UMM CURRICULUM COMMITTEE
MEETING # 1 Minutes
September 5, 2007, 8:00 a.m., Behmler 130
Present: Roland Guyotte (chair), Gwen Rudney, Janet Ericksen, Michael Korth, Pareena Lawrence, Ferolyn Angell, Barbara Burke, Van Gooch, Harold Hinds, Escillia Allen, Laura Thoma, Kim Ukura, Jeri Mullin, Clare Strand, Nancy Helsper
Absent: Nate Swanson, Sara Haugen
Visiting: Brenda Boever, Tom McRoberts
[In these minutes: GenEd designator on a directed study; approval of new courses Hum 2301 and IS 2016; discussion of new course Spch 2301 (tabled)]
INTRODUCTIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Interim Dean Guyotte welcomed the committee and described its make-up (division chairs, faculty, students, staff, and ex-officio reps and regular guests). Members introduced themselves.
Roland asked the committee to review the charge given it by the UMM Constitution Bylaws. The Curriculum Committee has a full schedule most years, especially on a Course Catalog year. This is not a Catalog year, but there will be a lot of work for the Committee this year.
The following four adjunct committees report to the Curriculum Committee: 1) Teacher Education Committee, 2) Multi-Ethnic Experience Committee, 3) International Programs Committee, and 4) Academic Support Services Committee. The Curriculum Committee also appoints a subcommittee to review Educational Development Program (EDP) grants. This year the Curriculum Committee will also appoint a First Year Seminar (FYS) Review Committee.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Guyotte asked for approval of minutes from April 18, 2007.
MOTION: (understood) To approve the minutes from April 18, 2007 (with the studentsŐ names removed from the request for GenEd designators on directed studies)
VOTE: Motion passed (without objection)
Discussion: Burke requested that the studentŐs name requesting a GenEd designator on a directed study be removed from the version of approved minutes that is posted to the Web. Strand agreed that the name is not public information. Guyotte suggested that the Committee adopt a policy that will provide the course number, title, and GenEd designator, withholding the name of the student.
REQUEST FOR GENERAL EDUCATION DESIGNATOR ON DIRECTED STUDY
A student requested a GenEd designator of Historical Perspectives (Hist) for the following directed study: Hist 4993‑History and Memory in Twentieth-Century Greece.
MOTION: (Hinds/Angell): To approve the proposed directed study GenEd designator as requested
Burke asked why the Curriculum Committee is looking at this when the division has already approved the directed study. Guyotte answered that it is the will of the Campus Assembly. This reflects an older discussion about whether all courses should have a GenEd designator. A directed study course does not have an assigned GenEd designator unless it is requested. Lawrence explained that the Scholastic Committee found that it was spending an inordinate amount of time approving GenEd designators after students had approved directed studies. They proposed a procedure where students can request a GenEd designator at the time they apply for a directed study. The approved directed study is then forwarded to the Curriculum Committee for approval. The Scholastic Committee would consider appeals. [The proposal was forwarded by the Curriculum Committee to the February 23, 2006 meeting of the Campus Assembly, where it was approved.]
VOTE: Motion passed (12-0-0)
Regular Approval of Courses
HUM 2301-Intercultural Understanding Through Film (new course)
MOTION: (Angell/Kim): To approve the new course Hum 2301
Ericksen expressed a concern that the course is being taught through Continuing Education by a non-regular faculty member, opening up the possibility of it being incorporated into a major and counted on by students without the certainty of it being offered again if the instructor is no longer available. She also expressed concerned that the instructor may not be evaluated as thoroughly as a regular faculty member would be. Ericksen added that she also was surprised to see this course offered through Continuing Education because film studies courses have been typically offered by English or a foreign language discipline. McRoberts replied that this particular course came to him as a specific request by the discipline and division chair. It is historically common for courses like this to have their beginning in Continuing Education and later become incorporated into the disciplines.
Thoma stated that international students may not want to take this class when they have other higher-priority courses they are required to take. Will they then truly receive an international student experience? McRoberts answered that some will take advantage of it and others will not. ItŐs a new offering so interest in the course will not be known right away.
Ericksen again voiced a concern that this is listed as a Continuing Education course. McRoberts answered that all three of the courses offered for approval today are taught by the same instructor through Continuing Education. Just last spring the coordinator of the speech communication discipline came to him with endorsement of the Humanities division chair to offer courses that are unified by some component of speech, although only one of the courses carries that designator. This reflects the growing enrollment of international students on campus and our need to offer courses that will help them succeed.
Burke asked about the status of the area of concentration prototype in film studies that was floated around a few years ago. Lawrence answered that film studies was floated around but didnŐt go forward. Guyotte added that he plans to have the Curriculum Committee address areas of concentration this year.
Korth asked if the course had been discussed in the Humanities Division. Ericksen replied that it had not been discussed. Korth stated that the course has been provisionally approved and can run for the duration of the current catalog, so there is not a rush to pass it now before the Humanities Division has had time to look at it. He added that he did not see a statement that tells students that there will be an additional tuition charge. McRoberts replied that it will be covered by the tuition band.
