MINUTES-1998-99 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING
March 03, 1999; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Cerar, Frenier, Haugen, Korth, Lee, Leroux,
McIntosh, Neuharth, Taylor, Thielke, Utoft
Absent: Busch, Farrell, Kissock, Woll
[In these minutes: endorsement of EDP Subcommittee
recommendation; IS 3401H Form C; Biology curricular changes; Women's
Studies major proposal.]
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth
asked for corrections or additions to the previous minutes. There
were none, so minutes were approved by a voice vote.
in favor (8-0-0)
EDP SUBCOMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION:
Korth pointed out the recommendation presented in the agenda.
He clarified that the "We" inserted in the recommendation
consists of EDP Subcommittee members. The recommendation is as
We understand that EDP funds allocated in the amount
of $15,000 were not dispersed for the
period 1996-98 so that they could be used to assist faculty in the development of Common Course
classes beginning this year. It is our recommendation, therefore, that the 1998-99 funds ($7,500) be
used for the development of educational innovations other than the Common Course. Our
recommended priorities are:
Priority One: The development of new courses or the
revamping of existing
courses to be taught under the semester system.
Priority Two: The development of other educational innovations.
The committee also recommends that grants not be less
than $800 nor more than $1500 for a given
Korth pointed out the recommended stipulation that
grants would not be less than $800 nor more than $1500. He wondered
if the subcommittee's intention was to set this limit per project
or per person. McIntosh assumed it would be per individual, since
a project is generally created by an individual. Mooney mentioned
that the dollars for the project are generally for salaries, and
must include fringe. Therefore it is far less salary then it appears.
Korth stated the subcommittee is looking for Curriculum Committee
endorsement before they solicit projects for the EDP funds.
Neuharth): To endorse the EDP Subcommittee recommendation for
allocation of 1998-99 EDP funds.
McIntosh mentioned that at the beginning of the academic
year there had been a request that the EDP funds be increased.
He hopes that the Interim Chancellor will be reminded of this
need. Korth had talked with Schuman about this request. Schuman
felt it was a reasonable request and agreed to see if there could
be an increase for next year.
IS 3401H: Korth pointed
out the requested action is the addition of the Honors designation
to an existing course. Thielke wondered about the H listed as
the 5th digit. She did not believe there should be a 5th digit
in the course number. Mooney noted this is a change for quarters,
not semesters, so the course number is correct. Leroux mentioned
a minor typo in the last paragraph where the apostrophe should
follow the "s" in "students" since more than
one student will be taking the course.
To approve adding the Honors designation to IS 3401, Interdisciplinary
Studies in Social
Science: Behavior Biology of Females.
in favor (8-0-0)
BIOLOGY CURRICULAR CHANGES: Korth
mentioned that the Biology change forms have been approved by
the division of Science and Math. There are two courses being
added for one credit each, resulting in two additional credits
in the discipline as summarized on Form A. The first Form C is
to establish a course for students who plan to graduate under
the quarter catalog.
[Lee arrived at this time.]
Frenier wondered why it was on a semester form. Korth pointed out the need for the course to be established as a semester course in order to teach it as a quarter course. Taylor wondered if this would be a substitute for Biology 1700 or 1701. Korth said it would substitute for both. Leroux wondered if, as a semester course, it should have a GER category. Korth stated that one-credit courses do not have GER categories. He pointed out that this course is a transition course that will be taught in 1999-2000 only.
The second Form C is for a biochemistry course. This course was listed in the semester catalog as a lecture and lab course. These forms would separate the lab from the lecture portion and set the lab up as a separate one-credit course. Thielke wondered if the number of credits for the lecture portion would stay the same as for the lecture/lab combination. Korth said they would. Neuharth wondered what would happen if they were both taken at the same time. Korth said there is no process for giving
GER status to course combinations. He assumes, however, that since there is a prerequisite, the science lab requirement will already have been met.
The fourth Form C from the Science and Math division
is for Microbiology. Initially the course was listed as three
lectures and one lab per week. This has been rearranged to consist
of two lectures and two labs each week. Also, the odd number year
offering has been deleted; the course will now be taught every
To approve the biology curricular changes as submitted.
WOMEN'S STUDIES MAJOR: Korth mentioned he has a lot of minor questions about the Women's Studies major proposal. He is not certain they are worth committee time, but he would like to get all the issues out on the table. Korth mentioned there may need to be some altering before this proposal can be adopted. He asked if there were any questions regarding the submitted Form A, the Women's Studies summary. McIntosh asked if the CC needed to take a vote to institute Women's Studies as a major. Korth said that vote would be necessary since this was curriculum change. McIntosh questioned the need to discuss the details before the vote to institute the major. Korth felt the CC could do both at the same time. McIntosh pointed out that if the CC decided not to institute the major, a discussion of the details would be unnecessary. Korth agreed.
