Campus Resources and Planning Committee
April 1, 2011
Present: Sydney Sweep, Dave Aronson, Martin Seggelke, Mark Privratsky, LeAnn Dean,
Andy Sharpe, Josh Preston, Lowell Rasmussen, Margaret Kuchenreuther,
Sara Haugen, Dave Swenson, Carol Cook, Bart Finzel
Guests: Gwen Rudney, Janet Ericksen, Cheryl Contant, Hilda Ladner, Pareena Lawrence,
CRPC will not meet on April 8 or April 22. Having heard about resources used in recruiting and orientation, today we will discuss the resource implications of providing advising, academic assistance and/or courses to support the growing number of international students on campus.
Cheryl said it is difficult to determine where to begin the conversation. With the increase in enrollments of international students, we determined that we needed to offer more ESL courses. In FY11, we revised the content and credit hours associated with the ESL program. This curriculum is now labeled language (LANG) courses. Nancy PedersonŐs time in these courses was increased. We secured the services of Nan Gao for an additional 45% FTE to support international students. Ryan Schamp also has a portion of his time dedicated to support international students. In addition, in 2010-11, we added teaching resources to Econ/Mgmt due, in part, to the increase in enrollment of international students.
Bart asked if Cheryl anticipates a bottleneck or constraints if grow our international student population by 30%. Cheryl said we have tried to anticipate those bottlenecks and tried to offer sections that are needed IN FY12 we intend to continue to offer LANG courses but to have fewer sections. With the STELLAR program pulling away some of the demand, Cheryl said that she believes there will be enough resources address the language concerns. The expectation is that this year Nancy will stay at 100% and Ryan will be teaching 25%. Martin wondered if we will continue to need resources in economics and if there is funding for a position. Pareena said the Social Science Division added a full time instructor in 2010-11 to offer more economic theory sections for upper level students. We will continue with the added resources to Econ/Mgmt. Martin added that the humanities division also feels the impact of the influx of international students. Both Pareena and Janet said their divisions have tried to anticipate any problems.
Bart asked if there is additional support for tutoring or specialized assistance. Cheryl said we anticipate the need for resources in those areas.
When asked about advising, Cheryl said itŐs always hard to figure out the role of the faculty adviser because it is so complex and so important. We have an ethic on this campus that is extremely powerful that all students are advised by faculty and if at all possible, by faculty in their majors. Some disciplines have relatively few advisees and some have many more. While there are obligations by faculty to work with students, the Campus Assembly endorsed a policy in 1998 that faculty would not advise more than 30 students unless they agreed to do so. Because of the nature of the SUFE program, we have many students interested in finance and economics. The advising impact has heavily affected that area. Efforts are being made to address the issue and are working towards a potential solution to maintain the quality of advising and ensure all students have a faculty advisor in their major. One complication is that faculty advisors are often asked by their advisees about issues unique to international students and in areas they know little about. It is difficult to determine the line between purely academic issues and non-academic issues. Bart asked Hilda to comment on the advising issue. Hilda said she was recently brought into this discussion regarding advising concerns. Some of the pieces belong with the academic adviser and some belong in her office.
Jacquie asked for clarification about advising students in econ/management and wondered about the number of advisees in that program. Bart said econ/mgmt anticipates all advisors in the major will have 30 advisees next year as they are currently at 27 - 29.
Bart also wondered if there were implications in the student activities area. Dave said students are slowly reaching out to international students and we are starting to see more international students become involved in co-curricular activities. There is some concern that many of the Chinese students tend to stick together. Jacquie would like to broaden the conversation to include not just international students or international students from one place. She added that while it might be a good time to revisit our strategic plan in terms of our goals for recruiting international students and students of color and determine whether or not we need to make some modifications, it is a mistake to focus only on international students. Other issues must also be considered. For example, the balance between degree seeking and non-degree seeking students is not addressed in the strategic plan.
Martin added that many students choose to come to UMM because they understand what a liberal arts education is going to deliver for them. Because international students are not able to visit our college before they make their decision to attend, he wondered if their advisors are able to fully communicate with them about our mission and what makes us unique. Cheryl said it is her sense that the folks at SUFE will never be able to capture exactly what we do here. A liberal arts education is an unusual model for them and is distinctly American. We have done a lot to try to convey the nature of our campus to them but, because the model is completely foreign to them, we must continue to work at it.