University of Minnesota, Morris

Morris, MN




March 26, 2003, 8:00 a.m. Behmler Conference Room


Present:          John Schwaller, Mike Korth, Judy Kuechle, Pierana Garavaso for Jenny Nellis, Jooinn Lee, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Chris DeVries, Van Gooch, Tom Johnson, Amanda Johnson, Laura Burbank, Ruth Thielke, Dorothy DeJager, Nancy Helsper and Jeri Mullin.


Absent:          Blake Auler-Murphy, Danielle Stuard and Clare Strand.



Approval of Minutes

Schwaller asked for approval of minutes from February 12th and February 26th.


MOTION:     (Bezanson, Korth) To approve the minutes from

February 12, 2003 and February 26, 2003.


VOTE:            Motion passed (10-0-0)


Schwaller informed the committee that letters were sent out to the adjunct committees that CC is to review, requesting annual reports by April 1, 2003. So far two have been received.


Schwaller also informed CC that the April 23rd meeting is cancelled. Our last meeting for the semester will be April 9th.


Gen Ed Survey Results

Schwaller asked Nancy Helsper to explain the handouts and results of the Gen Ed Survey. Helsper explained that the additional memo handed out gives the recommendations from the Assessment of Student Learning Committee to the Curriculum Committee. The recommendation that one additional question be added had been done. From the results of the survey it appears that UMM should do more to explain and/or promote the idea of general education and UMM’s requirements. Discussion continued, a member indicated that it was hard to judge the comments because of the lightness of some and seriousness of others. Another member stated that she did see some correlation between the division of the students major and the sense of importance of certain GER requirements. Discussion continued among the members about students not understanding the importance of a liberal arts education. A member suggested doing a survey as was done in the 70’s among students, faculty and staff about the understanding of the mission of UMM? Schwaller indicated that this survey and its results would serve our assessment needs with the North Central Association. A member also noted that work has been done with adding gen eds to classes and there are more classes with general education designators now. In two years the responses may be different. A member stated that UMM does need to communicate better about GERs but also wondered if the categories are correct. Maybe the students don’t understand a general education requirement or maybe the gen ed program needs to be changed. Schwaller indicated that CC will need to decide what is learned from the survey. Another member noted that a pre-test was not given before the students came here to see how students’ attitudes may have changed while they were at UMM. Another member asked if we could give a pre-test. A member also raised the point that a pre-test would also indicate the importance of general education to entering students.


Helsper stated that the Assessment committee is turning the issue over to CC, which can accept or reject their recommendations and act on them if they choose. A member indicated that CC should suggest to the assessment committee that a pre-test survey should be done. Schwaller stated the three proposals before CC.


            1. Recommendation that the survey be conducted annually and give

            authority to the Assessment Committee to conduct the survey.


            2. Should the CC empower the Assessment Committee to make

            appropriate decisions in regards to construction of the instrument?


            3. Charge the Assessment Committee to develop a pre-test to evaluate

            the importance of a liberal arts education to the students upon arriving at



Discussion: A member stated that she agreed with another member who suggested that it might be beneficial to have some focus groups for input from the students to find other ways to interpret the data. It may be beneficial to look into why the answers are low and look for a better way to evaluate. Another member stated that it would be important to be aware of how the Profile of Learning, which is no longer being used, has affected student’s perception of a liberal education. The question was called.


MOTION:     (Bezanson, Johnson) To accept the three proposals.


VOTE:            Motion passed (10-0-0)


Course Approvals:


Mus 1300, 1310, 1320, 1330, 1340 – all courses being changed from S/N to A-F only. There was discussion among the members that the rationale didn’t clearly explain well enough the reasoning for changing the grading. A member from the Humanities division explained that she understood the reason being to make it more rigorous. A member stated that she did not support it because students may not be comfortable with performing and would not take the course simply because of the A-F grading. Other members agreed. Schwaller also explained that this is a good mechanism for students to obtain their ArtP gen ed requirement and by turning this to an A-F grading might close the door for many students and he would be reluctant to do that. A member suggested that CC return the course changes to the Music discipline and ask them to give the students the option for either S/N or A-F. A member stated that he would hope that a student would be graded on how well one does in the class and not how well one sings.


MOTION:     (Bezanson, DeVries) To return Music 1300, 1310, 1320, 1330

and 1340 to the discipline and request that they consider

changing the grading to student option instead of A-F only.


VOTE:            Motion passed (10-0-0)



Russ 1993, 2993, 3993, 4993. Directed Study classes are being added at all levels.


MOTION:     (Bezanson, Korth) To approve Russ 1993, 2993, 3993, 4993

Directed Studies.


VOTE:            Motion passed (10-0-0)



Hist 3461 Variable Topics in U.S. History: Lewis and Clark: Journey to Another America. A member stated that she is puzzled by the narrowness of the class focusing only on Lewis and Clark and not including Sacagawea and others. Another member did point out that this is a topics course. Even though a member noted that it is not CC’s role to edit the title of courses, the former member stated that it was wrong not to have Sacagawea included.


MOTION:     (Gooch, Kuechle) To approve Hist 3461 Variable Topics in

U.S. History: Lewis and Clark: Journey to Another America.


VOTE:            Motion passed (9-0-1)



Meeting adjourned.

9:00 a.m.


Submitted by Karen Van Horn