University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES--1996-97 JOINT MEETING OF THE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE AND THE
GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
April 8, 1997; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room
General Education Committee--Guyotte, Klinger, Lopez, Togeas, Skinner, Strand
General Education Committee--Kuechle, Garavaso, Gremmels, Kjolhaug
Schuman welcomed both committees and thanked everyone for coming to the
meeting. The CC is looking at schedules to determine two meeting times each
week during spring quarter. The best times seem to be Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00
p.m. and Fridays from 9:00-10:00 a.m. There were no objections to the suggested
times. Schuman said it might take a week or two to make the time switch.
He asked Mooney to prepare a list of meeting times for the remainder of
Schuman reminded CC members that they should already have copies of the
General Education Program proposal for semesters, CC minutes from previous
discussions on this topic, and the GEC response to CC concerns. He hoped
that the outcome of the joint meeting would be a strongly endorsed, shared
proposal. He asked Togeas, Chair of the GEC, for comments on the GEC response
Togeas said the GEC had discussed all of the CC concerns and responded
to them. The GEC did not recommend any substantial changes as a result of
the CC concerns. The CC concerns were taken seriously; however, the GEC
has already devoted 16 meetings to the formation of the General Education
Requirements and largely reaffirmed what had been done.
Schuman asked the group to defer the discussion on credits. Can we all
agree that we should have a common experience? Whelan asked if the CC would
return to the credit issue. Schuman said yes. There were no objections to
having a common experience.
Lopez said the heading for "II. Skills for the Liberal Arts"
indicates "one to five courses." That may have to be changed if
other listings are changed. Klinger thought a footnote might be needed.
Schuman asked if people were comfortable with the College Writing requirement.
There were no objections.
Whelan wondered if courses other than math will still be included under
this requirement. The answer was yes. He wondered if students would be able
to graduate without having had a math course. Skinner said that they would
be able to graduate without math, but students currently can do that, too.
Schuman clarified that students would be able to graduate without having
had an instructor from the math discipline.
Schuman asked if people were comfortable with this requirement. There
were no objections.
Schuman said the organization of our curriculum has a discipline called
Wellness and Sport Science (WSS) which has a component covering wellness.
There is an aspect from biology, but also from chemistry, psychology, etc.
We are hiring a faculty member in wellness.
Togeas said the GEC imagined courses other than WSS fitting this requirement,
like Drugs and Human Behavior, Human Sexuality, etc. Schuman thought a social
psychologist might want to offer a course for this requirement.
Hansen wondered if there would be an exemption. Strand said the student
would have to prove a scientific understanding in this area. Hansen said
he ran cross country in high school which requires an understanding of diet,
etc. Schuman did not think that would fulfill the requirement. The student
would need to present proof of academic work at a collegiate level.
Whelan wondered if the wellness course was currently a 1-credit offering.
Kissock said there are a couple of wellness courses, both 1-credit and 2-credit
offerings. There will be various levels of credit for the courses meeting
this requirement. Schuman said he would have a problem with a 1-credit course
meeting this requirement. Whelan agreed. Strand wondered then about the
1-credit courses meeting the performance requirement. Klinger thought that
1-credit courses could be worthwhile. Schuman said he didn't want to get
into implementation questions. It is important to say that the courses must
be rigorous and scientific and the CC will hold courses to that standard.
Whelan didn't see how the requirement could include the richness talked
about in this meeting in a 1-credit course. Farrell said that 1-credit courses
can be rigorous; there are courses like that in music and studio art now.
Guyotte commented that, considering the scarcity of college resources, raising
the credits might lower the priority.
Vickstrom was concerned about priorities. He thought the wellness requirement
could be dropped in order to have both a physical and biological science
Schuman said he had not heard anyone say there shouldn't be a wellness
requirement. Whelan said he did not think we should have wellness or performance
requirements. We should have two science courses instead. Farrell disagreed.
He thought that was a biased opinion and would speak vigorously against
it in Campus Assembly.
Schuman was not comfortable with the idea that we need to cut requirements
elsewhere if we want to add a science course. After all, we could require
that every course taken by students be part of general education. We should
discuss the science requirement when we get to it. If the final package
is too large, then we could discuss what needs to go. There are two arguments
here: 1) that performance or wellness is not important to liberal learning;
and 2) that both performance (or wellness) and science are important but
we cannot have both. We aren't to the point of talking about argument #2
yet. Togeas said the GEC had enthusiastically supported the performance
Hansen said wellness does not fit the liberal education model. Schuman
said Hansen would be able to vote against the proposal on that basis. Hansen
said he would not want to vote against the entire proposal for that reason
alone. Kissock said he would take a vigorous stance against that. College
is a mind-body experience. It is easy to see the physical problems people
have in our society. It would be limiting not to approach this topic at
a collegiate level. The goals of a broad liberal arts education include
wellness. UMM has had a commitment to wellness for several years.
Strand noted that wellness has been controversial in the past and it
continues to be controversial. The GEC has voted to eliminate the requirement
in the past. The current GEC is divided on the issue.
Klinger commented that lifestyle issues are one aspect of the many choices
that people make. It is essential to have this token category.
Hansen did not see how this requirement would be different from a high
school health class. He would rather make people walk five miles every day.
This is not the way to go about a wellness requirement, but he doesn't know
how you make people take care of themselves. Kissock said students take
many subjects in high school that they will repeat at a higher level in
Whelan said he was disturbed by undertones in the discussion. He is not
against performance or wellness. We do have to make choices, however. Schuman
said that was a fair statement. He suggested that the committees continue
to go through the requirements. At the end of the discussion, someone needs
to make a motion and could offer an amendment. He would not expect to get
everyone in the room to agree on everything in the proposal. When we get
to the science requirement, Whelan can say this is not enough.
Farrell wondered who would be making the decision about the proposal.
Schuman assumed, if the two committees could not agree together, then the
CC would make the decision. The GEC is an adjunct committee of the CC. He
would not want the Campus Assembly to be presented with two proposals. Guyotte
said the GEC is interested in being involved. The GEC could continue to
meet with the CC and have email votes for those who cannot attend. Schuman
noted that we have already gone through half of the requirements without
discord. Requirements I and II seem agreeable. There is a strong minority
opinion that we don't need a wellness requirement. There would probably
be a clear majority in the combined GEC/CC on this. He invited the GEC to
return and continue the discussion next week. Togeas said he had sent email
to Schuman about the need to present a unified proposal. Farrell agreed.
He is ready to vote. The GEC has spent a lot of time working on the proposal.
Kissock affirmed that. The proposed GER would take 1/3 of the degree. That
is where we should be.
Frenier said that women students would benefit from a wellness requirement.
The cultural, as well as scientific, aspects should be covered. She would
like to see the requirement broadened.
CC meeting for discussion of Common Experience proposal:
Tuesday, April 15, 3:00 p.m., Behmler Conference Room.
CC/GEC meeting on General Education Program proposal:
Wednesday, April 16, 3:00 p.m., Behmler Conference Room.
Group to be determined:
Friday, April 18, 9:00 a.m., place to be determined.
Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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