March 2, 2006
Academic Affairs Committee
Minutes of March 2, 2006
McCaffrey Center, Spruce Conference Room
Present: Robert Coburn, Ken Day, Chris Goff, Gigi Gokcek, Michael Golanbari, Berit Gundersen, Fred Muskal, Newman Peery, Jean Purnell, Mindy Kreitzman
Absent: Jim Uchizono
Chairperson Berit Gundersen opened the meeting at 3:07 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Motion: Ken Day moved, Newman Peery seconded to approve the Consent Agenda items.
Motion unanimously approved.
B. Gundersen introduced Mindy Kreitzman ASUOP representative, replacing Amber Padilla. Committee introductions followed.
History – Special Review
B. Gundersen distributed a draft of the History Special Review Subcommittee recommendations for discussion. The recommendations, including any comments by the committee will be put into memo form and presented to the Provost. B. Gundersen provided details on the Special Review. The reading group consisted of B. Gundersen, K. Day, and A. Padilla. The assignment of the readers was to provide feedback on the how the department has responded to the President’s Decision memo dated September 12, 2002. The History Department has done exceptional work with their curriculum revision and the development of a Capstone Seminar. However, all the goals that were given for their Special Review have not been attained. J. Purnell provided possible options available to the committee; take action to accept the report; if appropriate, recommend additional work to complete the required actions; and ask the department to report back after a designated time. The initial date of review was 2001/02. The President’s Decision reads The History Department is critically important for undergraduate learning and shows great promise. Revision of the history curriculum to better serve student needs, development of a mature learning assessment program, and engagement of alumni will all strengthen the program for special review in 2004-05. The curriculum issue has been addressed but development of the assessment program and reconnecting to alumni has not been implemented. B. Gundersen will include in the memo an additional statement that the committee is eager to receive a report on the progress of the learning assessment plan, and alumni connections. A completion date on addressing these issues will also be included. B. Gundersen will send out a draft document to the committee members for review next week and will invite comments. The Special Report and committee response will go forward to the Provost who recommends final action to the President. Additional discussion followed.
The ad hoc group met twice in February [Jean Purnell, Berit Gundersen, David Chase, Louise Stark, Robert Cox, and Ron Hoverstad] to discuss the revision of the Program Review guidelines. The memo distributed at this meeting is a proposal to revise the Program Review process which grew out of those discussions and a meeting with Rob Brodnick last fall. In the revised process, compiling a self-study will be facilitated by annual reporting on relevant issues, providing evidence to be used as part of the scheduled review. All the information gathered along the way (self-study, external panel report) would be available to the committee. The process will help to identify the benchmarks and show completion or the progress toward benchmark goals. Outside accreditation bodies will not replace the internal review. The dean will be involved in the review process from the beginning of the review. J. Purnell referred to portions of the document and provided additional comments to assist the representatives in answering questions by the faculty in their unit. Discussion followed. Further questions or comments by the committee should be directed to B. Gundersen or J. Purnell. The ad hoc committee will address the questions.
Revision of Policy on Minors
There are two departments with special issues. The Visual Arts/BA in Studio Art would like to remove the number of courses in the double count rule from a minor in Art History. The other department is Modern Language and Literature. When a student decides to declare a minor in language it begins to look more like a major than a minor because of the higher level courses. K. Day suggested an invitation to Merrill Schleier/Visual Arts, and Susan Giraldez/MLL to elaborate on the issues.
Newman Peery made a friendly amendment to the motion to read Students must take at least three courses totaling a minimum of nine semester units which count only for the minor. Fred Muskal accepted and Ken Day seconded the friendly amendment.
Several committee members expressed the view that the most important matter is the large over-riding issue of making incremental exceptions to academic policy; whether it is a policy on minors, a policy concerning graduation, or any other university policy. There are many broad university-wide academic policies. If we begin to make exceptions for individual majors then this would be a dangerous precedent.