UMM CURRICULUM COMMITTEE
2011-12 MEETING #5 Minutes
October 24, 2011, 2:00 p.m., BCR
Present: Bart Finzel (chair), Joe Alia, Bryce Blankenfeld, Clare Dingley, Janet Ericksen, Hazen Fairbanks, Sara Haugen, Heather James, Leslie Meek, Peh Ng, Paula O’Loughlin, Ian Patterson, Gwen Rudney, Jeri Squier, Tisha Turk
Absent: Carol Cook, Caitlin Drayna
Visiting: Nancy Helsper
In these minutes: Course Approvals and Program Reviews Process Discussion
Finzel asked members who took notes at the divisional and student general education program discussion meetings to send the notes to Darla. The minutes that he has seen so far appear to have common themes emerging, which will allow the committee to decide on which areas to focus. An initial discussion will take place in two weeks.
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOTION (Patterson/Ericksen) to approve the September 26, 2011, minutes. Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
MOTION (Patterson/Ericksen) to approve the October 3, 2011, minutes. Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
2. COURSE APPROVALS
MOTION (Rudney/Patterson) to approve the new course Biol 4103.
BIOL 4103‑Cancer Biology (SCI; 4 cr)
Discussion: Ng explained that this course was provisionally approved in order for the instructor to teach it next semester. It is a 4-credit science course without a lab. Students have voiced enthusiasm for this course. It is a 4xxx-level elective course that may or may not be offered annually, depending on enrollment.
Motion passed (11-0-0)
MOTION (Patterson/Rudney) to approve the new course Ed 2221.
ED 2221‑Diversity and Identity in Literature and Film (HDIV; 4 cr)
Discussion: Rudney explained that this course provides an opportunity to contribute to the general education program while building on the skills of a faculty member in Education. This could be a one-time offering, depending on the workload. Squier noted that this is a true hybrid course. Rudney added that it is 50% classroom and 50% online. Finzel asked if it is split by half-semesters. Squier answered that it is only scheduled in the classroom 2 days a week, so it is probably in the classroom and online throughout the semester.
Motion passed (11-0-0)
MOTION (Patterson/Rudney) to approve the new courses SSA 2501 and SSA 2502.
SSA 2501‑Media in Sports I (SS; 2 cr)
SSA 2502‑Media in Sports II (SS; 2 cr)
Discussion: Rudney explained that the two courses are relevant to the sport management major and to those interested in sport studies. The courses build on the expertise of the Sports Information Director. SSA 2501 has no prerequisite. SSA 2502 is an optional course for students who have completed 2501. The courses are not a requirement for the sport management major.
O’Loughlin proposed a friendly amendment to suggest to the instructor that the titles be changed to “Sports in Media” rather than “Media in Sports.” Turk agreed that the course description is clear that the course will cover the representation of sports in the media.
[Electronic approval for the name change was received by the instructor before the meeting ended.]
Motion passed to approve the courses with the revised course names of “Sports in Media I” and “Sports in Media II.” (12-0-0)
MOTION (Patterson/Ericksen) to approve the new course Mus 2305 and the revised course Mus 2302.
MUS 2305‑Instrumental Techniques-Percussion (1 cr)
MUS 2302‑Instrumental Techniques-Brass (1 cr)
Discussion: Ericksen stated that the two courses have historically been taught as one half-semester course. However, there is too much content to cover in one half-semester course. Instructor and student evaluations and comments back up the proposed split. The classes are primarily taken by music education majors who will be expected to be able to use all instruments. There will be a slight extension of the materials covered to merit the full credit.
Motion passed (12-0-0)
Finzel stated that the courses approved today will go to the Campus Assembly for final approval.
3. PROGRAM REVIEWS
Finzel explained that, on October 29, 2009, the Curriculum Committee endorsed a document entitled “Academic Program Review Process and Procedures.” The document describes the purpose of program reviews and the process for carrying them out. It identifies the information that is needed for review, the review committee membership, and the timeline. The document states that “the report’s recommendations will be presented to the Curriculum Committee for its information.” That has not happened. There were several other problems with the review process as well. Some felt that the information requested was difficult for the programs to provide. Some program reviews were derailed because faculty could not be found who were willing to serve on the review committees. The ability of the dean to find faculty willing to serve on review committees clearly needs some attention. The timeliness of the reviews was also an issue. And, finally, there doesn’t appear to be a clear mechanism for the review to go to this committee and to the campus for information.
