FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
January 18, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Dr. Dan Schierenbeck, Chair, with the following members present: Dr. Nicholas Baeth, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Stefan Cairns, Chair, FS University Curriculum Committee (liaison), Mr. Travis Bingham, SGA Representative, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary.
Approval of Minutes
Dr. Schierenbeck asked the committee to approve the minutes of the meeting held on November 30, 2006. Ms. Barabas was unable to attend the meeting, so she emailed the following correction to Dr. Schierenbeck and copied Ms. Butler. The second to last sentence in the paragraph on page 2, which starts out with Dr. Bradley, was amended to read as follows, “Ms. Barabas said that T&OE 2000 is different than the other courses in this category, and if we were to drop this section, the courses wouldn’t go away, they would be adapted into another area.” Ms. Reinke made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, Dr. Jackson seconded the motion, and the November 30, 2006 minutes were approved as amended.
Dr. Schierenbeck then asked the committee to approve the minutes of the meeting held on December 7, 2006. Dr. Jackson made a motion to approve the minutes as written, Dr. Baeth seconded the motion, and the December 7, 2006 minutes were approved.
As a result of the recent college reorganization and in order to have a committee representative from each of the five colleges on the FS General Education Committee, the FSUCC decided to reduce the number of At-Large positions to three and keep the total number of voting members at nine. The FS General Education Committee voting members will be comprised of one representative from each of the five colleges, one representative from Library/Academic Enrichment, and three At-Large representatives. The ex-officio and student representative positions were not changed.
The FS University Assessment Council decided to drop the General Education questions from the SSI survey. The committee passed the previously discussed C-Base proposal that students must achieve a score of 235 in all four areas of the test. In addition, students will have to sign a letter of understanding acknowledging that they are aware of the C-Base requirements. There will be a series of temporary holds put on student accounts reminding students of their need to take the required 15 credit hours in General Education and the need to pass successfully the C-Base exam.
Dr. Schierenbeck reported that the Provost is looking at a larger revision of the General Education Program. This revision will need to be undertaken by a broadly based group of mostly senior professors. Dr. Viscusi met with Dr. Jurkowski, Dr. Grelle, and Dr. Rice and they are aware of the need to approach it from a broader perspective. Issues of turf, politics, departmental, college, and university needs all need to be taken into consideration. The last revision of the General Education Program was long involved and highly charged. The responsibility needs to be broadly shared. The FSUCC chair ended up being the chair of the implementation task force the last time, but that does not mean that has to be the case this time. Dr. Schierenbeck does not see this being accomplished in 90 days and he agrees the task force needs to be a larger group than our committee.
Academic Advisors will be at our next meeting on February 1, 2007 to discuss General Education, transfer issues, etc. Please email Dr. Schierenbeck your list of questions you have for the Advisors, and he will forward all of the questions on to them so they can prepare their answers.
Recommendation for 43-Hour General Education Program
Ms. Edmondson received feedback from faculty in her college, and they thought it was quite drastic for such a small group such as our committee to make a decision that involves so many people. Dr. Schierenbeck said there are other chances for input from the FSUCC and the Faculty Senate. Dr. Viscusi noted that this is only a recommendation and the committee took into consideration the two courses from their college in the spirit of compromise. Ms. Edmondson said that just the idea that the IGEN and ICAP courses were dropped and certain areas were targeted, while other areas of academia went untouched, creates cynicism that if something is recommended at our level there will not be any further questions. Dr. Schierenbeck agreed that larger inputs are important. Dr. Viscusi pointed out that the FSUCC will receive the packet of information the committee used in reaching its decision so they can see how we decided. Dr. Cairns suggested to Ms. Edmondson that her faculty voice their concerns to the FSUCC members from her college.
Dr. Viscusi asked Dr. Cairns if the committee recommendation is accepted by FSUCC this afternoon whether he thought it would be ready for the catalog deadline at the end of the month or not. Dr. Cairns said they are not anticipating meeting that deadline.
