General Education Committee Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Kathy Delker, Chair (KD), Amy Drassen Ham (ADH), Shirlene Small (SS), Kamran Rokhsaz (KR), Becky Nordyke (BN), Sally Fiscus, Registrar’s Office (SF), Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, substitute for Steve Oare (AS-D), George Dehner, Reporter (GD)

I. Approval of Minutes-KD

-KD requests several edits to clarify
-GD request edit to clarify “senate prerogative” on p. 2
-Motion to approve as amended-SS
-Vote unanimous
-Minutes as amended approved.
KD-announces minutes will now be posted on the Gen Ed. Website.

II. Curriculum Change Forms-KD

-Soc. 319-Requested as an I & P course

SS-Happy to field questions as it is through our department (Sociology)
-Course was formerly a 399 and had a designation as a diversity course under the WSU Tilford Commission.
-Motion to approve-BN
-Vote Unanimous
-Course Soc. 319 Approved as I & P General Education Course

-CESP 334-Requested as a Further Studies course

-Change from 2 to 3 hours
-Psych 325 is a similar course and that is already approved as a Gen. Ed. Course in LAS.
-GD-Question about what comprises the writing component in the course.
-ADH-Question about what comprises the oral component of the course. Suggestion that a rubric or some set of guidelines would help illustrate how this course meets Gen. Ed. goals.
-Motion to send back to instructor for further clarification of how the writing and oral components meet Gen. Ed. requirements-SS
-Vote unanimous
CESP 334 sent back to instructor for further clarification of how the course meets Gen. Ed. goals for the written and oral portion of the course. Specifically, how do these course components demonstrate the ability to “think critically and independently” and to “write and speak effectively.” [See “Expected Outcomes” of the WSU General Education Requirements].

III. Updates on items from 9/27/17 Meeting-KD

-Update on responsibilities for Senate Standing Committee Webpage
-Senate President Carolyn Shaw suggested we can make any change we want on this statement, but ratification will have to come from the full senate.
-Do not think there is a need to do this task right now.

-Request for departments to determine which courses are not currently—and will not be in the near future—taught so that they can be removed from the Gen. Ed. brochure as it is quite cluttered at this moment.

-Gina Crabtree told KD in an email she forwarded to all committee members that the Registrar’s Office has a process for notifying departments each year which courses have not been taught within the past 5 years and asking them to review the courses. Departments can choose to have the Registrar’s Office label these courses as “inactive” which will remove them from the catalog. They can be readily be reactivated by an email. This process of deactivation and reactivation is much simpler than going through the Curriculum Change Committee as CCFs to delete courses. This process is slower and the decisions are more permanent.
-ADH-Question-is there ever an audit to check and see if courses offered are still meeting Gen. Ed. guidelines? Instructors and course goals change over time. A.-SF no, there is no formal process of review of existing courses. I imagine that would have to come from this committee.
-KD-Question-When will the Registrar send that deactivation list to the departments? A-SF-Not decided yet. Makes sense for the Registrar to send it in August. Gen. Ed. can include a request to review courses for Gen Ed. goals at the same time if you would want to do that.
-KD-Should we have something drafted to send out at the beginning of January to give the departments time to consider examining their Gen. Ed. courses, or should we wait under the Registrar office decides their schedule?

-General agreement to send some sort of statement early to give
departments time to consider the review.
-KD-Agreed to draft a statement for the committee to review at its next scheduled meeting.

-Some discussion that KD will not be able to attend the next scheduled meeting (11/27/17).
-agreement that the draft can be edited and recommended via email.

IV. Report on meeting with Faculty Senate Executive Committee-KD

-Met to expand explanation of Gen. Ed. decisions at the last meeting which were communicated via email.
-Major change to Gen. Ed. program will be a lengthy process that will involve lots of people around the University. Not simply recommendations from this committee. A spring semester decision for the issue is overly optimistic.
-KR-suggests that the process begins with this committee so this committee should begin working up a recommendation to address Gen. Ed. to send to Senate Executive Committee sooner rather than later.

