March 9, 2012

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, March 9, 2012
Location of Meeting: 
Room 228 Student Center, 10 a.m. – Noon
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Jonathan Allison Bill Rayens Jacob Karnes
Ruth Beattie Mike Shanks Leisa Pickering
Susan Larson Debra Sharp Leah Simpson
Juliana McDonald    
Jennifer Rice    
David Royster    
Ben Withers    



        1.   The January 24th minutes were approved without modification

2.   Rayens welcomed new member Professor Amy Gaffney (Instructional Communication), Area Expert in C&C II, and brought the new Gen Ed website, designed by Chris Thuringer, to the attention of the Committee

3.   Dr. Leisa Pickering and Director Jacob Karnes discussed course substitutions in USP and the UK Core for students with documented disabilities.    They presented the following proposal for selective substitution of courses for the Foundations and Statistical Inferential Reasoning areas of the Core and this proposal was endorsed unanimously by IGEOC members present:

 At the University of Kentucky, course substitutions have been approved case-by-case for the past  30  years  or  so.  This  has  been  an  on-going  practice  between  the  Office  of Undergraduate  Education  and  Disability  Resource  Center,  primarily  focused  on  the University Studies Program requirements for math, inference-logic, and foreign language.

Students registered with the Disability Resource Center who have documented disabilities impacting their learning of math have received course substitutions for one or more of the following courses: College Algebra (MA 109), Logic (PHI 120), and Statistics (STA 200) (depending on their major requirements). The courses that have been substituted have been Family Finance (FAM 251) to substitute for MA 109, and Introduction to Philosophy (PHI 100) and Ethics (PHI 130) to substitute for PHI 120 and STA 200. Students with a relevant documented disability could substitute foreign language requirements with cross cultural courses.

Now, with the UK Core Requirements, we are proposing a policy for students with documented disabilities impacting their learning of math to have an exception track for fulfilling the Quantitative Foundations and Statistical Inferential Reasoning requirements. Depending on their major requirements (which must be completed or appealed to the Dean of  the  College  for  substitution  consideration),  qualified  students  would  be  given  an exception to take two of the three courses - PHI 100, PHI 130, or FAM 251 to fulfill the two courses required within Quantitative Foundations and Statistical Inferential Reasoning of the UK Core Program.

        4.   The Committee approved an adaptation of the current approval process for a UKC designation.

a)   Current Process: requires a) course approval form, b) course review form, and c) syllabus and a 48 hour window during which IGEOC members can look at the request and advice Associate Provost Mullen

b)  Rationale for Change:   after observing the current process in action for almost a year, Associate Provost Mullen has noted that the construction of an entire syllabus for an experimental course, many months before that course is taught, has proven to be a disincentive to faculty for creating new Core courses.

c)    Suggested New Process:  IGEOC voting members unanimously approved allowing Associate Provost Mullen to approve the courses (to be taught a maximum of two times with a UKC tag)  without  the  48  hour  review  window  for  IGEOC  and  with  whatever  documents  he deemed useful to making his decision.    The Committee asked only that those documents provide that the faculty member had given substantive thought to the appropriate template area outcomes and how those might be mapped to the proposed course.

So  that  the  integrity  of  the  temporary  approval  process  might  be  maintained,  IGEOC requires that the approval process outlined be approved on a year-to-year basis.   It is anticipated that renewal of the process would be automatic, but having a yearly expiration would allow IGEOC to intervene if the process were being abused or found to be ineffective in any way.    To help facilitate this renewal decision IGEOC would like to see, prior to the renewal, an accounting of how many of the UKC courses actually were placed in the formal approval pipeline over the previous cycle.   If this process is working the way it is intended to work, then a majority of experimental UKC tags should be in the pipeline for full approval prior to the two-semester expiration of those UKC permissions.

IGEOC also strongly suggests, but does not require the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education to consult with the appropriate Area Expert on any experimental courses that s/he might have questions about, prior to approving the temporary UKC designation.    It would also be ideal if during the time a course is first being taught with a UKC tag the faculty instructor would contact the appropriate Area Expert for dialogue and advice if helpful.

5.   The Committee discussed the revised C&C rubric and based on an emailed suggestion from new member  Dr.  Gaffney,  voted  that  the  words  “when  appropriate”  should  be  added  to  each competency level where a citation of sources is mentioned.    The Committee agreed that Leah Simpson would be in charge of making those changes and approved the rubric subject to said alterations.

6.   Although it was not an agenda item, the Committee discussed an email from a member of the science faculty at UK regarding a journal that is important to a Core course but on the list of those to be cut.   Deb Sharp, from Libraries, noted it was simply a matter of ever-shrinking budgets and that candidate lists had been circulated, and presumably reviewed, by all Chairs.   IGEOC asked Rayens to draft an email to Senate Council Chair Dr. Hollie Swanson, to be sent to the Senate Council Subcommittee on Libraries.  The following text was approved for submission:

Dear Professor Swanson:

The Interim General Education Oversight Committee would like to encourage the Senate Subcommittee on Libraries to consider the importance to the Core of journals and other library resources when constructing lists of such resources to be cut.     The Committee recognizes that budgets are tight and decisions have to be made in order to stay within those budgets, and are simply asking that the criterion of “Importance to the Core” become one of screening criterion.

7.   Rayens was asked to have a discussion of HON courses on the agenda for the next meeting.  Rayens was also asked to have a discussion of Holistic versus Analytic rubrics on the next agenda.    Leah Simpson was asked to come prepared to discuss the differences and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

       8.   Meeting was adjourned at 11:45.

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