GEC Meeting

Monday, April 10, 2006

3:30 p.m. 325 Graff Main Hall


Present:  Members – Soojin Ritterling, Bruce Riley, Robert Ragan, Cris Prucha, Stephen McDougal, Becky Belter, Emily Johnson, Jon
                   Fields, Sandy Grunwald.

Student Representative – Devyne Strand

Consultants – Chris Bakkum, Diane Schumacher, Bruce May


I.         Questions from Faculty Senate meeting April 6:

·         Which Model is the proposed FYE structure based on?

·         Can the diversity requirement be double-dipped with UFII?

·         Will the extra BA/BS requirements be feasible within all current major structures?

·         If the minimum number of credits to accomplish all requirements is 38, but the minimum requirement is 41, do students have to find an  extra course?

·         Is the language 102 requirement sufficient?

·         Can the registrar track these new requirements?

·         What are the consequences of not completing requirements in order?

·         Why is the aesthetic perspective separate from humanities?

·         How does this structure correspond with learning outcomes?

·         What are the implications for different majors with the new double-dipping policies?

·         Isn’t UW-L currently about average with the number of credits required in general education?

·         What is the motivation for UFIII?

·         Will there be sufficient interest in developing/converting courses and offering enough sections for FYE and Civic Engagement?

·         What is the connection between learning outcomes and the current proposed structure?

·         Does UFIII eliminate content and replace with applied knowledge?


II.        First Year Experience:  NCA and NSSE data indicate that UW-L is behind the national trend to create an intentional experience for first year students with the purpose of connecting students to faculty and teaching students how to learn.  A suggestion was made that we communicate with UWEC and see what their faculty think about their FYE efforts.  It was also noted that two content classes were piloted as FYE courses.  We should seek feedback from the faculty who taught those courses.   


Question: Is a plan B needed in case FYE as proposed is not approved?   Feedback was that this entire proposal is a structure that has evolved based on ongoing feedback and feasibility considerations.  The ultimate question is, WHAT IS BEST FOR STUDENTS?


Other suggestions were made regarding options to phase in a First-year experience, offering a gradual implementation rather than a expect all freshmen to have a FYE in fall 2007.


Discussion of asking each UFI – affiliated department  whether they could commit 5-10 sections of courses to FYE topics, along with the question, what percentage of courses we are currently using would need to be FY courses?


Visiting Faculty senator suggested that concrete numbers be introduced with the proposal:  how many students and how many new faculty would this involve?  How many sections would be necessary?  Further define a freshman experience?  Do classes cross categories?  How will you evaluate categories?


The idea of resources and feasibility again arose, at which time the chair asked GEC whether they were changing their minds on the concept of a first year experience.  Silence.


III.      UFII – Imitates what we currently have, but the Diversity/global perspective aspect is missing.

A.       How committed is GEC to the BA/BS designation?  M/S – to rescind BA/BS designations as created previously by GEC.  Discussion:  Science faculty thought this was generally a good aspect of the proposal and placed UW-L on a level with most other institutions that do require two sciences for a BS.  Many schools have more universal requirements instead of leaving it up to colleges.  The College of Business had objections based on the added requirements and the fact that all degrees within Business are BS.  Music Education majors also would be impacted by added requirements to an already credit-heavy major.  More discussion took place regarding whether it was in the scope of GEC to create this policy, along with concern that this may be the only aspect that would prevent approval from faculty senate. 

Vote:  3 for rescinding

          3 against

          2 abstentions

                Chair broke the tie by voting against rescinding BA/BS designations.  Motion failed.

B.       M/S/P to require University Core Curriculum be a minimum of 41 credits.  Based on earlier discussions.

6 yes

1 no

1 abstention

Motion passed

C.      M/S/P unanimous to provide that 9 credits with the student’s major prefix can be double dipped as core courses.

D.     Discussion surrounding the language in UFII (UCII).  General consensus was to remove the specifying of “one course” statement below each area, and leave minimum credit requirements—to alleviate potential confusion.

E.     M/S/P to increase the humanities requirement to 6 credits within UCII. 7 yes, 1 abstention.  Based on earlier discussions.

F.      M/S/P to amend above motion – humanities requirement to 6 credits in two separate disciplines.  7 yes, 1 abstention.

G.     Implications for BA – does that mean the BA degree has to take three humanities courses?  Notes from previous decisions indicate that the requirement was that BA students take 2 courses in humanities, so the above motion didn’t change anything.  M/S BA students would need 3 additional credits in humanities beyond the Core requirement.  GEC members wished to solicit feedback and discuss the issue with their respective departments.

M/S/P unanimous to postpone this discussion to the next meeting.

H.      Language requirement – general feedback has been to require a 202 level proficiency for BA students.  102 is considered too elementary.

M/S/P unanimous to change the BA requirement to a 202 level of proficiency.


IV.                  Infusion:  Citizenship, Diversity, and Global Perspective are aspects that can be infused across the curriculum to give students a perspective that they impact all aspects of life.  Chair suggested that classes within the core could be designated, just as current writing emphasis courses are designated, as focusing on one or more of the above elements.

V.                  Criteria for course designation into different areas in UCII:  Chair suggested that faculty within each area could serve as ad hoc groups to conduct an initial review of courses as they apply to the five areas.  They could create criteria and include learning outcomes for a level of investment in the process and the value of their added input.

VI.                Meeting adjourned 5:41pm.