ASCRC Minutes 2/20/07


Members Present: I. Crummy, L. Economides, J. Eglin, V. Hedquist C. Henderson J. Graham, J. Luckowski, H. Thompson

Members Absent/Excused: B. Bach, D. Micus P. Silverman, A. Szalda-Petree, A. Walker-Andrews


Ex-Officio Present: M. Hoell

Guest: Associate Dean Tompkins, Sue Malek-School of Business Advisor, Todd Cochran-Pharmacy, Linda Gillison and Bob Acker- MCLL, and Karen Hill- General Education Committee


Last year's Chair Luckowski called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

The 2/13/07 minutes was approved as corrected.    


Guests are scheduled for the next two weeks to discuss the impact of the general education model on programs.   

Unfinished Business - General Education model discussion

  • School of Business
    Guest: Sue Malek, School of Business Advisor (handout)

    The analysis of how the model would impact business majors was outlined by Sue Malek. There are six different majors in the School. The International Business Majors would be affected the most by the model related to the 100/200 requirement. These students currently meet the literary and artistic studies requirement with a foreign language course that also counts toward a language minor. Many students elect to take the writing course at the upper-division level that also meets a perspective requirement. On paper it seems that the proposed model would decrease the general education credits required by 1 credit for business majors.

    There was some confusion regarding the intent of the Ethics and Diversity requirement - whether or not it could be taken outside the major, or whether it could be spread across several courses. A current cross-cultural management course could meet the diversity requirement depending on how it is defined. The school prefers to give their students as many choices as possible outside of the major.

    The business faculty wanted to know whether international students could count English courses as a Foreign Language. There is a current exception for International Students that would still apply. The faculty were also interested in how courses would be approved for the departmental ethics and diversity requirements. After a model is finalized and approved by the Faculty Senate, the general education committee will work on establishing criteria and implementing the revisions, which will include setting up a process for review of courses that meet general education requirements.
  • Pharmacy Practice
    Guest: Professor Todd Cochran (handout)

    Students need to complete their pre-pharmacy requirements and lower-division general education requirements within two academic years. Students currently take symbolic systems courses that also meet program requirements; the addition of a 5 credit language course would create a very difficult semester (with 17 credits) for the students. This would be in the spring semester of the students second year. Noted was that first semester language courses are only offered in the fall. There is also the possibility that students could test out of the foreign language requirement.

    Pharmacy currently offers courses that would likely meet the Ethics and Diversity requirements within the major.

    Pharmacy would like the symbolic systems option retained in order to support the proposed revisions.

    There needs to be recognition that it takes longer than four years to well education students due in part to the knowledge explosion. Programs cannot expand to take longer because they are competing nationally. There is also the financial component to consider. Only 22% of the pre-pharmacy students had completed in two years. The program is very competitive and requires a 3.5 GPA.
  • Modern and Classical Languages and Literature
    Guests: Bob Acker, Chair and Linda Gillison, former chair and new member of the General Education Committee

    Language courses do not just teach language they teach cultural understanding. Language is central to knowledge of the diversity of others. Modern and Classical Language feels strongly that one 5 credit course is not sufficient for competency; the two semester sequence is needed. The department proposes the following possibilities
  • o Retain the current symbolic systems / foreign language option, that has approximately 1/3 of the students taking foreign language
  • o MCLL could reduce the 5 credit first-year courses to 4 credits so the sequence would require 8 credits.
  • o Consider exempting students that have taken 2 years of high school foreign language without an exam. (There was objection to this possibility because of the variance in the quality of high school foreign language instruction.)
  • o Professional schools that can document heavy course loads required of accreditation can be granted different requirements.

MCLL does not currently have the resources to teach a one or two semester requirement.  However, the requirement would be phased in, and the department might be able to grow gradually. There are grants available that the University is taking advantage of to offer Italian, Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.

Students need to understand how hard it is to learn a language. Many individuals around the world take it upon themselves to learn English because it is important to them. The lack of Americans knowledge of other languages leaves the country vulnerable. An important part of the American education is to teach students how to be citizens of a larger world.

  • Concept of general education threaded throughout the curriculum
    Guest: Karen Hill, Applied Arts and Sciences, General Education Committee

    The preamble needs to be carried throughout the curriculum. She recalls that the models sent forward by the committee had foreign language under departmental discretion. What is needed is a change in the philosophy of general education. It should not be marginalized.

    UM is not a liberal arts college it is a university that includes professional schools. Many institutions have to manage the tension between the two. Students should be given a taste and then allowed to decide where their interest lies. It is also a matter of aptitude.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.