University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

 

MINUTES     2000-01 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #3
October 11, 2000; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present:           Carlson, Chabel, DeJager, Evans, Finzel, Gooch, Korth, Lee, Mooney, Nellis, Ostrowski, Thielke

Absent:            Farris, Kissock, Neuharth, Urness

[In these minutes: approval of minutes, approval of Science & Math curricular change proposals.]

DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS: The curriculum change packet for the Division of Education was distributed at the beginning of the meeting, along with an email making changes to that packet. Also distributed was a sheet containing three additional revisions for the Division of Science and Mathematics.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth asked for additions or corrections to the minutes of the last Curriculum Committee (CC) meeting which was held on September 27, 2000. There were none.

MOTION       (Carlson, Finzel): To approve the minutes, as distributed electronically, for the 9/27/00 CC meeting.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)

SCIENCE AND MATH DIVISION CURRICULUM CHANGE PROPOSALS: Korth wondered if the committee wished to vote on proposals discipline by discipline. There were no objections.

BIOLOGY PROPOSAL--Korth indicated that the biology discipline proposes to reintroduce a biological communications course similar to the one they had under quarters. When the discipline converted its courses to semesters, it was thought that communications could be incorporated into another course. That plan did not work as well as expected.

A member asked why the number of courses required for a major is increasing by one but the credits required for a major stays the same. The answer is that some courses are being reduced in credits at the same time that this new course is being added.

Another member wondered if there are any 5-credit courses left in the discipline. Korth said that there are.

Korth went on to explain that the biology discipline is proposing to turn two topics courses into regular courses in the catalog. They are also tinkering with years of offering, course numbers, etc.

MOTION (Finzel, Nellis): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the biology discipline.

One member wondered about the 4-credit standard course. Is there a conscious attempt to do 4-credit courses? Korth believes that there is. The weekly schedule was designed for 4-credit courses. Another member wondered if the change from 4 credits to 3 credits proposed for some of the biology courses meant less teaching time involved. Gooch said those courses would involve less lecture time.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)

CHEMISTRY PROPOSAL--Korth noted that the chemistry discipline is proposing on the Form B to insert text suggesting how students might design an area of concentration in biochemistry. One member asked if the area of concentration text should follow the major requirements rather than be included in the introduction since that is the way it is done elsewhere in the catalog. Also, in the first sentence of the introduction, the fourth area is missing--analytical. Korth indicated that the first sentence of the introduction is not underlined and was not intended to be changed. The text will be corrected for Campus Assembly. Korth asked Mooney, who is catalog editor for the Morris campus, if the placement of the area of concentration text would be considered editorial and not require committee approval. Mooney agreed that it would be editorial.

Korth mentioned that the first semester of Honors general chemistry is being deleted in this proposal. Only the second semester will have the Honors version. The chemistry discipline is also converting topics to regular courses and on the Form RC, the umbrella topics are being deleted. Mooney noted a correction on Course Revision #7 on the Form RC: The title of the course should be "Synthesis." The words "Variable Topics in Organic Chemistry" should be in strikethru font and are intended to be deleted.

MOTION (Carlson, Nellis): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the chemistry discipline.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)

DISTRIBUTION OF CURRICULUM FORMS TO CAMPUS ASSEMBLY: There was some discussion about the quantity of forms generated in the curriculum revision process and whether all of the pages would be duplicated for Campus Assembly. Korth said he and Mooney had discussed putting the forms on the web and then an overhead could be used in the Assembly meeting to review forms in question. In response to a concern about faculty who do not use computers, Mooney suggested that paper copies be made available in the library and Division Offices for those who prefer paper to the computer.

COMPUTER SCIENCE PROPOSAL--Korth indicated that the computer science discipline is splitting its seminar course into two courses because there are two components to the course.

MOTION (Gooch, Nellis): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the computer science discipline.

One member asked if the total credits for the major are correct on the Form A because she had counted 60 credits in the major, not 64. Korth thought that 60 credits was the correct number. The requirement for a general education course in "Hum" outside the major was dropped. The 2-credit CSci seminar course had a "Hum" GER designator and the discipline originally wanted students to be sure to get a "Hum" course outside the major as well. Now the 1-credit seminar courses do not qualify for a GER designator because of the credit level so that requirement for a "Hum" course outside the major is also deleted.

Another member wondered if the "Hum" GER requirement was replaced with 12 credits of "Stat" courses. Korth said the 12 credits were required in the past; the designator is being changed to reflect the fact that some Math courses are being switched to the new Stat discipline. The "Hum" GER requirement is still part of the general education requirements.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)

GEOLOGY PROPOSAL--Korth said the geology discipline intends to reinstate the research methods course at the sophomore level. They had a similar course under quarters. They are also adding a research methods course at the junior level. A non-majors course in oceanography is being created, to be taught every other year. To make time for oceanography, the national parks course goes to an alternate year offering. There are many changes on the Form RC which mostly involve tinkering with course descriptions, quarter prerequisites, years of offering, etc. Revision #6 is a course deletion.

One member commented that the heading in the major requirements section with the text "Graduate studies in the geological sciences" makes it sound like Morris' geology discipline has a graduate program. Another member suggested changing the wording to something like "Students planning to pursue graduate studies..." which is the way other disciplines word this type of section.

