MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #6
January 6, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Asmus, Beiswenger, Frenier, Kissock, Korth, Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor, Thielke
Absent: Ballou, Ellis, Farrell
[In these minutes: approval of standard semester directed studies
and senior honors project policy; continued discussion of semester
GER category proposals]
DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS:
Mooney distributed copies of a semester geography bulletin copy
proposal and revised semester GER list for University College
CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF SEMESTER DIRECTED STUDIES POLICY:
Schuman indicated that the first item on the agenda was continued
discussion of a directed studies policy for semsters. He reminded
members that the question on directed studies is the number of
credits to be published in the catalog. Mooney reminded Schuman
and the CC that the major issue is the levels at which directed
studies are to be offered. Will it be all four levels, only the
3xxx and 4xxx levels, or varying levels depending on the wishes
of each discipline? Schuman said the Division Chairs were to discuss
the directed study policy with faculty members in the Divisions.
Korth reported for the Science and Math Division that two disciplines
wanted only two levels listed, one discipline wanted all four
listed, one discipline was flexible, and two disciplines didn't
care about the levels.
Lee reported for the Social Sciences Division that there were
mixed feelings about directed studies. In a straw vote, 50% of
the Division favored all four levels, 25% wanted only the 3xxx/4xxx
levels, and the other 25% voted for disciplinary discretion. Some
of the rationales included: faculty resources are too limited
to open up a 1xxx-level directed study offering; listing the 1xxx
and 2xxx offerings, if rarely used, would increase the number
of "ghost" offerings; there was some sentiment that
freshmen should have the opportunity to take directed studies,
since directed studies are offered at the discretion of the instructor
and instructors are not obliged to supervise directed studies.
It does make sense to have the lower level offerings in case upper
division students want to explore an area where they don't have
Kissock said he had missed the last meeting and did not poll the
Division of Education about directed studies. He did not think
there would be much interest in his Division for lower level directed
Leroux said there was not much interest in lower level directed
studies offerings in the Humanities Division.
Thielke said she had done an email poll of disciplines and received
responses from eleven of them. She distributed copies of her report
on the responses.
Schuman concluded that the way to proceed seemed to be to let
each discipline decide on their own. We would have to gather their
opinions. The negative aspect to this route is that the disciplines
would be locked into their choices and it would be more difficult
to make changes. If all of the levels are listed in the bulletin,
then disciplines could be more flexible, with faculty agreeing
on the levels which would actually be used. The negative aspect
of listing all of the levels is the suggestion to students that
all levels are actually available. He does not like the idea of
listing courses which will not actually be offered.
Leroux wondered if the idea was to have the bulletin reflect the
choices of disciplines if they are given the option of choosing
the levels. Schuman said that was the idea. A problem would arise
if, for instance, a discipline did not list the 1xxx or 2xxx options,
but then an opportunity arose where a faculty member wanted to
use the lower division offerings.
MOTION (Kissock, Korth): To have the default directed studies listing for semesters include all four levels (1xxx, 2xxx, 3xxx, 4xxx), but give each discipline the opportunity to revise the directed study listing for the bulletin.
Schuman said that Mooney would write to each discipline, make
the changes requested, and, if there is no response from a discipline,
all four levels will be listed.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0).
Schuman said the other issue with directed studies is the credit
level. Mooney said the same question needs to be asked of senior
honors projects. Kissock said he would like to see 1-5 credits
as a standard for all directed studies offerings. There are some
5-credit semester courses, even though 4 credits is the standard.
The credit level is then negotiated with each student. Leroux
asked if there is a demand for one-credit directed studies. Schuman
said that there is. McIntosh pointed out that we have some .5-credit
MOTION (Kissock, Nylander): To set "1-5 credits" as a standard for all directed studies offerings.
Korth did not think the credit level was critical. Why not leave
it as proposed by each discipline? Thielke said that some disciplines
assumed that the credit level would have to be 1-4 credits since
4 credits is the standard credit level for semester courses. Mooney
thought that, in some cases, faculty simply copied the bulletin
listing for directed studies under quarters and that is why 1-5
credits is listed.
VOTE: In favor--6; opposed--3; abstentions--1 (6-3-1).
Schuman indicated that the motion carried. With the Chair's discretion,
he proposed the same motion for senior honors projects.
MOTION (Understood): To set "1-5 credits" as a standard for all senior honors project offerings.
VOTE: In favor--9; opposed--1; abstentions--0 (9-1-0).
Schuman reminded the group that we are feeling our way with the
semester curriculum. If problems occur, we can be open to change.
The second semester bulletin may look a lot different from the
CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF SEMESTER GER DESIGNATIONS:
Schuman noted that some revisions to the semester GER designation
proposals were attached to the agenda for this meeting. He asked
Mooney for a summary of where the CC was at in the GER discussion.
Mooney said the discussion had started with the Division of the
Humanities. There were no comments about the art history and studio
art proposals. The English and French proposals were sent back
to the disciplines for reconsideration. Discussion of the German
proposal was not finished due to the question of whether any directed
studies offerings should have GER designators.