Given those problems, Finzel stated that he and the Division Chairs discussed improvements to the process at their annual retreat in August. One result was that he has asked Gary Donovan of Career Services to provide additional information regarding the demand for graduates in the programs. That was one element that was difficult for programs to generate. O’Loughlin stated that professional organizations would have that information. In political science it would be pretty easy to get it. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has that information. Finzel noted that programs can certainly supplement the information that Career Services provides them. Ericksen stated that she did not know how good all of the professional organizations are, so relying solely on them doesn’t seem the best route to take. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has that information but only for the languages, and not for all languages. Even then it’s not easy to find a single career track because they look at graduate school. Finzel stated that he had Helsper look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that it’s not clear in all areas and shows occupations rather than majors. Career Services could link our majors to a broad range of occupations. O’Loughlin stated that the Chronicle of Higher Education provides outlooks of different fields. Finzel stated that the Briggs Library has also agreed to provide information and data bases. The Dean’s Office will gather the information for the programs.
One of the recent program reviews became more of a personnel review rather than a review of the program. It is important that the program review avoid becoming a personnel review.
One of the methods used was to ask the program what they would do if they were allotted $100,000, hypothetically. They were also asked what they would do if $100,000 was taken from their program. Instead, the proposed change is to ask the program what they learned from their self-study and what specific changes and goals the program has planned for the next four years.
Finzel explained that under the current process each program review has a separate committee. That would amount to 15-25 individuals involved in reviews each year. That expectation would be difficult to achieve every year. A better system might be to identify a committee of perhaps five members, or two groups of five, that would do all the program reviews for the year. He had spoken of the idea with the chair of the Assessment of Student Learning Committee who suggested that two members of that committee serve could on the review committee. Finzel added that two members from this committee could serve, and the fifth person could be a member at-large who has an interest in the program.
Under the current timeline the reports are due at end of the academic year. The process takes the entire year with final results distributed late April or early May, if things go well. The proposed change is to move the review deadline forward to March 30. That would enable this committee to hear an oral summary of the report that would be presented in the spring, or early in the fall at the latest. Four years after a review, the program should come back to this committee to provide a brief oral report on the progress of program changes and achieved goals. The annual program review schedule would be changed from a 7-year cycle to an 8-year cycle.
O’Loughlin asked how the changes would affect the programs that have been reviewed. Finzel answered that those programs should be given the opportunity to come before the committee and give a brief oral presentation of the progress they have made since their program review. Patterson asked what additional time commitments would be expected of those who would serve on the program review committee. Finzel answered that it should not entail a great deal more effort than doing one program review. It is reasonable to include members of this committee since program reviews belong to the Curriculum Committee.
O’Loughlin stated that she would want to make sure that whoever is on the review committee should appreciate the previous model of finding multidisciplinary members. Finzel stated that he appreciated the previous model in finding some disciplines that were common, but were made through extensive efforts on the part of the previous dean to find volunteers. O’Loughlin stated that her discipline required a huge workload for the discipline coordinator. Meek noted that for her discipline’s review, she did the work rather than the discipline coordinator. Turk stated that it works better for English because they have a large discipline and can parcel out work in order to keep it manageable. Finzel stated that nobody likes doing these things, but they are valuable and can be worthwhile. Because of the review of one recent program, it is now in a position to bring forward a very strong request for a faculty position. Finzel stated that he and the Division Chairs will meet late in the summer to decide which disciplines will go forward next year, recognizing turnover and faculty leaves. The goal is to have all of the programs reviewed after 8 years. Finzel stated that he will share the proposed changes with the disciplines that participated in recent reviews, asking for their input as well.
The committee will not meet next week. General Education will be on the agenda at the November 7 meeting.
Adjourned 2:50 p.m.
Submitted by Darla Peterson