University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

MINUTES--1996-97 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #23
April 30, 1997; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Ballou, Bauer, Farrell, Frenier, Hansen, Kissock, Korth, J. Lee, Schuman, Thielke

Absent: Davis, Ellis, Imholte, M. Lee, Vickstrom, Whelan

Guest(s): None


ADDITIONAL AGENDA ITEM:
Schuman indicated that there was an additional item for the agenda: the Executive Committee question about the C2 and W requirements. This item will be discussed the last ten minutes of the meeting.


SCIENCE AND MATH SEMESTER PROPOSALS:
Schuman asked Korth to introduce the Division of Science and Mathematics semester proposals. Korth said there were seven proposals from the Division, although there are only six disciplines. The Natural Science category will be internal to the Division and will be interdisciplinary. The Division has had a similar category called Physical Science under the quarter system.

Schuman said he checked the semester proposals for some managerial details, like the number of credits proposed for the major, whether the conversion added or subtracted credits, and any odd credit totals for individual courses. He did have a couple of twinges when reviewing the Science and Math proposals, but no major anxiety.

Hansen was concerned about the statement under "Financial Implications" in the Biology proposal that said the conversion may have weakened the major. Korth said several disciplines indicated at the Division meeting that the conversion had some detrimental effect on their curricula, due basically to the one-third reduction in course offerings and choice for students. There is a growing number of required courses and fewer electives. Schuman said he read the Biology discipline statement as a criticism of the movement to semesters. Korth commented that there isn't much we could do to alleviate the concern in the disciplines other than to give them more money to hire faculty. Schuman assumed that faculty in the science and mathematics areas on the Twin Cities campus will experience similar difficulties in converting to semesters. Korth said the choice of a 3-credit versus a 4-credit module does affect the number of offerings.

Thielke pointed out that there are other requirements which affect the disciplines, like the 90-credit GER requirement. Frenier asked about the maximum credits in a discipline. Schuman said the discipline maximum is 40 credits under semesters. That decision was made by the campus last year. Thielke said she had done a comparison of the UMM Biology curriculum with other colleges on a 4-credit module and a semester system. She distributed copies of the sheet she had prepared.

Ballou wondered what constituted the Biology major. Korth referred her to the Form B or the bulletin copy. Ballou wondered if Biology was planning to direct the focus of the major in one direction rather than another. Genetics seems to be a crucial area. What other areas should be stressed? Korth said the statement about a weakening of the major refers to the overall program and limitations. Farrell wondered if Korth felt that other disciplines were just as limited. Korth said some disciplines felt they had developed a better program under semesters.

Kissock thought the CC could get "hung up" on that one sentence. He wondered if any of the majors would require more than 40 credits in a discipline. Korth said no. Kissock noted that Geology has proposed several new courses. Other disciplines seem to have done mostly a straight conversion. He suggested that the CC pass those straight conversions, assuming that some editorial changes will have to be made. Korth explained that Geology has had topics courses under quarters. Korth had asked the discipline to formalize those topics courses; the increase of ten courses is a conversion of topics courses the discipline has already been teaching into regular courses.

Kissock was impressed with the "Narrative Summary" on Form A for Physics which simply reads "We are converting to semesters." He noted that all of the majors in Science and Math will require about 60 credits, except Math, with a 40-credit requirement. He wondered why Physics was increasing the requirements for the major. Korth explained that the math major is limited by the maximum credits allowed in a discipline since they do not require any courses outside math for the major. Kissock wondered why there is an increase in the Physics major and minor. Korth said the faculty have put together a new program which falls under the 40-credit maximum in a single discipline. Kissock commented that there can be a subtle increase in requirements.

Farrell wondered why the CC should approve a program in Geology that requires four faculty when only three tenure lines exist in the discipline. Why aren't we building a Geology program that requires three faculty? Korth said the discipline has had the fourth position for nearly ten years. Farrell said the Humanities Division has temporary faculty, but the assignment of those faculty is driven by demand. He did not think the demand in Geology was that great, except for a few lower division courses. Korth said he understood the concern, but if the fourth position needs to be cut at some point in time, then the discipline will be able to deal with that. A lot of courses are offered in alternate years or every third year. Those elective choices could be taken away. Schuman said there could be a problem basing a program on three people when there are actually four people teaching. They'd simply have to offer multiple sections of existing courses. Korth added that they could also teach courses made up at the last minute, which is what they have been doing and what Korth wants to formalize. Schuman thought the enrollments in Geology continued to be quite high and so he thought the temporary position was not likely to go away. Korth agreed. Farrell indicated that this proposal seemed to be building a program in a way he hadn't seen before. Korth said that wasn't true. If the fourth faculty position goes away, then the discipline changes its offerings.

