University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #2
October 28, 1997; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Asmus, Ballou, Frenier, Korth, Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor, Thielke
Absent: Davis, Ellis, Farrell, Kissock
Guests: Jim Carlson, 1996-97 Chair of the Academic Support Services Committee
(ASSC); Judy Kuechle, 1997-98 Chair of the ASSC; Eric Klinger, 1997-98 Chair
of the General Education Committee
[In these minutes: recommendations of continuation for Academic Support
Services Committee and elimination for General Education Committee, discussion
of distribution of email minutes for all committees, report on GenEdWeb,
semester transition plans]
Carlson said the ASSC offers UMM a tool for communication that would
not otherwise be possible. This committee was formed 5-6 years ago as a
library advisory group and was then expanded to include Plant Services,
Computing Services, and Media Services (formerly Audio Visual). Last year
the ASSC dealt with issues involving Computing Services and the technology
fee. He was not sure if things would have occurred as they did without the
recommendation of the ASSC. There have been discussions about how the library
can survive in times of financial spirals and still be a viable resource.
How does the library keep buying books and periodicals that are needed?
Kuechle said there are new issues coming forward this year. Schuman noted
that periodical costs have increased at a rate of about 17% per year over
the last decade.
Lee asked for elaboration on the April recommendation. Carlson said the
technology fee might not have gone through if not for the work of the ASSC.
Committee members think they made the right decision and are not sure if
the same decision would have been made without the recommendation from the
ASSC. The ASSC has also influenced Rasmussen in setting up classrooms. Boleman
has asked to use the ASSC as a sounding board for new policies, like how
to handle sign-up for laptop computers. The same is true for Fischer.
Lee said the campus is spending too much time in committee meetings,
but we don't want an inactive campus. Carlson said the vote for continuation
in last year's ASSC was unanimous. The other way to do it would be to get
advice on an ad hoc basis. Schuman saw three alternative ways to do the
work that the ASSC is now doing: 1) by administrative fiat; 2) convene ad
hoc groups every time faculty input is needed (that takes time to formulate
the committees, etc.); or 3) dump the responsibilities onto the CC. All
three of those options are clearly inferior solutions. The ASSC has been
productive and the members recommend continuation. Schuman cannot see any
reason to rule the committee out of existence.
Frenier asked about the number of times the ASSC met last year. The ASSC
met 17 times in 1996-97.
Thielke said she would be nervous about using ad hoc groups to do the
work because ad hoc committee service doesn't get recognition. Schuman noted
that the profile of the ASSC is not one of an inactive committee. Kuechle
noted that there are three major items on the ASSC agenda right now. Schuman
commented that ad hoc committees also lack the legitimacy of a standing
Korth said he had two questions. He did not find it laughable that the
CC could take on the responsibilities of the ASSC. If the CC did not waste
time on lots of paperwork, it would have time for more important issues.
The campus needs to know what the ASSC is doing. Carlson had no objections
to the CC taking over the ASSC duties. Lee thought it would help communication
if there was a closer relationship between the ASSC and the CC. If the CC
took over the duties of the ASSC, would it also take over the responsibilities
of all of its adjunct committees? Schuman said the CC would have to add
Fischer, Boleman, and Rasmussen to the membership of the CC if the duties
of the ASSC were added to the CC. The CC may do tedious paperwork, but that
paperwork reports on curricular changes, some of which are essential changes.
He does not know of a more efficient way to do that without taking away
the opportunity for faculty to judge what is essential. Lee said it could
be done in the Divisions. Schuman said the curriculum should be a collective
Carlson said the minutes of the ASSC go to the administration and do
not get circulated to the faculty. Kuechle said Fischer has suggested that
the ASSC have a web page. Korth said he has been an advocate for email minutes.
Faculty could sign up for the minutes of specific committees.
