University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #10
February 17, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Asmus, Beiswenger, Farrell, Frenier, Korth, Kuechle (for Kissock), Lee, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor
Absent: Ballou, Ellis, Leroux, Thielke
Guest(s): Jim Gremmels, English
[In these minutes: continued discussion of semester GER designator proposals]
Farrell said there is some contention about the idea that all courses
are supposed to have a GER designator. He had asked Mooney to research where
this idea originated. In the short time she had, she discovered the following
statement in the CC minutes of 3/11/97:
Togeas said the GEC intended that all courses would fit someplace in the GER unless they are specifically excluded.
Schuman said the question remains of whether excluding courses because
they are intended for majors is an acceptable rationale. Farrell said the
English discipline faculty believe they have followed procedures. Schuman
agreed that no specific action had been taken that said every course must
have a GER designator. However, English has used a somewhat different approach
from other disciplines. Their approach is not "illegal."
Frenier wondered what the enrollment level was for the non-designated
English courses. Schuman said the classes are large--30 or more students.
Farrell said some of the classes have 90 students.
Lee was concerned that English majors might be disadvantaged by not having
more of the GER fulfilled with courses in the major. Schuman said the undesignated
courses would mostly be "Hum" courses if they were designated,
a category that English majors will have no difficulty fulfilling. Frenier
wondered if double majors in English would be disadvantaged. Farrell wondered
why they would be. Frenier had heard that English double majors have trouble
meeting all of the requirements now. Farrell said that it is the University's
policy to require one major; students who take more than one major cannot
expect to graduate in four years.
Schuman was bothered by the fact that some of the multicultural courses,
like 3301--Multicultural Literature and 3311--Native American Literature,
do not meet the "HDiv" category. Farrell commented that students
still have flexibility to take electives. Schuman thought that students
should be invited to think about studying English and American literature
outside their majors as a way to meet the GER. Farrell thought that was
an advising function.
Lee wondered if the undesignated courses might be restricted to majors
only. Farrell said that is an option, but not currently done.
McIntosh said it has been his interpretation that every course should
be accurately designated. The GER designators should not be used for enrollment
Gremmels said that English has a unique major. Ten percent of students
are in the English major--180 students--and the number is growing. During
an evaluation with outside reviewers, concern was expressed that we have
upper division classes that are too large. The discipline added prerequisites
so that there were three prerequisite courses on the upper division courses.
That helped reduce the enrollment, but those classes are still large. The
discipline feels it is devoting a considerable effort to the GER in courses
which it sees as appropriate. He was on the General Education Committee
(GEC) and doesn't know where the idea came from that all courses should
have a GER category. There was brief mention of the idea, but he did not
believe it was the intention of the GEC to say that. English does have an
"HDiv" course and could add more. English faculty do not want
the 3xxx-level courses filled with non-majors. However, non-majors are not
restricted from the classes. The discipline has more majors than it can
Kuechle wondered if the three prerequisites are required for the semester
courses as well. Gremmels said there aren't enough staff resources to do
that under semesters. The upper division semester courses have only one
prerequisite, with the exception of Shakespeare, which does have a GER category.
Kuechle said she had also served on the GEC and thought it was agreed that
the discipline and Division would be making the decisions about GER categories.
Gremmels thought there was lots of disagreement across the campus about
what the GER means. For example, people seem to agree about the 1/3/1/3/1/3
split for credits in the major, GER, and electives, but some feel the GER
should be completed in the first two years and others think it should be
spread out over the four years.
Lee could understand the concern with overcrowding of courses. On the
other hand, is there another way to limit enrollment without sacrificing
the GER category? Gremmels said they could add the prerequisite of consent
of the instructor.
Farrell emphasized that English is one of the few disciplines which has
gone through an outside evaluation. The opinion expressed by the discipline
is also given by the outside reviewers. The reviewers will be back and if
we haven't met their concern, it will reflect on the program. Schuman noted
that the next outside review will the one for the NCA.
Gremmels noted that, of the 28 courses offered by English in one year,
9 will carry the "Hum" designator the first year and 10 the second
year. English is also responsible for the College Writing requirement of
Korth wondered if the English discipline will fail to support student
petitions to the Scholastic Committee for GER categories. Farrell thought
it was possible that there would be legitimate petitions.
Schuman commented that, although this was not the GER proposal that he
would prefer, it is his feeling that the discipline has a right to carry
it out. The proposal has been thought out and gone through the appropriate
steps. He is not prepared to say the CC should impose its will on the discipline.
He is most bothered by the lack of GER for the multicultural courses.
MOTION (Farrell, Nylander): To approve the English GER proposal as originally proposed.
VOTE: In favor--6; opposed--4; abstentions--0 (6-4-0).
McIntosh wondered if the Dean was proposing a new policy of discipline
rights. Schuman said he was not proposing a new policy. As he understood
it, no explicit proposal was brought to Campus Assembly about the proportion
of courses which should meet the GER. His personal impulse is to defer to
the people who are teaching the courses unless there is a gross miscarriage
or flamboyant misdirection of the GER. Most disciplines have left some courses
Farrell commented that the CC had voted on this proposal. The discussion
should move on. Schuman thought the idea of seeing how the general education
program sifts out in practice makes sense.
Schuman noted that Korth had raised the question about the "M/SR"
category for these courses. Does the response seem a satisfactory demonstration
of the three elements in the goals? Korth said he accepted the response.
Schuman wondered if there were other questions. There were none.
Schuman asked if proofs are done in the course. Lee said yes, but not
at the same level as in the economics courses. Schuman thought it was odd
to suggest that because a prerequisite course qualifies for the designator,
this course should have the designator. Lee read the entire email message
aloud. The message said that it is not clear cut whether proofs are actually
constructed, but this course is the same as all of the statistics courses
in the math discipline and they have the "M/SR" designator.
MOTION (Farrell, Lee): To approve Psy 3601 with the "M/SR" designator.
VOTE: In favor--8; opposed--1; abstentions--1 (8-1-1).
[McIntosh, Farrell, and Beiswenger left the meeting at this point.]
Schuman wondered if not having GER designators on the ElEd courses says
something about ElEd that we don't want to say. We could tell majors that
they cannot meet the GER with the ElEd courses. Kuechle said she would have
to take that suggestion back to the ElEd faculty.
Nylander commented that ElEd instructs on how to teach math and does
not teach math per se. Schuman thought that explanation made sense.
MOTION (Kuechle, Frenier): To approve the original elementary education GER proposal.
VOTE: In favor--6; opposed--0; abstentions--1 (6-0-1).
Meeting adjourned 9:00 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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