Schuman wondered if Korth thought it was equitable to have physics and math majors with a different number of required credits. Korth said that is a concern in the Math discipline and they have written to the Dean about it. Kissock wondered if the strategy was to get as close to 60 credits as possible for the major rather than to do a straight conversion. Korth said the strategy was for faculty to sit down and figure out the best program possible. One of the constraints was the credit limit and the balance of the major and general education. This is what the discipline has proposed.

Schuman wondered if the Division had looked at the proposals. Korth said all of the proposals were approved by the Division.

Frenier asked if there was a maximum number of credits a major can require. Korth said he believed that number was 60 credits. Last year the pronouncements of flexibility were abundant, so the 60 credits was seen as a guideline. In Biology, the requirement is for 63-64 credits, and that is the only major that goes over 60 credits. Kissock noted that the Biology major has historically been over the maximum. Korth said the Biology major was over 90 credits in the quarter system.

Hansen wondered why Calculus I is worth 5 credits but Calculus III is not. Korth said this proposal builds on the idea that certain courses which provide a basic background should not be stretched out beyond the first year. Those courses would be offered for 5 credits rather than 4 and would meet every day of the week. Foreign languages were another area where 5-credit courses have been discussed. Math did decide to go with 5 credits. They started out with 6 credits but that proposal was not well received. Hansen thought there might be a problem for students within the tuition band because Calculus has an additional credit. Korth said the student would still be getting a lot for their money.

Frenier asked about the mapping sheet for Math. The middle column is missing. Korth said that each discipline looked at the forms differently.

Thielke noted that Biology had designated C2 and W courses in the major. She thought all disciplines should do that. Farrell said all disciplines are not ready to do that.

Thielke asked about the introductory physics options that were available under quarters. Korth said the discipline had been told by advisers in the Principles of Physics courses that students should be taking General Physics (with Calculus). Students were in Principles because they were worried about getting good grades. A sizable number of students do take physics with calculus. There will be a few who will not like the change. The numbers in the Principles class has been dwindling. If the discipline drops it, then other courses can be offered instead.

Kissock wondered if the disciplines have taken this opportunity to reconsider their programs and students' needs and interests. Korth thought that was true. Schuman indicated that trust will be involved in the approval process. For instance, he doesn't know what should make up a chemistry major, nor would chemistry faculty necessarily know what would make a good English major.

Hansen asked if Thermodynamics was deleted from the Physics curriculum due to staffing. Korth said he guessed it was a staffing issue. The discipline faculty decided which courses could be taught and which had to be dropped. The Physics discipline hasn't actually taught that course for several years. It has been taught by a Chemistry faculty member and double-listed with Physics. The course will continue to exist within the Chemistry curriculum. Physics couldn't offer it without cutting another course.

Schuman wondered if Korth had any sense that it would take a student longer than four years to graduate with any semester major in the Division of Science and Math. Korth expected that all of the majors could be completed in four years, although there are certainly reasons why students might not graduate in four years. Farrell commented that we are still obligated to construct majors which allow students to get one major in four years. Kissock said the student would be pushed into the fifth year if the major is physics education. Korth said it has been possible to do a physics education major in four years under quarters, although not with coaching. A student who plans ahead can have an open spring quarter. Ballou commented that the elementary education major may require additional work in the disciplines if new licensure rules are adopted. Kissock said the new rules would not take effect until the year 2000.

MOTION (Kissock, Korth): To approve all of the Science and Math Division semester proposals, subject to nonsubstantive editorial changes.

Thielke was concerned about the missing column for the Math mapping table. The mapping sheet will be needed to revise APAS. Korth did not think the faculty intended for the mapping sheets to be used for official purposes. It outlines the logistical issues. Kissock agreed that faculty would have to give their input for setting up the parallels in APAS. Korth said he would ask the Math faculty to fill in the missing column.

VOTE: In favor--7; opposed--0; abstentions--0 (7-0-0).


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE QUESTION ABOUT C2 AND W:
Schuman asked CC members to consider the Executive Committee's concern about the General Education Program Proposal. They felt the request to have C2 and W courses included in the major requirements needed to be rendered more directive. He could see how they might come to that conclusion. On the other hand, both Schuman and Togeas are comfortable with the proposal the way it now stands. What is the pleasure of the CC? Schuman had drafted a possible statement to add to the proposal.

Farrell asked about the response of the General Education Committee (GEC) to Schuman's email about this. Schuman said he heard only from the Chair of the GEC, who thinks the proposal is fine the way it is.

Frenier liked the flexibility offered in the original wording. Ballou agreed.

MOTION (Farrell, Ballou): To leave the wording in the General Education Program Proposal as it was when submitted to Campus Assembly and as forwarded from the General Education Committee and endorsed by the Curriculum Committee.

Kissock thought the intent of the original proposal was clear.

VOTE: In favor--7; opposed--0; abstentions--0 (7-0-0).


NEXT MEETING:
Schuman canceled the meeting scheduled for Friday, May 2, at 9:00 a.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, 3:00 p.m., Behmler Conference Room, to discuss Humanities semester proposals.

Meeting adjourned 3:55 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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