2013-14 MEETING #7 Minutes

March 27, 2014, 10:00 a.m., MFR


Members Present:  Bart Finzel (chair), Joe Alia, Donna Chollett, Mark Collier, Carol Cook, Pilar Eble, Pieranna Garavaso, Sara Haugen, Leslie Meek, Peh Ng, Gwen Rudney, Jeri Squier, and Emily Sunderman

Members Absent:  Clare Dingley, Eric Gandrud, Hector Garcia, and Zach Johnson

Visitors:  David Ericksen, Nancy Helsper


In these minutes: Writing for the Liberal Arts (WLA) Proposed Changes, and Course Changes




Dean Finzel announced that the agenda item regarding the Philosophy Program Review Report would be postponed until the April 3 meeting.


Approval of Minutes – March 6, 2014


The March 6, 2014 minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.


Writing for the Liberal Arts (WLA) Proposed Changes


Finzel stated that he had met with the Registrar to discuss the concerns she voiced at the last meeting regarding WLA.  The WLA Working Group has met to address the concerns and to work out a proposal to meet them.  The WLA Working Group was charged by the UMM Steering Committee to ensure that it would be clear to students and everyone charged with implementation that the WLA requirement is essentially universal and that virtually all students will be required to take the course.


The Working Group carried out the charge with a multiple prong approach.  The Working Group worked with the WLA faculty to modify the course description and the description of the general education requirement to emphasize the fact that writing is a process and not something a student ŇfinishesÓ and to clarify what makes the course different from many other writing courses.  The proposed language in the catalog limits the applicability of writing courses toward meeting the WLA general education requirement when those courses are taken by students while in high school.  For those students who have done post-high school course work at another institution of higher education, only writing courses that carry an equivalent number of credits as our WLA course (four) would meet MorrisŐs WLA requirement.  Proposed language is added in the catalog to explain the requirement, and to ensure those students who petition based on having met the spirit of the requirement have their cases heard by the subject experts.  The language in the catalog explaining the requirement will also be on all English 1601 syllabi.


The changes bring clarity to the Degree Requirements page and the General Education Requirements pages of the catalog.  This may be redundant bringing it to both pages, but it makes it very clear.  Also directly addressing the RegistrarŐs concerns is the addition of provision v, to clarify and explain what the requirements are.  The Working Group felt that WLA is a bit different than any other GER.  Normally, GERs are reviewed by the Scholastic Committee because GERs can be met by courses in multiple disciplines.  The WLA requirement involves only the English discipline, so the Working Group felt that the WLA faculty should evaluate and review petitions concerning the WLA general education requirement.  The WLA Working Group would like a motion approving these changes, if it is consistent with the Curriculum CommitteeŐs intent, and then it will go forward to the Campus Assembly.


Eble asked if there will be a queue or system in place when English faculty will review petitions.  Finzel answered that the English discipline will meet three times per semester to evaluate petitions.

Collier asked for clarification in terms of the new proposed language that describes the WLA requirement.  Why was Ňlay the foundation for learning conventionsÓ removed, and Ňstrengthen the foundation for advanced writing conventionsÓ added?  David Ericksen explained that Ňstrengthening the foundationÓ is a term that acknowledges that writing in philosophy is different than writing in geology.  Even though we canŐt teach conventions of other disciplines in the WLA class, we can make students aware that citation formats, technical elements, and different tones and styles differ across the disciplines.  As the students go through four years toward their BA degree, they will be more aware of that.  Collier stated that saying that the course will strengthen the foundations of those conventions seems to be misleading.  Rudney stated that she was not troubled by the wording.  We are not promising we will teach everything about writing in each field, but we will build a good foundation of strong writing skills which will better prepare the student for the next level of writing.  Garavaso noted that the structure of an introductory paragraph in a philosophy paper is very different from an introductory paragraph in an English paper.  This course will give students the foundation that will then be strengthened in the discipline of the major.  Finzel added that once the changes to WLA are done, we will start to think of other ways to bring more writing to the curriculum.


