December 3, 2010

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, December 3, 2010
Location of Meeting: 
Keeneland Room, W.T. Young Library
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Ruth Beattie  Bill Rayens Nikki Knutson
Roxanne Mountford Mike Shanks Susan Carvalho
Karen Petrone    
David Royster    
Ben Withers    
Ernie Yanarella    



Information Items

1.   Course vetting:  Rayens reminded the Committee to submit a summary of courses vetted and where they are now, in case they have not done so already. Rayens also reported on a worry from Dr. Jensen that there might not be enough Gen Ed courses in the area of Inquiry in the Social Sciences. The difference between number of seats and number of courses was acknowledged, however, and Rayens promised to check with Dr. Mullen about an accurate seat count.

Consent Agenda

All the following courses were approved for submission to UGC. Details of the discussion follow:

1.   A‐H 360 (US)

2.   A‐E 120 (AC)

3.   ANT 329 (Global)

4.   DSP 110 (US)

5.   ENG 264  (Humanities)

6.   ENG 281 (Humanities)

7.   GER 342 (Global)

8.   GWS 301 (US)

9.   GWS 302 (Global)

10. HIS‐AAS 261 (US)

11. JPN 320 (Global)

12. JPN 321 (Global)

13. RUS 370 (Global)

14. SOC 380 (Global)

15. SOC‐CLD 360 (US)

16. TA 286 (US)

Dr. Grabau had raised some concerns (via email) about AH 360 and DSP 110.  Dr. Yanarella sought to address those concerns and did so to the satisfaction of the Committee. Dr. Yanarella went on to clarify issues regarding the use of ArtStor for AH 360.  Dr. Yanarella also argued that the theme of civic responsibility was more muted or more implicit than the committee would like in HIS‐AAS 261, but that the review committee elected to submit a simple communication to the author and felt that was enough.  In general, IGEOC found these arguments convincing, but Dr. Withers reiterated the need to take seriously objections such as those Dr. Grabau voiced, and the Committee agreed.

There was also some discussion about the structure of Dr. Yanarella’s review process (a fixed set of committee members who reviewed separately and then met to seek consensus), as compared to the one that most of the other Area Experts employed. Committee members felt it was important to have more consistency in this regard moving forward. However, Dr. Mountford, among others, suggested that Dr. Yanaralla’s plan was probably more efficient and perhaps should be adopted by the entire Committee.  No decision was taken on that suggestion.

Discussion Items

1.   Guest:  Dr. Susan Carvalho, Associate Provost for International Affairs, joined the group at about noon to discuss 2+2 programs and the role IGEOC is likely to have as they get established.

Dr. Carvalho emphasized the need to globalize the campus with 2+2 type programs, and voiced her agreement that fewer, deeper partnerships were better than trying to articulate agreements with too many universities around the world.  Dr. Carvalho went on to articulate the differences between the partnership in Indonesia and the one forming with several Chinese universities.  The Indonesian partners are motivated to develop courses like ours and this will make it easier for those courses to be counted as U.K. courses, both within Gen Ed and beyond. The Chinese universities are not creating new courses, but rather are seeking transfer approval for existing courses.

Most of the subsequent discussion centered around how courses would be vetted for Gen Ed, and how transfer credit would affect Gen Ed vetting. For example, if a course in China was said to be equivalent to an existing Gen Ed course, would that course, upon transfer, count for Gen Ed.  Dr. Yanarella, commenting particularly on the Global Dynamics area, encouraged Dr. Carvalho to see this as an opportunity for mutual enrichment, both allowing Chinese faculty to see how we do these courses, but also to allow our faculty to get a better idea of what the Chinese faculty consider Global courses.

In the end, there was some general caution expressed that the types of courses that would be developed in China might simply not be enough like ours to warrant Gen Ed credit. Rayens asked for (the eventual) clarification of whether we were supposed to think of the 2+2 as a way for students from abroad to come here and receive what amounts to a “professional finishing school” education. Or is this supposed to provide students with a real flavor of the U.K. experience?  If it is the former, then it may be Gen Ed is not an issue that should be on the agenda. If it is the latter, then there will likely be problems with transferring some of the courses. Discussion ended with Rayens suggesting that some of these courses (e.g. STA 210) could be done on line.

2.   Transfer equivalency agreements: Rayens brought up the issue of what to do with those 1000’s of courses that have already been equated to existing courses (e.g. calculus) that have recently been revised in order to meet Gen Ed requirements.  Would all of these equivalencies have to be revisited? The Committee had no desire to make students go back and take new courses.   Some feeling that only new courses will need to be viewed in juxtaposition with a revised Gen Ed course.

Suggestion was made that perhaps IGEOC should articulate principles for DUS’s that would guide them as to how to make these transfer decisions with an emphasis on being generous.   Mr. Shanks and others voiced a desire to empower DUS’s to be able to give an opinion on whether a course meets Gen Ed credit.  Dr. Withers cautioned that we should ask DUS’s to see if they think this is a good idea or too much additional work.

3.   Multi‐sectioned courses, subtitled courses, etc. were on the agenda but were not discussed.

4.   A summary of policy suggestions from GEOC since the Committee was formed was on the agenda but was not discussed.

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