University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #16
April 28, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Asmus, Ballou, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Korth, Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Taylor

Absent: Beiswenger, Kissock, Schuman, Thielke

Guest(s): Roger McCannon, Karen Johnson

[In these minutes: continued discussion of GenEdWeb, revision of sociology major requirements, acceptance of Semester Transition Course Catalog as UMM's official transition curriculum.]


CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF GENEDWEB:
Korth distributed copies of the 3/30/98 memo from the Consultative Committee to Roger McCannon and Sam Schuman regarding GenEdWeb. He noted that there has been desire to continue the discussion of GenEdWeb which began at a CC meeting last November. He indicated that Roger McCannon was present at the meeting to answer questions.

McCannon commented that both he and Schuman had responded to the Consultative Committee memo, saying that the suggestions in the memo provide a good working basis for the GenEdWeb project. McCannon had one copy of the "Guidelines for Distance Education" published by the North Central Association which are mentioned in the Consultative Committee memo. He asked Mooney to make copies for the CC. In addition, McCannon said he had met with a subcommittee of the Campus Resources and Planning Committee (CRPC) about financial issues related to GenEdWeb. He has an email copy of the summary report that Karen Fischer submitted to the CRPC for the subcommittee. In February, a preliminary report on GenEdWeb was submitted to Dan Granger, head of distance education in the Twin Cities because the project had received some funding from that office. McCannon gave Mooney a copy of the preliminary report to be copied and distributed to the CC.

Leroux said he had learned a lot from Ty Buckman's article for the Faculty Development Committee which came out in March. Buckman is a faculty member for GenEdWeb.

McIntosh wondered why the GenEdWeb uses UMM courses rather than UC courses. He can see this program fitting into the mission of University College rather than that of UMM. McCannon replied that University College did not have its own courses until the last 2-3 years. Before then, University College exclusively brokered courses from other units of the University. Ballou said it struck her that there is the danger of divisiveness between classroom courses and web versions of those courses. There is also a lot of controversy over ITV courses. She could, however, see the benefits of offering the GenEdWeb courses as UMM courses because then campus committees have an opportunity for discussions like this one. She was surprised by the Consultative Committee suggestion that UMM students would not enroll in GenEdWeb. McCannon said GenEdWeb has focused on distance learners. We have purposely stayed away from trying to enroll current UMM students. We did enroll one current UMM student in the fall, but she was doing an internship at a distant location. On the other hand, he did not know if we could legally keep current UMM students out of the GenEdWeb classes if they wanted to enroll. UC has not advertised GenEdWeb to current students.

Ballou wondered if GenEdWeb was servicing other programs. McCannon said the GenEdWeb courses will satisfy the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum--a set of 10 courses that together would transfer to any Minnesota institution (and perhaps outside Minnesota) as meeting the general education requirements. Ballou thought, then, that someone might be transferring these courses into UMM. McCannon said a couple of advanced high school students who have taken GenEdWeb courses are planning to attend UMM. Taylor wondered why UMM students would be discouraged from taking GenEdWeb courses. McCannon said because these courses are offered on campus in a classroom setting, faculty consider that to be the preferable way to take these courses. Taylor commented that it might be convenient to some current UMM students, especially when timing conflicts, to be able to take the courses via the web.

Korth noted that the courses will not count as completing the general education requirements until the entire program is completed. If the student is one course short, it will not fulfill the general education program. Johnson clarified that there is a clause whereby the student can be one course short and still fulfill the requirements. Korth amended his statement to say that a student who is two courses short will not get credit for fulfilling the general education program.

Lee stated that GenEdWeb is still experimental. When will it go beyond an experiment? The Consultative Committee memo states that resources must not distract from the ongoing program at UMM. McCannon said there was $53,000 in outside funds to start the initiative. The Dean added $10,000 in UMM funds. For next year, we don't have that kind of funding. The new Vice Provost has $1.5 million to distribute throughout the University for this type of program. If UMM is to access those funds, there has to be wording in the campus's compact with the central administration. We do need more sound funding to develop more GenEdWeb courses. We would like to have 15-20 courses in the program, since not every course would be offered each year. Then the program could be self supporting. We are struggling to pull funds together. John Bowers has received a grant for $9,000 to fund two more courses. That funding can be augmented with University College money.

McIntosh wondered how many students would be involved in 15-20 courses. How does that affect the mission of UMM which says we are residential? McCannon said the obligation for outreach is in the UMM mission statement, too. The courses are limited to 20 students each on a semester time frame.

Korth said he was a little concerned that McCannon said we probably cannot forbid UMM students to enroll in GenEdWeb courses. He had heard a stronger statement a few months ago that we would not allow UMM students to enroll. Are we softening on that? McCannon said the decisions about enrollment will be made on a case-by-case basis. We are not softening our stand. We are not attempting to attract UMM students.

Farrell thought there could potentially be a problem if there is a reduction in the enrollment in the classroom versions of these courses. Leroux thought there was a potential to move from outreach to the regular curriculum. Lee thought it would be good to let students choose whichever version of the course suited them best; however, IMG may be based on class size. In the future, we may have to discourage the offering of classes with only 5-10 enrolled.

