University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #5
December 3, 1997; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Ballou, Beiswenger, Farrell, Frenier, Kissock, Korth, Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor

Absent: Asmus, Ellis, Thielke

Guests: None

[In these minutes: approval of motion regarding email minutes of campus committees, approval of computer science request for exemption from campus norms for semester course numbers, discussion of semester GER designation proposals from the disciplines]


MOTION REGARDING EMAIL MINUTES:
Schuman asked CC members to consider the following motion put forward by Korth and distributed on November 11, 1997:

MOTION (Korth, Understood): To recommend that the Executive Committee require all Assembly and adjunct committees to better inform the campus community of their discussions and actions by regularly providing minutes via email to those who request them.

Schuman assumed that a central solicitation would be done early each academic year (perhaps by the Chancellor's secretary) to see who wants to receive email minutes for each committee. Schuman thought this was a good idea. He expected he would probably get a few requests from committees for clerical help, which he would probably have to deny.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).

Schuman asked Mooney to transmit this recommendation to the Executive Committee.


COMPUTER SCIENCE REQUEST FOR SEMESTER NUMBER CHANGES:
Schuman asked CC members to turn to the November 18, 1997 memo from the computer science discipline requesting exemption from the campus norm that semester course numbers start the major requirements at 11xx. They want to start the major at 1301 and 1302.

Lee thought the course titles should not say "introduction" if the course numbers are raised. Korth said the title of the two courses in question do not have the word "introduction" in them. The two courses are titled Problem Solving and Algorithm Development I and II. Frenier noted that the memo keeps referring to the "introductory" sequence. Korth clarified that these are the first two courses in the major.

Leroux thought the point was moot because the all-University number standards say only that first-year courses need to start with a "1," as in 1xxx. Mooney explained that some campus norms specific to UMM were developed over the summer to make it easier for advisers and students to understand the curricula in the various disciplines. For example, each major was to begin at 11xx and all courses at 10xx were to be general education courses or non-major courses.

Schuman thought the question was whether to keep the uniformity in numbering the beginning of the major across campus or whether to let this discipline's courses be numbered somewhat eccentrically. Lee said he was comfortable with having the introductory courses be numbered 1201 or 1301.

MOTION (Lee, Ballou): To permit the computer science discipline to use 1301 and 1302 for the numbers of the introductory courses to the major.

Kissock said he did not like this idea that we need to be sure that our numbers are higher than those, say, at community colleges and that community college numbers are higher than technical schools, etc. The transcripts should be read by the title of the course, not the course number, unless determining whether the course is upper or lower division. All of the disciplines should be consistent with numbering.

Farrell said we have lived with this problem for many years. In music, there are a wide range of numbers which are not related to the beginning of the major. Schuman said the contrary argument is that the conversion to semesters allows us to introduce tidiness to the numbering system.

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


BULLETIN PRODUCTION SCHEDULE:
Mooney indicated that the production schedule for the first semester bulletin for 1999-2001 has been set. All changes to semester courses must be entered on the web database by 6/29/98. There will be no galley stage for this bulletin. Minor changes can be made on page proofs, but whatever is in the web database at the end of spring quarter will determine what appears in our bulletin.


GER DESIGNATIONS:
Mooney distributed copies of a table summarizing the number of courses proposed for each category of the General Education Requirements (GER). Schuman asked if the CC wished to consider the GER proposals discipline by discipline. There was agreement to do so.


Art History
No comments were made on the proposal.


Studio Art
No comments were made on the proposal.


English
Korth noted that there were a lot of undesignated courses in English that should have designations. Frenier did not think the rationales were sufficient for not giving these courses GER designators. Ballou wondered if the undesignated courses were closed to non-majors. Farrell said the courses were all open to non-majors, but the course content is not pitched to non-majors. Lee commented that courses primarily intended for majors could still have GER designations. Farrell said the discipline has had complaints from both majors and nonmajors. Frenier wondered why the problem would be more difficult in English than in history. Farrell didn't know.

Lee wondered if majors were not able to get into classes because students were taking them for general education. Schuman said there has been one course with that problem. That course was converted to Engl 2011 and does not have a designator.

Schuman saw two issues: 1) the large clump of courses without designators, which could be designated as "Hum"; and 2) the rationales are not extensive. He did not feel compelled to require a discipline to list all courses as GER or give extensive rationales. The discipline will have reduced enrollment by designating fewer courses.

Farrell said there are 12 courses with GER designations in English. That is just as many as, say, French has. Schuman said there are a total of 68 courses already designated as "Hum."

Kissock said the premise of the new GER was that all courses would have a designation, with a few exceptions. Are we still saying that is true? Was it the intention of the campus that an English major would be able to get CW, ArtP, Hist, Envt, Hum, and HDiv all fulfilled with courses in the major? Schuman wondered if it was one of the goals of the GER that the "Hist" requirement would be met in the history discipline or that aspects of history could be met in other disciplines?

Leroux was concerned about the procedures by which designators stay or stand. Every discipline approached the designation task with a different "take" on the intent of the GER. We have no General Education Committee (GEC) to sort this out. Schuman said the Curriculum Committee is responsible for general education at this point. He said the CC could ask the English discipline to come to a CC meeting. Farrell said that should not be necessary; he has stated the position of the English discipline.

