University of Minnesota, Morris

Morris, MN




January 14, 2004, 8:00 a.m. Behmler Conference Room



Present:         John Schwaller, Mike Korth, Judy Kuechle, Jenny Nellis,

Jooinn Lee, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Tom Johnson,

Dave Roberts, Jackie Thorvaldson, Dorothy DeJager,

Nancy Helsper, and Tammy Faux.


Absent:          Chris DeVries, Laura Burbank, Danielle Thibido, Joe Veilleux,

Ruth Thielke, Jeri Mullin, Tom McRoberts, and Matt Conner.


Visiting:          Sandy Olson-Loy



Schwaller asked for approval of minutes from December 3, 2003.


                        MOTION:        (Bezanson, Korth) To approve the minutes for December 3, 2003.


                        VOTE: Motion carried (8-0-0)


NSSE Survey Discussion

Sandy Olson-Loy and Nancy Helsper were present to discuss the results of the NSSE survey presented at the November 19, 2003 meeting. Olson-Loy explained that from the information shared the low results of writing were of most concern. A member urged some caution about interpreting the data because of the relatively low response rate and non-random sample. That member also questioned the use of statistical significance tests to determine which specific results should be singled out as especially important The committee discussed extensively the issues of writing requirements here at UMM. One member stated that the Data shows students are not writing and speaking as much as we would like them to and we need to ask why. One possibility is that the emphasis UMM has placed for many years on such things as collaborative learning, co-curricular activities, study abroad, and diversity has come at the cost of de-emphasizing writing and speaking. A member stated that our English and College Writing programs have two grants, are working on changes to better prepare students in this area, and are working to get someone with a PhD in the next tenure opening in College Writing. A member suggested changing the attitude of students away from the “just get through it” idea. There was also a suggestion to make it a requirement and convey to students the importance of writing.


The discussion of the survey and a possible proposal that could go to the campus will continue at the next meeting on February 11, 2004.


Meeting adjourned.

9:00 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Karen Van Horn