University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES--1996-97 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #18
April 1, 1997; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Ballou, Bauer, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Hansen, Kissock, Korth, J. Lee, Schuman, Whelan
Absent: Barbour, Imholte, M. Lee, Thielke, Vickstrom
Guest(s): Fischer, Wuolu
Lee asked if the course was primarily content oriented. Whelan said that
it was. The course will focus on the geology of preserved areas of the U.S.
It would be nice to have students visit a national park, but that cannot
be assured. Schuman thought the course sounded fascinating.
MOTION (Farrell, Understood): To approve the proposal to add Geol
1002 as a regular course offering with E9.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (7-0-0).
[Korth arrived at the meeting at this point.]
Lee said the Common Experience Task Force (CETF) had started its discussions
with the premise that the common experience would be a 4-credit module.
The group quickly realized that it would be physically impossible to find
36 classrooms in one term nor could we recruit 36 faculty to teach that
many sections. The campus needs to accept the proposal with the modifications
included or else not have a common experience at all. The modifications
include reducing the course to a 2-credit module with 15-18 faculty needed
to teach it. The CETF feels that proposal is feasible.
Lee highlighted some of the issues which have been discussed:
Lee commented that the Curriculum Committee should vote on a framework
only. Schuman agreed; if this proposal is successful, then interested faculty
will work out the details later. He suggested that the CC discuss the four
major components of the Common Experience proposal: (1) theme; (2) format;
(3) staffing; (4) structure.
Hansen did not think it would necessarily be bad if students don't get
the sections they want. The quality of the instructors is more important.
Lee agreed that the quality of faculty is essential to the success of the
Kissock said this proposal is close to being workable. He thought the
topic should be simply "diversity" and broadened to include more
than social diversity. He noted that the second paragraph of the proposal
talks about common skills. The common element for students is the small
course in the first year. The emphasis should be on skills, including the
literacy component. The topic is secondary.
Lee said the CETF was initially concerned about the diversity theme for
Science and Mathematics faculty and wanted to include environment as a topic
as well. Science and Math faculty said they would be able to do diversity
sections. The CETF considered adding a service learning component and writing
skills to the common experience. The compromise is to strongly encourage
writing in the common experience. We cannot do everything in one course.
Ballou said the interest level in courses seems most important for attracting
faculty to teach the sections. Students are not necessarily best served
by being in a course that is their first choice.
Whelan wondered if there will be honors sections of the common experience.
Lee did not see why not. Whelan wondered if there will be an honors program
under semesters. Schuman assumed that there would be. Whelan strongly encouraged
the inclusion of honors sections in the common experience. He also wondered
if collaboration among faculty would be allowed. Lee said that faculty could
do team-teaching. Whelan said he was thinking about faculty collaborating
on a related group of courses. He also mentioned splitting time slots so
that each section could use a 50-minute slot twice a week. Korth thought
there would be problems with that idea. Frenier wondered why there should
be honors sections. Whelan said there need to be more honors courses for
students to take.
Whelan wondered if the CC was willing to consider a broader interpretation
of the diversity theme. Kissock said he would advocate for a broader interpretation.
Schuman said there is a pivotal question here. The CETF definitely wanted
to focus on human diversity; the proposal would have to be modified to include
all diversity. Farrell thought the proposal was too narrow to attract faculty.
The current theme would attract mostly Social Science faculty. Hansen suggested
that a focus on "Diversity of Humanity" would broaden the theme.
Whelan said he would prefer "Diversity" without constraints.
Schuman said he thought the issue about the theme had been made quite
clearly. He asked Lee to communicate the issue to the CETF and see how they
Ballou added that one of the positions which came out of Campus Assembly
was that Inquiry provided an interaction which promoted understanding of
diversity on campus. Schuman said that argues for a theme focusing upon
Schuman said this discussion would be continued at a later meeting.
Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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