of the new Core Curriculum.  Some GEC members expressed concern that GEC is not ready to ask FS to vote on the proposal as the full scope of resources and the impact on personnel and political realities have not been identified.  The Chair expressed concerns that some committee members who had voted yes to the various components of the proposal now seem to be wavering on their support of the proposal. Members indicated that the FS listening session on Thursday might tell us more about campus-wide views. One member mentioned that this proposal has gotten the campus community talking and examining their structure, and would be valuable to present for that reason alone.

3.       Feedback from visiting Faculty Senate members included the suggestion that elements of each level be further defined.  They suggested that GEC be prepared to answer whether outcomes are addressed across the curriculum, and to clarify the implications of implementing the proposal.


IV.   Meeting Dates

                 May 1  


Adjourned 6pm