2010-11 MEETING #1 Minutes

September 9, 2010, 12:00 p.m., Science 2200


Present: Cheryl Contant (chair), Clare Dingley, Janet Ericksen, Tara Greiman, Sara Haugen, Michael Korth, Pareena Lawrence, Leslie Meek, Ian Patterson, Dave Roberts, Gwen Rudney, Jeri Squier, Elizabeth Thoma, Tisha Turk

Absent: Mark Fohl

Visiting: Nancy Helsper, Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain


In these minutes:  Introductions and discussion of the committeeÕs charge and process, and topics for academic year 2010-11.



Contant welcomed the members of the committee, described the membership makeup and asked members to introduce themselves.  Contant read the committeeÕs charge as defined by the current campus bylaws.



Contant stated that the purpose of the Curriculum Committee is to be the keeper of the curriculum on behalf of the faculty, students, and staff at UMM.  Proposals are considered that may specifically have to do with courses or programs and a variety of other topics.


3.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES – May 5, 2010

MOTION (Turk/Ericksen) to approve the May 5, 2010, minutes.  Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.



Hand votes are taken when official work is done that goes to the Assembly for action.  When action goes to the Campus Assembly from the Curriculum Committee, the votes of the committee are recorded to show the level of support of the various outcomes.


The committeeÕs meeting times were established after finding that there is no timeslot between 8 AM and 4:30 PM in which all voting members are free to meet.  The meeting schedule utilizes two timeslots when only one member would be absent at each meeting.  This isnÕt optimal and, hopefully, we can pre-determine a time for the committee to meet next year.


Contant stated that through the month of October, meetings will focus on curricular changes for the 2011-2013 course catalog.  Campus Assembly has a meeting scheduled on November 17, in which the curricular changes will be presented for approval.


A big item the committee will look at this year is a review of General Education.  Contant stated that her preference is to start afresh and not just look at what we are currently doing.  She would rather do a complete re-visioning of what we want GenEd to be at our campus.  In most cases GenEd has become something for students to get through rather than the foundation from which more knowledge takes place.  UMMÕs GenEd program should reflect our mission, student perspective, and distinctive qualities of our institution.  We should identify and see them mapped through our GenEd curriculum.


Contant suggested forming a task force of people outside the committee to do the ground work of identifying models and approaches, with pros and cons of each.  Its charge would be to prepare a white paper that would give the committee a point of departure to begin its work.  Composition would include a variety of faculty, students, and staff, with a liaison from the committee to report back to the group.  Contant asked the committee members for their thoughts.


Ericksen stated that she was worried about forming a task force outside of the committee, particularly because of workload.  She wondered if it would be fair for this committee to farm its work out to another group.  Turk agreed, stating that seeking input from outside the committee makes sense, but in a forum other than a separate task force, such as open meetings.  Lawrence also voiced opposition to a task force and suggested forming a subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee that would include non-members.  There are people who are really interested in this particular area who would take on the additional work load.  She added that it should be structured similar to that of the subcommittee for Student Learning Outcomes.


Contant suggested an aggressive timeline with a goal of fall 2012.  Dingley voiced concerns about its impact on registration for fall 2012.  Ratliff-Crain suggested a goal of fall 2013, to coincide with the 2013-15 catalog.  Lawrence agreed that it would be more doable to have approvals during the fall of 2012 and implementation with the 2013-15 catalog, rather than in the middle of one.  Roberts stated that he would like to have a more substantive discussion before talking catalog and schedules.


Contant agreed to appoint a subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee with non-members from the campus as well, to do some of the background work.  Ratliff-Crain commented that one constraint driving the discussion is the existing GenEd and breaking out of the box, and the other is resources and how ideas and decisions may be constrained by resources  He wondered if there is any sense that a development of some GenEd direction would actually drive resources rather than the other way around.  Contant answered that resources will be constrained.  Contant will send a call out to the campus for a small number of volunteers for the subcommittee.  She will send it to students via MCSA.  The optimal size of the subcommittee will be 5-7 members.  She will share the call and timeline with the committee before sending it out.


Adjourned 12:58 p.m.

Submitted by Darla Peterson