McIntosh noted that the GEC looked at a distribution requirement last year and rejected it. The disciplines have the ability to set the GER designations as they see fit. Also, the presumption is that all courses should be accurately designated to save the Scholastic Committee from a lot of petitions. Farrell noted that the art history discipline did not designate any "Hist" courses because they were limited to one category for each course. Music was in the same position. Under the present GER, we were limited to one category per course. Frenier understood that under quarters, students felt they couldn't fulfill the requirements because of this kind of designation. Schuman said he wished someone from the Registrar's Office was present to answer that question; he understood that it was not unusual under quarters for students to feel their options were limited. Some requirements were abandoned for lack of courses to fulfill them.

Frenier thought some of the undesignated English courses could be "HDiv." Schuman said it was also clear that English faculty thought the courses should not have designations. Farrell said the CC could have him go back to the discipline and say the CC feels there should be more designations.

MOTION (Korth, Frenier): To send the English GER proposal back to the discipline for reconsideration.

Farrell said he would be hesitant to tell the discipline that they had to put designators on all courses. Lee said the GER is based on encouraging students to take a broad base of courses rather than a narrow spectrum. We could argue that "Hist" should be taken in the Social Sciences. On the other hand, there is the perspective that all courses should have a GER designation.

Schuman thought we could say to the English discipline that the CC did not understand why so many courses did not meet any of the requirements and that we'd like to have a fuller explanation. He wondered if Korth wanted most of the courses to have a designation. Korth said he did; it was his understanding that most courses were to have a GER designation. If not, he may need to withdraw the Science and Math proposals so that the disciplines could reconsider the designations based on a new understanding.

Farrell said he did not want to take proposals back to the disciplines in a piecemeal fashion. Schuman said he could wait until all of the disciplines had been considered to take them back. Ballou suggested delaying the vote on English until the other disciplines had been considered. Nylander suggested a friendly amendment to the motion asking for more explanation for courses with no designation. Farrell didn't think the CC could force a discipline to put designations on courses. Korth thought the CC could vote to add designations. Farrell said he would like to give the individuals an opportunity to reconsider their courses over the quarter break. He will tell all of the faculty in the Division that there is concern in the CC. Frenier said some other disciplines in the Humanities Division have more specific rationales and she does not object to those exceptions.

Ballou said she saw two issues: 1) the CC should reconsider whether to accept the rationale that a course which was not designated under quarters should not be designated under semesters; and 2) the CC should question whether major courses can be left undesignated. She would make a plug for opening some of the English courses to general education that would be especially good for the GER and have been left undesignated. English offers a unique perspective which is valuable to non-majors.

Taylor said students would be discouraged from taking an upper division English course if there was no GER designation. Farrell thought students should take courses just because it is good for their education, not because they fulfill the GER. Schuman suggested that perhaps the issue is whether or not a course fulfilled the objectives of a GER, regardless of whether it is for the major or not.

McIntosh said, if a course fits a category, it should be designated.

Frenier said she liked Ballou's issues. Schuman said English could be asked particularly to address those issues. Korth said English would just come back with the same rationale. Kissock agreed.

Leroux said it was his understanding that the CC may make similar recommendations for the proposals from other disciplines. Schuman said that was true.

Ballou said she was a little uncomfortable with the motion, not because she disagreed with it, but because there is no explanation of what is to be reconsidered. Schuman said he thought Farrell could relay CC concerns to the discipline. Korth said he thought the English explanations were not sufficient. Schuman said, as an English faculty member, he would like to be invited to the English discipline meeting on this topic.

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

[Farrell left the meeting at this point.]


French
Kissock was curious about why the intermediate courses are IP, not FL. Ballou said they introduced a cultural component into the intermediate courses. Schuman agreed; they feel the cultural component is more important than the language aspect.

Frenier wondered if there are enough FL courses. Schuman said there are not enough sections offered, but French is not the problem. The discipline we can't staff sufficiently is Spanish. Frenier wondered if the number of FL designators affects that. Schuman said no.

Korth noted that Fren 4200 is a 1-credit course and should not qualify for a GER designator. Schuman agreed, and suggested sending the proposal back to the discipline.


German
Schuman said the German proposal presents an interesting question. The last two courses have designators and are offered for 1-4 credits. What if someone takes the course for 1 credit? Ballou said the student would get the designator if the course was taken for 2 or more credits.

Kissock said the CC should take the position that directed studies and senior honors projects courses should not have designators at all. Ballou said the German directed studies could be about a language. Kissock said it would not necessarily have an international perspective; the study might be about syntax.

Schuman wondered if this proposal should be sent back to the discipline. Kissock thought this was an issue to be decided by the CC for the entire campus, not by each discipline. Korth doubted if faculty would be concerned about the designators on directed studies or honors projects. He thought it would be simplest for the CC to decide. Schuman said the CC could deal with that question at the next CC meeting. He agreed that he could imagine a directed study project in FL that would have nothing to do with international perspectives.


NEXT MEETING:
This is the last meeting for fall quarter. The first meeting for winter quarter will be scheduled early in the quarter. CC members were asked to submit their winter quarter schedules as soon as possible so that a meeting time could be determined.

Meeting adjourned 9:00 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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