Minutes of General Education Committee 10-20-03



Meeting called to order at 3:40 p.m.


Members present:  Leonard, Betton, Grunwald, Hindson, Hollenbeck, Johnson (chair), Martinez, Riley, Winfrey

Consultants Present: May, Beck

Guest: Dean Stroud


  1. M/S/P to approve minutes of meeting of 10/6 with the addition of  “Absent but Excused”
  2. American Democracy project

a. presented by Dean Stroud

b. highlights of the commentary included:

i.   nationwide project

ii.  encourage civic engagement

iii. undergraduates/faculty targeted

iv.  integrated into curriculum

v.   responding to political apathy

vi.  UWL UG involved in community service, but no transfer to civic responsibility

vii. Look to pilot projects using the NYT with selected volunteer gen ed course(s)

vii. Dean Stroud will send out to the committee the web sites for both the American Democracy Project and the Wisconsin Campus Compact


  1. Announcements
    1. Course review – The chair announced to Faculty Senate that the GEC is very willing to work with departments or individuals to help them write proposals using the new guidelines
    2. Writing in the major in ESS department slated for Nov. 17

                                                               i.      If other courses are coming forward, let committee know.

c.   The chair distributed copies of the “Integrative Learning” proposal prepared by Bill Cerbin and sent to the sponsoring agencies of AAC&U and Carnegie

d.   Pilot Gen Ed project was discussed at CLS chairs meeting.  The general consensus from that group was that having a Gen Ed pilot in place by fall 2004 was not feasible; that we were moving too fast.  Following considerable discussion:

i.    M/S/P(unanimously): GEC NOT go forward with a pilot Gen Ed project for freshmen for fall 2004.  The concern was that GEC did not have enough time to really work out all the issues involved, especially given the unknowns of resources and budget, and a deadline of February 2004 (based on when schedules must be completed for fall 2004).

ii.   However, the GEC must continue to move forward in each of the three areas suggested by the three work groups: Structure, Assessment, and First Year Experience

   iii.  Focus should be:  identify what is important in a good general education program.

(a) Student outcomes

(b) Assessment of outcomes

(c ) Learning experiences/ changes that need to be made


  1. Old Business
    1. Reports given from each area to help with discussion of “How Do We Proceed Ideas”.

                                                   i.       Assessment group:  Each member is looking at gaining more information before deciding on a third or fourth (integration of knowledge?) assessment area.  One area tentatively selected beyond Critical Thinking and Writing is Global Perspective.  Assessment group to consider assessment of current program using new outcomes to identify possible needs 

(a)  Terry Beck reported that two separate writing assessments have been done in ENG 110, one of which was funded with GE Funds, the other an ACT assessment

(b)  Terry asked GEC to take action to call in WIMP assessment reports


ii.   Freshmen year experience:  Bruce Riley had distributed a possible FYE course requirement based on feedback he had received from various departments in SAH. Other possibilities that this group discussed included offering a theme-based 3-credit seminar, courses that are or encourage interdisciplinary perspectives (team taught or interdisciplinary by nature).  Five goals were identified for the FYE. Specific learning outcomes need to be identified now.


iii.  Structure:  This group is considering a survey to be done yet this semester to gain student input.  Possible structures have been discussed that relate to a hierarchical, four-year program, but the group met only once.


                  Following considerable discussion on integration of knowledge:

    1. M/S/P (unanimously). GEC forward to the campus for discussion a requirement that students take a linked course or other inter- or multidisciplinary course/experience. 

                                                               i.      Part of the meeting on November 3 will be reserved for this discussion. The chair will send an announcement to chairs about this discussion and invite them or members of their department to participate.  A requirement like this would fit with one of our outcome areas: Integration of knowledge.

                                                             ii.       Discussion: Piloting linked courses or inter-or multidisciplinary courses in the fall for freshmen may be a more appropriate focus than an entire revised GE program

                                                            iii.      General consensus was to move ahead with current groups until the general education committee could discuss the motion in more detail at the next meeting


c.  Marathon meeting date in January discussed.  Date tentatively set for the day after Martin Luther King, Jr day, Tuesday, January 21, 2004 in the afternoon after Teaching Conference.

d.  The chair discussed the possibility of sending representatives to the AAC&U conference,   “Practicing Liberal Education”  January 21-24 in Washington, D. C. and others to the AAC&U Gen Ed conference on Assessment in General Education in California in late February or early March


  1. New Business--Postponed due to lateness of hour.



Next Meeting Monday, November 3, 2003


Meeting Adjourned at 5:35 pm


Respectfully submitted,

Ray Martinez, Recorder