February 18, 2011

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Location of Meeting: 
Student Center, Rm. 228, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Ruth Beattie Richard Greissman  
Heather Bush Nikki Knutson  
Larry Grabau Bill Rayens  
Derek Lane Mike Shanks  
Roxanne Mountford Debra Sharp  
Karen Petrone    
Ben Withers    
Ernie Yanarella    



Information Items

1.   Update on assessment meeting (Richard Greissman)

Mr. Greissman reported that the meeting was a success and that there was general agreement that assessment should be a faculty driven process.  Suggestion from that meeting that GEOC be used as an advisory committee, pre-vetting committee. There was also discussion about the Senate Council forming a subcommittee on assessment.  Importantly, there was substantive discussion about who would score artifacts. Preliminary suggestions are that various faculty, lecturers, graduate students will do the initial work this summer, and will be duly compensated.  There was further clarification that it is the four program level outcomes that are to be assessed, and not the template outcomes. Work still has to be done to create rubrics, define the norming process, etc.

After Mr. Greissman’s update comments were offered from IGEOC. Dr. Mountford cautioned that the process of moving student learning outcomes to rubrics was a really difficult task and that it should not be taken lightly nor assumed to be something that could be done quickly.

After a brief discussion about the role IGEOC would likely play in all of this, Dr. Yanarella suggested that the IGEOC role needed to stay one that focused on oversight and “big picture.”

2.   Update on plans for linking course descriptions to web site (Nikki Knutson)

Assistant Provost Knutson has been working on archiving General Education courses in a list format that includes syllabus links, course descriptions, and the approval Area. A discussion ensued about the ownership of syllabi and since they are owned by the faculty who created them, Ms. Knutson was advised to remove the syllabus links, replacing that (perhaps) with an email link to the corresponding department so that a full copy could be requested.

It was also suggested that volunteers be solicited to allow their syllabi to be posted and that submission forms might be changed to include a box saying that posting is allowed.

3.   Update on PR campaign to name new program (Bill Rayens)

Rayens reported that the first draft of this campaign was not very satisfactory, culminated in a simple website that seemed to be redundant with the General Education website and only included a single static link to submit an emailed suggestion for the name. Ms. Knutson reported that Associate Provost Mullen had decided to reject this first effort as inadequate.

4.   Update on policy language submission to Senate Council (Bill Rayens)

Rayens reported that policy language suggested by IGEOC since last October had been submitted to Senate Council Chair Dr. Hollie Swanson.

Consent Agenda

1.   GEO 163 (Global)

2.   GEO 164 (Global)

3.   GEO 222 (Global)

4.   GEO 255 (Global)

5.   RUS 125 (Global)

6.   SPA 371 (Inq Humanities)

7.    SPA 372 (Inq Humanities)                                         

These seven courses were approved and should be packaged and uploaded to the Undergraduate Council folder.  A question was raised about trying to get email votes in on courses before a session of Undergraduate Council.  It was decided that any course posted this way had to be posted at least two day prior to having to go to Undergraduate Council so that there would be adequate time for IGEOC to review.

Discussion Items

        1.   The following courses were removed from the consent agenda owing to an objection by an IGEOC member:

CHE 105/CHE 111 (Inq Science)

BIO 102 (Inq Science) and BIO 103 (Inq Science)

The pair CHE 105/CHE 111 had been resubmitted because the initial structure, involving breakout sessions was not funded by Arts and Sciences.  Dr. Beattie worked with the CHE faculty to build significant inquiry into CHE 111 (lab) component of the pairing and the result was found to be acceptable by the voting members present.

BIO 102 had been pulled from the consent agenda because of questions over the use of simulations to deliver the inquiry. This was discussed at some length and determined to not be inappropriate.

2.   IGEOC was asked to react to the temporary exemptions afforded the Honors Program by Associate Provost Mike Mullen.  The exemptions basically allow the Honors Program to map unvetted courses they offer to General Education Areas, for credit.  Dr. Mountford, who raised the first objection to these temporary exemptions, reported on a meeting with Dr. Mullen that was called to discuss this issue.

Dr. Mountford explained some about the structure and history of Honors and how this decision was essentially all Dr. Mullen could do to avoid disabling the Honors Program for a year and costing U.K. some of their best incoming students.  It was emphasized that these exemptions applied only to the incoming 2011 cohort. It was also pointed out that the Honors Program is set to undergo some substantial changes in the interim.

Questions were raised about why past proposals for revamping the Program had been rejected and it was reiterated that no single College should have an undue say in how the new Program is constructed.

This discussion ended with a general sentiment that Dr. Mullen should have consulted IGEOC before making this decision, but with an understanding that a decision had to be made and time was of the essence.

3.   GEOC discussed MA’s decision that students will not be exempt from the Gen Ed Quantitative Foundations Requirement regardless of their math ACT or SAT score.  GEOC asked Rayens to do two things:

a)      See if Associate Registrar Mike Shanks would summarize how student math scores on the ACT and SAT are distributed so IGEOC could get some idea about the numbers.

b)   Contact Dr. Royster and see if MA would reconsider

4.   Dr. Beattie initiated a brief discussion concerning PLS 104.  This course had been submitted to Inquiry in the Natural, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences, as well as Global Dynamics. It had been flagged in the former for being too ambitious in how it what it was trying to accomplish. However, a second review from Inquiry Science was very positive about that part of the proposal and suggested if the Global material were removed it could be approved. Dr. Beattie was asked to contact the course proposer to see if she would rather have the course go forward as an Inquiry Science course only, with the Global material removed, or proceed with a more thorough repackaging as was suggested in a December IGEOC meeting.

There was no time to discuss the remaining Agenda items. Meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

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