2011-12 MEETING #1 Minutes

September 12, 2011, 2:00 p.m., BCR


Present: Bart Finzel (chair), Joe Alia, Bryce Blankenfeld, Carol Cook, Clare Dingley, Janet Ericksen, Hazen Fairbanks, Sara Haugen, Heather James, Leslie Meek, Peh Ng, Ian Patterson, Jeri Squier, Tisha Turk

Absent: Caitlin Drayna, Paula OŐLoughlin, Gwen Rudney

Visiting: Nancy Helsper


In these minutes:  Introductions and discussion of the committeeŐs charge and process, an overview of the committeeŐs work in 2010-11, and topics for academic year 2011-12.



Finzel welcomed the members of the committee and asked members to introduce themselves.



Finzel read the committeeŐs charge as defined by the new campus bylaws.  Powers of the committee in the earlier version that referred to support services in academic programs have been excised.  Though the charge has narrowed a bit, it is wide-sweeping in the areas of academic requirements and curriculum-related proposals.


3.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES – April 27, 2011

MOTION (Patterson/Ericksen) to approve the April 27, 2011, minutes.  Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.



Finzel shared a short summary of the highlights of the work of last yearŐs committee.  Curricular changes for the 2011-13 catalog dominated September and October meetings.  Other course changes came forward as well for approval as the year progressed.  Major changes to the curriculum included the creation of a German Studies major and minor program and a Sport Management major and minor, as well as the elimination of two programs: the German major and minor and the European Studies major.  Changes were made to the Honors program as a result of a recent program review, and the Wellness and Sport Science (WSS) program changed its name to Sport Studies and Athletics (SSA).


A recurrent theme regarding requests for Gen Ed designators for directed studies stirred a discussion at several meetings last year.  Finzel stated that the consensus he took from reading the minutes of last year was that most of the rationales offered seemed fairly weak.  The committee will be looking at those rationales this year.


General Education was a topic of discussion last year, particularly during the spring semester.  The April 20 minutes reflect that the committee will review the report in the fall and conduct campus-wide discussion before deciding on a proposal.  Finzel stated that the marching orders for this yearŐs committee include a discussion on what has been done and the next steps to take.  The minutes from April indicate that we should review our Gen Ed program now that UMM has a rearticulated mission statement, UMM has new student learning outcomes, and an accreditation progress report is due in 2015 on general education and assessment.


In addition to curricular matters, the committee formed special subcommittees to do various tasks.  An Intellectual Community (IC) subcommittee reviewed course proposals with an IC designator.  Finzel stated that he would like to see the committee discuss whether the subcommittee is necessary this year since the courses have become somewhat regularized.  The Gen Ed Review subcommittee was formed last year to identify models and approaches to Gen Ed.  Their work was finalized in June, and he received the report in July.  And, finally, in the spring semester, the EDP subcommittee was formed to fund the creation of new courses in target areas.  Last yearŐs priorities were the Honors Program interdisciplinary courses, courses that integrate sustainability across the liberal arts, and intellectual community (IC) courses.



Finzel stated that topics for this year will be dependent on what comes out of this group.  He wants to discuss the Gen Ed mandate.  The committee should review the Gen Ed and either affirm or change it based on that review.  There are a lot of mixed opinions on what to do.  The discussion on how to proceed has to occur this month and into early October.  Last year the committee considered how they might get campus feedback.  Finzel asked the committee to take a hard look at the minutes of last year regarding Gen Ed so there can be an informed discussion at the next meeting.  We need to articulate our Gen Ed program and look at how it relates to the new Student Learning Outcomes.  Cook added that she would like to know how the Gen Ed program is assessed.  Finzel stated that there would be a discussion with the Assessment of Student Learning Committee about how the assessment will be done and who does it.


Finzel stated that he would also like to have a discussion about academic program reviews.  In the past the reports have not come to the Curriculum Committee.  He would like to look at ways to institutionalize the reporting mechanism.


Finzel noted that he would like to have a discussion regarding the EDP timeline.  The EDP subcommittee has historically met in the spring.  He would like to perhaps adjust the timeline so new courses that are designed in the summer to be taught in the fall, can be approved in time to teach them in the fall.  Currently they need to wait a year to offer them or request provisional approval.  The committee will talk more about that this year.



Finzel stated that the schedule for this committee is set to meet every week, but there will not be a need to meet every Monday.  Unfortunately, it was difficult to find a time when everyone is available this semester.  One or two members will miss an occasional meeting, and some meetings will be canceled, based on the communication from committee members.


Haugen asked where the charge of oversight for the support services went after it was removed from this committeeŐs charge.  Finzel answered that it will be investigated.  [A review of the new Bylaws showed that oversight of the support services was moved to the Academic and Support Services Committee.]


Squier asked that the provisional approval process be addressed.  There was some confusion last year.  Finzel answered that it will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.


Finzel thanked the committee and reminded members to do their homework and review last yearŐs minutes and the report of the Gen Ed Review subcommittee.


Adjourned 2:22 p.m.

Submitted by Darla Peterson