MOTION (Garavaso/Meek) to approve the proposed changes to the Writing for the Liberal Arts (WLA) requirement was unanimously approved (11-0-0).



Course Changes


Division of Education


      Education Multiple Course Revision Form (ED 3011, ED 2131, and ED 2211)

      ED 2601–Development, Learning, and Teaching (SS; 4 cr) New

      Sport Studies and Athletics (SSA) Multiple Course Revision Form (SSA 1224, SSA 2324,

         SSA 4102, and SSA 4201)

      SSA 1225–Wellness Skills: R.A.D. Basic and Advanced Self Defense System (1 cr) New

      SSA 1802–The Olympics and Social Change: History of Women and Minorities

      in the Olympics (IC; 2 cr) New


Rudney noted that the courses coming forward now are a result of course clean-up being done in preparation for the next catalog year.  IS 3011 is changing to ED 3011 and is being reformatted because the ELTAP program is undergoing changes.  The HUM designation is being removed from ED 2131 because the course does not meet the requirements for that Gen Ed designator.  It was given HUM at a time when all courses were expected to have a Gen Ed designator.  Ed 2211 is being deactivated.  It was never taught.  ED 2601 is a new course.


Sports Studies and Athletics (SSA) has several course changes.  SSA 1224 and SSA 2324 are being deactivated.  The two courses will be replaced by one new course, SSA 1225.  For SSA 4102, the prereq SSA 3101 has been added because it builds a foundation for the concepts taught in SSA 4102.  The remaining prereqs (SSA 2302 and SSA 4101) will be eliminated because SSA 2302 is a prerequisite for SSA 3101, and SSA 4101 is not necessary for the success of the course.  Two prerequisites are being removed from SSA 4201 (SSA 2302 and SSA 4101) because they are not necessary for the success of the course.  In addition to the new R.A.D. course (SSA 1225) mentioned earlier, there is a new IC course, SSA 1802.


MOTION (Ng/Meek) to approve the proposals for course changes in the Division of Education was unanimously approved (11-0-0).


Division of the Humanities


ENGL 1801–Fan Cultures & Fan Creativity (IC; 4 cr) New

ENGL 1802–YouŐre Here! WhereŐs Here?: Reading the Prairie (IC; 2 cr) New

ENGL 1803–Shakespearean Adaptations (IC; 4 cr) New

FREN 1303–Paris as Text/Image/Sound (IP, 4 cr) Reactivate

LANG 1064–Preparing for the American Liberal Arts Classroom (3 cr) Revise

PHIL 1803–How to Think About Weird Things (IC; 2 cr) New


Garavaso stated that the four new courses are all IC courses.  ENGL 1801 was provisionally approved.  ENGL 1802 received provisional approval and has added a field trip and changed its course designation from IS to English.  ENGL 1803 is a new IC course that includes contemporary film adaptations of Shakespearean plays.  It should be attractive to students and get them interested in Shakespeare and a possible English major.  PHIL 1803 is also a new IC course that offers logical tools to build on in other philsophsy courses.  FREN 1303 is being reactivated.  It wasnŐt taught for a while, but many students who were studying abroad asked for this course last fall.  The course is taught in English, but students will do research papers in French.


Lang 1064 is offered in the summer for international students.  It was offered to students in the STELLAR program for three credits.  In 2012, because one of the faculty members in CMR was willing to work with the STELLAR students and offered a two-credit course, this course was reduced to one credit.  Now we want to bring it back to the original three credits.  Eble explained that last summer CMR offered a section with American students.  The intent was to foster international communication between students.  They do four hours of ESL training in the morning, then Campus Community Connections with Gateway students.  Each week there would be a different topic, such as library skills.  This summer there will be music, environmental studies, political science, and CMR.  A professor will come in once a week and lecture for an hour and a half.


Collier commented that, although he is not opposed to the IC courses proposed, he disapproves of the general trend of the types of IC courses offered.  There is not a lot of incentive to teach general, community-based topics, so faculty fall back on teaching their own research.  There should be some kind of common ground.  Chollett stated that it was a good point, but when we had First Year Seminar (FYS), faculty shied away from teaching it because they were given topics outside of their expertise.