Dr. Baeth questioned the first italicized point under II.A, specifically whether or not we know for certain it won’t affect faculty load. Dr. Schierenbeck referred to our previous handouts and said that he would be sure to reference our handouts in the FSUCC meeting this afternoon.
Dr. Jackson made a motion to approve recommendation I. Dr. Baeth seconded the motion. There was no further discussion and the motion was unanimously passed.
Dr. Schierenbeck asked if the title “Civic Engagement and Human Well-Being” was acceptable on recommendation II.E and everyone agreed it was. Dr. Baeth made a motion to approve recommendation II and Dr. Jackson seconded the motion. There was no further discussion and the motion passed. Ms. Edmondson abstained from voting.
Committee Plans for the Semester
1) Dr. Schierenbeck reminded everyone to forward their questions for the meeting with the academic advisors.
2) We need to finish up the last review, which includes The Honors College courses and 4-6 new courses.
3) We are supposed to review Div. I and Div. IIA this year.
In past reviews, department chairs were given 6 months to submit their courses, but we are going to shorten the timeframe for submission to 2 months. There should be a quicker turnaround for the following reasons: they have been through the review process before; we will be holding workshops on how to submit what we are looking for; and we will be placing illustrative documents on the website so they can reference examples. Dr. Jackson noted that the bulk of faculty who will be doing these reports teach General Education courses and have full loads. She would like to make sure they have enough time to do the reports.
Letters will be sent out by the end of the month to the department chairs whose courses are up for review in Div. I and Div. II.A. The submission deadline will be April 2, 2007, which will allow them 2 full months. Dates and times of the upcoming workshops (to be held mid-to-late February) and the link to the website where examples can be found will be announced in the letters.
Even though the General Education Program may be replaced, we still need to continue with our current policy. It is also recommended that committee members attend as many of the workshops as they can.
Dr. Ma had a colleague who thinks ECON 1010 and ECON 1011 are too difficult for first-year students and believes they would be better listed as 2000 level courses. The request can be sent directly to the FSUCC since it is only a course number change.
Dr. Viscusi thinks our current curricular process is cumbersome because curriculum changes are posted on the college websites but sites are not checked with any regularity. He thinks a computerized email should be sent to announce when changes are posted. Dr. Cairns is looking into re-doing the website to reflect the college reorganization changes and would like to have everything on one page with sub-headings for each college instead of individual college websites. He is currently trying to get help with the effort to consolidate all changes to one website. He also noted that posting for 30 days was not found to be feasible. There is a statement on the FSUCC proposal form that says, “Department/individual filing this form is responsible for tracking approvals and making necessary links.” His suggestion is to have one person from each college regularly check the website for changes. He also holds workshops every year on the curriculum review process. Since General Education courses have to be posted on the General Education page, Dr. Schierenbeck is now checking the website on a regular basis.
Assuming the IGEN and ICAP courses are dropped, Dr. Cairns wondered if there will be a summary curriculum proposal change. Dr. Viscusi said some departments may simply need to change the prefix of the course while others may need to change the course number. As long as the content doesn’t change, the courses can be given a new prefix and/or number change. He suggested the FSUCC create a new form since the changes go through them.
As a final note, Dr. Ma, Ms. Edmondson, and Dr. Jackson will be rotating off the committee this spring.
The next scheduled meeting is on February 1, 2007 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. with the Academic Advisors. Since we will need a larger room, the room location will be announced via email.
Below are the upcoming scheduled meeting dates and locations for the remainder of the semester. All meetings will be from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
February 1, 2007 TBA
February 15, 2007 LIB 2305
March 1, 2007 UN 233
March 15, 2007 UN 233
March 29, 2007 UN 233
April 12, 2007 UN 233
April 26, 2007 UN 233
The meeting was then adjourned.
Traci Butler, Secretary