University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #3
November 11, 1997; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Asmus, Ballou, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Korth, Kuechle (for Kissock), Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor, Thielke

Absent: Davis

Guests: Van Gooch, 1996-97 Chair of the Teacher Education Committee (TEC); Vicki Graham, 1997-98 Chair of the TEC; Michael O'Reilly, 1996-97/1997-98 Chair of the Honors Program Committee (HPC); Dwight Purdy, Director of the Honors Program

[In these minutes: recommendations of continuation for Teacher Education Committee and elimination for Honors Program Committee, freezing of Educational Development Program funding for second year, discussion of directed study policy for semesters]


REVIEW OF ADJUNCT COMMITTEES:
Schuman indicated that the guests at today's meeting were here for a discussion of a recommendation from the Curriculum Committee (CC) on the continuation of its adjunct committees. This was a task assigned to the CC last year, but deferred until this year. Two adjunct committees have been reviewed: the Academic Support Services Committee will be recommended for continuation and the General Education Committee for elimination. Two adjunct committees are on the agenda for discussion today: the Teacher Education Committee and the Honors Program Committee.


TEACHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE:
Schuman asked if the Teacher Education Committee (TEC) had a recommendation about continuation. Graham, 1997-98 Chair of the TEC, said it was her understanding that the TEC must continue to exist in order for our teacher education program to be accredited. McIntosh wondered if the TEC must continue or whether the responsibilities could be handled by another committee. Kuechle said the committee needs to be made up of faculty from across the campus. Schuman asked about the size of the TEC. Graham said there are six members: four faculty, two students, plus the Chair of the Division of Education, ex officio.

McIntosh wondered what the advantages were to having the TEC be adjunct to the Curriculum Committee (CC). Schuman said he understood that for a committee to be considered official, it must either be a Campus Assembly committee or an adjunct to an Assembly committee. Farrell noted that adjunct committees are Assembly committees and must be connected to a non-adjunct committee. The TEC must exist by rule. UMM has said that this committee will have a liberal arts perspective and included faculty from across the campus in the membership. Schuman repeated McIntosh's question. To be official it needs to be an Assembly or adjunct to an Assembly committee. Otherwise, it would have the status of a task force or an ad hoc group. Then the question becomes, if the TEC is not adjunct to the CC, which committee would it be adjunct to? McIntosh thought it could be advisory to the director of the program and answerable to the CC. Ballou said that NCATE does oversee the curriculum of the program to some extent. It seems logical that the TEC would be connected to the CC to show that the teacher education curriculum is reviewed by the CC.

MOTION (Farrell, Frenier): To recommend continuation of the Teacher Education Committee as an adjunct committee of the Curriculum Committee.

Gooch, 1996-97 Chair of the TEC, indicated that it was his understanding as well that the TEC needs to exist. He has chaired the TEC twice. Last year the committee only met once and then only because they were required to meet. During reaccreditation of the teacher education program, there is more for the TEC to do.

McIntosh wondered if the TEC has brought business before the CC. Schuman said it has not during the time that he has been at UMM. Farrell said it is not common for any adjunct committee to bring business to the CC. The Academic Support Services Committee has occasionally reported to the CC. McIntosh didn't know what it meant to be auxiliary if the TEC works without coming to the CC and the CC works without going to the TEC. Schuman said it is in part an organizational convenience. Farrell pointed out that the TEC would report to the CC if there were policy changes. Every two years, adjunct committees must report to their parent committees. The number of credits required for secondary education licensure are monitored by the CC, also.

Thielke said there was a lot of interaction with the TEC in the 1970s because state licensing rules were changing. Kuechle said that is happening now.

VOTE: In favor--10; opposed--1; abstentions--0 (10-1-0).


HONORS PROGRAM COMMITTEE:
Schuman noted that the CC received a recommendation from the Chair of the Honors Program Committee (HPC) to have the HPC cease as an adjunct committee and become more of a self-nominated, self-perpetuated advisory committee to the Honors Program Director. The gist of that proposal is that the people on the committee should not be assigned. Members should act as a sounding board to the director, rather like the two committees we looked at last year in the continuing education and grants development areas. Is that accurate?

O'Reilly, Chair of the HPC for the last two years, said that Schuman's summary was accurate. There is not much need for policy change, although with the change to semesters there was considerable discussion. The general consensus was that UMM doesn't have the resources to develop the kind of honors program that the HPC would like to have. There are no policy issues in view. There is already a student advisory committee in place. There is not much need for the formal committee. The student advisory committee has opportunities for faculty involvement. It would be better if faculty involved in teaching honors courses were on the advisory committee. He had not consulted with the 1997-98 HPC, but none of the members has recent experience with the HPC. The recommendation is to abolish the HPC and expand the student advisory committee. Future policy issues could be dealt with by an ad hoc group.

Purdy, Director of the Honors Program, indicated that juniors and seniors in the honors program make up the student advisory committee. Sometimes the HPC is active, having 7-10 meetings a year. After major policy changes were enacted, most problems are administrative--like finding out who is really in the program. He is in favor of the proposal. There is a larger issue which involves not only the TEC or the HPC, but the whole system. One of the problems of finding people to put on committees is that there are so few resources.

Ballou said she had no strong feelings about the HPC. Her concern is about taking any committee out of the pipeline. People might not elect to be on the advisory committee because they have been assigned to official committees. Purdy had no idea if people would agree to be on the advisory committee. There hasn't been any difficulty in getting students to serve on it. Early on there was a redundancy between the HPC and the student advisory committee and the student committee was eliminated. But then students wanted the advisory committee back so they had a voice in the program. Faculty who are actively offering honors courses would be most likely members. This advisory committee would not be a big drain on their time; it meets about four times a year. The HPC was regularly dealing with questions about which events could be considered honors events. Each event was put forward as a proposal as it came up. The HPC took care of that by automatically approving all CAC events, for example, as honors events.

