ASCRC Minutes 3/13/07


Members Present: A. Szalda-Petree, I. Crummy, L. Economides, J. Eglin, J. Graham, C. Henderson V. Hedquist, J. Luckowski, K. Nalty, T. Ness, A. Tabibnejad, L. Tangedahl, H. Thompson, P. Silverman

Members Absent/Excused: B. Bach, L. Hamilton, A. Walker-Andrews

Ex-Officio Present: D. Micus, M. Hoell

Guest: Don Potts and Shonna Trowbridge- College of Forestry and Conservation, Dan Pletscher - Wildlife Biology & General Education Committee


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

The 3/6/07 minutes were approved     


Unfinished Business

General Education model discussion

  • College of Forestry and Conservation (2:10)
    Guest: Professor Potts and Shonna Trowbridge, Academic Advisor

    The Forest Resource Management is recognized as an extended major. The knowledge base in the sciences is expanding. Their students graduate with an estimated 130 -135 credits. The additional language requirement will be problematic. Currently the program takes advantage of symbolic systems and other courses that meet general education and major requirements. Seventy percent of their students from out-of-state. In order for the program to remain competitive it must not exceed four years. Transfer students often need upper-division courses and take advantage of the upper-division general education offerings.

    There is an increase in technology (GIS) required in the field. Students need to have at least a basic understanding of the new technologies to be marketable. Many of the students are not prepared for the level of math required of the program and must take preparatory math courses (lower-division prerequisites).

    Forestry currently has a 2 credit technical writing course that is very popular (11 sections). It was approved as 2 credits rather than 3 because 100% of the course is writing. If necessary an additional credit could be added to the course. Another issue for forestry is the enrollment in their upper-division writing course. The instructor is considering dropping the w.

General Education Review

  • Perspective 2: Literary and Artistic Studies
    Several courses require clarification on one or more of the outcomes. The language on the third criteria needs to be better defined. It was interpreted in a variety of ways by instructors. The reviewers found that instructors expected them to infer information. The information on the form should make it clear how the outcomes are met. It is customary for reviewers to ask for clarification.

Follow up required for the following courses.

Missing Forms:

ART 100,203,303
ENGL 110
ENLT 223
PHIL 340
RUS 305, 306, 307
(same as LS 311)

LS/FS 180
LS 151, 152
Religious Studies 252

Recommended Writing Course Guidelines
The committee approved the writing course guidelines with the amendments made by the writing committee (document appended to minutes).

Continued discussion on General Education Model

  • Wildlife Biology(3:00)
    Guest: Dan Pletscher, Director, Wildlife Biology (handout)

    Professor Pletscher analyzed the data on Wildlife Biology graduates and found that the mean number of credits is 144.6 and the median is 139. Most of the additional credits have to do with the students' math background. The program is ranked 4th nationally but is not governed by an accrediting agency. When the University switched from quarters, the program gave students the choice between a course in physics, geology, or soils. Most programs require all three, and students recognize this need and often take the additional courses.

    Professor Pletscher is a strong proponent of foreign language. However he does not see how it can be added to the program in a required manner given the number of credits. A foreign language is suggested for students considering graduate school in Wildlife Biology.

    General discussion on Model
    The committee explored ideas about how to resolve the issues that are problematic for the various programs that have shared their concerns. The difficult work will be in revising the criteria.

Foreign Language

-MCLL is not supportive of current model that requires 5 credits.
-Encourage transition to 4 credit courses and draft catalog language that makes it clear that UM would prefer every student had exposure to a foreign language as is expected of a liberal arts education, but allow for symbolic systems.
Testing out is an option.
-Could have a separate Global perspective that would include foreign language, but would have a 3 credit option

Symbolic System
(math intensive)

-Allowed only for programs that can provide a pedagogical justification and the criterion needs to be tightened.

100/200 level

-300 level courses could be introductory/foundational provided an adequate justification is provided. 

3 credit

-Provide exception for courses that are qualitatively different, such as labs and expressive arts courses.


-Double dipping allowed.
-How will diversity courses be identified?
-Could be folded into a global perspective/ foreign language.


-How will courses outside the major be identified?



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