ASCRC Minutes 4/10/07


Members Present: B. Bach, I. Crummy, L. Economides, V. Hedquist J. Graham, C. Henderson, J. Luckowski, T. Ness, A. Tabibnejad, L. Tangedahl, H. Thompson, A. Szalda-Petree

Members Absent/Excused: J. Eglin, L. Hamilton., K. Nalty, P. Silverman

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

Guest: Tom Gallagher - Applied Computing and Electronics

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

Approval of the 3/28/07 minutes was postponed.      

Business Items:

Curriculum follow-up: Experimental Energy Technology AAS degree

  • Professor Gallagher described the experimental Energy Technology AAS degree. He explained that one of the program's goals is to develop economic growth in the rural areas of Montana and to develop partnerships with Dawson and Miles Community Colleges as well as Montana Tech and tribal colleges. The program will be offered online and is still evolving. A program coordinator will need to be hired and an academic advisory committee established. They received a $600,000 Wire grant from the Department of Commerce.

    The subcommittee felt that the program was weak in Chemistry and Physics and that it would be helpful to have an exit strategy for students. Two years is not enough time to assess the validity of a program. However, the two year time frame is specified in Board of Regents policy. Currently there is quite a bit of science imbedded in courses. However, if after the experimental program is further along assessment determines that more science in needed, it will be added. This will also be the case for nuclear energy and perhaps a survey course.

    Montana needs to start thinking about energy development in a more informed way so that the problems occurring in Wyoming are not repeated in Montana (recent New Yorker article). Graduates of the program could find jobs as energy auditors, in oil fields, and with small non-traditional energy businesses. It is expected that many of the students will be non-traditional professionals.

    The proposal was unanimously approved.

    Amendment to the General Education Model
  • Chair Szalda-Petree met with the Writing Committee regarding ASCRC's decision with respect to the lower-division writing course. The committee was quite upset and maintains that the lower-division writing course is a key element of the reconstruction of the writing program. He suggested compromise of requiring one approved lower-division writing course with a provision that departments with an acceptable justification may be granted an exception to remove the lower-division restriction on the writing course.

    ASCRC discussed the possible solution, but was not in favor of the exception language. One of the goals of the revision is to make the program simpler. The exception would be difficult to implement and confusing for advisors. It was argued that teaching of lower-division writing should be equitably distributed. The motion to include one-lower division writing course in the model without the exception language was approved with a 6 to 4 vote.
  • The committee was briefed on the telephone conference with Roger Barber regarding the pilot program for suspended students. The key elements of the program were provided. The committee was supportive.
  • Associate Provost Walker-Andrews updated the President on the repeat fee situation and has not yet had received a response. Discussion was postponed.
  • An oversight was discovered regarding the program form that was approved for adding additional writing courses to Anthropology's upper-division writing requirement. The courses listed on the form were never approved as writing courses. After a bit of contentious communications, the department will submit the syllabi of the courses for review.
  • There seems to be some problems occurring across campus regarding the C- standard. Departments determine whether it is passing or failing, and it should be consistent to avoid student confusion.

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