University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota


October 18, 2000; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Behrens, Carlson, Chabel, DeJager, Evans, Finzel, Garavaso (for Nellis), Gooch, Kissock, Korth, Lee, Mooney, Neuharth, Thielke, Urness
Absent: Ostrowski
Guests: Jon Anderson, Mathematics

[In these minutes: approval of minutes, approval of Science & Math Division and Education Division curricular change proposals.]

DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS: The curriculum change packet for the Division of the Humanities was distributed at the beginning of the meeting.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW MEMBER: Korth introduced Kristin Behrens, who is replacing Jill Farris as a student member of the committee.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth asked for additions or corrections to the minutes of the last Curriculum Committee (CC) meeting which was held on October 11, 2000. There were none.

                    MOTION (Carlson, Finzel): To approve the minutes, as distributed electronically, for the 10/11/00 CC meeting.

                    VOTE: Unanimous in favor (11-0-0)

SCIENCE AND MATH DIVISION CURRICULUM CHANGE PROPOSALS (continued): Korth commented that Jon Anderson from the mathematics discipline was present at the meeting to answer questions.

MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS PROPOSALS (continued)--Korth noted that he had distributed a document from Engin Sungur that elaborates on the reasons for separating statistics from mathematics at UMM. Thielke commented that she had sent out an email to CC members with comparisons of statistics programs at other colleges. Anderson said he brought along a draft proposal from the American Statistical Association (ASA) for statistics programs, in case anyone wanted to look at it.

One member wanted to know if Anderson had a sense of how many other liberal arts colleges have statistics programs. Anderson said very few, if any, would have that. A lot of places are currently operating with the mathematics faculty teaching statistics courses. That is still the norm. The ASA is trying to address that, by recommending that statisticians teach statistics courses. The CC member wanted to know, in the colleges that do have statistics and math separate, is it common for math to require statistics courses for the math major? Doing so increases the credit count. Anderson said the way things currently are in math, statistics is a prime area of application for math. Math faculty want their majors to have experience with that application area.

Another CC member wondered if separating the major requires new tenure lines. Anderson said there will be three statistics faculty, even if the statistics courses stay in the math area. The CC member asked if that means math already has the three faculty lines that are teaching statistics courses. Anderson said the three positions are his, Engin Sungur's, and they are hiring for the third line. The question was asked whether there would be a need beyond these three positions. The answer was no.

A CC member made a general observation that some of our major requirements exceed the 40-credit limit within one discipline. Musicians take more than the 40 credits allowed and cannot count those extra credits toward the degree. A major that requires the maximum credits from the discipline and then has other requirements outside the discipline still allows the student to count all of the credits toward graduation. There seems to be a discrepancy here. This was mentioned at the last meeting and he wanted to repeat it. Korth responded that, where two subject areas are sufficiently distinct to continue to guarantee breadth in the student's curriculum, then the extra 20 credits in the major should be allowed. However, that decision can be arbitrary. The CC member noted that music really has three areas: applied, history, and the major courses. In art, the discipline has been split into studio and history to allow students to take both areas and count them toward graduation.

Another CC member said he planned to vote for the proposal, but the distinction between math and statistics, or studio art and art history seem finer to him than, say, for biology and mathematics, for example. He would not want to see biology doing this as well because biology issues might get diluted with other disciplines within the Division. Math has split off another discipline once before with computer science.

A CC member wanted to know what the prevalent patterns are within UMM's peer institutions. On a small campus, we cannot afford to split out all of the areas that could be separate. Many schools have a completely separate discipline for anthropology. Is statistics similar to anthropology? Korth said that at larger institutions statistics is a separate area. The question at smaller institutions is whether the distinction is warranted by need. On our campus, the demand for statistics is growing like the Internet (well, maybe not quite that fast). The Division will have three statistics faculty whether the courses are split into a separate discipline or not. This is a reflection of the need on our campus.

One CC member asked if there would be a shifting of courses from lower division to upper division over time. The current lower division courses in statistics have large class sizes. Anderson expects that the number of second tier statistics courses will stay the same. He does not expect any expansion at the 3xxx or 4xxx levels. The lower level enrollment is the pushing force. The big motivation for doing the formal change for statistics is that the faculty are getting swamped with paperwork with the areas of concentration. Another CC member said that seems to parallel the Women's Studies major in terms of the numbers of students getting an area of concentration. Another member commented that paperwork isn't a good rationale. The recommended list of courses for an area of concentration could be listed within the math section. Creating a new discipline involves faculty issues. Is the motivation really paperwork or is it wanting control of the statistics area? Anderson said it is the paperwork. There were twelve majors and five minors last year but for every one there is a change of a course or two and then the proposal must go through the approval process again. This gets to be very burdensome. For students at the sophomore and junior level, there are all the queries and the need to explain how to get an area of concentration. Having the recommendation written down will be helpful. One member said that could be accomplished without creating a new discipline.

Anderson said one of the considerations is whether students could find an area of concentration for statistics listed under mathematics. Students wouldn't necessarily think to look for it there. If we are going to do this, it should be under a separate location from math. Thielke agreed. One member suggested that there could be a heading for Statistics that refers students to the math section.

A CC member asked about the number of area of concentration students in Wellness and Sport Science. Neuharth thought there were about 9 of them. Thielke didn't think there were quite that many graduating in any given year. The comment was made that there is more control if the major is listed separately. Another member responded that the proposal does not include a major. Anderson said that a major is being planned. Another member asked if the statistics faculty don't feel they need to be distinguished from the math faculty. Anderson said they have lived with the current situation for this long. It will be helpful not to have the first couple of statistics courses labeled as math because students tend to wait and take the courses in their senior year because of the math label.

One member asked about the sentiment of the math faculty. Anderson said the math faculty are generally supportive. We've been discussing this for many years. A previous Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs who is now Chancellor said it was time to think about having a separate major because of the number of areas of concentration. Another member said, if that is true, then the statement should be changed. There will still be paperwork because the proposal continues the use of the area of concentration. Why not come forward with a major at this time? Anderson said there was not enough time to get a major proposal through all of the approval processes, which takes about a year. Korth noted that the major could not be approved in time for the catalog printing deadlines. The proposal for a major is coming, however.

A member questioned the phrasing of the text regarding the area of concentration. Why not make the courses a requirement rather than talk about negotiating with faculty. Korth said an area of concentration needs to be designed by the student and the faculty member. It cannot be set. Thielke noted that, even in anthropology, the area of concentration is not standard.

A member wondered if approving the statistics proposal today is laying the groundwork for a major. Anderson said this proposal is part of it. Another member asked if students want to see the statistics courses separate from math. Thielke said students who have had both statistics and math would say yes.

Lee noted a correction to the Form B, page 2, for statistics. The political science course should be Pol 3101 instead of 2101. This change in the political science analysis courses will be coming forward with the Social Sciences curriculum changes.

A member asked for clarification. When the major proposal comes forward, there won't be a request for more faculty? Anderson said no.

Noticing that the hours for the math and statistics courses are not given in the course description, a member wondered if there should be consistency across the campus. Biology courses list the hours of lecture and lab, but other divisions don't do that. Korth thought that it had been the rule for the lab disciplines to list lecture and lab hours but that has not been done in other divisions if there are no labs. It is most important to explain the hours of lab for students. Thielke noted that, for transfer purposes, it is important to note when science courses have labs because some programs at other institutions have lab requirements. Korth suggested that CC members make note of lab courses in Divisions other than Science and Math as we review proposals to see if they list the lecture/lab hours and perhaps this issue could be raised again then.

                    MOTION (Understood): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the mathematics and statistics disciplines.

                    VOTE: Unanimous in favor (12-0-0)

FUTURE AGENDA ITEM--One CC member requested that a future agenda item be discussion of the 40-credit maximum for a discipline. Korth asked if this discussion should occur before the catalog goes to print. The answer was no.

PHYSICS--Korth asked if there were questions concerning the physics curriculum proposal. Physics is proposing to eliminate the second course in electronics and adding a course--statistical physics--which was the major conceptual piece missing in the current program. The new course will alternate offerings with optical physics.

                    MOTION (Understood): To approve the curriculum change proposals from the physics discipline.

                    VOTE: Unanimous in favor (12-0-0)

DIVISION OF EDUCATION CURRICULUM CHANGES: Korth noted that there were no changes in the "Education" discipline. There are changes proposed in elementary education, secondary education, and wellness and sport science.

ELEMENTARY EDUCATION--Korth asked for questions. One member noted that there seem to be three categories of requirements in this discipline: student teaching, major requirements, and licensure requirements. Fulfilling the major requirements does not make the student eligible for licensure. Kissock said that a student can technically graduate with a major and never get licensure.

Kissock said another change is necessary after discussions the end of last week. Under the requirements for licensure, #10 says "a passing score on the Minnesota Board of Teaching Pre-professional Skills Test (PPST)." This requirement needs to be added to student teaching and to the major. New federal legislation will be affecting the way our education program is judged. There will be reports on the quartiles in which students fall who take the PPST. UMM does not want to be in the bottom quartile for its students. PPST must be a program requirement rather than a licensure only requirement. Then, anyone who passes our program will have passed the PPST. Ninety percent of people who take the test pass it.

One member commented that she sees the PPST requirement fitting in nicely in student teaching requirements, but not in the major, because it is not a course. Since students must do student teaching to complete the major, could the PPST be listed as a student teaching requirement but not a major requirement? Kissock agreed. He noted that there is considerable cost to institutions to administer these tests and record the scores. Many institutions are tracking the costs to report to the legislature.

Another member commented that he was impressed when he came to Morris and found out that students could graduate under any catalog from the time they entered and after. Now he has discovered that statement does not apply to licensure. He was surprised, therefore, to see that elementary education faculty are proposing to eliminate the statement that "These course requirements are subject to change when the BOT implements new licensure rules." Kissock said that statement was included when we knew the new BOT rules were coming. Now the rules are here. It used to be that new BOT rules included grandfather clauses. This time BOT made the date of September 1, 2001, to apply the new rules to everyone.

Thielke said she would feel more comfortable if we left the statement about BOT rule changes in the catalog. It will cover us in additional ways. Kissock had no argument for leaving the statement in the catalog. It also occurs in the secondary education section. A CC member suggested deleting the word "course" from the sentence.

Korth said the Curriculum Committee will return to this discussion at next week's meeting.

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

Send comments to Nancy Mooney
Send comments to Curriculum Committee