UMM CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

MEETING # 13 Minutes

December 12, 2006, 10:00 a.m., Prairie Lounge

Present: Judy Kuechle (chair), Michael Korth, Jooinn Lee, Jenny Nellis, Gwen Rudney, Harold Hinds, Escillia Allen, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Van Gooch, Nancy Helsper, Sara Haugen,

Absent:   Ferolyn Angell, Brenda Boever, Amanda Jasken, Isaac Linehan-Clodfelter, Jeri Mullin, Clare Strand, one student yet to be named

Visiting: Bert Ahern, Dorothy DeJager, Tom McRoberts

 

 

Kuechle opened the meeting.

 

Approval of Minutes from DECEMBER 5, 2006

Kuechle asked for approval of minutes from the December 5, 2006 meeting.

 

         MOTION  (Bezanson/Nellis) to approve the minutes of December 5, 2006.

         VOTE:      Motion passed unanimously.

Ahern questioned the accuracy of the last sentence in the last paragraph on page three.  The line reads “The AmIn major depends upon filling all open lines.”  He stated that he would not have said that because there are no open lines currently that would serve the American Indian major.  The major does depend on retaining the current lines.  Korth recalled that the issue of current vacant lines was discussed.  It was not known if all the vacant lines in English would be filled.  Nellis agreed that the program could be affected if the English lines were not filled.  Ahern suggested striking the sentence in question.  Korth answered that he thought it was accurate as is and reflects what was said.  It was in the context of the discussion and refers to the disciplines that are being committed to the program by this proposal.  Bezanson suggested and it was agreed upon to change the wording to “The AmIn major depends upon filling all open lines in the disciplines involved.”

 

Korth asked to add the following sentence after the second sentence in the second paragraph on page four: “Several committee members disagreed.”

 

Kuechle mentioned that the date on the minutes was also incorrect, and should be “December 5 instead of December 4.

 

Lee mentioned a typo on page two, second paragraph, third line from the bottom.  The word “it” should be removed.

 

 

CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES MAJOR PROPOSAL

 

         MOTION (Nellis/Rudney) to approve the major with the courses that are included.

         VOTE:      Motion was tabled.

 

Kuechle suggested that the committee first discuss each new proposed course in the major.

 

New Course: AmIn 1101-Introduction to American Indian Studies

 

Ahern explained that the proposed course number of 1492 had been replaced by 1101.  Helsper added that she had recommended the change since entry courses for the major usually start at the 11xx-level.  Students may think the higher number means it would be more difficult.  Ahern stated that the faculty agreed to the change.  He also noted that it is the expectation that at current staffing levels, two or three faculty members will rotate teaching this course.  At current staffing levels, English agreed that Becca Gercken would teach it every third year.  If English loses a position, then it would rotate between two people (Ahern and Pelletier).

 

New Course: AmIn 4901-Senior Project in American Indian Studies

 

Rudney mentioned that the form uses the old course designator of AmIs in the short title.  It should be AmIn.

 

Kuechle asked for discussion on the major proposal.  Bezanson stated that the staffing in some disciplines is open.  With program reviews underway, we don’t yet know what the decision will be about those majors.  She asked whether an administrative decision to cut a major or program will come before the Committee for approval.  She expressed concern that the German major is dying for lack of support, and now this new major is coming forward.  She added that she was concerned how she would justify her vote to people in her division.

 

Ahern answered that he saw the German situation as analogous to the French discipline many years ago when it was suggested that the French major be discontinued.  As it went through Curriculum Committee and Campus Assembly, that decision was rejected.  Bezanson added that closely aligned to American Indian Studies is Women’s Studies.  There is insufficient staffing for the program.  We are committed to it, but resources are not there.  Korth stated that the other side of the coin is the shifting of curriculum by adding faculty in Dance and Studio Art.  It would be better if we postponed this vote until we know more about the proposed program’s potential impact by the program reviews and the budgetary changes currently going on.

 

Ahern explained that this committee acts on curriculum, not budgetary issues.  Korth stated that they are inextricably combined.  The curriculum is impaired by a reduction in the budget.  Ahern responded that it is the Committee’s responsibility to consider this proposal on the basis of current resources.  If it turns out down the road that budgetary or staffing changes would affect the proposed program, the Committee could then revisit it.  Any innovation should not be rejected because the Committee has vague questions about resources that aren’t directly related to this program.  Korth answered that the campus has been told it will have more information in January.

 

Hinds stated that he did not believe that the Women’s Studies program is relevant to the discussion of this proposal.  There are far fewer faculty members in Latin American Area Studies, but faculty are committed to it.  In Women’s Studies, we have many who could teach the introductory course but disciplines have decided not to support the course.  Nellis added that we have had the same problem with African American Studies.  Lee stated that there are inherent problems and difficulties with any new major.  We should not discourage a currently viable program proposed in accordance with a demand on campus.  He suggested that if more consideration is needed, we can wait one more month or so.  Or, we can propose and approve it, and if the situation changes we can revisit it.  Korth answered that the Committee doesn’t have the authority to simply revisit it.  Kuechle stated that it would depend upon the action that Campus Assembly might take.  Nellis stated that she wanted to support the proposal but would find it hard to vote for it until she had more information about the campus financial and program status.

 

Bezanson asked what the consequence would be to delay a vote until the first meeting in January.  Hinds answered that if tabled, it will be delayed at least a year because we don’t know what the January decision will be and what debates it will open.  This seems an attempt to table it indefinitely.  Rudney answered that she wanted this major to be offered because it fits UMM and its mission.  However, because of the program reviews currently underway, she felt uncomfortable calling for a vote now.  It has to be considered with the big picture and should be tabled.

 

Kuechle asked Ahern if he was intending to bring the proposal to CRPC after the Committee votes on it.  Ahern answered that he was not sure he was going to CRPC.  He added that he thought it would be appropriate for the Curriculum Committee to vote.  According to parliamentary rules, if the Committee votes in favor, any person who voted for the motion has a right to move a motion to reconsider.  Bezanson clarified that any member of the committee can do so, not just those who voted in favor.  Ahern added that the point was that this committee can revisit a decision it has made.

 

         MOTION (Korth/Bezanson) to table the vote until the first meeting of spring semester (January 24, 2007).

         VOTE:      Motion passed (5-4-0)

Kuechle thanked Ahern for meeting with the Committee.  She suggested that he might make a stronger case at the next meeting by looking at the Strategic Plan and finding a way to tie the program to it.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Nellis asked how she could bring the issue of what’s happening in German to the committee.  She stated that she wanted a wider discussion of what’s happened and would like to know whether it should be brought to the floor of the Assembly.  Hinds offered a fairly simple and decisive way to do it. A former dean said that no discipline on this campus should be staffed with fewer than three members.  Art History had fewer and it led to an increase of staff.  If you have a discipline that has fewer than three staff members, you can bring it forward saying this one has one faculty member and may not be viable.  It’s a clear and easy way to do it.  Haugen stated that it was her understanding that the former dean preferred it, but it was not policy.  Hinds replied that he did not know in what format it was made, but he recalled that it was a clear statement.  Hinds added that if the Committee takes it up, it would have to look at administrative decisions to offer a wider range of foreign languages than in the past.  We’ve offered Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Dakota, American Sign Language, etc.  It’s no longer true to say we offer three main languages.  Kuechle added that students may also want to weigh in on what language(s) they want to study.  Nellis stated that she was not yet prepared to introduce it as an action item at this time.

 

Kuechle thanked the members for a very good and productive semester and expressed best wishes for the Holiday Break.

 

Meeting adjourned at 10:47 a.m.

Submitted by Darla Peterson