January 21, 2011

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, January 21, 2011
Location of Meeting: 
Student Center, Rm. 228
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Ruth Beattie Richard Greissman  
Larry Grabau Bill Rayens  
Jane Jensen Mike Shanks  
Karen Petrone    
David Royster    
Ben Withers    



Information Items

1.   Update on AP

Mr. Greissman carefully explained the process that is underway to map credit by examination to courses at U.K. The group was reminded of how critical it is to have this task finished by Merit Weekend. Rayens reported that 4 departments had already responded.

2.   Update on Com 101

Dr. Lane was not present to give an update. Rayens explained that he wanted to make sure that the questions from Dr. DeSantis (Comm) regarding Com 101 and Gen Ed were being adequately answered. Dr. Jensen clarified that Com 101 would be submitted for Inquiry in Social Sciences, if indeed it is submitted for Gen Ed approval. Rayens agreed to followup with Dr. DeSantis to see if he had any further questions.

Consent Agenda

1.   MUS 123 (Arts and Creativity)

2.   GEO 160 (Global)

3.   HIS 296 (Global)

4.   ANT 242 (Global)

5.   GEO 260 (Global)

6.   FR 103 (Humanities)

7.   MUS 100 (Humanities)

8.   RUS 125 (Humanities)

9.   TA 171 (Humanities)

10. TA 271 (Humanities)

11. TA 371 (Humanities)

12. TA 471 (Humanities)


There was a sustained discussion concerning several of the courses, but in the end all voting members present agreed to move all eleven of these forward. Dr. Petrone clarified that RUS 125 was being approved only for Inquiry in the Humanities at this time. Dr. Grabau noted that RUS 125 should be through the Global review process soon. It was noted that TA 171 TA 271, TA 371, and TA 471 all exist as a sequence, so that Humanities credit would be awarded for only one course in the sequence. There was some discussion about whether this was a problem, since for most students who complete the full sequence, Gen Ed credit will be awarded for TA 171, but not for the others. No one could identify a substantive problem with this. However, Dr. Jensen made the important point that when administrators are counting Gen Ed seats, it will be deceptive to count all of the seats available for all three courses. Primarily only the seats in the first course in the sequence should be counted.

Some discussion ensued about programs being ready for fall 2011. Rayens noted that it was not clear what Engineering would be doing for Statistical Inferential Reasoning, for example.                                                                                                                        The Committee recommended that an updated list of approved courses be constructed and sent to both the Associate Deans and the Directors of Undergraduate Studies with a reminder to begin or continue to take a serious look at how their programs are affected.

Discussion Items

1.   IBP mapping and MUS 100

Dr. Glixon, from the School of Music, had indicated that a good IBP score on the music exam (he did not specify the level of achievement) should be mapped to credit for MUS 100, once MUS 100 is approved for Gen Ed (see above). He also indicated that a good score on the IBP exam should also garner credit for Inquiry in the Arts and Creativity, but noted that his School does not have such a course and does not plan to develop one. This led to a long discussion about “dummy” courses, and other related topics. In the end, the Committee recommended that Rayens simply recommend to Dr. Glixon that the School map the IBP exam to MUS 100 and not be worried about an Arts and Creativity connection at this time. The absence of a real course for such a mapping makes this process too complicated to resolve short term.

As an aside to this discussion, Dr. Jensen and others advised Rayens to contact the Department of English to confirm which, if any, literature courses they have for Gen Ed, either currently or in preparation, that can map to the AP exam. There was fear of being in violation of House Bill 160 if there were no courses available to transfer a score of 3 or above.

[Dr. Mountford clarified after the meeting that she and Assoc. Dean Bosch, along with Assoc. Registrar Shanks, are currently addressing this issue.]

2.   Program name (brief update prior to discussion)

Rayens informed the Committee that the Provost had decided to use the naming of the new program as a way of generating excitement and publicity for the program. With help from Greissman, the Committee was updated on current PR plans and the possibility of a student contest for generating the name. Rayens indicated that it was his view that IGEOC was comfortable with this action.

A discussion did arise about how effective IGEOC might be at suggesting policy, as it moves into a phase where it is likely to see less course vetting than in the first six months of its existence. The Committee discussed suggested policy language from last fall and quizzed Rayens as to the process he was currently using to get such language out of Committee. Rayens described his current process and the Committee asked that Rayens adopt the following strategy from now on:

a)   Continue to circulate suggested language in the drafts of the minutes until theCommittee agrees on what is being said.

b)   Continue to copy the entire Committee, voting and non‐voting on those drafts.

c)     After the drafts have been circulated and edited as needed, Rayens was instructed to send a copy of the suggested policy language directly to the Senate Council. Rayens had not been doing that heretofore but agreed to start immediately

3.   Gen Ed approvals: Conditional on resources

The Committee discussed whether it was appropriate for IGEOC to weigh in on the resource issue. It was decided that if the reviewers and area expert feel a course does not in its current state meet the learning objectives, then the course should be sent back with an explanation of what specifically needs to be addressed. If the weakness of the proposal is related to large classroom size or to instructional strategies (as opposed to content), then the instructor should be referred to the staff in CELT for assistance in redesigning the course to meet the active and integrative learning goals of the Gen Ed design.

4.   Gen Ed approvals: Face‐to‐face sections vs. on‐line sections

The Committee noted that many courses that have an online version are coming through for Gen Ed approval as face‐to‐face courses, but the online paperwork is going straight from the Colleges to the Undergraduate Council and then the Senate. A question had been raised about whether IGEOC should see those separate online proposals, or at least the online syllabi. A long discussion ensued. On the one hand, course proposers have to check a box on the submission form saying whether the online version will be substantively different from the in‐class version. While the Committee’s inclination was and is to just trust faculty on this issue, the following was suggested:

a)   Any courses that are positioned to be taught in the summer of 2011 should still be taught.

b)   However, IGEOC would like to see the syllabi for these courses before they are taught in the summer of 2011 and before they are allowed to receive Gen Ed credit.

c)     Mr. Greissman pointed out that this should not inconvenience any students at UK in any way. Only possible problem might be if a high school student took one of these over the summer and wanted to transfer it to Gen Ed upon enrolling at U.K. Dr. Beattie noted this would only be a few students, if any, and that we should err on the side of allowing these courses to transfer as Gen Ed.

d)   That IGEOC work out some procedure for handling online courses in the future, so that those syllabi go through IGEOC in some fashion and suggest that policy to the Senate Council.

It should be pointed out that the Committee does not expect to find any substantial problems with online syllabi versus their approved in‐class versions, and does not wish to create any undue hardships on faculty. However, it was agreed that some efficient procedure for quality control should be in place, especially in light of the upcoming SACS audit.

[Dr. Mountford pointed out following the meeting that we already have a suggested a policy that applies here. That is, an online course will fall under the rules for multi‐section courses, and as such is subject to review every 5 years. Rayens agreed with this clarification and agreed to revisit this issue with the full Committee].

5.   Policy language for multiple sections (excerpt from Nov. 5th minutes was attached)

[Dr. Jensen pointed out after the meeting that this item was no longer active owing to the Committee’s directive to Rayens that all policy suggestions should be sent directly to the Senate Council and not be subject to further review.]

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