ASCRC Minutes 3/24/09

Members Present: K. Barhaugh, J. Bergman, T. Brockman, J. Dempersmier S. Lodmell, J. Luckowski M. Nielsen, S. Smillie, H. Thompson, K. Unger, R. Vanita, G. Weix, D. Zolnikov

Members Absent/Excused: I. Crummy, P. Silverman, E. Uchimoto, K. Zoellner

Ex-Officio Present: E. Johnson, S. O'Hare, A. Walker-Andrews

Guest: N. Hinman - Writing Committee Chair

Chair Weix called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

The minutes from 3/17/09 were amended and approved.



  • The Interim Registrar Ed Johnson was welcomed to the committee.
  • The Transferability Implementation Team met March 17th. The common course numbering conversion is proceeding for the first cohort of disciplines.
  • The General Education Committee will be meeting April 13th to address changes to UM general education courses that satisfy the MUS core curriculum. Professor Samson is a member of the Board of Regents General Education Council that is charged with periodic review of the MUS Core, and approving the general education courses from each campus that satisfy the MUS Core.
  • Chair Weix has heard from several departments that did not receive catalog copy in order to make editorial changes.

Business Items:

  • The Writing Committee met yesterday and approved additional writing courses - ASCRC concurs (list appended below). The courses not approved are pending follow-up information. The Committee will meet again on April 6th to finalize the list of approved courses. These will be presented to ASCRC on April 7th and go to the Senate on April 9th.

    The Writing committee is requesting a transition year (see memo appended below). Professor Zoellner is not in favor of the transition year and provided written comments (appended below). A transition year may prevent the need for appeals to the Graduation Appeals Committee.

    There was concern that previous writing courses may have changed and no longer meet the previous writing course criteria. Programs likely decided not to submit courses on purpose. It was recommended that the Writing Committee contact departments and inquire whether courses not submitted for the current writing designation will be taught using the syllabus that was previously approved. If not the courses will not be included on the list. If the course(s) will still meet the old writing course guidelines then it will be included in the writing course lists with an asterisk indicating valid for one year only.
  • Draft procedures for appeals and justification for consideration of late curriculum items were not yet available. An excerpt from the 2/14/02 Faculty Senate minutes indicated that " ASCRC is considering a timing change for the submission of curriculum items that require approval by the Board of Regents. The current submission date of early in the fall semester does not provide sufficient time for campus review prior to the Regents' submission deadline. ASCRC is considering a spring submission deadline for only those level I and II items that require approval by the Regents." So spring review has been a previous consideration. Chair Weix will work with Professor Bergmann and the Chair of Graduate Council on draft guidelines.

    There seems to be confusion regarding the procedures for appeal and late curriculum submission. These should be clarified for consistency. Some members view the subcommittees' role in curriculum review as a mentoring process to help programs improve proposals so that they will meet with ASCRC standards and be approved, while others would rather reject proposals and require a year waiting period for re-submission. It is important that this be clarified so that departments are aware of the expectations when proposals are not approved. Historically programs have been able to request a meeting with ASCRC to appeal a decision.
  • Chair Weix clarified that Dean Comer has not requested ASCRC to change its review structure. He shared the way curriculum review was conducted at his previous institution. The College of Arts and Sciences may initiate an internal review process that is more inclusive.
  • There was a brief discussion regarding the courses listed under the Undergraduate Advising Center in the catalog. The rubric for these courses is UNC representing the old name of University College. The courses should be reviewed to determine the appropriate academic home. Another concern is students receiving academic credit for peer advising in independent studies (X96) courses.

Good and Welfare

  • Chair Weix will be meeting with the Department of Geography to clarify ASCRC curriculum review procedures.
  • Chair Weix thanked the students for their discussion with the Governor.
  • The general education brochure will be helpful.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40.

Writing Courses approved at the 3/23/09 Writing Committee Meeting

Writing Courses



Introduction to Poetry



British Literature: Medieval through Early Modern



Enlightenment to Romantics



British Literature: Victorian to Contemporary



American Literature to 1865



American Literature: 1865 to Present

Honors College

HC 121

Ways of Knowing

Liberal Studies

LS 151L/152L

Introduction to the Humanities



The Epic


MUS 325H

History of Music II

Native American Studies

NAS 202X

Oral and Written Traditions of Native America

Radio TV

RTV 280

Reporting for Broadcast

Writing Studies

WTS 121L

Introduction to Poetry

Courses previously approved that have been withdrawn by department

Writing Studies

WTS 184A

Beginning Creative Writing: Multiple Genre

Writing Studies

WTS 186A

Beginning Creative Writing: Poetry

Also withdrawn

Writing Studies

WTS 185A

Beginning Creative Writing: Fiction

Upper-Division Writing Requirement Courses


Distributed model


ECON 488-489

Research Method & Thesis Design / Senior Thesis capstone


ENLT 301

Applied Literary Criticism


ENLT 322

Studies in Literary History


ENLT 325

Studies in Literature and Other Disciplines: The Bible as Literature


ENLT 334

Postwar Poetry

Environmental Studies

EVST 367

Environmental Politics and Policy


RECM 451

Tourism and Sustainability




GEOG 499

Undergraduate Thesis

Information Systems

IS 448

Management Game


MGMT 444

Management Communications


MGMT 445

Small Business Management and Strategic Planning


MGMT 446

Strategic management


PHIL 480

Senior Seminar

Recreation Mngt


Resource Conservation


Wildlife Restoration



Writing Courses


ART 303L

Contemporary Art and Art Criticism (clarification pending)


