GEC Meeting

Monday, May 1, 2006

3:30 – 5:30

325 Graff Main Hall




PRESENT:     Student Representative – Devyne Strand

Members – Sandy Grunwald, Emily Johnson, Becky Belter, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Soojin Ritterling, Brian Udermann

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

Guests – Carmen Wilson, David Riley


 I .  Approval of Minutes April 17, 2006


II.  Announcements

  1. NCA report: Carmen Wilson – thanked everyone for their cooperation and honesty.  The review committee did express concerns, and they will require a report on these issues every three years until the next NCA review.  Among their concerns:
    1. Diversity efforts seem disjointed and lacking unified direction.
    2. Assessment procedures are unclear and need development.
    3. General education efforts need direction.

These are concerns that also existed at their last visit a decade ago.

  1. Oversight of GEP appeals – UCC expressed eagerness to allow GEC to hear appeals, and they are forwarding a request to faculty senate that GEC oversee appeals.  Chair suggested that transfer courses could be assessed based on learning outcomes as opposed to a direct equivalence with UW-L classes.
  2. Campus/Community Dialogue – most panelists highlighted diversity and civic engagement as pieces that are integral to a student’s education and beyond.


III.   University Core Proposal  

A.  Letter from SEC – Carmen Wilson was present to discuss the perceptions of the faculty senate as they stand regarding the current University Core proposal.  She referred to a letter written to GEC and several bullet points with suggestions.  She also reminded GEC that the proposal as a whole has not been presented as a motion to the Faculty Senate yet.  She discussed options of presenting the proposal as a series of recommendations, or of waiting for further feedback from senators to construct details of the program.  Wilson emphasized the importance of not submitting any more drafts or working documents; she strongly suggested that the next document be one that is finalized and agreed upon unanimously.  Each step of the proposal should be accompanied by research and justification, a literature review to explain the rationale behind decisions.


Q:  Would Faculty Senate be willing to consider the structure of the proposal separate from the implementation?

A:  That’s an option, if GEC chooses to proceed in that direction.


B.  Next steps

1.       Forwarding proposal to FS – the question was posed to Carmen Wilson: Can you give us a sense of whether Faculty Senate is generally for or against certain aspects of the proposal, including FYE and Civic Engagement?  Dr. Wilson indicated that FYE needs further defined, as does Civic Engagement: what would qualify?  Is it watered down?  Academically legitimate?  Dr. Wilson indicated that, as it is currently packaged, the proposal as a whole would not pass. She indicated a belief that all the necessary information exists and has been identified, it just needs to be appropriately packaged and presented.  She encouraged GEC to stick with this plan and not give up, since it is very close to completion.  She also indicated that, given the research and time put into the development of the proposal, GEC could consider themselves the “experts,” and they need to package and share that knowledge with Faculty Senate.


                     Chair suggested that GEC withdraw their proposal for the University Core and consider the following:

a.       Take money from innovations fund to appoint a committee to develop the proposal over the summer.

b.       Conduct a straw vote or informal survey to solicit feedback from faculty senate

c.       Combine this information with a literature review of sorts

d.       Present a developed plan with rationale in mid-September to Faculty Senate.

e.       Include strategies for implementation, such as grandfathering in current courses.

f.         Include ideas for exit assessment of the program.

g.       Discuss feasibility and indications from departments for phasing in FYE courses.


                Some discussion reflected an inclination to present and implement certain aspects of the plan as soon as possible.  Feedback was that piecing it together may slow down the entire proposal.  Assessment and implementation would create new challenges if it were introduced in stages.  Another point was made that GEC has piloted some programs that they have never re-visited, and a report of those outcomes would be valuable over the summer.


Other suggestions included that the summer research assess whether all learning outcomes are addressed by the Core Curriculum proposal.  Feedback was that when the outcomes were initially established, it was with the understanding that they were based on a holistic approach, and some may be achieve outside the classroom.


GEC generally supported the idea of pulling back and assessing as discussed above.


Chair reminded everyone that NCA indicated a need to move forward with a plan, and that it is imperative that GEC not take all next year discussing these changes.  Suggestions were made to take time on Thursday’s FS meeting to ask them what their questions and concerns are in order to facilitate a direction for the team who will work on the proposal this summer.  Each aspect of the proposal (i.e. 3-tiered program, FYE course, FYE requirements, categories – number as well as content – of UCII, Civic Engagement, etc.) should be identified to Faculty Senate members, and feedback should be solicited line by line.  Do you support this?  Why or why not?  They should be compelled to provide significant and detailed written feedback, especially on the aspects that they do not support or understand.  Three people will work on this project this summer.


Chair indicated a plan to have a GEC retreat in August, during which the summer’s efforts could be discussed.


2.       BA and BS recommendation – Chair asked whether these recommendations could be forwarded to Faculty Senate immediately, or whether they should wait over the summer as well.  Feedback was that this piece should wait until the fall as well.

3.       Criteria for course proposals

4.       FYE guidelines

5.       Other  


IV.    Chair solicited feedback regarding her future with GEC.  Verbal feedback indicated that she should remain with the committee and see these changes implemented, if she can do so and maintain balance and health.  She invited other feedback via personal contact outside the meeting.


V.   Meeting Dates for 06-07

A.       August Retreat week of Aug 21 or 28

B.       Regularly scheduled meetings- Fall Semester:  Sept 18; Oct 2, 16, 30; Nov 6, 20; Dec 4

C.      Spring retreat week of Jan 15

D.      Regularly scheduled meetings – Spring semester: Jan 29, Feb 5, 19: March 5, 19; April 2, 16, 30,

E.       Possible extra meetings:  Sept 11 and May 7


Adjourn to a great summer!  5:31pm