September 2, 2011

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, September 2, 2011
Location of Meeting: 
Room 231 Student Center, 10 a.m. – noon
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Ruth Beattie Bill Rayens Chris Thuringer
Heather Bush Mike Shanks  
Jane Jensen Debbie Sharp  
Derek Lane    
David Royster    
Ben Withers    



1.   Information items (Rayens)

2.   Future of IGEOC. Discussion was delayed.

3.   Assessment Timeline.  The following endorsement was crafted and mailed on 9/5/2011:

IGEOC has long supported the role of assessment in maintaining the integrity of the UK Core, and has taken on the important role of facilitating and approving the associated rubrics.  We find the assessment document to be completely in order and do endorse it.

However, we want to state unequivocally—and for the record—that assessment efforts must be funded. Raters must be paid for their time and effort.  Until this piece is put in place, the plan will not succeed. In addition, the committee had concerns that rushing the assessment timeline to meet SACS requirements might damage the UK Core at a very critical juncture in its implementation.   For instance, rubrics for SLO #1 and SLO #3 have not yet been constructed, even though we are asking faculty to prepare artifacts this fall that address these two outcomes.


4.   CHE 101 – This was discussed at length and the following was mailed on 9/3/2011:

Dear Kim – I met with IGEOC on Friday and CHE 101 was on the agenda.   Here is a summary of what was said, followed by a request that is, I believe very positive.

1.   Interactive group work so important to f2f class is not clearly present in online version

2.   Need more detail speaking specifically to Inquiry

3.   Need more detail about the hands-on project

4.   Not clear what the information literacy component is, especially with the stipulation

that students can’t use the internet

5.   What became of the on-line laboratory utility that CHE used to have access to?

IGEOC agreed that if you could successfully address these points (and maybe a couple more that could come up) then this could be handled in-house and would not have to go back out for review.  I’m going to suggest that in the interest of efficiency that you send your replies to Ruth Beattie, who will then share them with IGEOC.   This makes more sense because Ruth would handle this if it were submitted to IGEOC again. This way if Ruth needs more detail on something she can ask you directly and I’m not acting as a courier.


Thanks! Bill

Cc:  Ruth Beattie; Anna Bosch


5.   Dates -   As part of a larger email to Chairs, this went out on 9/12:

Dear Department Chairs:

The Chairs on the General Education Oversight Committee spoke convincingly of how no one really knows the faculty in a department better than the Chair.  So when we put together this important communication about the UK Core, we decided it was best to send to the Chairs for distribution.  We would kindly ask that you pass it along to your faculty as soon as possible.  Thanks so much!  If you have any questions, please call me at 257-7061 (leave message if I’m not in) or email me at


Important Messages Regarding the UK Core

1.     Dates to Keep in Mind  -  If your faculty want to maximize the chances of getting a proposal through the entire review process (IGEOC, Undergraduate Council, and the Senate) by Fall 2012, it needs to have it  submitted to IGEOC (through your Dean’s office) by at least December 1 st,  2011.     The Registrar’s Office needs final Senate approval by mid-January if the course needs to be ready by Merit Weekend.  In that case, only courses submitted to IGEOC in the very early part of the fall term would have a chance of making this early deadline.

2.     Syllabus Template - Although this will be less of a problem once the University’s new document handling system is in place, there are still too many courses proposals that are getting delayed because of syllabi that don’t meet the suggested Senate guidelines.   Ideally all of these kinds of issues are  caught  before the  proposal leaves the  Department, and  certainly before leaving the College. We can virtually eliminate this delay by just following the template I have attached.

3.     Assignments  -  This  fall  (2011),  the  University  will  be  collecting  student  work  in  the  areas  of Intellectual Inquiry (all four areas) and Quantitative Reasoning (both areas).  Instructors teaching courses under these two areas in the fall must have their students electronically submit one assignment to be used as part of a broader assessment of the General Education Program.  Samples of  submitted  student  assignments  will  be  evaluated  against  rubrics  generated  by  UK  faculty members.  Please see the checklists below for guidance on how this works:

Faculty Checklist for Submission of Assignments

Instructions and a demonstration are available at

       Create your assignment link in Blackboard.

Make your Blackboard Course Available.

Distribute the Student Information, as a handout or as a URL:

Encourage a naming convention, such as BIO102FinalPaper or pcarrBIOessay1, that avoids special characters (see Student Checklist).

Tell students to upload their finished product only. No practice products, unfinished products, or other documentation should be included.

Student Checklist for Submission of Assignments

Name your assignment according to your instructor’s directions. If no naming instructions are given, please avoid special characters, such as * & $ _ % ; or others, in the name.

Submit the finished assignment only. No additional documentation for this submission is required.

Need instructions for uploading? You will find them at If you encounter an error in Blackboard, call 218-HELP (218- 4357).


4.     Support – Patsy Carruthers and her group have developed a support page for UK CORE faculty and we encourage you to use it. This page is a great entry into the Blackboard training/resources area, and it presents simple instructions and video regarding the creation of assignments. It also has links to

other support areas for Blackboard and other learning systems software.  Please visit (short link

5.     Rubrics - Since we are just launching the UK Core, not all the actual rubrics that will be used for scoring student assignments have been developed yet.  Part of my job this fall is to assemble teams of faculty to do that job for the Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning courses. Those faculty groups, once charged, will be given copies of AACU rubrics that most closely align with their broader areas; these will be used simply as a way of starting their journeys.   I have attached some of those here.  I have also attached the joint mathematics and statistics rubric that was developed for the State of Kentucky by a team of faculty from around the state, including two faculty from U.K.   I will also be giving this one to the Quantitative Reasoning team(s).

