ASCRC Minutes 10/24/06


Members Present: B. Bach, R. Browning, I. Crummy, J. Eglin, D. Duncan, V. Hedquist, C. Henderson, J. Graham, J. Luckowski, T. Manual, R. Nalty, A. Szalda-Petree, A. Tabibnejad, H. Thompson

Members Absent/Excused: P. Silverman


Ex-Officio Present: D. Micus, M. Hoell, A. Walker-Andrews

Guest: Associate Dean Tompkins


Chair Szalda-Petree called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

Approval of the 10/10/06 were approved. 


  • The update of the Chair's meeting with ECOS was postponed.
  • The letter from the chair of Modern and Classical Languages was disseminated to committee members.
  • There were several updates from the BOR General Education Council.
  • o The revised MUS General Education Core and operating rules will go to the Board of Regents in November. These were sent to committee members electronically. There is a discrepancy between the MUS Core and the operating rules related to Indian Education for All.
  • o The Council's next meeting is December 1st. It will be discussing criteria for the MUS Core categories, identifying the lower-division general education courses that meet the core requirements, and AP credit.
  • o Karen Hill, UM's member on the Council would like assistance from ASCRC in drafting criteria for the MUS Core categories. Professor Thompson and Szalda-Petree agreed to help.
  • There is now a one-time-only request to review for an ethics designation and a chair for the Ethics subcommittee is needed. Professor Hedquist agreed to serve.
  • Chair Szalda-Petree received a petition signed by 64 members of the Montana Council for Administrators for Special Education in support of the Speech Pathology Program. This was passed around for members to review.



Unfinished Business (none)

New Business

  • The Business & Journalism Subcommittee presented curriculum items for approval and discussion. Curriculum proposals on the summary were approved with the exception of the Global Competence Certificate and the Level I title change for Accounting Technology.

    Concerns regarding the Global Competence Certificate included: How and why the courses were chosen? There were no discussions in the departments involved. The lack of inclusion of courses taught in a foreign language-how will credits be counted for students who spend a semester abroad? How will students benefit from the certificate? Are there similar certificates at other universities? The term competence seems inappropriate, awareness would be better. The committee agreed that a representative should be invited to a meeting to address the issues.

    The title change for Accounting Technology to Accounting is being considered by the School of Business. They have accreditation concerns regarding two accounting programs and confusion for students.

  • Forestry & Biomedical Science was not prepared to present and was postponed until November 14th.

Communication continued.

  • ECOS would like ASCRC to invite representatives from professional schools and the sciences early next semester to discuss how the changes to the general education program would impact their programs. The current working model has already caused alarm in the schools and sciences. Sending it out in its current form will not be productive. It was recommended that members of the general education committee be invited to the discussion as well as writing committee members. It was also suggested that an advocate for the Ethics Perspective be invited.

    At the same meeting ECOS brought in various faculty who teach online courses to get a better idea of how the courses differ from traditional courses and how the faculty and students perceive the courses. It is unclear what the administration is expecting from the courses. The consensus at the meeting is that class size must be small due to the faculty workload involved and there could be improvements to the evaluation process. Two online courses take approximately 20 hours of faculty time a week. Often these courses are more rigorous than traditional courses. One faculty member taught both a traditional course and an online course with the same content and found that the average student GPA for the online course was lower. Opportunity for cheating is comparable to traditional courses. There is no mechanism in place that requires faculty to use all the teaching tools available in the online format, and in some cases a course could be similar to a correspondence course. The level of departmental oversight is the same as traditional courses. The content is evaluated but not the teaching techniques.

    It seems the subcommittee of the Academic IT Advisory committee is a mismatch for developing guidelines and best practices for online courses. ASCRC will need to appoint an ad hoc committee to work on the issue. Membership on the committee should represent the diverse perspectives on campus. Professor Bach agreed to be the ASCRC liaison on the committee. Associate Dean Tompkins also agreed to serve. Camie will ask the faculty who met with ECOS and members should think of others who would be appropriate. Other members should be nominated from the Center of Teaching Excellence.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.