University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #13
March 10, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Korth, Kissock, Lee, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor
Absent: Asmus, Ballou, Beiswenger, Leroux, Thielke
[In these minutes: Continued discussion of semester GER designations
and repeatable course lists]
Farrell said the art history discipline is agreeable to changing the
credits on ArtH 4000 to 2-4 credits. He has not heard from French faculty
and assumes that it will be agreeable to them to change Fren 4210 to 2-6
credits. Korth reported that the chemistry discipline wished to drop the
GER designation on Chem 4894. They do not believe that will penalize any
students because the ones taking this course would already have gotten the
lab requirement fulfilled many times. Lee said that the history discipline
did not intend to offer Hist 3000 for variable credits. This course should
be listed for 4 credits only. Psychology wishes to add a statement stipulating
that the GER category will not apply if the course is taken for less than
Schuman stated that we have not taken the question of repeatability very
seriously, but it does need to be answered correctly. We will have to work
on the repeatable question until we have it right.
Schuman wondered if the CC wanted to come up with a general rule about
[An example of a variable topic listing in the bulletin would be the following:
Engl 1100. Topics in Literature. (See specific topics for general education categories; 4 cr; repeatable when topic changes; offered when feasible)
Study of a literary topic that is both timely and of broad interest.
Engl 1101f. The Novel Since 1960. (Hum; 4 cr; not offered 1999-2000)Major British and American novels since 1960.
Engl 1102. The Environmental Imagination. (Envt; 4 cr; not offered 1999-2000)
Study of selected poetry and prose on nature and the environment.
Engl 1103. The Novel on Page and Screen. (Hum; 4 cr; offered when feasible)
Text and film versions of major British and American novels will be studied to learn about the effects of adaptation and the distinctive characteristics of the two media.
Engl 1104f. Backgrounds to Literature. (Hist; 4 cr; not offered 2000-2001)
Wide reading in the Bible and versions of the Greek and Roman myths combined with selected readings in English literature that illustrate the literary use of biblical and classical allusions.]
Would the general rule be that topic umbrellas (e.g., Engl 1100) would
be repeatable, but specific topics (e.g., Engl 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104) would
not? Mooney wondered if the rule would assume no maximum on the repeatability
of the umbrella course. Schuman said presumably.
Lee wondered if Biol 1000 and 4000 are variable topic courses. Korth
said that at one time Biol 1051 and 1052 were topics under Biol 1000. Farrell
noted that some specific topics are later made into regular courses. Mooney
pointed out that the courses are given new numbers when that happens.
Schuman said we want an institutionally clean way to do this. Korth said
it had been his assumption that whatever is specified in the generic heading
is carried forward for all of the specific topics. In the biology repeatable
list, that means that the specific topics are not repeatable.
Frenier noted that "topics" is used in two different ways.
Sometimes it refers to a variable topic course and other times it is simply
meant as "issues" or "studies in." Kissock suggested
that the CC could specify that the term "topic" or "topics"
would be reserved for umbrella courses with variable topics. We could also
say that it is not possible to register for the generic heading, only the
subsets. Schuman said he would add that the generic topic is always repeatable
but the specific topics are not.
Lee said that some courses may need topics as non-variable selections.
If all courses ending in "0" were umbrella topics, that would
help. Mooney indicated that the recommended course numbering standards from
the Twin Cities say that all repeatable courses in general should end with
"0." At Morris, we tried to save 1000, 2000, 3000, etc. for generic
topic headings, but that wasn't always possible and sometimes we needed
more numbers, so we used 1050, 2050, etc. Because some disciplines have
as many as 20 specific topics under one headings, we tried to save 50 numbers
after the generic heading number for specific topics.
Farrell noted that some "seminars" or "studies in..."
also have changing topics. Mooney agreed. An example is the "Area Studies"
course in anthropology which is a generic heading with specific topics (and
separate numbers) below it. She wondered if umbrella topics would be required
to have "topic" in the title. Korth thought Farrell had described
a variable subject course that should be repeatable, not a topics course.
Kissock thought that the course titles in German present a good example
of the confusion that we have with topics courses:
Ger 3221--Studies in German Drama.
Ger 3300--Topics in German with English Discussion.
Ger 3400--Topics in German with German Discussion.
Ger 3500--Topics in Women's Issues in Contemporary German Culture.
Ger 3601--Studies in German Literature.
Ger 3611--Studies in Austrian Literature.
When we say topics course, can we give a simple description of what we
mean? We use the variable topic courses to give faculty flexibility to add
courses that may not be offered on a regular basis, etc. Schuman noted that
some disciplines have none of these courses, some have only one, some have
many. Kissock suggested that the CC would approve generic topic headings
such as "Topics in English." Then each time the discipline teaches
that course, they would give it a unique number and title. That would be
the only setting for topics courses.
Farrell asked where the GER would go. Schuman said, if the generic heading
has a GER category, then all of the specific topics below it would also
have that GER. He wondered if someone should try to write up these principles.
McIntosh wondered if the generic heading could list 100x instead of 1000.
Mooney doubted if that would be possible in the web database (the course
number cell does not accept letters). Even if it would, some of the generic
topics have 15-20 specific topics, so the number would have to be 10xx and
that introduces other courses which are not under the generic heading.
Schuman suggested that any title with the words "Variable Topics
in..." would be repeatable. Mooney said she would need a list of all
of the courses that fit in that category in order to revise the bulletin
Frenier wondered if, ten years from now, people will have forgotten this
CC discussion and not remember the difference between a course title with
"variable topics" and one with simply "topics." Schuman
agreed that would be confusing. He suggested that the word "topic"
or "topics" be excised from other course titles.
Taylor wondered if it would be possible to have a "0" at the
end of these topics courses. Mooney noted that any repeatable course is
supposed to have a "0" at the end, not just topics courses. There
are even difficulties in making all of the repeatable courses end in "0".
For example, two courses that are both repeatable and should be listed together
because they are "I" and "II" would have to be ten numbers
apart to end in a zero and thus might not be listed together. That case
did arise and it was decided to have one of the courses not end in a zero
in order to keep the two courses together.
Farrell suggested that, instead of saying what the title must be, the
CC could say that we must refrain from using "topic" in other
course titles. CC members thought that other words could be suggested, like
"issues" or "studies in."
The CC agreed that the Dean should draft a general policy on these matters
to bring to the committee. Schuman said the CC should therefore continue
with the discussion of the repeatable lists, but ignore topics courses at
this point. He asked if there were further issues regarding the biology
list. There were none.
Schuman indicated that we would begin with the Social Science repeatable
lists at the next meeting in spring quarter. He and Mooney will prepare
a topics template for the next meeting, also.
Meeting adjourned 9:00 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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