University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

MINUTES--1996-97 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #8
November 19, 1996; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Ballou, Davis, Farrell, Frenier, Hansen (for Bass), Imholte, Kissock, Korth, J. Lee, M. Lee, Schuman, Whelan, Vickstrom

Absent: Barbour, Ellis, Thielke

Guest(s): None


DIVISION OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES CURRICULUM CHANGES:
Mooney distributed copies of some new and revised sheets for Social Science curriculum changes: Form B for History, Form A for Psychology, and the Honors criteria explanation for Hist 3544H.


Econ 3115:
J. Lee noted that CC members should have received several revised curriculum change forms for Social Sciences in the mail. Although the changes for Econ 3115 were approved at the last meeting, there has been a slight change in the Form C for the course. Econ 3115 will be offered in alternate years for the coming biennium.


Econ 3400:
J. Lee said the General Education Committee would be acting on the proposal for deleting the "W" designation from Econ 3400 at their meeting next week. There was a question at the last meeting about the enrollment in that course. Lee had previously said that the anticipated enrollment in the course was 40 or more. That was correct, but a CC member had checked the enrollment for spring 1996 and saw that it was only 29. When the "W" is attached to the course, the enrollment must be limited to about 25 students. There are three other "W" courses available to Economics students.

Schuman urged that the rationale be reworded to say that the content of the Econ 3400 has been changed so that it is no longer a "W" course. He is not comfortable dropping the "W" with the rationale that there are too many people in the course.

Vickstrom said he had taken Econ 3400. The course has intense statistical content and a large research paper. He assumes that the instructor will no longer require the research paper if the "W" is dropped. As an Economics major, he finds that disappointing. He feels that writing a research paper is an essential element of the major. J. Lee said that other "W" courses are available within Economics and Management. It is not appropriate to have the "W" attached to a required course. The discipline is also looking into adding another elective "W" course.

Schuman asked if J. Lee was requesting that the CC act on this proposal before the General Education Committee (GEC) has done so. Lee said that he was. Farrell noted that there is precedent for the CC to act on general education requests before the GEC.

Whelan asked if Vickstrom found the writing part of the course to be a very important element. Vickstrom said he thought it was. J. Lee indicated that retaining the "W" would mean that fewer students would have access to the course. Vickstrom said the course has normally been offered twice one year and then once the following year. Lee said this is the first step toward conversion to semesters. Vickstrom thought that, with planning on the part of students, the course enrollment could be kept below 20 students.

Farrell said the discipline has given a rationale for deleting the "W." It is too bad to lose the "W," but the explanation is not unreasonable. He would not want to teach a "W" course with that many students enrolled.

Schuman said he was comfortable with the CC moving ahead on this proposal. He thought the CC might want to express its disappointment about the loss of the "W" designation. That could be communicated by sending the discipline a copy of the minutes for this meeting.

Farrell wondered if there are any of the elective "W" courses that are a prerequisite to Econ 3400. There are none.

MOTION (Understood): To approve the proposal to delete the "W" designation from Econ 3400.

VOTE: In favor--8; Opposed--1; Abstentions--2 (8-1-2).


Hist 3401-02:
J. Lee said the History discipline is proposing to drop Hist 3401-02. A revised Form B for History which clarifies the requirements for the major was mailed to CC members. In the statistical summary on Form A, Hist 3401-02 has been counted as one course and noted with an asterisk. The total numbers were also recalculated.

Hansen asked how the remaining 5 student-initiated credits were to be fulfilled. J. Lee said they would be filled by taking another directed study or with a course. Whelan wondered what "comprehensive research" meant. J. Lee said that the project would have be more than a normal directed study; the student would have to demonstrate methodology, etc. Whelan thought the terminology was confusing. He thought the major requirements should say that 5 student-initiated credits are required. Imholte said the student usually does a paper, but it could be, for instance, a group project exploring an era of history that is not in the curriculum or production of a video. It was not his understanding that the student-initiated credits could be a course.

J. Lee said the new proposal has 5 credits of a comprehensive research project. The key issue seems to be the question of what the other 5 credits of student self-initiated credits are. Students must come up with a file to present to the History faculty. This is not a book review, for example.

