GEC Meeting Minutes

Monday, September 19th, 2005

3:30-5:50 pm

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present: Emily Johnson (chair), Sandy Grunwald, Eric Kraemer, Stephen McDougal, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Soojin Ritterling, Brian Udermann

Consultants Present: Keith Beyer, Chris Bakkum, Bruce May, Diane Schumacher, Betsy Morgan


I.   Welcome and Introductions.  Emily welcomed Jon Fields from the Marketing Department and Devyne Strand from the Student Association to GEC.

II.  M/S/P to approve the September 12, 2005 minutes


III.  Announcements

       A.  Emily distributed a revised list of committee members.

       B.  Emily also distributed copies of the Charge from Faculty Senate, noting corrections: the report on assessment of student learning is not due on September 29.  It will be presented to Faculty Senate as soon as possible in the fall 2005 semester.  Also, any proposed revisions to the General Education program designed to improve the quality of student learning is due in February, 2006, not September 29.


IV. Assessment Report.  Sandy Grunwald briefly described progress on the assessment report. The report will include the results of three different assessment tools, all three of which focused on global perspective, and two of which also examined students’ scientific reasoning and critical thinking.  These tools were used last spring to more than 500 students, mostly freshmen and seniors, in the spring of 2005 after being piloted during the fall or spring 2004. Sandy is working on an executive summary that succinctly discusses findings across all three instruments.  More specific information on each instrument, including copies of the instruments themselves are already completed as appendices. The report should be ready for Faculty Senate review in November.


       The committee commended Sandy Grunwald for her thorough and diligent work on the assessment subcomponent.


V.  Old Business.

A.  Names of categories for the learning outcomes. A discussion on changing the names of the broad goal categories of the learning outcomes resulted in:

Motion to change the first category from Breadth of Knowledge to “Foundations of Knowledge” (M/S/P - unanimous).

Motion to change the section Appreciation and Creativity changed to Aesthetic Perspective and Meaning (M/S/P – unanimous).

Motion to change the section “Personal and Social Responsibility” to Diversity and Responsibility” (M/S/ 3-6-0 failed).

Motion to change the section to “Personal, Social, & Global Responsibility” (M/S/P unanimous)

            Emily noted that the wording of SLOs in the Design Team report were not meant to be changed – there are omissions that need to be clarified. All of the outcomes as found in the draft from 5-16-05 should be present in the official list of  learning outcomes.


  B.   Design Team Report – what are the top priorities, strategies and timelines.  A lengthy discussion focused on how to address the Design Team recommendations and where we should first focus our attention.  A question was raised regarding the relationship of the SLOs to the potential structure.  A one-to-one correspondence with the categories and new structure was not intended according to Brian and Bob, members of the Design Team.


Recommendations on how to proceed included identifying components of the report that are not problematic to approve first, or to identify and approve the “spirit” of some of the recommendations, or to take page 15 (a revised structure for general education) and discuss each of the items as separate recommendations.


The committee decided to discuss and approve seemingly uncontroversial changes in the Gen Ed program.


MSP to change the name of the program from General Education Program to University Core Curriculum.


MSP to forward the revised student learning outcomes to Faculty Senate.


The committee discussed whether it was wise to approve a mission statement at this time. The argument for doing so is to have a guiding set of principles for proposed changes. The argument against is that the GEC might get bogged down in wordsmithing. No motion was made and it seems that the mission statement written by last year's GEC will serve as a working document.  Further discussion of the mission statement will take place at the next meeting.  Emily will send out the mission statement that was approved by GEC last year.


Significant discussion was held regarding writing requirements within the program The committee decided that any discussion about changing the GEC writing requirement, specifically regarding students who do poorly in ENG110 who must then take 300-level writing course, be postponed until the English Department is consulted.


MSP to place discussion of the D-Team's proposals regarding the first year experience on the agenda of the next meeting.


Emily handed out new LX-140 (new course) forms and instructions, including the new SLOs, and requested feedback before the next meeting.


Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m. 


Thanks to Betsy Morgan and Bob Ragan for taking notes for this meeting.