University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota


April 16, 1997; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room


Curriculum Committee Members--Ballou, Bauer, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Imholte, Kissock, Korth,
Schuman, Thielke, Whelan

General Education Committee--Gremmels, Klinger, Kuechle, Lopez, Togeas, Skinner, Strand


Curriculum Committee Members--Davis, Hansen, J. Lee, M. Lee, Vickstrom

General Education Committee--Garavaso, Guyotte, Kjolhaug

GUEST(S): DeJager


Schuman indicated that the CC had discussed everything except the six categories under IV. Expanding Perspectives. He encouraged the group to review the CC minutes of 4/15/97 on the topic of the Common Experience proposal.

IV.A. Historical Perspectives--Schuman asked for comments on category IV.A. There were none.

IV.B. Human Behavior, Social Processes and Institutions--Togeas noted that a category from ProsPer called "The Self" was folded into this requirement. There were no comments.

Gremmels wondered if there would be an opportunity to discuss the Wellness requirement again. Schuman assumed that the CC would go back to that topic later.

IV.C. Literature, Language and Philosophy--Claiming his prerogative as a professor of literature, Schuman commented that he worries about students graduating from UMM without having had a literature course (much less a Shakespeare course), just as the scientists are worried that one course is not enough. Togeas thought Klinger would say the same about category IV.B. Klinger agreed.

IV.D. Fine Arts--Schuman assumed that this would be a non-participatory course (esthetics, history of art, etc.), not to be confused with II.D., Artistic Performance. Bauer wondered if this category could encompass literature. Togeas said the GEC talked about disciplines like Art History, Theatre, and Music. Farrell noted that departments are often called "Literature and Fine Arts." Literature is usually considered to be separate from Fine Arts. Lopez said the intent of the GEC is that each course will have a GER category. Let the instructors decide where each course should fit. Farrell thought that the CC would eventually be in the position of accepting, for the most part, the recommendations of faculty in the discipline.

Schuman wondered if the group would agree that this category is intended to be the scholarly study of the fine arts. There were no objections.

IV.E. Physical and Biological Sciences--Schuman said there had already been some concern about requiring only one course in this area. Bauer said people have been concerned that students might go four years without having a class in the Science Building, but it is also true that science majors might not get into HFA. Lopez said that was not true.

Whelan distributed copies of a sheet containing math and science requirements at COPLAC and "Morris 14" institutions. These are peer colleges for UMM. Morris is at the bottom of the list for the number of math and science courses required. Farrell wondered if Whelan had compared other UMM requirements for those colleges. Whelan said UMM is certainly not strong in other requirements. He would prefer to have students required to take one quarter of their career work in Humanities courses, Science and Math courses, and Social Science courses, and one quarter in anything else. We should require more of our students.

Korth did not agree with the idea that the science course needs to have a lab.

Kissock commented that we have said general education is to be 1/3 of the degree, leaving students with some flexibility. He is comfortable with one science course being required. Thielke noted that, while it is true that we talk about the degree being 1/3 major, 1/3 general education, and 1/3 electives, of the 35 courses making up a UMM degree, 20 (55%) are required. Electives are currently only 1/6 to 1/4 of the degree, not 1/3. Under semesters, students would need 14 courses for general education out of 30--almost half of the degree. Strand added that Campus Assembly approved that 60 credits of the total 120 credits would be general education.

Schuman wondered if the group was interested in taking a straw vote. Whelan said yes. He wanted clarification, however. He has heard members talking about drawing up an ideal program and also heard about being practical. Togeas said that last year the GEC was working on a proposal that was largely divisional, but thought that proposal would not be acceptable to the campus. Then the GEC worked at revising ProsPer. That is not going for the ideal program. The GEC spent 16 meetings on this proposal. The committee kept coming back to something that looked like ProsPer.

Frenier asked Korth to explain why the science course should not have a lab. Korth said we currently have E9 courses without labs. What students need is to learn what science is about, how one does science, and to gain some conceptual knowledge of science. A course that examines historical case studies in science could be very effective for non-majors, but it probably would not have a lab.

Togeas said the group needs to see the relationship of this requirement to the whole proposal. Right now there are 14 courses proposed in general education out of 30 for the whole degree. General education totals 48 credits (40%). If we add another 4-credit science course, the total will go up to 52 credits (43%). There is already another requirement where students might get a second science course--that is IV.F.2, People and the Environment, which will probably consist mostly of science courses. It is very hard to put totals on the GER. To what extent do the Divisions contribute to satisfying the GER under ProsPer? A student could stay within the Humanities Division more easily than they could stay within Science and Math. Whether that is good or bad is up for discussion. The GEC revised ProsPer. The number of courses required had to be cut to convert to semesters. He did not think the balance of courses was very different from ProsPer.

Ballou said she wanted to make and preface a motion before the straw vote was taken. She is satisfied that the GEC has spent an enormous amount of time on the proportions and downsizing. If a question is phrased about whether one course in Science and Math is enough, her reaction would be to say no, but that would be true of most of the categories. She would like the CC to support the four areas, the categories under the areas, the number of courses required, and the credits for the common experience. The rest can be taken care of later, including whether the science course has to have a lab or not, and she agrees with Korth about that.

MOTION (Ballou, Kissock): To approve the general framework of the General Education Proposal, including the areas, categories, and number of courses required.

Ballou was concerned that the CC did not seem to be making much progress. Schuman asked for discussion of the motion. Bauer wondered if the straw poll needed to be done first. Schuman said it did not have to be done first.

