General Education Committee Minutes
December 3, 2001
325 Graff Main Hall
3:30 p.m.

Members Present: Sandy Grunwald, Jean Hindson, Jess Hollenbaek, Emily Johnson, Mary Leonard, Tom Pribek, Gretchen Reabe, Brenda Soto Torres, Mike Winfrey.

Consultants Present:  Bill Cerbin, John E. Magerus, Diane Schumacher

Guests: Billy Clow, Beth Cherne

Chair Emily Johnson called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.

Roger Reinsch was assigned the task of taking minutes for this meeting

The minutes of November 19, 2001 were approved subject to spelling Gretchen Reabe’s name correctly in the body of the minutes.

Old Business

Second reading of the Theatre Arts 351 World Theatre proposal.  Bill Clow and Beth Cherne responded to concerns raised at the first reading. The Theater Arts department will try to offer the class once per year and will continue to offer it as a Writing Emphasis course.  The department will seek approval from UCC to add the prerequisite of Theater Appreciation (THA 110) and change the course offering schedule.   

M/S/P  Theatre Arts 351 was approved for inclusion in the Global and Multicultural Studies category (IIB2) of the General Education program.

December 17, 2001 meeting.  The committee will meet at 3:30 on this date.  There will be two agenda items:  A first reading of a writing in the major proposal from the Foreign Language (Modern Languages) department and a first reading of the General Education Goals statement that Emily Johnson is preparing.

Announcements and New Business
Chair Emily Johnson informed the committee that as an effort to better inform students about the General Education program, she is sending out to all first semester freshmen a copy of the General Education brochure, a letter and postcard asking the student to answer a question about their first year experience. 

Chair Johnson is also looking into the possibility of putting together a planning team to work on providing professional development opportunities for faculty/staff on general education and the first year experience

Bill Cerbin indicated that several groups may be engaged in discussing/planning for first year experience. One purpose of the “first year experience” is retention of students, which is a UW-System initiative. UW-L will be collecting survey data from freshmen for the third year this spring.  This survey is part of a national study.  There is also a national conference in March or April on the “first year experience.”

An agenda for the General Education Committee for the remainder of the academic year was discussed.  The committee agreed that the first priority was completion of goals for the program that can be forwarded to Faculty Senate. The goals should then be the catalyst for prioritizing other agenda items, including issues of assessment. 

Chair Johnson asked for input from the committee on what role, if any, she should play as Director of General Education regarding student petitions for course substitutions or waivers of General Education courses. Decisions on this matter right now go to UCC.  The committee agreed that she should seek Faculty Senate approval to be informed and to make recommendations about such questions.  Final decisions should still be made by UCC. 

A brief video about UW-L’s General Education Program that is routinely shown to incoming freshmen was shown and briefly discussed.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Roger W. Reinsch