Leroux said he is concerned with streamlining committee membership. Are
half of the members ex officio staff? Do they vote? Carlson said half are
ex officio staff and they do not vote. There are 4 faculty (one from each
Division), 4 ex officio directors, 2 students, and 1 staff member. Leroux
said that cutting the number of faculty representatives would give them
more authority. Could the CC do that? Schuman said the CC would have the
power to suggest to Campus Assembly that the membership of the ASSC change.
Ballou said, given the nature of the decisions to be made regarding periodicals,
laptops, etc., she would want each Division to have a representative. Schuman
said he would endorse that as well. In some of the areas that the ASSC has
been working, there have been Divisional differences. For instance, the
decision to purchase Chemical Abstracts at about $6,000 per year
is much different than a decision to purchase PMLA. The uses of instructional
technology that the Division of Education might need to prepare teachers
might be very different than the statistical needs of the Division of the
Social Sciences. These differences in academic support needs conform closely
to the Division lines.
MOTION (Ballou, Frenier): To recommend continuation of the Academic Support Services Committee as a separate committee at this time.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (9-0-0).
Korth said he had pushed this idea in the Executive Committee a while
ago and was told that most committees do not have staff help with minutes.
Nylander said she liked the idea of a web page. Korth said the four Assembly
committees were to put their minutes up on Gopher, but there were problems
getting the minutes loaded. He would prefer email distribution of minutes
for people who sign up. Ballou wondered how we could help people accomplish
this. Schuman assumed that most minutes are done on a computer and so it
is easy to copy the contents of the minutes document and paste them into
email. Schuman asked Korth to draft a motion for the next meeting.
Klinger said the situation with the GEC is the opposite of that with
the ASSC. General education is properly part of the curriculum. There was
no GEC until the institution of ProsPer. The GEC makes course-by-course
decisions about satisfying the general education requirements. Last year's
committee did not see the point of the GEC's existence if that continued
to be the GEC's only role. Last year's GEC voted unanimously to recommend
elimination of the GEC. After all, how many levels of review do we need
to second guess faculty judgments? Right now the proposal comes from the
faculty member, goes through the discipline, the Division, the CC, and the
Campus Assembly. To institute a fifth level with the GEC seemed excessive.
This year's committee is not unanimous on this point. There was one dissenting
vote. One new committee member thought it would be good to keep the GEC
until the start of semesters; everyone else thought it was now time to eliminate
the committee. There will be rare occasions when policy questions regarding
general education will arise. The CC could deal with those issues.
Schuman noted that there is a slightly different configuration of general
education under semesters. Most courses will meet one general education
requirement, whereas under quarters, some courses met none, some two or
three requirements. So the question of general education category under
semesters has a different flavor. Thielke noted that, under ProsPer, criteria
were developed for each general education category. The new GER for semesters
is not criteria based. There is sometimes a sixth level of review: the Executive
Committee. Schuman commented that the CC has not always taken the GEC recommendations
Schuman wondered, since he is a member of the Assessment of Student Learning
Committee, whether assessment of the learning that goes on in the general
education program would be a task that the GEC would be willing to default
to the CC. Klinger said that is a question that the GEC has not dealt with
in the past--it would be an entirely new question for the GEC. Schuman said
the CC has not dealt with this question either. The campus needs to determine
if the GER is doing what we want it to do. Klinger said one of his graduate
students is looking at assessment procedures and would like to apply it
to this campus. Personally, since he has not had time to discuss this question
with the GEC, he felt this was not the type of question that the GEC has
Ballou asked Klinger to elaborate on the objections of the GEC member
who dissented. Klinger said this member felt the GEC would act as a counterweight
to faculty in the disciplines until semesters start.
MOTION (McIntosh, Ballou): To recommend immediate discontinuation of the General Education Committee.
Schuman said the CC may have to create a subcommittee to deal with the
assessment issue. He felt the process of having proposals go through the
GEC and the CC was a wasteful effort.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (9-0-0).
Korth asked if students will have to choose one bulletin for graduation
requirements. Thielke said they can now use one bulletin for the GER and
another for the major. She does not expect that policy to change.
Meeting adjourned 9:00 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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