6.     Record Keeping and Oversight for Multi-sectioned Courses - With the Senate Council’s approval, IGEOC developed a policy pertaining to the issue of common syllabi, and sustained quality oversight of multi-sectioned, subtitled, and special topics General Education courses.   This policy was designed to  be  faculty-friendly and  as  hands-off  as  possible.   It  does  involve  some  responsibility  at  the department level, and some record keeping. For details, please see .


Thanks very much to the Chairs and the Faculty for their cooperation!



Bill Rayens

Professor of Statistics

Assistant Provost for General Education

6.   Exceptions Committee – Most of our time was spent discussing the formation of a UK Core Exceptions committee. Draft language was created and the proposal below will be edited and voted on at the September 16th meeting of IGEOC.


Proposal for UK Core Exceptions Subcommittee

The USP Exceptions Committee

If a student took a course at UK or elsewhere that was not a designated USP course then that student could petition the USP Exceptions Committee to grant an exception. Petitions for transfer work were only accepted after the course in question was evaluated by the Transfer Equivalency Office and the UK equivalent was determined.  During 2010 the USP Exceptions Committee processed 255 petitions, and has already processed 174 petitions in 2011 as of August 30th.  Advisors reported that most of the petitions received were from students falling into one of the following categories:

AP/B/CLEP/IB credit dual credit

study abroad transfer

Denials typically occurred when there was confusion regarding the appropriate category for acceptance, for  example  when  there  was  confusion  about  the  difference  between  the  social  sciences  and humanities.

Proposed Operation

If a student takes a course at UK or elsewhere that is not a designated UK Core course then that student

can petition the UK Core Exceptions Subcommittee to grant an exception. Petitions for transfer work will not be accepted until the course in question is evaluated by the Transfer Equivalency Office and the UK equivalent has been determined.

1.      Structure of Committee:  IGEOC recommends the construction of a staff subcommittee (to IGEOC) consisting of 3-4 professional staff members (presumably academic advisors) along with Associate Registrar Mike Shanks.  This committee would report to IGEOC and receive extensive training and significant support from the Area Experts on IGEOC.  In particular, IGEOC has volunteered to provide training related to interpreting the Area outcomes for all ten areas, and to be available for efficient consultations on petitions, as needed.  Below, this subcommittee is referred to as the Exceptions Subcommittee (ESC)

2.   AP/B/CLEP/IB Credit:   This mapping (to UK Core credit) was just completed at the University level and there seems to be no reason why any petition should come forward in this category unless the AP/B course under consideration was not mapped.   If another AP exam were to surface unmapped, the appropriate department at U.K. should be consulted regarding rules for credit transfer.

3.   Dual Credit:  This mapping should eventually be completed at University level as well, and, at that time, all credit transfer will be honored as mapped.    In the interim, the ESC would be adequately trained to make these decisions, utilizing IGEOC as needed.

4.   Study  Abroad:   These courses will have to be considered on a petition-to-petition basis.   It is expected that the ESC would be adequately trained to make these decisions, utilizing IGEOC as needed.  An attempt should be made to build a data base of courses that have been mapped from popular study abroad destinations to the UK Core.  But this may not be possible if the actual content of such courses is highly variable.

5.   In-State Transfers:    All public state institutions have mapped their general education courses to state-approved categories and any student who transfers to UK from another institution within the state is allowed by law to be able to transfer these courses to the corresponding categories at UK, according to how they have been mapped from the Core.    For example, currently KCTCS has approved STA 291, STA 200, and MA 109 as three of their courses that map to the Quantitative Reasoning category at the State level.  At U.K. Quantitative Reasoning encompasses two Areas (Quantitative Foundations and Statistical Inferential Reasoning).  Still, a student who transfers to UK from  KCTCS  with  MA  109  has  to  be  deemed  to  have  fulfilled  the  Quantitative  Reasoning requirements at U.K. with one course, and that one course does not even have to be one that U.K. has approved for the UK Core.    The University of Kentucky has also decided to afford this same privilege to transient students.

Hence, there is no reason to expect that an in-State transfer from a public institution would come in front of an Exceptions Committee unless there is some issue with courses counting in different areas of Gen Ed, depending on which KY school the transfer student has attended.    It may be that UK tagged the course one way for the student, but they want to use it in another.  This is allowed based upon the current GETA document.  The Exceptions Committee would have to decide what to do in this situation, utilizing IGEOC advice as needed.

In-State transfers from private institutions are a different matter.   All other in- State schools would be processed in the same fashion as out of state schools.  See below.


6.   Out-of-State Transfers:  This is potentially the most difficult category that the ESC will have to deal with.  IGEOC proposes the following:

a.    If the course in question has been equated (post 2010) to a course that completes an Area in the UK Core, then the transfer students gets credit for having completed that Area.

b.   If the course in question has not been equated (post 2010) to a course that completes an Area in the UK Core:

i.     If the course was counted for general education credit at the originating institution then it should count as general education credit at UK and an automatic exception is granted.  The only question will arise as to what Area it fulfills here.  Many courses will be obvious.   For those that are not, the ESC should be sufficiently trained to make these decisions, utilizing the help of IGEOC as needed.  Advisors need to be made aware of this policy so students will know that they may have courses that will transfer into the Core.

ii.  If the course was not counted for general education credit at the originating institution, then no automatic exception is granted.   These decisions will be made by the ESC in consultation with IGEOC.   The ESC would prepare recommendations in all such cases, but IGEOC would have final approval.


7.   Remaining USP Appeals:  The ESC will also serve as a means to process USP appeals since we are likely to have students who graduate under these requirements for some time to come.

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