Minutes-University Senate’s Undergraduate Council
October 24, 2007

In Attendance:  Brian Colle, Chair, Joseph Antonelli, Michael Barnhart, Ora Bouey, Cynthia Dietz, D. Di Donato, Kane Gillespie, Arlene Feldman, Sarah Fuller, Norman Goodman, Joe Mitchell, Scott Sutherland, Emily Wren

New Business:
The Undergraduate Council continued its discussion of the Diversified Education Curriculum with selected members of the group suggesting ways to approach the review of the University’s undergraduate general education requirements.

N. Goodman proposed looking first at the categories themselves to see if they make sense in today’s world

C. Dietz presented material that she had collected from other institutions including Clemson, Wisconsin State, George Mason, U. of Oregon as a source of comparison for our review.

D. Di Donato suggested that if we are going to consider revising the DEC that we review the general education requirements of other AAU schools.

S. Sutherland wondered if we might consider designing an interdisciplinary course that served as a sophomore level 102 course, for example a course that includes biology and mathematics.  K. Gillespie said that he believes that we would need to check with SUNY to see whether they would accept one course as satisfying more than one (unconnected) category.

N. Goodman repeated that we should discuss categories first, individual courses later.
Further, what about the writing program?  Shouldn’t we see how (whether) writing is infused through the curriculum?

B. Colle stated that he finds DEC categories confusing rather than organized in tiers.  They appear sprawling and diffused.

When the students were asked about their experience with the DEC, J. Antonelli indicated, for example, that he couldn’t get into a DEC D in his first or second year at Stony Brook, gave up trying in the 3rd year and plans to take it in his senior year.  He doesn’t feel that these categories are necessarily stepping stones that build on each other.

Maybe we should organize categories in order of what we want students to take and learn.

Questions raised by the group:

Should we enforce the registration of skills courses by class status?
Should the DEC be organized in tiers with logical progression?
Are we over requiring courses?

J. Mitchell points out that SUNY mandates 10 courses, but Stony Brook requires 15.
Maybe we should map directly on to the SUNY categories or decide that we are satisfied with what we already have.

Submitted, 11/14/07 by D. Di Donato