University of Minnesota, Morris

Morris, MN





October 30, 2002, 8:00 a.m. Behmler Conference Room


Present:          John Schwaller, Mike Korth, Jenny Nellis, Jooinn Lee, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Chris DeVries, Van Gooch, Tom Johnson David Bohlander, Danielle Stuard, Ruth Thielke, Dorothy DeJager, and Nancy Helsper


Absent:          Judy Kuechle, Amanda Johnson, Chris Pifer, and Clare Strand


Visitors:         Chancellor Schuman, Jen Cushman and Vicki Graham


Schwaller introduced Chancellor Schuman. Schuman addressed the Curriculum Committee to explain a new proposed program for UMM that is currently called “The Big Idea”. This program would provide the opportunity for every student here at UMM to study abroad during May term after their sophomore year. One question of particular interest to the Curriculum Committee is the issue of how many credits would be appropriate for the course. Schuman felt proper procedure would be to have the proposal go before CC for approval and then have CC send it to Campus Assembly.

Schuman went on to explain how the program would operate and what financial implications would arise. The idea is to have incoming freshman select as a class a place abroad that they will visit as a group during the May term after their sophomore year. The places would not be the traditional major European tourist areas; they would be places off the beaten path but yet safe places for the students to visit. The Students would pick the place the end of their first semester. During the next three semesters they would learn more about their destination through courses offered. Schuman envisions that the students would travel together to the destination of choice and once there they would not spend the entire three weeks as a large group but rather as several smaller groups of 15-20 students and leaders for each group, which could consist of faculty, staff and possibly alumni. For example, we could offer choices of 3 different 5-day trips that the groups could mix and match. The groups could do some things together as one large group. The final two years of their program would include events that speak to their experience and possibly a graduation speaker that is related to their destination of choice.


This idea came from the International Programs Committee and if we do it UMM will be the only institution in America that would have this type of program. It is important for UMM to become more visible, to catch people’s attention but yet be visible for the right reasons. Schuman explained that this is a major logistical enterprise and the magnitude of it has not been underestimated. There is a company in Chicago that does the logistics for college travel abroad. Estimated cost for the program would be approximately $750,000 rounded up to 1 million for additional ongoing costs. At least one full time person would need to be hired to run the program and the students would not be charged for the cost of the program. This would be a universal experience like that of freshman orientation with the understanding that it is not required but expected.


Possible funding could come from three sources, an endowment, a grant for a 2-3 year term or funding from a modest increase in tuition/legislative allocation. Jerry Fisher, President of the U of MN Foundation, works with fundraising and this idea has been discussed with him. He is very encouraging about funding for this type of program. Before the chance to raise an endowment for the program we must show we can do it. A grant to run the program for two to three years would be more realistic. It is not allowable to fund the program out of sources already strapped for funds such as our daily operating budgets. This program will help with recruitment and the fundraising opportunities are promising because it will be easier to get money for this type of program than for SE&E budgets. This program will set us apart from other institutions asking for funding.


The people in Admissions who have been consulted believe that the program will be a boon for admissions, and that careful external testing will be done to verify that impression. It may scare off some students but will lure many others. The timeline UMM is looking at is a one year pilot program with this years high school seniors that are being recruited now and their trip would be in spring 2005 and then implement the program with this years high school juniors with their trip being in 2006.


Implementing this program or a variant thereof will have a large positive impact on our international programs. At this time a handout was distributed to the committee members. Schuman introduced Jen Cushman who has also been working on the program.


A member questioned if this will help fill the gap in enrollment that we currently fill with transfer students. Schuman stated that this will bring in more students but there will still be a need for transfer students. Fitting transfer students into this program will depend upon when the student transfers and that will be worked out as needed.


Schuman stated that there are two issues that keep arising; one is that it is not a good idea to let them pick a place and that UMM should pick the place where they will travel. The other concern is that we should let the students go to any of three or four places we suggest. There is more flexibility and choice for the students.


A member suggested that the educational purpose of the program should be articulated clearly for the benefit of the program. Schuman stated it would be a powerful recruitment tool; it is a different kind of cultural experience because it is in a different country. To discuss the program in relation to homeland security and terrorist issues we can build safe walls to hide behind or tear them down and go into the world.


A member stated that an opportunity like this is really a life changing experience.

Schuman would like to be invited back to CC or to other groups to discuss the program and offered everyone the opportunity to meet with him individually if they chose.






African American Studies Minor

Schwaller highlighted the revisions for the African American Studies minor and directed the members to Joel Eisinger’s memo to CC addressing their concerns.


MOTION:     (Nellis, Johnson) To accept the changes to the African American Studies Minor



A member stated that she felt the description of Soc 3141 Sociology of Deviance should be rewritten to reflect more of what the class is about. Schwaller indicated that CC couldn’t change the description of a course without proposals from that discipline. CC could send it back and not approve it. The minor was approved last spring with this course listed, what we are taking action on now is a catalog revision. A member stated that CC could vote to exclude that course from the list. Lee explained that the course would be defined clearer because new faculty member will be teaching the course and right now it is in a transitional phase. A member voiced concern that the course could be misconstrued by students and would like to vote against the proposal. Schwaller reminded CC that this course is listed in the original document that was approved last spring. Voting against this amendment would NOT remove the course from the list.


            REVISED MOTION (Bezanson, Gooch) to remove Soc 3141 from the course list


Lee explained that this is a technical area and assured CC that when the new faculty member is in place the course will be defined. A member expressed concern of CC looking for ways that course descriptions might be misunderstood; there are other courses that students can misinterpret. A member responded that CC doesn’t have any other options because it has been approved, CC needs to discuss the rhetorical nature of the catalog.


VOTE:            Motion failed (2-4-2)


Vote on original motion


VOTE:            Motion passed (7-1-0)



Schwaller noted that we have received the cleaned-up version of course descriptions and titles for English. Nellis walked the committee through the proposed changes. There was discussion among the members about including college writing as a requirement for the major. CC had suggested that English include it in their requirements but they did not count it in the number of courses required. Schwaller pointed out that the statement says “a minimum of 10 courses” therefore it could be 11 or 12 and so on. Another area of discussion was changing years not offered to offered when feasible. Graham agreed with this and explained to CC that the English department wants students to be aware of courses for planning purposes even though they may not be offered at this time. There was discussion among the members about the wording on page 2 of Form B. Helsper will correct the wording to clarify the requirement of one of the 10 courses within the major must be at the 2xxx, 3xxx or 4xxx level with an HDiv designator and not an additional course to the required 10.


            MOTION:     (Nellis, Korth) To approve English changes



A member questioned the object of the major to study language and literature and yet there are no language course requirements. A member teaching literature and language in another area stated that he believes that one is teaching language while teaching literature. A member questioned if the concern was brought to the English discipline. He stated it was and Graham responded that the English department decided not to restrict the students by grouping the 3xxx level courses and requirements.


VOTE:            Motion passed (6-0-2)


Meeting adjourned 9:30 a.m.

Submitted by Karen Van Horn