2010-11 MEETING #9 Minutes

November 15, 2010, 12:00 p.m., 2200 Science


Present:  Cheryl Contant (chair), Clare Dingley, Janet Ericksen, Mark Fohl, Sara Haugen, Michael Korth, Pareena Lawrence, Leslie Meek, Ian Patterson, David Roberts, Gwen Rudney, Jeri Squier, Elizabeth Thoma, Tisha Turk

Absent:  Molly Donovan, Tara Greiman

Visiting: Nancy Helsper, Jeff Ratliff-Crain


In these minutes: Sport Management Major and Minor Proposals (for discussion).


1.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES ­ November 4, 2010


MOTION (Thoma/Patterson) to approve the November 4, 2010 minutes.  Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.




Contant stated that, like the German Studies major proposal, this proposal is coming forward today for information and discussion only.  It will be brought forward for action at the first meeting of spring semester.


[Note: The current area of concentration is titled “Sports Management.”  The proposed major is titled “Sport Management.”]


Rudney stated that Sports Management is a popular interdisciplinary area of concentration. Careful examination of the Sports Management area of concentration—with an expectation of decision and action—was a charge given to the Division of Education just before she became division chair.  Over 60 students have graduated in Sports Management since 1998 and Sports Management has had an average of ten graduates per year for the past five years.  Many students on campus have an interest and commitment to sport and this has been an avenue for them to pursue that interest.


As a major, Sport Management will have the organization and oversight that will enhance the quality of the experience for the majors and provide a support system for the faculty and instructors who work with the students.  An interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff have consulted multiple times with faculty in management, wellness & sport science, and other disciplines whose courses will become part of the major.


In designing the major, they started with the current published suggestion for Sports Management that is in the course catalog. COSMA (Council on Sport Management Accreditation) was consulted, not to seek accreditation, but to determine the highest standards in the land. The proposed major has been designed around those standards. Similar programs at other institutions were studied, and the proposed program is decidedly UMM in its interdisciplinary nature, link to the mission of the campus, grounding in the liberal arts, and focus on critical thinking. It’s a good curriculum.


Ericksen stated that there is an issue about whether sport management is a liberal arts major.  Rudney stated that they are not going to pretend that it is not an applied major, like management.  However, they have worked to create an interdisciplinary major with critical thinking deeply integrated into it.  They thought of the different parts of our mission and strategic goals in developing its content.  If “liberal arts” is not in the title, it is in the kinds of things students are asked to do.  The sport part is here, and it is important to a huge percentage of students at UMM.  The management part is a blend with a major we already have.  This is an opportunity to give students a chance to pursue something of interest that still captures the requirements and rigors of a major better than an area of concentration.


Fohl stated that Admissions has confirmed that there are a lot of students interested in this major.  We have students who begin it after having started at UMM in another major, which is probably common across the curriculum.  Most of the students begin immediately with the area of concentration.  Ericksen asked if it will draw a new group of people.  Rudney answered she did not think it is a major that would steal students form other majors, but it is likely to be a major that will capture the interest of some people.  She added that it is a more challenging major than the current area of concentration.


Ericksen stated that bullet five in the goals of the proposed major talks about the role of communication, but she could see no Communication, Media and Rhetoric (CMR) courses listed.  The CMR faculty would like to offer courses that would work well in the major.  Fohl stated that the original proposal included a speaking course but it was removed because it is a broad major with so many credits that they had to make choices and cut somewhere.  Lawrence added that the issue came down to whether communication could be handled in another existing course without having to add a CMR course.  Ericksen answered that when communication is listed as a primary goal and we have experts in the field of communication in CMR, a CMR course should be offered.  Ericksen asked if the CMR course could be listed as an optional course.  Rudney stated that there was an issue with the number of electives at the 1xxx-level, but a course at a higher level might be suitable.  Ericksen stated that she had a list of courses the CMR faculty sent her that she will share with Rudney.  Meek noted that she has supervised a lot of areas of concentration and recalls that students have had problems getting into CMR classes because they are full.  Fohl agreed that it has been difficult for students with areas of concentration to get into public speaking.  There are 10 students a year now in the Sports Management area of concentration.  If it grows to 20 or 30, will we have a requirement that CMR cannot fulfill?  He added that he is comfortable with adding a CMR course, but he did not want a course that students could not depend on taking for their major.  Ericksen stated that she would have to go back to her discipline and say that CMR courses were not added to the major because there are problems for students to get into them, and ask what they suggest.  She will get a statement from CMR faculty that if the CMR course is added, students will be able to take it in a timely manner.  Fohl stated that a 2-credit course and not a 4-credit course would be best, or it could be either/or.


Meek stated that the current area of concentration requires 52 credits and most of the students she has supervised have double-majored in psychology or LAHS.  If the new major goes to 56 credits, it may be difficult for students to continue with a double major.  Rudney answered that it will be more challenging and students will have to choose their courses carefully.


Dingley asked about assessment.  Rudney answered that there is an assessment plan and key assessments that will be cycled with other division areas.  They have clear goals and will work to establish assessments for those goals.  Thoma asked if the major included a capstone.  Rudney answered that the last course, 4201, is viewed as a capstone.  It requires a presentation.  There are also some other opportunities built into the electives, such as internships.


Contant asked what sorts of things students will do with a Sport Management major.  Fohl answered that of the students that have gone through the area of concentration program so far, a few are working in professional sports.  One is in a public relations office, another with the front office of the Tennessee Titans.  Others are working in community recreation programs.  One is in the North Woods Baseball League, one is at the University of Denver working in compliance in the athletic office, a couple of graduates are coaching, and one is working at the National Sports Center in Blaine.  Some are doing unrelated jobs, and a couple of graduates are working at U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid.  Almost all of those mentioned have gone on to graduate school.


Korth stated that he thought the proposal moves it in the right direction and he is glad to see a proposal to formalize the suggested area of concentration we have been offering for the last ten years.  It’s good to call a major a major.


Patterson stated that, as a student trying to double major in a science major and non-science major, the number of credits required for each major is very important to consider.  It is difficult to be a liberal arts student when students are locked into two tracks.  When a major has 56 credits, it’s very hard to be flexible and explore other interesting courses, which is what a liberal arts institution is designed to do.


Contant stated that, from a conceptual basis only, if the goal is specified with the word “communication” in it, there needs to be something in the course offerings that captures that.  If you can say you highly encourage enrollment in a course or go so far as requiring it, it needs to be in there.  There is a cognitive dissonance when you state it as a goal and you cannot point to it in the curriculum.  Rudney stated that communication is built into the capstone and service learning component.  Lawrence added that the leadership course already has it in it as well.  Turk stated that she liked having a CMR course because it is in the description.


Patterson asked if communication is vital in the existence of the major in an actual physical form, and do other campuses who offer this major offer this same wording?  Rudney answered that the language is very consistent to standards.  It would not look good if communication were removed from the list of goals.


Contant congratulated the group of people who worked on creating the major proposal for being inclusive and reaching out to other majors on campus.  Contant asked if the major will now be housed in the Division of Education.  Rudney answered that it is an interdivisional interdisciplinary major that will be housed in Education.  That way it can be linked to the schedule and increases oversight and support.


Rudney concluded that the students are here, they are interested in the sport, we are turning an area of concentration into a major that focuses on all the important areas, and we have taken something students already have and made it better.


Adjourned 1:04 p.m.

Submitted by Darla Peterson