University of Minnesota, Morris
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
[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 (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
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).
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.]
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.
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
Meeting adjourned 9:00 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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