University of Minnesota, Morris
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
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
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
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).
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
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
Kissock thought the intent of the original proposal was clear.
VOTE: In favor--7; opposed--0; abstentions--0 (7-0-0).
Meeting adjourned 3:55 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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