April 6, 2012

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, April 6, 2012
Location of Meeting: 
Room 203 Student Center, 10 a.m. – Noon
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Heather Bush Bill Rayens  
Amy Gaffney Mike Shanks  
Susan Larson    
Juliana McDonald    
Jennifer Rice    
Ben Withers    


  1. The Committee approved the March 23rd minutes.
  2. Rayens discussed several brief information items with the Committee:

a)   IGEOC members agreed to meet as needed in the summer either in person or by email should the need arise.

b) Last Undergraduate Council meeting is April 24th so last chance for IGEOC to move courses ahead this semester

c) Committee agreed to discuss best communication practices for IGEOC going forward

d)   Clarifications were offered on the whereabouts of all outstanding course reviews

3.   HIS 122 was on the consent agenda and has now been approved as a Global Dynamics UK Core course.  It will go next to the Undergraduate Council.

4.   IGEOC approved the three-semester package CHE109/CHE110/CHE111 for the Core.  Dr. Beattie submitted (prior to the meeting) evidence that CHE 109 and CHE 110 are literally equivalent to CHE 105, so as a three-semester package CHE109/CHE110/CHE111 is equivalent to the already-approved package of CHE105/CHE111. As such, IGEOC agreed that there was no apparent reason to review again, so the newly submitted tripartite package will go directly to the Undergraduate Council with IGEOC approval and not require further review.

5.   IGEOC voted to endorse a hybrid rubric/scoring model for UK Core Assessment.   See the March 23rd minutes for details.    The basic idea is that the hybrid model, in use at many other major universities, assigns both an overall score to a given artifact (holistic) as well as individual scores to particular subcategories as defined by the rubric (analytic).    Norming would take place on the holistic piece, but Area-specific  feedback  could  also  be  communicated  more  effectively  using  subcategory  summaries. IGEOC thought this would be more effective for faculty to use in a revision process.

6.   Honor’s proposal.    IGEOC approved a temporary process for approving HON courses for the Core.  See attached.   Rayens was asked by IGEOC to submit this Statement to Dr. Mike Mullen to be communicated to the current Honors administration.

Statement on Honors/UK Core Interface

General Principle

GEOC is responsible for the regulation of UK Core and approval of courses that meet UK Core requirements.

Honors and UK Core

The new curriculum for Honors recently approved by the Senate provides opportunities for students to achieve credit for UK Core requirements through Honors courses. The Honors program plans to create courses that meet these requirements using the HON prefix and to identify courses that will be offered within majors (which have already been approved for UK Core).

GEOC is willing to approve a series of HON course numbers that will meet particular UK Core requirements. For each course number, GEOC requests that Honors present a syllabus that can be used to represent the kinds of courses that may be offered under a particular course number. This submission will serve as a basic exemplar, not a generic syllabus, for all courses in that category. The Honors Director, working with the Honors Faculty of Record and GEOC, will be responsible for ensuring the courses do not “drift” away from the UK Core requirements.   Recognizing the substantial effort required to launch the revised Program, GEOC voted to approve the following interface with the Honors Program effective for one year, expiring on May 15th, 2013.

1.   Exemplar syllabi will be submitted for IGEOC to view, as outlined above.

2.   For a period of one year, expiring May 15, 2013, the Honors Director, working with the Honors faculty of record, will have full control over which HON courses are approved to fulfill Core requirements.  It is expected that:

a)  Those syllabi will not go through GEOC but rather go directly to Undergraduate Council.

b)  Each syllabus will have an explicit statement of the template outcomes for the Area being addressed. 

c)  Each submission will contain a cover letter from the Director that explains why the course meets the Core requirements for the Area addressed.

d)   Each submission will explicitly identify an artifact that will be available for assessment along with all other artifacts submitted from the Core for the Area being addressed. 

3. In April 2013 the Director of Honors will present to GEOC a list of couses and syllabi that have been offered for the UK Core. 

If this proves to be a workable interface, allowing important flexibility to the Honors Program, while maintaining the integrity of the Core, it is expected that year-long re-approvals will be automatic. However, if GEOC judges the process to be faulty or the courses being approved inappropriate, then GEOC reserves the right to withhold re-approval and work with the Director of Honors to find a more effective way to approve HON courses for the Core.3. In April 2013 the Director of Honors will present to GEOC a list of couses and syllabi that have been offered for the UK Core. 


With the decision being made above, GEOC is electing to treat the Honors Program differently than a special topics course within a particular department.  The Honors Program is identified by the UK AR’s as an interdisciplinary undergraduate program. As an interdisciplinary undergraduate program, the courses offered under HON prefixes are likely to differ substantially from most “special topics” or “subtitle required courses” offered by any individual department in the University. The latter are likely to be more circumscribed in subject matter or approaches precisely because they are discipline-based and belong in a specific department.  Courses offered via the HON prefix will not present a similar uniformity, precisely because it is an interdisciplinary program; if the Honors program is successful, it is likely that in any given semester faculty from several different colleges and departments will teach using the same HON course number.


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