Draft General Education Committee Minutes

 April 18, 2005

325 Graff Main Hall


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


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

Guests Present:  Billy Clow, Deb Hoskins, Katie Lindemann


I.        M/S/P to approve the minutes of 3/28/05.

M/S/P to approve the minutes of 4/04/05.


II.     Announcements

A.  Faculty Senate received the GEC Report and little to no comments were made at the meeting.  George Cravins thanked the GEC for its hard work.  Some questions arose regarding assessment and there was some concern that the outcomes were too specific.  Emily’s take on where to go from here is to proceed with the summer design team and to begin developing a plan for ongoing, continuous assessment.

B.  The Service Learning Workshop is Friday, April 22 from 10am to 2pm in Valhalla.  There are still some spots open, and Emily encouraged committee members to attend. 

C.  UWL reapplied for the VISTA grant for a volunteer to help coordinate service learning between UWL students and the community.  The grant was approved for a second year.


III. Brief Committee Reports

A.  Structure – The Structure Subcommittee did not meet last week but plans to meet tomorrow (Tuesday, April 19).  The topic of discussion will be the make-up and priorities of the design team.

B.  Assessment – Sandy reported that all of the classroom assessments have gone out and asked who would be willing to continue working on them in the summer.

      1. Summer activities – Two teams were supported last year with a $1000 stipend for their work.  Emily would like to continue that this summer and support a design team as well.  She will meet with the business office to make sure enough money is available.

      2. English 110 & WE – Terry Beck distributed the report from the English 110 pilot assessment done by the English Department in 2003.  The WE survey is ready to go, but has not yet been sent out.


      Emily reiterated how important various and ongoing assessment is and Sandy mentioned she would like to see more emphasis on embedded assessment in courses next year.  One way to encourage this could be through planning some faculty development workshops early in the fall.


IV. Old Business

A. Ad hoc committee on outcomes – A fair amount of time was spent discussing the revised learning outcomes.  Eric Kraemer explained that the newest revisions were the result of an attempt to make sure that a variety of faculty/departments felt represented.  Cris Prucha also proposed the addition of a new “Information and Technology Literacy” category.  Several members thanked the committee for their hard work.  Considerable discussion occurred about what information was missing, what information was redundant, and what information was not an entirely inclusive or accurate portrayal of specific outcome areas.  Emily pointed out that the work the ad hoc committee did was amazing and appreciated, but was beyond its original charge and perhaps the result of an error in direction given to the committee.  The outcomes were originally designed to articulate what it is that a well educated person should look like, and not be based on courses in the current program. 


      The committee asked the ad hoc group to go back and rethink some wording, look again at categories, and formally invite feedback from various parts of campus.  It was recommended that the invitation be accompanied by a cover sheet explaining that the focus is programmatic and outlining what the GEC feels is central to a core curriculum (the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences).


      Comments and/or suggestions should be sent to Eric by  Monday, April 25.


B. Writing Coordinator Proposal – Terry Beck distributed a memo that recommended that GE continue to provide a ¼ release time position for the administration of General Education Writing Programs.  A concern was raised that the GEC should not have to fund something that is a university-wide commitment/requirement and that perhaps the funding should come from the Provost.


M/S/P to recommend that there be a line item in the budget to create a ¼ time position established for a person to oversee Writing Emphasis/WIMP, not to come from the Innovations in General Education Fund.


V. New Business

A. University Honors Program – Chris Bakkum and Deb Hoskins presented their proposed revisions to the University Honors Program, the core of which are the problem solving and integration of knowledge learning outcomes.  They asked the committee to share their thoughts on what the targeted student population should be for the Honors Program.  Discussion occurred about whether or not this proposed program is in line with a “traditional” honors program.  In order to give members a chance to think about what feedback they might want to give, the topic will be revisited at the May 2nd meeting.

B. Priorities for Summer Design Team – The structure team is meeting tomorrow and would like some direction about what the GEC thinks are the highest priorities that need to come in the form of recommendations for improvement in fall.  A recommendation was made that the First Year Experience be a high priority.  Other ideas for priorities or for faculty who could be on the team can be sent to the structure subcommittee before tomorrow’s meeting.



Meeting Adjourned at 5:35pm.


Last scheduled meeting of the year is May 2.


Respectfully Submitted,

Katie Lindemann