McIntosh asked for the rationale for instituting this new major. Frenier said the nine rationales are listed in section four of the proposal. She mentioned that Women's Studies has been a minor at UMM since 1978 and that the U of M, Twin Cities has had a Women's Studies major since the early 1970's. Frenier stated that most liberal arts institutions offer this major. In 1978, when the minor was introduced, a major seemed unwise as there weren't enough interested faculty to offer such a diverse curriculum. That is no longer a problem. Today three of the four divisions are offering courses included in the major; the Division of Education is the exception.
McIntosh asked Frenier if she had the figures to support her statement that "most liberal arts institutions have a Women's Studies major." Leroux said he would be interested in those figures also, especially from comparable schools such as those in COPLAC. Frenier did not have absolute figures, but mentioned schools such as Mankato, U of M, Duluth, U of M, T.C. and St. Cloud that do have this major. McIntosh pointed out that they are all large schools. Frenier agreed, but on consulting the Registrar's Blue Book (published in 1993) that lists all colleges and their majors, she found that Hamline, St. Olaf, and Macalaster are all small schools in Minnesota that offer this major.
Leroux wondered when the last major was added. Frenier said Business Economics (later renamed "Management") was added in the early 1980's. Leroux said his real concern is the potential consequence to existing majors if new majors are added. Frenier said this concern has been expressed before. She feels the only major that might be affected is LAHS or possibly Sociology.
Lee stated that this proposal is something that has been looked at for several years. He said each year there are a number of Area of Concentration proposals submitted for this major. The number is considerable and growing. The timing for instituting this major is right. UMM has the staff for this major; it would simply mean tapping existing resources. The economic needs and pedagogy are prepared. Lee feels that Leroux's concerns about how it would affect an existing major are good. He feels in this situation, however, it is not an issue; that this would complement other majors, not hurt them. Sociology might be impacted a little, but not adversely. Many students double major in sociology and Women's Studies. Leroux said a counter argument is that rationale #8 stated in the proposal is the hope that having this major would attract more students to Women's Studies. If they envision that it will attract new students, it implies an impact on other majors. Frenier said the hope is that students will come to UMM because of the major. Instead, some students have left UMM because of the lack of this major. Leroux said those points argue for the potential that the Women's Studies major would draw from other majors. However, if the program is a magnet to UMM, it has the potential to negate the impact on other majors. Frenier added that at this point UMM is trying to increase total enrollment.
Leroux said he would also like to address the budgetary considerations in the proposal. The statement,"Furthermore, when faculty members leave UMM, changes in disciplines including Women's Studies can be reflected when replacing them," set off alarms for him since it sounded like downsizing. Frenier said it hasn't worked that way. For example, UMM hires someone to teach women's history and she will teach one women's studies course every 2 years outside the History discipline. The History discipline is supportive of this. Leroux said they have the ability to do that in the History discipline. This would be a dilemma in the Speech discipline. Frenier mentioned there is no demand that a discipline teach a women's studies course. Leroux agreed, but felt there would be the same type of impact the common course could have, a straight ramification on the discipline. Frenier said we have to diversify the faculty and this major could draw potential faculty members. Lee said Leroux's point is right. Anthropology, for example, has 1.67 faculty members. It would be impossible for the Anthropology discipline to teach a women's studies course. However, the time is right for a Women's Studies major since the courses related to the major already exist. There are enough Women's Studies courses offered to repackage them into this new major.
Leroux gave an example of the impact common course had in Humanities. He stated a new German faculty member was hired who also taught Russian. The division decided Russian should be offered every other year, because there was insufficient demand. The faculty member decided to teach the common course. Leroux felt it is clear that the decision to broaden offerings has ramifications on other majors. Leroux stated he would argue this no matter what the major was. Lee said the intent was to offer Russian, not the common course. However there were not enough students for Russian, so it was a good use of talent to have this instructor teach the common course. Maybe this was adjusted internally.
Utoft said Humanities responded to different demand. Russian had only four people in the class. She wished to step back in the discussion and make the point that many Women's Studies majors are double majors. If this major were offered, this would continue to be the case. It would complement, not take away from, the other majors. Frenier said this was the pattern.