Lee said his concern is accountability. The Director of the Honors Program might need an advisory committee rather than an official committee. Would reporting go from the Director to the Dean? O'Reilly said the program director should be answerable to the CC. Schuman said any curricular alternation in the Honors Program would have to go through the CC. If there were no HPC and, say, the HP Director and the advisory committee wanted to change the number of honors events required for graduation, that tinkers with the graduation requirements, so it would need to go through the CC.

Lee wondered if selection of the advisory group should go through the CC.

Farrell thought the CC ought to try out the proposal to eliminate the HPC. We can reconsider if it doesn't work. Ballou's concern is a real one. People complain about being on so many committees and many of them are not official Assembly committees.

MOTION (Farrell, Ballou): To recommend elimination of the Honors Program Committee.

VOTE: In favor--10; opposed--1; abstentions--0 (10-1-0).


EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
: Schuman said the Educational Development Program (EDP) gives out small grants from the total sum of $7,500 each year. A subcommittee of the CC solicits faculty for grant proposals and then the CC allocates the money. Last year the EDP Subcommittee chaired by Lee suggested using the 1996-97 and 1997-98 funds for development of the Common Experience course for semesters. Technically, we should vote on using this year's money for that purpose as well.

Lee said that was correct. The reason for needing two years' worth of funding is because we need fifteen sections of the common course. The volume is such that we need to be able to allocate more than $200 per course, which is what would happen if we only had one year's funding to work with. Ideally, faculty should be working on the Common Experience course during the summer of 1999. Schuman said he has started forming a group to work on the Common Experience course. Does anyone have qualms about putting aside this year's EDP funds with last year's for working on the Common Experience?

Lee noted that for the last five years or more, the CC has supported various emphases in EDP funding (like an emphasis on international courses). The Common Experience could be thought of as one of those emphases.

McIntosh noted that Inquiry used to have a budget. Since Inquiry wasn't offered this year, there should be money in that budget. Schuman said the Inquiry budget for the last year of that course was $16,000. However, when Inquiry went away, that budget was used for something else. When the new common course begins, we will have to set up a budget again. EDP funds would be used to create the course, not administer it.

Schuman asked if there was a consensus in the CC about freezing 1997-98 EDP funds with 1996-97 funds for creation of the Common Experience course. There seemed to be agreement in the CC.


SEMESTER POLICY ON DIRECTED STUDIES:
Schuman said the question with directed studies is whether we list four levels of directed studies in the bulletin even if faculty don't expect to use all four levels. Farrell wondered if there has been a policy change throughout the University. He thought the reason that directed studies had a 3000 number under quarters was the expectation that a certain level of knowledge was needed before a student takes a directed study. He is worried about demands on faculty. In most disciplines directed studies are taught on an overload basis. To have all four levels of directed study changes the purpose of a directed study.

Schuman said he did not think there had been an effort to change the policy. The concern is about what to put in the bulletin as boilerplate. He could imagine a student taking a 1000-level directed study if a particular introductory course was not offered in a timely way to fit in the student's major. Farrell said faculty can do courses out of sequence in that instance. Directed studies are supposed to be courses not in the regular curriculum.

Lee thought the question was really about whether the directed studies listings should be standard across the campus or vary by discipline. Farrell noted that some disciplines use directed studies as part of their workload and the administration counts it as such. Having four levels of directed studies would make the workload look greater for those disciplines.

Schuman thought the choices were: 1) put all four levels of directed study in every discipline; 2) put only the 3xxx and 4xxx level in each discipline; 3) let every discipline decide on the levels they want to offer. He had not heard support for choice #1.

Korth said he would speak for choice #1. We might have faculty in the future who would want to use the lower level directed studies. Not having them limits the curriculum. He didn't see any problem in putting those lower levels in. Schuman wondered if faculty can refuse to do a directed study. The answer was yes. Farrell said every faculty member has the right to say yes or no to any directed studies request, but that can put the faculty member in an awkward position.

Schuman asked Mooney to outline the position on directed studies in faculty workload. Mooney said that, for Instructional Workload Index counts, all disciplines are given credit for directed studies offerings. She was not aware of the policy with regard to individual faculty workloads including directed studies. Farrell noted that in history, directed studies are part of the major requirements. Lee said that is a special case and it is rare for freshmen to have a directed studies opportunity.

Thielke said that, in her visits with the disciplines, there have been many who did not want directed studies listings at the 1xxx or 2xxx level. This proposal did not come through the disciplines. Lee wondered if freshmen would be allowed to register for 3xxx directed studies. If so, then he would not have a problem with only listing the 3xxx and 4xxx levels.

Schuman asked for a straw poll of the three choices he had listed earlier:

1) put all four levels of directed study in every discipline

straw vote: 3

2) put only the 3xxx and 4xxx level in each discipline

straw vote: 6

3) let every discipline decide on the levels they want to offer

straw vote: 4

Schuman saw the straw poll as an indecisive vote. He asked Division Chairs to canvass the disciplines about this issue and said the CC would return to this discussion. At the next meeting, the CC needs to get to assessment of general education.


NEXT MEETING: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25, at 8:00 a.m. in the Behmler Conference Room.

Meeting adjourned 8:50 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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