McIntosh did not see how we could exclude UMM students from enrolling in GenEdWeb courses, since these are UMM courses with UMM faculty teaching them. Farrell said we have to make clear to students that they undermine the classroom course and the residential nature of the campus by taking GenEdWeb courses. Ballou said she'd like to think that UMM students are here because they like to be face to face with their instructors. She thought we were getting into a policy matter of students taking courses outside the regular curriculum. McCannon could keep track of the category of students in GenEdWeb. Then we could place restrictions on the number of GenEdWeb courses that can be used toward the degree. It seems too early to be determining that kind of policy. We need input from faculty and the administration on the effects on class size and other matters.

Frenier wondered if McCannon had statistics on how many high school and nontraditional students take GenEdWeb courses. McCannon said he could send that data to CC members. Frenier said she has been concerned about the drop in the number of nontraditional students in day classes. If GenEdWeb courses would help those nontraditional students stay in school, then she is for it.

McCannon mentioned that the CC discussed GenEdWeb last fall and the possibility of creating a policy statement similar to the ITV policy which was created by the CC. He thought the discussion today would go in that direction. He would be willing to work with a subcommittee of the CC to update and expand the ITV policy to include web courses. He indicated that he had to leave the meeting at this point to participate in a conference call.

Korth asked if CC members wished to continue the discussion. McIntosh wondered if CC members could have copies of the ITV policy. Mooney said she would distribute copies. Korth said the CC could pick up the discussion after reviewing the ITV policy.

Ballou noted that demographics will play an important role in these discussions. In the near future, there will be fewer young people coming to UMM unless we can attract more of those people than other colleges. How we deal with that contention, she didn't know. The next 20-30 years will probably see a change in the population attracted to UMM. They will also be more technically sophisticated students. Lee commented that we don't want to miss the train. Korth added that we want to know where the train is going before we jump on. Frenier said we can't know where the train is going.

Leroux mentioned that the Buckman article was interesting in that he compared what happened in the web course to his regular class and also to what he expected from the web course.


CURRICULUM CHANGE PROPOSAL FOR SOCIOLOGY:
Lee said he wished the sociology faculty had caught this error before the Semester Transition Course Catalog was printed. If the CC thinks this change is substantial, he will take it to the Division meeting on Wednesday. If the CC wants to approve this change provisionally, we can do that. He explained exactly what the change was.

Frenier noted that 8 credits are allowed at the 1xxx level. There is only one 1xxx level course in sociology. Where are students to get the other 4 credits? Mooney noted that the statement allows 8 credits in both sociology and anthropology 1xxx level courses.

Ballou noted that many of the sociology courses focused on Latin America. Is that a heavy concentration in the discipline? Lee said not necessarily. Professor Chollett's specialty is Latin America. She is one of only two full-time faculty members in anthropology.

Korth asked if the CC wished to accept the changes in principle with minor editing or pass on it.

MOTION (Farrell, McIntosh): To approve the proposal to change the semester major requirements for sociology.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0).


SEMESTER TRANSITION COURSE CATALOG:
Korth said the proposal is that the CC approve the Semester Transition Course Catalog as the official UMM transition curriculum. He does not think such a motion is necessary and is not in favor of it. He personally did not vote for some of the changes which were approved by the CC.

Ballou noted a correction to the Semester Transition Course Catalog. Yesterday Thielke met with the Division of Education faculty and pointed out that the statement on the bottom of page 18 should say 60 credits of liberal arts rather than 90 credits. Along the same lines, Korth was amused by the term "intercession" rather than "intersession" on page 3.

MOTION (Frenier, Ballou): To approve the Semester Transition Course Catalog as UMM's official transition curriculum.

McIntosh thought Campus Assembly members would feel as though they haven't had an opportunity to be involved in the shaping of the current version of the curriculum. Mooney explained that there have been three rounds of proposals which have created the current semester curriculum. The first round was last spring, and the Assembly did see complete proposal forms for the initial version of each program. The second round occurred in the fall. Before that round was complete, changes which represented a third round of changes began to come to the Curriculum Committee. It made no sense to send forward changes to the Assembly which were already being superseded. The shortness of the time frame and the sheer quantity of material necessitated an abbreviated process this year. It is common during a bulletin year for the Curriculum Committee to have a vote on the overall package at the end of the process. This vote would be similar. The material that the CC reviewed this year did not contain rationales for the changes for the most part and would not be particularly helpful to Campus Assembly. Since the CC usually reports a vote to Campus Assembly on the items that it forwards for action, a vote today on the overall package would give us one vote to report rather than the many that have been taken this year.

Lee thought that CC members could vote in favor of the Semester Transition Course Catalog as a representation of the official transition curriculum even if they did not vote in favor of every change that is in the catalog. It does represent the wishes of the majority of the CC. Ballou said she would endorse it as the preliminary information for the semester curriculum. Korth said it is more than preliminary information since students will be planning their programs based on this document. Lee noted that it would be impossible to have a foolproof document. McIntosh preferred to forward the Semester Transition Course Catalog to Assembly without a vote.

VOTE: In favor--7; opposed--2; abstentions--1 (7-2-1).


NEXT MEETING:
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, at 8:00 a.m. in the Behmler Conference Room.

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

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