Neuharth wondered how many Women's Studies minors there were now. Frenier said in 1997-98 there was one major and four minors. In 1996-97 there were three majors and she wasn't sure of the number of minors. Neuharth wondered if this was continuing, about four per year. Frenier said they expect the numbers to be increasing. Leroux wondered how they majored in this in the past. Mooney mentioned they had to complete an Area of Concentration proposal and seek approval. Frenier said it required special forms and was not user friendly. Lee said the proposals went through the division office for signatures. Each year the Women's Studies and Anthropology majors had 5 - 10 requests.
Leroux said he is sure the division chairs see more of the desire than the faculty in the regular offices. Students want more than UMM can offer. Frenier said UMM tries to be flexible to accommodate them. Students can major in Anthropology and Women's Studies. Lee said we would simply be packaging existing courses. Leroux said there are three new courses. Frenier agreed and pointed out that they are summarized on Form A and listed individually on the attached Forms C.
Korth asked the CC if they wanted a vote on whether to endorse the establishment of a Women's Studies major. Leroux mentioned his desire was to not vote during this meeting. He felt he needed more discussion since he has other questions beyond the impact on current resources. He pointed out that two division chairs were not present today. Many of his colleagues have approached him with questions regarding the Women's Studies major in advance of this meeting. He feels the CC needs to continue the discussion rather than be pressed to vote today. Korth agreed that more discussion was needed, but he had hoped to get all the issues out on the table today so the CC could return at the next meeting with a version ready for a vote.
Leroux wondered what the standard procedure was regarding this issue. He asked if decisions regarding interdisciplinary majors normally go through the divisions in some way; do they each have deliberations among themselves. He mentioned that since the next step is Campus Assembly, it is awkward for discussion of this type in a setting like that. Frenier stated she has talked with Schuman, Lee, and Korth about this proposal over a two-year period. She also presented the proposal to each division. The next step was to bring the proposal to the CC.
Thielke commented on the demographics of students attending college these days. In the 1960's there was an 8-to-1 male-to-female ratio on college campuses. Now there are consistently more women than men attending. Also, the role of women has changed since W.W.II. Women are no longer in their homes. There has been an upheaval in their roles. UMM must recognize that women are struggling to discover their roles, especially since UMM prides itself on diversity.
Frenier mentioned that Women's Studies has changed the way academia approaches theory and methods. Utoft agreed. She stated she believes this is the perception of how students see the mission of this institution. It is important for women to identify where women fit, and for men to identify where women fit. Leroux wondered how many men take the courses. Frenier said in one of her classes of 37 students, there are seven men, which is average for a Women's Studies class. Leroux wondered if they were designated as Women's Studies classes. Frenier said they are under History, but it is obvious they are Women's Studies. All students that take the course know they are taking a women's studies course.
McIntosh felt that this was a gerrymandering of the curriculum. It appeared to him that this would establish the curriculum to benefit a subset of the population, which is not good. Frenier wondered how it is different from other majors. She pointed out that History is a subset. McIntosh said the History subset is not determined by sex. Haugen pointed out that this is a recognition of a subset, not gerrymandering. Mooney said this was similar to other interdisciplinary studies, such as LAAS, European Studies, and LAHS. McIntosh stated that they are not being promoted to majors. Mooney pointed out that they are already majors. McIntosh hadn't realized that.
Frenier agreed that a Women's Studies major might increase the number of women that attend UMM. At this point 55% of undergraduates are women. This is not necessarily a good thing. She would like to see the ratio reflect the population with 52% females.
Lee said in regard to gerrymandering, the campus need not feel there is a hidden agenda here. He genuinely feels a need to offer this major. Leroux said there are different types of stated goals in the proposal for the Women's Studies major. One goal is disciplinary in nature; that is the subject area of women's lives, contributions, and perspectives needs investigation. A second goal is political in nature, meaning that it is stated up front that the program's mission is to work for the betterment of women. Probably few other academic disciplines he can now think of - environmental studies excepted, a major which UMM doesn't have - explicitly blend the two goals of studying a subject area and advancing a political cause. Leroux feels the CC can recognize and explore this major without accusations of any hidden agenda.
Lee said there will be quite a lapse of time until
Spring Quarter meetings. Rather than rehash everything then, he
hoped the CC could accept the concept of the major today, and
work out the details at the next meeting. Korth pointed out that
the CC meeting had already exceeded the scheduled time so consequently
the meeting was adjourned.
Meeting adjourned 8:55 a.m.
Submitted by Melody Veenendaal