Cook asked if the new IC format has been assessed.  Finzel answered that the individual courses are being assessed, and they are generally receiving better ratings than FYS courses received.  Ng added that FYSŐs predecessor, Inquiry, was a truly common course, with a common reader.  FYS was half-way to a common course and then strayed.  Finzel stated that he would like to have a little more experience with the IC courses and let assessment go forward to see what is successful and what is needs improvement.  With the current IC format, it is a lot easier to recruit faculty to teach the classes, and because of that, class sizes can be kept smaller.  Sunderman stated that she loved her IC course.  She took one that was outside of her major and liked it so much that she changed her major.  Students who were in her IC class are also in her major classes now and they are very much a community.


MOTION (Rudney/Meek) to approve the proposals for course changes in the Division of the Humanities was unanimously approved (11-0-0).


Division of the Social Sciences


POL 3233–Civil Liberties and American Politics (E/CR; 4 cr) inactivate)


Meek explained that POL 3233 is being inactivated.  Because there was a change in faculty, the content of the course was distributed into two other courses in constitutional law.  Finzel voiced a concern about the loss of a course that carried the E/CR Gen Ed designator.  Meek answered that she will look to see if there are other courses in the Social Sciences Division with that designator.  Finzel added that constitutional law looks like a good fit for that GER.  He asked Meek to share his concern with the faculty.


MOTION (Ng/Garavaso) to approve the proposal for the course change in the Division of the Social Sciences was unanimously approved (11-0-0).


Interdisciplinary Studies


IS 1810–Global Flashpoints (IC; 4 cr) New

IS 1814–Big Ideas in Science (IC; 2 cr) New

IS 2011–English Language Teaching Assistant Program (IP) Inactivate

IS 2023–London Arts Tour (FA; 2 cr) Revise

IS 3053–Irish Texts and Contexts (ENVT; 4 cr) New

IS 3245H–Honors: Archaeology Mythbusting (SS; 2 cr) New

IS 3302–Privileged Perspectives and Culturally Relevant Education (1 cr) Inactivate


Finzel noted that there has been a need for IC courses in the science area, so he was glad to see IS 1814 proposed, but he wondered why it is offered as an IS course.  Ng explained that it is interdisciplinary because it discusses the foundation of science across various disciplines, such as geology, chemistry, and biology.  Helsper asked if Natural Science (NSci) had been considered.  Ng answered that she would rather not use NSci.


Finzel stated that two courses are being deactivated: IS 2011 and 3302.  Cook stated that the courses were part of the old English Language Teaching Assistant Program (ELTAP).  Two Study Abroad courses are being considered that will be offered this summer: IS 2023-London Arts Tour is increasing the number of credits to two, and IS 3053-Irish Texts and Contexts is a new course.  They have both received provisional approval.  Eble asked if the London Arts Tour will just be a touring experience.  Collier added that by calling the course a tour, it sounds more like ŇletŐs travelÓ than an academic course.  Garavaso responded that students will tour art galleries and attend theatre performances, and will discuss the performances and art that they saw.  Sunderman stated that she was glad the London Arts Tour would not be a one-credit course.  A one-credit course is not attractive to students.  They will say that itŐs not worth their time and money.  Collier noted that from a curricular point of view, asking for an increase in credits in order to make the course eligible for the FA Gen Ed is not a good reason to increase the number of credits.  At best, changing the name to reflect an additional academic component would be appropriate.  Finzel noted that a proposal to revise the course name could come back to the committee this spring.  Squier noted that the course is being filled now.  A name change would have to be proposed for the next catalog.  Finzel agreed that the course has provisional approval to be offered this summer.  It should be pulled from this list for regular approval until the comments have been shared with the faculty.  Finally, there is a new Honors course (IS 3245H) as well as the deactivation of  IS 3302.


MOTION (Ng/Garavaso) to approve the IS course changes (with the exception of IS 2023 which was pulled) was unanimously approved (11-0-0).


Submitted by Darla Peterson