DRAM 320

Theatre History (missing from summary)



Survey of French Cinema  (additional information pending)

Upper- Division Writing


ANTH 431

Ethnographic Field Methods


CSD 430 & CSD 440

Senior Capstone I and II (follow-up received 3/24)


DRAM 321

Theatre History II (follow-up received 3/24)


RECM 482

Wilderness and Protected Area Management (additional information requested 3/23)


GEOS other


ENLT 333

Modern Poetry (additional information requested 3/23)

Political Science

PSC 400

Advanced Writing in Political Sciences (additional information pending)


SOC 488

Religion and Political Movements  (additional information pending)


Date:   March 19, 2009

To:       G.G. Weix, Chair, ASCRC


CC:      Andrew Ware, Chair, ECOS

            Writing Committee Members

Re:       Transition year for Writing courses and Upper-division Writing Expectation

The Writing Committee is formally recommending a transition year during AY0910 for Writing course and Upper-division Writing Expectation in the major (UDWE) requirements for current students. During this year, we recommend that current students be allowed to continue to use courses approved for W or UDWE in the major, either those listed in the 2008-09 catalog or those approved at the 11/13/08 Faculty Senate meeting, to fulfill the writing requirements listed in catalogs in effect prior to 2009-2010. We use the following reasons to justify this request:

1)                  unlike changes to the other General Education requirements, W courses and the UDWE in the major affect junior and senior students to a greater extent - GenEd requirements are usually met in the first couple of year whereas the UDWE is usually met in the last two years and, in fact, should not be met prior to that time;

2)                  in past years, changes to the list of approved courses and expectations result from changes to the course content, writing expectation, and or syllabus, and not, as in this case, to changes in the requirements themselves;

3)                  this removes the need for appeals to obviate the problem; any reduction in the number of appeals is desirable as it retains control of curriculum in the purview of the Faculty rather than transferring it to Administration;

4)                  this likely affects a small number of students but the negative consequences of dropping those courses with respect to student dissatisfaction, retention, and graduation far outweighs the few negative impacts of allowing flexibility during this transition.

From discussions with faculty, it appears that there is some misunderstanding about the expiration of the W courses and UDWE requirements listed in prior catalogs. Normally, courses and UDWE requirements are transferred forward to the following catalog unless action is taken to remove them during the review process; the exceptions are one-time designated W courses. The current change in guidelines is an unprecedented shift in that the catalog language, as applied to this case, would completely remove ALL courses and UDWE requirements. We contend that the current catalog language is appropriately applied to the normal procedure of adding and removing courses from approved GenEd lists but is inappropriate for a sweeping change such as a shift in guidelines. 

RECOMMENDATION:  We recommend that a separate list of W courses from the 2008-09 catalog and the new courses approved at the 11/13/08 Faculty Senate meeting be linked to the online catalog for use by students who chose to use an older catalog for the 2009-2010 academic year.


Comments from Professor Zoellner

Based on the data available to me (i.e., catalog from 08-09, writing classes submitted this year), I do not think a transition year is necessary. I think that the number of writing classes we have approved this year will meet students' needs. And, I think that for the small amount of students the change may effect, the students' departments should be responsible for making exceptions and adjustments.

The campus has been aware of the changing writing guidelines as they have been of the General Education changes. The Writing Committee's memo soliciting courses for writing designation, dated December 5, clearly stated that "Writing course forms for courses to be considered for general education writing courses and upper-division writing requirement must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office, UH 221 by Friday February 6, 2009.  Current writing courses that do not apply for writing status under the new guidelines will lose their designation." Based on the large number of proposals the Writing Committee received this spring, I think that faculty understood this to be so. I think we should adhere to what we said.

There will always be some confusion among the UM community regarding curriculum changes, but I do not think we should halt our movements forward because of this, I think we should continue to have high expectations of faculty and students in terms of their responsibility to be aware of the guidelines and options.

The main challenges moving forward are advising and updating the catalog. Advising for students that this will most likely affect (juniors and seniors) will be done within the students' departments. Now that we have compiled (table sent out by Camie today) the current catalog language in regards to the upper-division writing expectation we could send this out to all departments to update.

The proposal for the transition year states the majority of the Writing Committee's view (all but me) on the need for a transition year. Nancy and Siri will no doubt well represent the proposal at the meeting today.