Thielke was concerned about the table Mooney distributed which
shows the number of courses proposed in each category. If there
are not enough courses in a category, will it be required? Schuman
suggested that the CC go through all of the proposals first, and
then deal with that question. He also suggested that today's discussion
begin with the Science and Math Division, since Farrell was not
able to attend this meeting.
Thielke was concerned that none of the biology courses were designated
in the "Envt" category. That is one of the categories
which is undersubscribed and biology courses were expected to
fit under that category. McIntosh said the biology discipline
believed that those courses should be double-listed with GER designators.
If only one designator can be chosen, then the "Sci"
designator is more appropriate.
MOTION (Korth, Nylander): To approve the Biology proposal for GER designators.
VOTE: In favor--9; opposed--0; abstentions--1 (9-0-1).
Kissock was concerned about the designators assigned to the directed
studies (DS) and senior honors project (SHP) listings. Korth said
that each discipline interpreted the general education program
differently. Kissock didn't think that any discipline's DS or
SHP should have GER designators. Schuman said it was difficult
to imagine that a major would still need a GER designator within
the discipline of the major by the time they take a DS or SHP.
MOTION (Kissock, Korth): That the Curriculum Committee determines that directed studies and senior honors projects not be given a GER designator in the bulletin.
Schuman said he would interpret that to mean that DS and SHP would
not be allowed to have GER designators. Korth said students could
still petition the Scholastic Committee to have a GER designator
assigned to a DS or SHP. Schuman wondered if a special explanation
of that would be required in the bulletin. Mooney and Thielke
did not think a special paragraph would be needed. This would
fit under the usual expectations of petitions.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0).
Schuman asked if there were any objections to the chemistry proposal
with the DS and SHP changes. There were none.
Schuman wondered why CSci 3901 was not designated as "Hum"
if the discipline feels it belongs there. Korth said computer
science faculty want their majors to take the "Hum"
course outside of the discipline of the major. Schuman wondered
about nonmajors who would want to take a "Hum" class
in computer science. Kissock agreed that there is the question
of the basic principle we are applying that all courses are supposed
to be designated. Schuman suggested as an alternative that the
proposal be approved with the suggestion that the designator be
given to nonmajors. After Korth pointed out that the quarter bulletin
lists the course as having a prerequisite of senior standing,
Leroux thought the question might be moot. In other words, only
majors will be taking the course.
Kissock suggested that the proposal be approved with the one course
being sent back to the discipline with a request for a designator.
There was agreement from the CC.
Thielke said this was another discipline with some environmental
study but all of the courses are designated as "Sci."
Korth said the environmental aspect is not the primary focus of
any of the geology courses. The environment is used as a way to
get at science in some courses; that is why the faculty designated
all of the courses as "Sci."
Leroux suggested that we could appeal to the discipline to consider
the environment when creating topics courses. Thielke said the
geology topics courses are low in enrollment. Schuman said that
topics courses are also offered on an irregular basis.
Schuman asked Korth to communicate to the Science and Math Division
at the next Division meeting the Curriculum Committee's concern
about a lack of "Envt" courses. Korth said the Division
already had that discussion and the faculty explained their GER
designator choices then. Lee suggested that the CC could make
a plea to the Division for more "Envt" courses. Schuman
said he was concerned that the "Envt" category will
mean something other than what was intended if none of the courses
are from the Science and Math Division. Korth said an alternative
would be to revisit the general education program.
Schuman commented that if he were a cunning instructor, he would
come up with a course like Literature of the Environment or Environmental
Politics or History of the Environment and really pack in the
CC members agreed that the geology proposal was acceptable.
Schuman noted that the question of how far back into "high
school" math to give credit is also implicit in this proposal.
Kissock wondered why 1001 has a designator, but not 1011 or 1021,
and why isn't 2211 a "Hist" course? Korth said the math
faculty did not think that the courses met the criteria as stated.
They don't do proofs in those courses. Kissock said he accepted
the reasoning on 1011 and 1021, but what about History of Mathematics?
Schuman said he would guess that the History of Mathematics course
does not use the methodology of historians. Kissock did not think
that methodology was a requirement for all of the categories.
Korth said it is not, but it is specifically mentioned in the
goals for "Hist" courses. Kissock noted that we seem
to be incorporating contradictions into the GER.
CC members agreed that the mathematics proposal was acceptable.
As Beiswenger was leaving the meeting, Schuman asked her if she
had any comments on the proposal. She responded that she thought
courses should be allowed to have more than one GER designator.
Schuman asked about the "Sco" category. Mooney said
it was a typo and should be "Sci." CC members agreed
that the natural science proposal was acceptable.
Kissock wondered if the 1-5 credit courses were taken for 1 credit,
would the GER category not apply? Schuman noted that the courses
need to be at least 2 credits to count for the GER. We would have
to ask the computer to catch the 1-credit registrations. Mooney
said there should be a statement in the prerequisites that tells
students that they must take the course for 2 or more credits
to get the GER designation. Lee said the discipline could change
the offering to read "2-5 credits." Schuman asked Korth
to have the discipline indicate which way they want to handle
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, at 8:00
a.m. in the Behmler Conference Room.
Meeting adjourned 9:05 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney