University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

January 20, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present: Asmus, Beiswenger, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Korth, Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor

Absent: Ballou, Kissock, Thielke

Guests: None

[In these minutes: continued discussion of semester GER designator proposals]

Schuman reminded CC members that they had completed perusal of the Science and Math GER proposals at the last meeting, and also acted on the directed studies and senior honors projects issue. He suggested that the group return to the Humanities Division GER proposals at this time. The Committee had already approved or sent back the art history, studio art, English, French, and German proposals. The discussion today should begin with the humanities discipline proposal.

Schuman asked for questions or concerns about the humanities discipline (not "Division") proposal. Mooney was concerned about specific topic courses having a different GER designator than the general heading for that topic. Under quarters, a specific topic had to have at least the same designators as the general heading and then other designators could be added, as well. In the humanities proposal, the Hum 1000--Open Topic general heading has the designator of "Hum," as do two of the three specific topics. However, the third specific topic, "Contesting Visions of the American West," has the designator of "HDiv."

Schuman suggested that the third topic become a general heading of its own with a new number (it would be Hum 1030). McIntosh wondered what that would do to the repeatability of the course. Schuman said that specific topics can only be taken once. Mooney clarified that as soon as a specific topic title is formulated, then it is given its own course number. No one should actually be taking a course with the same number as the general heading. General headings are listed as repeatable to let students know that they can take more than one specific topic.

Farrell was concerned about humanities having four levels of directed study when there are only 1xxx-level courses offered. Schuman suggested that Farrell take that question to the Division when determining the final directed study levels for each discipline.

Schuman wondered if there were further questions about the humanities proposal. There were none. He asked Mooney to bring a revised proposal back to the CC.

Schuman asked for questions or concerns about the music discipline proposal. Farrell thought that courses had to be offered for at least 2 credits to be in the GER. Mooney said that is only true for Expanding Perspectives categories; ArtP is a skills category and has no credit minimum.

Schuman wondered why several of the courses in the major do not have any designators. Farrell said faculty did not want nonmajors taking those courses simply to get the GER designation.

Schuman asked if there were any objections to the music proposal. There were none.

Schuman said he was delighted to see that philosophy has courses that meet the goals of the "SS" designator. He wondered what the rationale was for having Philosophy of Science meet the "HDiv" category. Frenier said that is Garavaso's course and she includes in the course a feminist critique of science. Farrell agreed with Frenier's explanation. McIntosh wondered if the CC should assume that the same person will always teach this course. Farrell said that would be true as long as that person is at UMM. Schuman assumed that any redefinition of the course content would also mean a reconsideration of the GER designation. Korth hoped that the course description referred to the feminist critique. Schuman agreed.

There were no other concerns about the philosophy proposal.

Schuman wondered why there was no title listed for Span 4000. [Later: Mooney checked and discovered that Span 4000 does not exist and should be deleted from the form.]

Farrell asked the CC for some general advice about the foreign language disciplines. It seemed to him that all of the foreign languages should have the same attitude toward directed studies and the levels that are offered. Schuman thought it would be worthwhile to propose to the foreign language faculty that they consider offering the same levels of directed studies in all three languages. Farrell said one must also consider that the three disciplines are separate.

Schuman noted that there is a lot of diversity among GER categories within the speech course offerings. Korth said he was trying to understand why the "E/CR" designations were put on the public speaking courses, Spch 1000 and 1051. Leroux said the primary historical grounding of public speaking is within the democratic process. Schuman wondered if that meant that public speeches were made on the topics of political and social issues. Leroux said yes; the emphasis in ethics is on public speaking. Korth wondered if that is stated in the course description. Leroux said probably not. Farrell wondered if the ethics focus was always present in these courses. Leroux said that it was. These courses look at the responsibilities of the speaker and of the audience.

Schuman wondered about the "SS" category for Interpersonal Communication. Leroux said the course is in "The Self" GER category under quarters. Most of the course focuses on self understanding. Farrell noted that this could conceivably be a course in the Social Science Division. Schuman asked about the overall goals for the "SS" category. Leroux read the goals aloud from the back of the GER form, as follows:

B. Human Behavior, Social Processes and Institutions: To increase students' systematic understanding of themselves as functioning humans, their individual similarities to and differences from others, their awareness of the nature and significance of their conscious experience, and the forces that shape their interpersonal attachments and interactions; or to increase students' understanding of methods of analyzing modern society or some significant legal political, economic, religious, social or scientific component of it.

Leroux noted that a lot of communication study is done in the psychological area. Some speech communication scholars use social science methods rather than humanistic ones. Lee thought the choice of designator depended upon the proportion of the course that focuses on the self. If 90% of the course is on the skill part of communication, then the designator should not be "SS." Leroux estimated that 70% of the course focuses on the interpersonal aspect and less on the skill area. The two interpersonal courses could not be used to fulfill the speaking requirement.

Schuman asked if CC members were comfortable approving the speech discipline proposal. There were no objections.

Theatre Arts
Schuman wondered about the acting and directing courses in theatre. What is the rationale for not giving them a GER designation? Leroux said those are the courses referred to in the first paragraph on the first rationale page. Those are courses intended for majors. He thought those two courses were combined in one course under quarters. Nylander said that was true. Schuman was not convinced that the rationale in the first paragraph is sufficient.

Farrell said he gets complaints from students who are not majors and don't expect to work as hard as majors in his classes. He thought this was a generalized problem; other disciplines have declined to designate GER categories for courses in the major. Schuman agreed.

Leroux wondered if majors who take these courses deserve the GER category. The answer seemed to be yes. He also wondered if faculty left off GER categories in order to control enrollment. Schuman said the courses could be open to majors only. He thought there must be students who don't want to major in theatre but would want to use theatre to get GER categories fulfilled. He wondered if theatre faculty should be asked to reconsider categories for Th 1111, 2101, and 2201.

Farrell wondered what the distribution of credits to the major and general education was supposed to be under semesters. Schuman said one-half of the total credits for the degree should be general education and about one-third of the credits should be in the major. Farrell said he was bothered by the idea that students won't take a course unless it has a GER designator.

Schuman wondered why students taking beginning acting wouldn't get performance credit. McIntosh thought that any course meeting the goals should be accurately designated. Schuman agreed.

Korth thought these questions should be sent back to the discipline. He wondered if the categories would be dropped for Th 1040 and 1050 because they are only 1-credit courses.

MOTION (Korth, Frenier): To refer the following questions back to the theatre discipline faculty: 1) Shouldn't Th 1111, 2101, and 2201 have GER designators? 2) Shouldn't Th 1040 and 1050 have the GER designators dropped or else be offered for 2 credits?

VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0).

There were no other objections to the theatre proposal. Schuman indicated that all of the Humanities Division GER proposals had been reviewed. Lee was agreeable to moving on to the Social Science Division GER proposals.

Korth wondered if Anth 1101 qualified as a lab science course. Lee said he checked with the instructor several times on that question. The faculty convinced him that they do have a rigorous lab setting for that course. They have their own lab with skeletons. Korth wondered how many lab sessions were scheduled, if the instructor was present for lab sessions, and what experiments were done. He has been in the anthropology lab and talked to students and that is why he is asking questions about the lab designation. Lee said Donna Chollett, who teaches the course, also uses the biology lab. He will get an expanded rationale from her. When Dennis Templeman taught the course he did not use the lab approach, but Chollett does.

Farrell wondered if there is a description of a lab science course. There is none within the GER program. Lee wondered if the Science and Math Division has a description of a lab course. There is no definition in the Division either.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, at 8:00 a.m. in the Behmler Conference Room. Because the CC is getting behind on its review of semester matters, Schuman indicated that, after the February 3 meeting, CC meetings will occur weekly instead of biweekly. A new schedule is being devised.

Meeting adjourned 8:55 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney