University of Minnesota, Morris

Morris, MN




April 6, 2005, 8:00 a.m. Behmler Conference Room



Present:           John Schwaller, Mike Korth, Jooinn Lee, Jenny Nellis,      Harold Hinds,

                        Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Carol Marxen, Dave Roberts, Sarah Black,

                        Blair Jasper, Joe Basel, Jeri Mullin, Nancy Helsper, Ruth Thielke,

                        Dorothy DeJager, and Sara Haugen


Absent:           Judy Kuechle, Lee Thao, Tom McRoberts and. Matt Conner




Approval of minutes from March 9, 2005.


MOTION: (Hinds, Marxen) To approval the minutes from March 9, 2005.


            VOTE: Motion passed (7-0-0)




Nellis presented the findings of the Writing subcommittee. She explained that the committee started out looking at the history of writing on our campus, results of various surveys on effective writing and recommendations. The committee spent a large amount of time looking at what is available on writing on our campus and other campuses. The committee found that writing has always been a concern for UMM expecting the best possible quality. The committee also found that the students are challenged to write in their discipline area. In the recent past writing has not been talked about as much as it was previously. The writing quality and expectation has not dissipated, it just has not been talked about as much. The committee used the NSSE survey results and also did their own survey. They felt the “Distribution of ACT English Scores” analysis should be done again as it has not been done recently. Helsper distributed color copies of this analysis for easier viewing. The subcommittee concluded that those at UMM ARE concerned about writing, it is not taken lightly. She explained that concern had been raised that students were not writing papers of twenty pages or more. She explained that shorter papers may serve specific courses just as well as longer papers. She also noted that papers of twenty papers or more are being assigned but at the 3xxx and 4xxx level courses and not as much at the lower level courses. A member of the subcommittee noted that they did not choose to draw a lot of conclusions. Nellis noted that they did receive helpful information from the College Placement Study report but did not receive that until towards the end of their meetings. She noted that at the time they were meeting, English was in the process of hiring a director of the college writing program. That person has now been hired and the committee felt the best policy at this point would be to give that person the subcommittee’s findings and information and allow her to proceed with improving the program. She may want to form a group to discuss the role of writing on this campus. They felt it would be better to let her make recommendations as she is the expert.


Nellis noted that she had received a request from the Faculty Development Committee asking to have the fall workshops on writing. Nellis felt it would be unfair to put a new faculty member in that position and recommended looking at the possibility of doing workshops the following year after the new director of the college writing program has had time to look at the information and get to know the campus and faculty.


The subcommittee did look at the popular program done in the past called “Writing Across the Curriculum.” Both candidates for the director of the college writing program were asked about this program and both independently noted that schools who had tried the program had discarded it as not the best way to get at the problems. Nellis noted that both finalist candidates were well qualified for the position and UMM would have been happy with either one.


Nellis noted that the subcommittee found that when the “Writing Across Curriculum” program was stopped, talking about writing in classrooms also ended. UMM is still concerned with writing it is just not talked about with students.


Schwaller thanked and commended the subcommittee for the job they have done.





Roberts, a member of the EDP subcommittee, stated that this was an unusually pleasant committee to be on. He noted that four applications were received; one from each division and the requested amount was less than what was available to award. The subcommittee looked at all four applications carefully and discussed how the applications would compete in others years when there have been a larger amount of requests. The subcommittee felt all four projects were worth approving for funding. Roberts noted that there were some minor adjustments in amounts awarded because of a change in the fringe rate. All four projects were funded at the salary amount requested plus fringe which would be adjusted to the correct rate.


Schwaller noted that the fringe rate was listed as 31.75% which included fringe for the entire year. The new fringe rate is less because not all fringe needs to be taken out for summer because it is taken care of during the year.


            MOTION: (EDP Subcommittee) To approve all four EDP Grants as requested with

adjustments to the fringe rate.


            VOTE: Motion passed (10-0-0)


Schwaller noted that the History courses have been taken off the agenda pending discipline approval.



CC continued the discussion about the ECAS forms and instructions from the November 18, 2004 meeting. It was noted that the changes are grayed out on the forms. A member listed several suggestions and all were accepted.


v     To add a statement on the ECAS form and instructions that “It is expected that nearly all courses at UMM will be Student Option.”

v     To take out the statement in the instructions for Form A that the bottom portion is required. All information is required on Form A.

v     On Form B and the instructions for Form B the following statement should be added “If no changes are proposed for a section of the form that section should say “NO CHANGE.””


A member brought up the recommendation from the Assessment Committee at this time. The Assessment Committee recommends that “Assessment and Goals” be dropped from the ECAS form. The rationale is that people seem confused by it and are answering it in different ways. The ASL committee thought it better to focus on assessment at the level of the Major and not at the level of the individual course. There was discussion among the members regarding assessment. One member asked if the confusion is between assessment and evaluation and suggested changing it to Goals and Evaluation. Schwaller noted that it might be better to eliminate the section all together because the reasoning for it being in ECAS was simply because it was on the old paper forms. Helsper noted that the Assessment Committee wanted the assessment question to be addressed but the question was being interpreted and answered differently than intended. A member stated he liked to see this information because he finds it useful. Schwaller noted that CC has been asked by the Assessment Committee, who added the question, to remove it.


            MOTION: (Korth, Bezanson) To accept the recommendations of the Assessment Committee and

remove the Assessment and Goals section from the ECAS form.



A member stated that he will vote against the motion because he feels the information is valuable and would rather change the language and retain the information. Another member supported the motion because the objectives of the majors are in the catalog.


            VOTE: Motion passed (6-2-1)


Schwaller moved on to discussion of Form B. The form has been changed as the Assessment Committee suggested asking how the changes affect the Major assessment plans. A member also made another suggestion for the Form B to add the comment “"Show the complete text of any section being changed with additions underlined and deletions in strikethrough font. If no changes are being proposed in a section, indicate "no change" in that section." Noting that being more explicit will be helpful.


CC moved on to Form A discussing the course count in the entire discipline. A member questioned how to define “courses taught last year”. A member noted courses not sections should be counted and suggested adding that distinction. A member suggested addition a statement to the footnote about directed studies noting that courses with multiple sections will count only once. There was discussion among the members regarding the accuracy of the course count data. Helsper noted that this data is only used for Curriculum Committee during a catalog year.



Meeting adjourned.

8:15 a.m.


Submitted by Karen Van Horn