University of Minnesota, Morris
September 7, 2006
Members Present: Andy Lopez, Pareena Lawrence, Maddy Maxeiner, Roger Wareham,
Pete Wyckoff, Sharon VanEps, Bryan Herrmann, LeAnn Dean,
Ken Hodgson, Dan Moore, Jonathan Bringewatt, Arne Kildegaard
Guests: Pam Solvie, Sandy Olson-Loy, Judy Kuechle
(In these minutes: reactions to subcommittee work)
Andy Lopez reported that the writing/steering subcommittee will be meeting on Tuesdays from 12-1 pm and Thursdays from 12:30-2:00 pm in the Student Activities Conference Room. Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings if they have a chance.
Several issues have come up:
1. What do we mean by being an “honors college”?
2. Is the proposed creation of the Office of Academic Enhancement a rearrangement of positions or would we have an office that would help us document all the great things students do?
3. There is a sense that the “First Year Experience” needs to go beyond FYS and other activities. We plant the expectation that every incoming freshman and transfer student is expected to graduate from UMM in 4-5 years?
4. What do you think about UMM re-instituting an Honor code?
Maddy said she likes the idea of #3 stating this builds into alumni building and matriculation well beyond graduation. Pareena suggested that the Faculty Center try to get a list of everything integrated so people know what’s going on. Sandy Olson-Loy recommends the First Year Experience Committee, a subcommittee of the Student Services Committee, look at where students get hung up on their first year. Pete said at the College of Biological Sciences, the entire class goes to Itasca. He wondered if there’s any evidence that this actively helps to improve retention. Sandy added that Beloit has a strong sophomore experience. The place UMM is lacking is the sophomore year. Bryan added that our retention rate between sophomore and junior year is not good. Sandy added that compared to other COPLAC schools with regard to retention, we’re right in the middle but we should be higher.
Ken expressed concern about #1 and that we may have a tough time selling this to faculty. We don’t do anything differently than some of the privates, so what makes us a public honors college? The word honors has too many meanings and may be a loaded term. Andy said we provide more of an honors experience and we have more leadership development. We just haven’t documented these things very well. Pete interprets the word honor as the rigor of our coursework and if we are far and above other schools, this needs to be measurable. Roger added that we need to define what we’re going to do and that everyone has a different definition of the word honors. Dan said he has heard Robert Jones say we have a great program. How do we get the word out to the rest of the world? Ken asked if need to use the word public. Sharon suggested the wording of “public honors experience.”
Judy Kuechle said she was lead to believe that she had the go-ahead to explore the idea of an Office of Academic Enrichment. And if so, she will ask Paula O’Loughlin to more forward and head up a group discussion. Andy said CRPC received some very brief details from our former Dean. Ken asked if the initial document creates new hires or simply re-alignments? Andy said re-alignments and expansion.