Undergraduate Council Meeting
Minutes - October 3, 2007

PRESENT:  Kane Gillespie, Beverly Rivera, Cheryl Hamilton, Scott Sutherland, Joseph Antonelli, Norman Goodman, Cynthia Dietz, Sarah Fuller, Joe Mitchell, Emily Wren, Donna DiDonato, Michael Barnhart, Arlene Feldman, Brian Colle, Rick Gatteau.

  1. Minutes of September 11, 2007 – Approved with corrections
  2. Committee Introductions to new students:  Joe Antonelli & Emily Wren
  3. Southampton Discussion.  There have been questions from departments regarding the hiring of faculty for Southampton.  Bernie Lane, Senate President in the process of preparing a formal sign off sheet for departments.  The issue of faculty hiring at SBS has not gone before the University Senate. Question was raised as to what does “Going through the departments” actually mean?  Some members of the UGC felt strongly that an actual hiring process needs to be put in place at SBS.  As of right now, Dean M. Schoonen is consulting with all departments when faculty are being considered to teach in their discipline.
  4. Critical Incident Management Initiative.  The requirements for course syllabi statement (i.e. DDS, Plagiarism, etc) are already too long.  This statement would add a third paragraph.  Suggestion was made to add a Policy Statement, “See University Requirements...” 

Students (Joe and Emily) both indicated that they generally do not read the policy statements.  They mainly focus on the course requirements.   Joe A. stated that there is a better chance of a student reading the Policy Statement if it is on the syllabi than if they are referred to go else where to read it. 

Norman sees his syllabi as a contract with students but has no objection to adding this additional statement.
Michael B. objects vehemently to adding another statement on his course syllabi.

Question was raised if this was presented to the University Senate and whether it was required or just recommended.  Based on how the statement reads, it says “should” be included.  Therefore it implies it is required.
No it was not presented to the Senate for vote.  It was just briefly mentioned at the last Senate meeting.  Inclusion of this statement was passed by the Senate Executive Board. 

5.         DEC Requirement Review and Discussion.   The DEC requirements have not
            been evaluated recently.  It is perhaps a good time to do so.

C. Dietz brought in the requirements from George Mason University for the committee to look over and discussion possible options for change.  She expressed an interest in our expanding the DEC to include Information Technology Management which does not appear in our DEC.   As per Norman, Information Technology is supposed to be embedded in the series of courses rather than be a separate course.  Possibly we might want to highlight them more.

Sarah brought up the committees discussions about News Literacy.  After many meetings and discussions, short of over hauling DEC, we were not prepared to add it in the end.  Sarah suggested if we do review DEC in its completeness, we will keep the IFS issue in mind. 

As per Brian, we are not going to take random shots for change of the DEC.  We rather logically think through changes.

What are the perceived problems with DEC?
Are there too many courses?  Are there too many requirements?
What are the DEC’s purposes?

Joe A: 
Are these courses really relevant?  Are students taking the courses for a “real” value?  Students look for easy A’s.  Are students learning in the courses?  Are the courses engaging?

Alumni may have a better sense as to how the courses benefited them as they have some distance from the course.  Do we try and solicit information from some alumni?

There are also course evaluations.  We can get access to the information collected.  One has to be careful; there could be some confidentiality issues in getting the information.

Modal A, DEC courses should be looked at seriously.  How they are taught?  Do we remove them from DEC?  What about modal D,F,W and some entry gateway courses?  If we are looking at one, we should be looking at others.

What is the DEC supposed to do?  What is the logic behind it?

-Brian views DEC out of date. English, Math are okay.  But there are other thoughts about getting more into a more 21st century focus.  (i.e. Information Technology focus).

When a course is approved, the course is supposed to be given and taught in the way it was approved by the curriculum committee. 

Major requirements – departments have oversight over them.

HIS – demand is high.  Upper division courses have 95% high demand.
Should we have DEC?   What do you take away?   What do you replace it with?

What is the logic of what we want students to know? What we want students to do?

Why was CORE so bad?
Matrix arrangements; difficult to decipher and explain.  No Logic.
Foundation courses for curriculum ended up not being taught the way they were supposed to be taught.

DEC is now more distributed.  Taken throughout the UG experience, courses build on each other.

DEC dates back to 1994 – Norman was on the committee.  He co-chaired the State General Education Co. 
Michael Barnhart was also on the original General Education Committee.  The biggest problem in meeting was the faculty. The negotiation was with the division. 

S.Fuller suggested running an experiment.  Look at Modal A & F courses and see what one can learn from it.  This is no a primary question but we could start as an experiment and see what can be done. 

It was suggested that OIR – Emily Thomas be contacted in OIR to see what type of data she might be able to provide the committee re: grades and completion of courses.