Thielke was concerned about the general education designations in the geology discipline. All of the geology courses have "Sci" or "Sci-L" designators. The campus has so few "Envt" courses. Either we should eliminate the "Envt" GER category or ask disciplines that have appropriate courses to designate them as "Envt." Geol 1001 and the hydrology course are examples of geology courses that could be designated as "Envt." Another member wondered if it was still true that a course could have only one GER designator. The difficulty with having to choose one is that the designator which seems most fitting is chosen. Thielke said she would not be opposed to a change to allow students to choose from more than one GER designator for a course. Korth reminded the committee that students are not required to have an "Envt" course to fulfill the GER; they must take two courses, from two different categories under "The Global Village," which includes Human Diversity, People and the Environment, International Perspectives, and Ethical and Civic Responsibility.

Thielke said she had two questions. Could courses list two GER categories or could we ask disciplines to change designators on some courses? One member thought this was a future agenda item. Thielke noted that the Twin Cities campus asks their disciplines to designate a second area and courses are allowed to count for both a "theme" and a "perspective" requirement. Another member wondered if that would eliminate some of the breadth in majors that require 60 credits within the Division (e.g., in Science and Math).

Korth said he would work with Mooney and the geology discipline to modify the wording of the graduate studies heading.

A member wondered why the total credits required for the major did not go up. Korth said the discipline dropped the 20 additional credits required for the major to 8 additional credits.

Korth noted that the geology discipline has suggested specific phrasing for the catalog where the teacher preparation requirements have been moved to the Education listing. The Curriculum Committee needs to talk about whether all disciplines should have the same statement or not. One member thought this was an editorial question and that Mooney would take care of it. There seemed to be agreement to allow Mooney to prepare the statements.

MOTION (Gooch, Nellis): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the geology discipline.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)

MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS--Korth indicated that the mathematics discipline is proposing to split off its statistics courses into a separate discipline. One member asked that the mathematics and statistics proposals be considered together. Korth agreed to do so. Korth said in mathematics, two major courses are being expanded into three courses. On the Form RC, math is tinkering with course descriptions. In statistics, the courses are a straight transfer out of the math discipline. Because all of the text in the new statistics discipline is new, none of it was underlined. There is no Form RC. The last two pages appear to be a duplicate of some physics forms and should be thrown.

One member was concerned about the rationale for splitting statistics off as a separate discipline. Even though he thinks he supports the proposal, the rationale is not convincing. He would like to see a stronger rationale. As it stands, there are a variety of disciplines that could make the same argument for creating a new discipline. What kind of discussion occurred in the Division meeting? Korth said there was not much discussion at the Division meeting because this plan had been in the works for some time.

Thielke noted that there is precedence for doing this. Management and economics were one discipline originally, as were studio art and art history, speech and theatre, math and computer science. In many colleges, statistics is a separate area. A member asked if our peer institutions have statistics majors. Thielke said there will be differences. Mooney noted that, within the state, we have been encouraged not to duplicate programs. Another member wondered if it is inevitable that there will be a statistics major. Korth said that is the plan. Thielke commented that the statistics major would combine both statistics and mathematics courses. Students who currently major in math have a strong interest in the statistics area and thus often go way over the 40-credit maximum. Korth noted that, when students graduate, the statement that they have a math major doesn't acknowledge what they may have done if they had an emphasis in statistics courses. Thielke said the computer science discipline started with a few courses, but rapidly grew. These days students need training in statistics.

One member wondered which paragraph of the statistics rationale needs bolstering. The second paragraph goes into the "nitty gritty" and the third paragraph is more idealistic. Another member said it is the third paragraph that needs enhancement and another member said the third paragraph should come first.

For one member the second sentence said it all. If statistics is a mathematical science but not a field of mathematics, she was not sure how a stronger argument could be made. It made sense to her to split statistics into a separate discipline. Another member thought that rationale could be made in many disciplines. Mooney wondered if it would be helpful to know how many students have gotten an area of concentration in statistics over the past several years. DeJager said the Scholastic Committee would like to see statistics split off because of the quantity of petitions they must review related to this. Another member agreed that it is difficult when students are going over the 40-credit limit. Thielke commented that this is also a problem for the music discipline. A member noted that the pedagogy in, for instance, studio art and art history, are very different and thus the courses need to be in separate disciplines. Perhaps the music history courses should be a separate discipline, too.

Korth said the 40-credit limit might be a motive for some math faculty, but not to the statistics faculty. Thielke noted that we have not separated any disciplines since we instituted the limit on credits in one discipline. The other splits that we approved earlier might have looked suspicious to us in view of the limit.

One member said he liked the rationale about pedagogy as well as any. He is looking for a standard for the future when other disciplines might request a split.

Another member noted that there are few courses in the statistics discipline. Until we have enough resources, he was not sure we should do the area of concentration in statistics. Thielke said we could look at samples of majors at other institutions.

One member commented that, if student demand is not sufficient reason to add a major, is lack of student demand not a reason for dropping a major?

Meeting adjourned 8:55 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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