Gremmels said the GEC was in consensus on all points but the wellness requirement. The committee was deadlocked on that issue. The group spent a lot of time with the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MNTC). The MNTC spelled out competencies, and wellness was not one of them. The GEC agonized over a requirement in the MNTC that we did not have--speaking. UMM is going to be different by not having a speaking requirement. We have to deal with the reality that we have a wellness faculty member with classes to offer. He'd like to let those float under category II.B. See if students take the wellness courses within that category. He did not think wellness should have its own category. He has no quarrel with the rest of the proposal.

Whelan wanted to go back to the science requirement. Why do all of our peers think more than one science course is necessary? It does seem to impinge on many things in our world. There is a larger issue of what will make a liberally educated person. We need to provide a better background.

Klinger said he agreed in principle. He can't imagine sending students out without knowledge about economics either. Economics is also central to our world. If we are going to insist on two courses in science, then we are saying that there are only so many areas where we will let students be ignorant. It is not okay for students to have acquaintance with only one of the social sciences (history is not methodologically part of the social sciences).

Thielke said it is not just our peer institutions that we need to be concerned about. The community colleges and state universities are requiring two science courses and each must have a lab. When they convert to semesters they may not be able to continue to require two courses. She is concerned about lab spaces, but then Whelan and Korth are not suggested that the requirement should be a lab course. If we could fold Wellness into Expanding Perspectives, perhaps as another category of the Global Village, that would free up a course requirement.

[Imholte left the meeting at this point, but left a proxy vote with the secretary.]

Gremmels was not sure if it was in order for him to propose an amendment to the motion on the floor. Schuman said it was not. The original motion was made and seconded by Curriculum Committee members. He said Gremmels could suggest that someone on the CC propose an amendment. Gremmels asked that a CC member propose an amendment that wellness be pulled and considered in II.B. Arguments have already been made. Doing so would make other considerations possible. One conception in the GEC was to give more flexibility to students. Courses have to survive on their own merits. Whelan wondered if one more course would be appropriate under II.B. Gremmels said we wouldn't have to add another course to the requirement, but could add a course to the science requirement instead.

MOTION TO AMEND (Whelan, Korth): To amend the motion on the floor by dropping category III, Wellness, and including it under IV.B, Human Behavior, Social Processes and Institutions, without adding another course requirement to IV.B.

Klinger urged CC members not to approve this amendment. Farrell was concerned that this is a CC motion, but it is GEC members who are speaking. He thought it was appropriate for GEC members to comment, but he was concerned about the pressure being applied.

Gremmels thought it made sense to simply eliminate Wellness and let those courses fall into any category that seemed appropriate. Whelan and Korth agreed to revise their motion to amend.

REVISED MOTION TO AMEND (Whelan, Korth): To amend the motion on the floor by dropping category III, Wellness.

Kissock argued against the motion to amend. He said there were 350 students in Fitness for Life and 85-100 in the other health-related course. Part of the student body has argued to have wellness be part of their degree program. It has taken several years to resolve staffing problems to fulfill the current ProsPer Wellness requirement. The Campus Assembly asked for alternatives to the present requirement and that has happened. He wished to have the CC vote on the motion Ballou put forward. He also believes the GEC has spent a lot of time and has balanced the components. We should honor their work. He advocates for writing and science and wellness.

Schuman said the way to do that would be to vote against the amendment. He proposed doing two things at this point. For information only, he would like a nonbinding straw vote of the entire group, including both the CC and GEC members. Then he would like to have the CC make an official vote.

STRAW VOTE OF ENTIRE GROUP on the amended motion to amend:
In favor--3; opposed--9.

CC VOTE: In favor--2; opposed--4; abstentions--0 (2-4-0).

Schuman indicated that the motion to amend had been defeated.

MOTION TO AMEND (Whelan, Korth): To add a second course requirement to IV.E, Physical and Biological Sciences, requiring one course with lab and one without.

Kissock wanted to affirm what Togeas had said earlier about flexibility for students within the degree. Students could get another science course if they take an environment course.

Strand asked for a point of clarification. If a student takes two lab courses, would the requirement be met? Schuman assumed that the requirement would be for two science courses, at least one with lab.

Bauer said he would vote, representing students, for more flexibility.

Togeas wondered if the amendment was for one course required in physical science and one in biological science. Schuman assumed that the requirement would be for two courses in either or both areas.

STRAW VOTE OF ENTIRE GROUP on the motion to amend:
In favor--3; opposed--9.

CC VOTE: In favor--2; opposed--4; abstentions--0 (2-4-0).

Schuman indicated that the motion to amend had been defeated. He said the CC should now consider the main motion. He asked for any further discussion. There was none.

STRAW VOTE OF ENTIRE GROUP on the main motion:
In favor--10; opposed--2; abstentions--1.

CC VOTE: In favor--4 (plus proxy vote of Imholte=5); opposed--2; abstentions--0 (5-2-0).

Schuman said he understands that the Curriculum Committee has accepted the proposal of the GEC in terms of the categories and the course requirements. The only issue left to decide is whether one course can have only one category designation.

MOTION (Understood): To designate only one category per course.

Klinger said he had proposed in the GEC to have one course fulfill more than one category. He did not think that had been considered by the CC. Korth thought that one suggestion excludes the other.

In favor--10; opposed--3; abstentions--0.

CC VOTE: In favor--4; opposed--2; abstentions--0 (4-2-0).

Schuman expressed deep gratitude to the General Education Committee for their work on the General Education Proposal.


Schuman canceled the meeting scheduled for Friday, April 18, at 9:00 a.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, 3:00 p.m., Behmler Conference Room, to discuss the Common Experience Proposal.

Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney