39th Faculty Senate
Vol. 39, No. 4
October 7, 2004


I.          Roll Call.

Present:  Beck, Choy, Clow, Cravins, Dixon, Galbraith, Gendreau, Gongaware, Grunwald, Heim, Hench, Johnston-Rodriguez, Kernozek, Kraemer, S. Krajewski, Maher, Majak, Ragan, B. Riley, D. Riley, Shanks, Shillinger, D. Sullivan.

Excused:  Poulton.


II.         Approval of Minutes.

The minutes of the 9/30/04 faculty senate meeting will be distributed with the next agenda and will include a link to Vice Chancellor Lostetter’s PowerPoint presentation.


III.       Reports.

Chair Riley reported that the EESHR Dean Search Committee met earlier in the day and approved the position description so that advertisements can go out as soon as possible.  An early December deadline for applications is expected, with interviews scheduled the beginning of the second semester.  Committee members expressed their concerns about why the start of the search was delayed until so late in the semester.


Multicultural student enrollment/graduation data from Affirmative Action Officer, Al Thompson, reveals some trends going on.  Chair Riley will contact Dr. Thompson regarding a time when he can further explain the data.


There will be an open meeting Monday, October 11th at 2:00 p.m. in Graff Main Hall Auditorium with the new UW System President, Kevin P. Reilly.  Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to hear President Reilly's vision for the university and to participate in a question and answer session at the end of his remarks.  A reception follows at 4:00 p.m. at the Cleary Center.

UW-La Crosse Student Representative Larry Golba reported that the students are continuing to work on academic initiatives; and are looking for speakers for the December commencement ceremony.


The following faculty are recommended by the Senate Executive Committee to serve on the search and screen committee for the Director of the School of Education:

Tracy Caravella (School Health Education)

Barbara Chaney (Educational Studies)

Georges Cravins (Geography)

Ray Martinez (Physical Education Teacher Education)

Joyce Shanks (Educational Studies)


M/S/P to approve. (voice vote)


M/S/P to approve the appointment of Lalita Pandit to the Joint Promotion Committee for a one year replacement for Barbara Rusterholz.  (voice vote)


IV.       General Education Committee Report.

Emily Johnson, Director of the General Education Program, joined the senate.  Chair Riley suggested looking at recommendations 2 and 3 of the General Education Committee’s first, then considering recommendations 1 and 4 followed by a discussion of the time line for the General Education Committee’s work this year.  Riley explained that minutes from previous faculty senate meetings (11/4/99, 3/23/00, 4/13/00, and 9/14/00) and copies of the General Education Committee by-laws were distributed to remind senators of the history of the Director of General Education and the work of the General Education Committee.  In 1999 the faculty senate created the position of director of general education with a key argument for the position being the need of an assessment plan for the general education committee.  At the 9/14/00 meeting the position description for the director of general education, was approved, with an emphasis on assessment of the general education program.


Recommendation #2.

GE as a learning outcome based program. GEC is asking Faculty Senate to continue to endorse GEC’s efforts toward a revised General Education Program that is based on the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).  The learning outcomes presented to Faculty Senate in 2002 will provide the basis for the GEC work. However, these outcomes will continue to be seen as a “living document” subject to change as we get information from departments and conduct assessment of student learning.


Action on Recommendation #2 was deemed premature at this time, and the recommendation was not considered. 


Recommendation #3.

Charge Departments with review of GE courses.  GEC be allowed to charge departments to review their current GE courses using the learning outcomes.  This report would be due to GEC by mid-November.  GEC will use these reports to develop a matrix of courses and learning outcomes to identify how the outcomes are being addressed in the current program.


Considerable discussion followed.


Seem illogical to assess current courses that were designed without learning outcomes.  One of the reasons is there is some alignment w/current goal.  Also tells us if current program fits – needs input from departments for what do we think are some of the most important things that are going on – and secondly to get faculty into conversation about outcomes.  Looking for 3-5 major outcomes that course addresses – how students are engaged – generally how assess students – in an effort to streamline. Learning outcomes are programmatic and not course specific.


General Education Committee is open to reducing list of outcomes or expanded if departments bring forth outcomes that are not currently listed.


Makes good sense but strongly encourage us as senators to communicate just this kind of information to departments and not just to department chairs – try to clarify and stipulate purpose of this exercise – important to involve enough faculty members in department.


Purpose is to create a friendly opportunity to review courses since current policy does not provide for any review process.


There is universal anxiety about process.  Circles and cones are hard to turn into plan.  Perhaps the Committee could have assessed a couple of courses – would have gone a long way about process.


The committee is asking for a one page handout – streamlined to fit one page.


M/S  Recommendation #3.


M/S/P to table (show of hands:  yes – 17, no – 3, abstain – 1)


M/S/P to use the faculty senate web site to post the appropriate materials (to be determined by the SEC) in support of this activity for departments. (show of hands with one abstention)


Recommendation #1.

Student Credit Hour (SCH) Policy.  GEC is recommending a policy that changes how SCH are “counted” at UW-La Crosse.  This policy requests that unit “quotas” of SCH not be used; rather an institutional count of SCH be used.  This type of “SCH accounting” will help focus attention on a GE program based on student learning, and reduce competition and “turf battles” that often occur as various units vie for SCH.  This should also encourage more cooperation, collaboration, innovation and interdisciplinary work among colleges and departments or programs.


It was the sense of the senate that it is inappropriate to vote on Recommendation #1until we know what the current UW-L SCH Policy is and what changes might be proposed in the General Education Program.  Will ask PVC how SCH targets are used on campus/colleges/departments.  Whole idea is to try to relax the turf wars. 


M/S/P to table #1.  (show of hands: show of hands with one abstention)


Recommendation #4.

General Education Assessment Plan.  One of the ongoing roadblocks to effective assessment of the General Education program is the lack of an appropriate student sample.  GEC requests that Faculty Senate endorse the recommendation found in the GE assessment plan that asks:  all units offering undergraduate courses be required to devote the equivalent of 1 class period, in an upper division and/or a lower division course, for the purposes of General Education assessment activities.  This would occur on a rotating basis such that units would be asked to participate every 4-5 semesters.  This method would allow a good sampling of both upper and lower division students and allow for pre- and post-general education assessment of student learning outcomes to be accomplished.


The recommendation initiated considerable discussion:  there was concern about setting a precedent of giving up instructional time for other purposes – talking about one class period to assess general education program – pre and post general education students.  Two teams currently are designing assessment tools.  Could be a specific assessment day/time, embedded within courses, or perhaps an on-line form. 


M/S/F to endorse the concept.  (show of hands: 5-yes, no-15, abstain -3)


M/S/P to ask the general education committee to come up with an alternate plan for regular student assessment.


Regarding the timeline for General Education Committee activities during AY2004-2005, concern was expressed about the parallel activities of departmental review of courses, course assessment by departments, program assessment by the general education committee, certification of new and current courses, and construction of a new structure for the general education program.  Any expectation that all of these activities could be completed with a new general education program structure presented t the Faculty Senate for approval by May seems unreasonable.


Dr. Johnson reiterated that the General Education Committee does not have a hidden agenda, rather the goal from beginning is to make program better.  It was hoped that by end of second semester, the committee would have a revised structure – probably will not hit target dates.


V.        Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.