GEC Meeting

Monday, April 3, 2006

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

325 Graff Main Hall


Present:  Members – Brian Udermann, Soojin Ritterling, Bruce Riley, Robert Ragan, Cris Prucha, Stephen McDougal, Becky
                   Belter, Emily Johnson, Jon Fields

Student Representative – Devyne Strand

Consultants – Betsy Morgan, Diane Schumacher


 I .  Approval of Minutes March 20, 2006 – M/S/P unanimously with 2 corrections.


II.  Announcements

  1. Information that is on GE Website was described
  2. Faculty Senate timetable includes proposal introduction on April 6; FS meeting devoted to discussion of proposal on April 20 and vote on May 4
  3. Innovations Fund- announcement is delayed.  Language will include a deadline and “or until funds are exhausted”
  4. Feedback – Aesthetic Perspective – As stated, a minimum of one class and three credits seems problematic.  Suggested that “one course” be taken out of the language and number of credits be identified.

The absence of history and literature has caused concern, and GEC can anticipate more questions surrounding this decision from Faculty senate.

  1. Feedback from CLS Chairs meeting:

The proposed BA language level was questioned, compared to basic arithmetic on a knowledge scale.

Questions arose regarding the science and health credit requirements.

FYE courses need clarification/definition


III.  Fine Tuning of  GEP/University Core  

  1. Corrections of credits – The range of credits required should read 41-45.  FYE will have double-dipping options.
  2. “Smallish” details for discussion/decision

1.       Double dipping of civic engagement with UFII – consensus was that students should not be able to double-dip.  While one course may count for more than one requirement, it cannot fulfill more than one.   

2.       Pre-reqs for 300/400 courses or other courses in UFIII.  Pre-reqs could be only 45 credits or other core courses.  Scenarios were discussed where a sophomore may be intellectually engaged to the point of wanting to take upper division classes.  The point was made that these are general policies, and overrides are possible in certain circumstances.  The question was asked, who does a 300/400 level course serve?  If it only serves majors, then it is not a core course.  Consensus was that in general, students need to have completed 45 credits before taking 300/400 level courses within the core.

3.       Number of credits to double count in major – discussion surrounded the impact this policy would have on some majors relative to others.  Some would be greatly impacted in CLS whereas most sciences would see it as a non-issue.  This policy may be hard to program into SNAP as it exists.  Some discussion was that departments could set their own limits.  Ultimately, consensus was reached that no more than 9 credits of courses with the major prefix could double-count toward the major and the Core.  This concept can be introduced to faculty senate and recommended as a curriculum policy, and departments would need to pay attention to enforcement of double-dipping.

4.       Change University Foundations I, II, & III to University Core (UC) I, II, III – General consensus was to alter the terminology for consistency, and maintain subtitles as they are.

        C.  Larger considerations for GE revisions 

1.       Test out option for Language and other courses – Significant discussion took place surrounding the current policies for proficiency tests, placement tests, and the differences between the two.  Does GEC wish to give retroactive credit for these courses, or simply waive requirements?   Several possibilities were discussed, including leaving it to departments to decide whether to award credit or waive requirements.  Ultimately GEC wished to present options to departments and discuss this issue further.

2.       Criteria for FYE courses – UW-L100 has been identified by some as a “fluff” course, especially if nobody fails.     A handout was distributed with several criteria to be included in a FYE course.  Feedback included that the library experience is a significant aspect of the current UWL100 course, and should be a separate line item listed as an element of every FYE course.  Perhaps the concept of information literacy could be combined with #6.  Another piece of feedback was that the academic rigor of the course needs to be consistent with the number of credits awarded for the course.  Consensus was that the draft distributed by the chair which lists important components of FYE courses is acceptable and accurate.  One suggestion was that history and literature courses could consider establishing themselves as FYE courses.

3.       Definition or criteria for  “Interdisciplinary courses” – Clarification of collaboration within disciplines was discussed, as well as the level of variance disciplines would need to represent within one course.  The point was made that two disciplines with similar methodologies may not achieve the breadth envisioned in an ID course.  The potential of requiring that the faculty would have to be from two different departments was discussed.  Ultimately, it was decided that fine-tuning the language is in order: require separate distinctive, distinguishable methodologies in order for a course to qualify as interdisciplinary.

                4.  General concerns were discussed surrounding the removal of history and literature as independent requirements

      within the core curriculum.  The question posed in response was, What learning outcomes do History and 

      Literature represent that aren’t covered in the proposed structure?

5.  GEC members who were to present the structure to faculty senate had additional questions about their

     presentation strategy, how to answer questions and feel comfortable discussing the proposed core structure in    


                5.  The possibility of an additional meeting beyond 4/17 was discussed.


V.  Other