Ukura asked for a definition of Ňprovisional approval.Ó McRoberts explained that provisional approval consists of an interim temporary approval by the division chairs with the endorsement of the dean. Korth noted that at the end of the form, it indicates that provisional approval was granted.
Rudney expressed a concern that new courses, in general, impact existing courses and programs, but there is no area on the new forms to address this. Helsper added that the Form A, that is required during catalog years to accompany a disciplineŐs entire packet of proposed changes provides this information. The Curriculum Committee used to require a Form A with every proposal, but decided that was too much to ask of faculty when it is not a catalog year.
Burke noted that classes with a course designator of Hum bridge disciplines. Guyotte agreed and added that Hum is an interdisciplinary course designator.
VOTE: Motion passed (11-1-0)
SPCH 2301-Effective Communication for Managers
MOTION: (Ericksen/Angell): To approve the new course Spch 2301
Lawrence stated that this course has not been discussed by the management discipline. ItŐs not going to count toward the management major and itŐs not going to count toward the speech communication major. Burke stated that she had recommended this course to students on her waiting list for Spch 1052-Introduction to Public Speaking. She was surprised when students told her their advisers knew nothing about it. McRoberts explained that the instructor started the development of the course late in the spring and over the summer so there was neither time nor opportunity to get the word out about the course. He explained that management is a major at UMM, but many people on and off-campus take on managerial roles for which this course will be valuable. It was a course broadly conceived for people who are not majors. Strand added that sports management majors might find it applicable to the sports management area of concentration. Angell asked Lawrence and Burke if they were concerned that students will come back to their disciplines and ask for it to count toward their major. Lawrence answered that each individual student would have to convince her that it would be appropriate.
Ericksen restated her concern that the course is tied to a temporary faculty member, making it difficult to ensure that it will be taught frequently or for more than a year or two. It could cause a disservice to students who count on it. McRoberts answered that some courses offered through Continuing Education are bright stars that explode and are never seen again, but courses such as Chinese, sign language, Russian, and Italian, do become an important part of the curriculum and offer choices that draw students, but none of the courses listed have been built into the ongoing curriculum. Continuing Education is careful about that. The goal is to say that they are approved by the Curriculum Committee but those courses that seem to have a day school interest in them should be assessed for their value to the day school curriculum and should be ultimately woven in or go away. If the instructor goes away, the course usually goes away.
Burke stated that the course is intriguing. If students and faculty knew it existed, somebody might sign up for it. The description does not help it very much. She suggested that since it is already provisionally approved, the Committee might be better able to evaluate it after the course has been offered a couple of years to see how it goes. At present, no students have enrolled in the course for this term.
MOTION: (Burke/Korth): To table for further discussion the motion to approve the new course Spch 2301
VOTE: Motion passed (11-1-0)
IS 2016-Practices in Public Speaking for the ESL Student
MOTION: (Angell/Rudney): To approve the new course IS 2016
Lawrence stated that people vote with their feet. The Curriculum Committee needs to have a larger discussion about students taking Continuing Education courses instead of the regular courses in the major. Although this is not a part of the discussion today, there is a need to have a discussion about competing courses. Ericksen added that it ties in with her concern about the review of faculty, not that they arenŐt being reviewed, but that Continuing Education courses are tied to an instructor rather than to the larger curriculum.
McRoberts answered that Continuing Education courses, at least in the initial stages, are offered at the request or with the approval of the discipline and the division before the course is offered. Continuing Education instructors are evaluated and the evaluations are shared with the discipline or division chair only with the approval of the instructor. The approval process is not identical to that of regular faculty, but there is ongoing evaluation of their work.
Allen asked why the course does not have a GenEd designator. Korth replied that the default is that a course should have one if it can. When reading the course description and objectives on the back page of the ECAS form and looking at the GenEd designators available, it is clear that the course doesnŐt fulfill any of them. It has different aims.
Ukura stated that it is important to address the challenges international students face in a regular classroom. A course like this offers more one-on-one attention from faculty and feedback from instructors.
VOTE: Motion passed (12-0-0)
Additional Discussion related to Continuing Education Courses in general:
Angell asked how an assessment of the impact of courses offered through Continuing Education would be carried out. Sometimes courses are offered because there is a faculty memberŐs spouse who has an expertise and wants to teach, and sometimes a course is offered that affects the overall curriculum. She mentioned that she had been teaching dance courses for over 22 years before her courses were included in the regular curriculum.
Burke stated that it would be good to have some clarification on how Continuing Education integrates with the Day School. People may not know possible or real links between Continuing Education and Day School. Lawrence added that she totally supports Continuing Education, but as it grows, it needs to be assessed to ensure balance. It is important to assess the type of growth and how it fits UMM.
McRoberts stated that Continuing Education is complementary with the planning and offering in areas where there is not an existing curriculum in that area. It enables courses to be offered in a relatively short time in light of institutional demands. One example he cited is the new connection UMM has established with China and the subsequent enrollment of Chinese students. UMM needs to be able to be flexible to support institutional objectives in offering courses to an international audience.
Meeting adjourned at 9:05 a.m.
Submitted by Darla Peterson