General Education Committee Minutes

October 18, 2004

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:  Mary Leonard Anderson, Sandy Grunwald, Jess Hollenback, Emily Johnson (Chair), Eric Kraemer, Cris Prucha, Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann, Mike Winfrey

Consultants Present:  Chris Bakkum, Terry Beck, Keith Beyer, Diane Schumacher

Guests Present:  Katie Lindemann


I.        M/S/P to approve the minutes of 10/4/04.


II.     Chair’s Announcements

A.     Lisa Giddings from CBA accepted and then declined the invitation to join the GEC.  The GEC will not be getting a representative from CBA this semester.

B.     Feedback from the faculty workshops has been generally positive, but some confusion still exists about what the GEC is looking for.  Emily distributed the handout (blue and yellow) that was used at the workshops.  Emily would like committee members to reassure faculty that the GEC wants a simple report that faculty think reflects what they’re doing now in their courses. 

C.     Emily distributed the longer version of the feedback letter to department chairs and is waiting for permission to send the letter to faculty and instructional academic staff.  GEC members are invited to attend the upcoming Chair’s meetings listed on the agenda and to encourage faculty to give feedback to the Chairs.  Members should let Emily know which meeting(s) they are planning to attend.

D.     Emily distributed a handout listing conferences related to Liberal Arts/General Education and will also send this list out to members via email.


III.   Old Business

A.     General Education Mission Statement

The various mission statements for consideration were distributed, and discussion led to M/S/P to accept the following statement as the mission statement with slight elaboration (with the option to grammatically amend if necessary): 

The mission of General Education at UW-La Crosse is to develop life-long learners that are knowledgeable, capable citizens who will be engaged as responsible stewards of their human and natural heritage in a diverse and ever-changing world.  General Education is the core of a university education and to that end, it encourages students to

·        discover connections between disciplines

·        consider one’s major in a broader context

·        cultivate knowledge skills and habits of mind essential for independent learning and thinking

B.     Emily distributed the handout, “What Makes a course a General Education course?” and would like members to read through it and give her feedback/suggestions for changes.

C.     Other Work groups and group reports

1.      Learning Outcome Refinement and LX form revisions

·        GEC members are in agreement that there is a need to make the learning outcomes shorter and sweeter while still saying the same thing.  Members also agreed that this should not be done at this time, but after feedback has been received in December from faculty.  Emily recommended that a group be formed with Eric, Keith, and possibly Deb Hoskins or other interested faculty to look at refining the learning outcomes, and that a second group be formed afterward to look at LX form revisions.

·        Those already developing courses will use the LX form as it is now.

·        Emily will develop criteria for what constitutes consent agenda items.

2.      Assessment - Discussion centered on the debate in Faculty Senate about four recommendations from GEC.  FS decisions were as follows:

1)      More information about the calculation of SCH targets is desired.

2)      FS is not ready to officially approve a learning outcome based program on principle alone – they want more structure first.

3)      The charge from SEC to GEC for departmental review of current GE courses using the learning outcomes was not officially endorsed largely due to wordsmithing issues.  SEC will work on the wording of the motion and present it at a later FS meeting.

4)      The recommendation regarding a strategy to get a sample of students for assessment purposes was defeated.  FS does see the need for assessment of the program however, and charged the GEC with coming up with a different strategy.  GEC members decided to move forward with the assessment instruments that have been piloted and to look for departments and faculty who are willing to provide class time/students.  Requiring GE learning portfolios was suggested as another potential assessment strategy.

D.     A consensus to move the call for proposal deadline to January 31st was reached.   Preferred topics will focus on the first year experience with possible inclusion of learning communities.  Emily will write the language for calls for proposals.

E.      ADP/Compact & Service Learning and GE – The American Democracy Project is working on an OPID grant to try to bring in someone to facilitate a workshop on the benefits of service learning experiences in the first year. 


IV.  New Business

A.     Strategies for gaining campus input and buy-in was combined with:

B.     Next steps/next workshops or Brown Bags, and the following recommendations were made:

·        Identify the “hot spots” (departments with real concern) and go to them.  Hold listening sessions and address concerns.

·        Send select invitations to individuals instead of mass emails to make people feel special to be invited.

·        Go to the Foundation for funding to create a wine-and-dine type of atmosphere for discussion with Chairs.

·        Reframe the Brown Bag lunch to be more of a Town Hall Meeting and bring someone else in to facilitate.

C.     Policy regarding Second Writing Emphasis course if in a WIMP minor is an item that will be brought up at a future meeting and members should take some time to think about possible cautions/concerns.


V.     Other

      Members should let Emily know if they have agenda items for the next meeting.


VI.  Next Meetings

A.     Monday, November 1

B.     Monday, November 15


Meeting Adjourned at 5:30.

Respectfully Submitted,

Katie Lindemann