V. Options to Assist College of Fine Arts in reaching their 120 Hours for KBOR.-KD

-HLC Eligibility requirements [See handout]
-Handout of requirements for Gen. Ed. [see handout].
-3 existing examples of programs that do not meet Gen. Ed. requirements (Engineering, Medical Laboratory Sciences, BAA in Media Arts) but keep the rule (“footnote 2”) that major courses cannot be used to fulfill Gen Ed requirements. These examples could be possible patterns for the College of Fine Arts to follow to reduce the number of hours required for graduation.

-SF-Medical Laboratory Sciences does not have a lower Gen. Ed. requirement.
-KD-Copied this from the webpage
-SF-Cannot speak to what is on their webpage, but I can speak to graduation requirements which Registrar approves.

-AS-D-In regards to Fine Arts, we are seeking 6-9 credits in the major be counted as Gen Ed. fulfillment.

-SF-Issue last time referred to as “double-dipping” as the courses would count as major hours and Gen. Ed. credits.
-ADH-Question-Is this a different request then last time we discussed it? AS-D-A. No.

-SF-From the Registrar’s perspective, we request that if this exception is made for Fine Arts that it be applied across the board to all programs. Otherwise we will be flooded with exception requests based on the fact that Fine Arts was given the exception.
-KR-From the Engineering perspective, our courses are very sequential and require Calculus. However, we believe that our course structure satisfies the Gen. Ed. spirit which we support. The problem, as we see it, is that the Gen Ed. requirements are listed by the number of courses rather than their credits.

-AS-D-We would like to waive footnote (fn.) 2 from the Gen. Ed. Brochure which states “courses within a student’s major department shall not count toward fulfilling General Education requirements.” We are requesting it only for Fine Arts which will enable us to get @85% of our programs down to the 120-hour KBOR request.

-SF-That would be true for just about every other major as well.
-ADH-Question-If we make it general, then every program could apply 6 hours of credit of their major towards Gen Ed. requirements. A.-SF- Can't state that categorically, but certainly most programs.

AS-D-Just to clarify, we are requesting the removal of fn. 2, and not fn. 5 from the brochure: (Fn. 5 “One course must be an Advanced Further Study (FS), one must be an Advanced Issues and Perspectives (I&P), the third course can be either. If a student takes two FS and one I&P, the two FS courses must be distributed over two divisions; if a student takes one FS and two I&Ps, the I&P courses must be in at least two subject areas”).

-ADH-Question-Again just to clarify, how is this meeting different from the last one? A.-KD-We are concerned that programs will be in big trouble if we do not recommend a fix for them soon. Even if the Faculty Senate were to approve reviewing the entire Gen Ed Prog very early in 2018, it is highly unlikely that a revised program would be voted on by the entire faculty in time to help Fine Arts for Fall 2018.
-AS-D-We are putting forth two approaches for a deferral on the 120 credit count for graduation to KBOR:

1.We are currently part of a University-wide review of Gen. Ed.
2. We are currently examining our curriculum in Fine Arts as part of a modernization process.

-GD-It seems to me that the Provost and our administrators will be able to make the argument to KBOR that their request to trim program requirements to 120 hours would require time to implement this request. Also, we (WSU) seem to be well ahead of other Universities. I don't believe we get any benefit with KBOR with complying with this request first.

-No action taken on Fine Arts request.

VI. Issue of General Education Review-KD

-KR-We should begin to draft a statement from this committee about the need for a reexamination of Gen. Ed. requirements in light of the KBOR 120-hour request.
-Generalized agreement that this issue will be on the agenda for next meeting and that we will not make a final decision on the statement at this meeting since the Chair (KD) and possibly other members of the committee will not be there.

VII. Meeting adjourned-2:22