Undergraduate Council Minutes

UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL
Minutes for February 6, 2007
Open as pdf

Attendance:  Brian Colle, Donna Di Donato, Sarah Fuller, Kane Gillespie, Norman Goodman,  Cheryl Hamilton, Joe Mitchell, Scott Sutherland,  Janet Clarke, and Ridha Kamoua.

Minutes were taken by Ridha Kamoua.

The Minutes of December 19, 2006 were approved as amended. Brian Colle is to append the memo he sent to Howard Schneider on December 20, 2006.

Modified Journalism Proposal:

The committee discussed the modified journalism proposal submitted by Dean Schneider on February 1, 2007. The revised proposal expands the pool of students who can take the Media Literacy course by designating JRN 101 as satisfying DEC B or DEC G categories but not both.  Kane Gillespie indicated that in 2006, the enrollment in DEC B and DEC G were 2000 and 4000 respectively.  The goal of the journalism proposal is to have an enrollment of 2500/year in JRN101 with about 1/3 in JRN101-B and 2/3 in JRN101-G.

The rest of the discussion revolved around the issue of DEC coverage by JRN101 and the merits of expanding the DEC categories. Norm Goodman had the impression that Howard Schneider would consider tailoring JRN101 to satisfy more than two DEC categories, for example DEC F.   This would be in the spirit of not mandating JRN 101 and would provide students with more options.   Scott Sutherland commented that it would be possible to offer News Literacy in Social Sciences as DEC F and News Literacy in Mathematics as DEC C.

Kane Gillespie reported that according to the curriculum committee, JRN 101 does not satisfy DEC F and it is already a stretch to consider it as a DEC G. Brian Colle indicated that it is already a challenge to designate JRN101 as DEC B and DEC G.  

Sarah Fuller stated that the committee should not drag at the discussion of the journalism proposal and consider it as it is with only DEC B and G designations. 

Donna Di Donato commented that the committee would like to request an enrollment update by Dean Schneider sometimes in spring 2008. She also raised the issue of informing freshman and transfer students about JRN 101 during orientation. 

Scott Sutherland proposed to create a new course, JRN 103-G and cross-list it with JRN 101-B.  Students can then sign up for either the DEC B version (JRN 101-B) or the DEC G version (JRN 103), and there is no question about whether a student opted for G or a B.
This avoids a number of the issues, including having the Registrar's Office manually switching the course from B to G for potentially thousands of students, and also avoids the issue having a special waiver of the rules forbidding a course from being two DECs.  Kane Gillespie indicated that the implementation of cross listing is not as simple as it seems.  Joe Mitchell and Norm Goodman felt that cross listing should be relatively straightforward.

After much discussion, the Council’s consensus was to approve the modified proposal designating the News Literacy course as satisfying DEC B or DEC G categories and giving Dean Schneider the option of expanding to other DEC categories, if the terms of the Knight foundation allows it.  The committee would consider such change favorably but with the understanding that the change needs to go through the curriculum committee as it involves the introduction of new courses. Brian Colle would draft a response to Dean Schneider that includes this option.

New Business:

Brian Colle listed a few items that the Council  should consider in the near future.

Southampton Campus:
Brian Colle indicated that the committee should consider the issue of Southhampton campus. 

SPEAK Test:
Brian Colle stated that he had relayed the Council’s concerns about the SPEAK test to the graduate council and so far he did not get a response.  The committee needs to follow up and revisit this issue.

DEC Requirements:
Norman Goodman suggested that the committee should review the DEC requirements.

The meeting adjourned at 5:05.