Schuman asked if the "other 5 credits" of student-initiated credits could be filled by taking a course. J. Lee said it would generally be fulfilled with a directed study, but exceptions can be made. Schuman asked if a student could ever just take a course to fulfill that requirement. Lee said it is his understanding that taking a course would not fulfill this requirement. A student could take a course and do extra work in the course to get student-initiated credit.

Whelan wondered if the student's transcript would show 10 credits of directed study or field study, etc. J. Lee said yes. Schuman thought that a student signed up for a course and doing extra credit would not have a directed study number on his transcript. Lee said the student would take the course and also sign up for a directed study to go along with the course. Whelan thought, if that was the case, that the bulletin should simply say that 10 credits of directed study are required. Farrell did not see what the complication was. He signs off on directed studies that are extensions of courses.

Korth was concerned about the fact that it was so difficult for the Curriculum Committee to understand this requirement. Wouldn't students be even more confused?

Ballou wondered if the CC was in disagreement about how to present the requirement in the bulletin rather than about whether 3401-02 should be dropped. The CC could approve the proposal and ask the discipline to consider rewording the major requirements. Whelan agreed. Korth's point is the bottom line, he said.

MOTION (Understood): To approve the proposal to drop Hist 3401-02 and ask the discipline to revise the wording of the requirements for the major.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).


Hist 3544H:
J. Lee said he received a memo from Purdy, the Director of the Honors Program, saying that Hist 3544H has been approved by the Honors Program Committee. Mooney wondered if the generic topic heading will be changed. J. Lee said that it will not change.

MOTION (Understood): To approve Hist 3544H as an Honors topic course.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).


Political Science:
J. Lee said that the changes proposed in the Political Science discipline are simple. Because there are two new faculty members in the discipline, some courses are being "put on the back burner" and others are being added. The four courses being moved to "offered when feasible" status are Pol 3240, 3275, 3277, and 3360H. Four new topics courses will be offered. Also, the rationale on the Form C for Pol 1400, 3250, 3270, 3420, 3530, and 3550 has been revised because of a concern from a CC member.

Davis wondered if the enrollment would be lowered. Lee said that it would not.

Because the rationale is related to the moratorium on the common course, Farrell wondered what would happen if the common course were offered again in the next two years. Schuman said it will not be offered before fall of 1999. Imholte wondered if it were possible that a common course could be offered before then. Schuman said Campus Assembly voted to put a moratorium on the common course until the semester conversion. The issue of whether the Political Science discipline is disengaging from teaching of the common course forever is a legitimate one. He shares Whelan's concern about a discipline thinking that they can increase course offerings on a permanent basis. Farrell said the proposal is to make a change only for the coming biennium. Schuman said he would encourage disciplines not to write themselves out of future teaching of the common course.

Korth wondered where the four new courses were listed. J. Lee said the new courses are being offered as topics.

Whelan noted that the discipline has added a section of 1400 and 3260. Shouldn't there be a change in the statistical summary? Mooney said that sections are not counted on Form A, only the courses listed in the bulletin.

MOTION (Understood): To approve the Political Science curriculum change proposals as a package.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).


Psychology:
J. Lee said there is a new Form A for Psychology which was distributed at the beginning of the meeting. Psy 1350 has a new recommended course and there is a title change for Psy 3410. Farrell wondered if there was any change in content for Psy 3410. Lee said there was not.

MOTION (Understood): To approve the Psychology curriculum change proposals as a package.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).


Social Science Major:
J. Lee said he had a correction for the Form A--delete "selection of" from item 1. The change on the Form C is to specify the number of required courses in the major. Korth said the new way is more confusing than what is already in the bulletin, since a "," means "and" in the bulletin. J. Lee suggested putting a semi-colon between 1200 and 1100. There was agreement that this was an editorial change.

MOTION (Understood): To approve the Social Science Major curriculum change proposals as a package.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0).


NEXT MEETING:
The bulletin changes from the Division of the Humanities, and possibly the Interdisciplinary Studies changes, will be on the next agenda. The next meeting of the Curriculum Committee will be on Tuesday, November 26, at 3:00 p.m. in Behmler Conference Room.

Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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