ASCRC Minutes 04/14/09

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

Members Absent/Excused:
J. Bergman, P. Silverman

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

Guest: R. Balch, J. Douglas, R. Greene, A. Kia, J. Lopach, O. Renner-Fahey, K. Walker

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

The minutes from 4/7/09 were approved.



  • Chair Weix informed the committee that several emails have been circulating regarding membership on the social science subcommittee. Professor Halverson from Geography had concerns about being left out of the process this year. She will serve next year.
  • Chair Weix clarified the format for the meeting. She will turn the meeting over to Professor Luckowski to Chair while the proposed major in Central and Southwest Asian Studies is discussed because the proposal is from her department.

Business Items:

Proposed Central and Southwest Asian Studies Major

  • The social science subcommittee members outlined their concerns regarding the proposal. Professor Lopach had three items that were resolved. 1) The Political Science course listed, Politics of China, will no longer be taught due to a retirement in the department. It will be substituted with Politics of Post-Soviet Russia. ; 2) There is a lack of Geography courses in the proposal. A course being developed by Professor Graetz, a lecturer in geography, will be added. 3) There is a lack of structure in upper-division course requirements. The following amendment has been made to the proposal:

"12 credits of upper division courses are required, no more than six credits from the MCLL courses.  In addition, all students will complete either the Central Asia Seminar ANTH 460/HIST 462, or a 3 credit independent study requiring a research paper of 25 pages, in either English, or one of the regional languages listed, and supervised by the student's advisor."

Professor Balch's and Unger's primary concerns are related to resources: Whether courses will be offered frequently enough to meet the needs of the students and the likelihood that the language courses, currently taught by adjunct instructors, will continue considering the budget situation in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Kia responded that the existence of the major will allow for UM to apply for a $2 million National Resource Grant to support the Central and Southwest Asian Studies program.   The proposal does not include any new courses.  The current courses are very popular.  Professor Kia reported that 234 students are currently enrolled in two of the program's courses.  The students are showing a lot of enthusiasm and there is a need for students with expertise in this area.

Professor Zoellner informed the committee that the dean of the library has not signed the proposal.  She has indicated the library would need supplemental funds to build the collection.

The current minor has been in place for 4 years.  During its development, the Central Asia and Caspian Basin Program was awarded a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant. Some of the funds were to be used to strengthen the Mansfield Library holdings with the purchase of research materials, journals, and books for the Central and Southwest Asian Studies program.  

The program has been successful in bringing external funding ($5.1 million) to campus.  It has set up exchange programs in ten countries for students and faculty.  Information about the external funding and exchange programs should be added to the proposal. The statement regarding assessment should be revised.  Although the Anthropology Department is scheduled for program review in 2009-2010, this would be too soon to assess the new major.  The last sentence in section 1.b. should be edited for clarity as well.

The adequacy of a two year language requirement was also discussed.  According to Professor Renner-Fahey two-years of Russian is adequate to converse and sufficient for researching. Russian is the dominant language in the area.  Often programs will move to a three-year requirement after they are established.  

It was questioned why Geography is not involved. There have been personnel conflicts that led to the program moving to Anthropology last year. The Provost's Office has asked the Geography Department if they would like to be involved and they would not. Professor Weix read a letter of support from Professor Graetz,  a Senior Lecturer in Geography.

The guests were thanked for their time and the committee continued deliberations.  It was suggested that the proposers modify the proposal as indicated above and consider revising the language section so the program can start with Chinese and Russian with the option of expansion with the other languages as resources allow. The Library should be consulted to determine whether its holdings are adequate to support the revision, the collections weaknesses should be identified so they can be addressed in the future, and the signature page should be signed by the Dean of the Library. Voting on the proposal was postponed to allow for these actions.

It may be necessary to clarify the process for review when signatures are missing from forms.    

Distance Delivery of Social Work program at Flathead Community College

  • Follow-up was received regarding the proposed 2+2 program and it was approved.
  • The Faculty Senate approved the following language to be included in the General Education Conversion Guideline:

Students graduating under a previous catalog may take a course in the Indigenous and Global Perspective to satisfy the Non Western requirement.

  • The Modern and Classical Language / Symbolic Systems data was briefly discussed. A taskforce should be formed to adequately analyze the data. It could possibly work over the summer and into next fall. The Senate requested an analysis of the anticipated financial obligation of the Modern and Classical Language requirement. It is unclear how many additional students will be taking Modern and Classical Language courses. It would be helpful to have information regarding the number of incoming high school students testing out of the requirement as well.

Communication Continued-


  • Catalog language will be sent to departments for review at the end of the week. This has been delayed due to all the changes in common course numbering and general education.
  • The Executive Committee of the Senate drafted the following charge to the General Education Committee. Chair Weix clarified that according to the framework ASCRC grants exceptions.
  • The General Education Committee (GEC) shall formulate criteria upon which exceptions to the lower division expectation for general education courses will be granted. Upon approval of any such criteria, the GEC shall conduct an immediate review of all upper-division courses with GE designations under these criteria. The GE proposal form should be modified to request justification for the upper-division exception.
  • As the Symbolic Systems option was granted at the behest of departments with credit-limited majors, the GEC shall formulate credit benchmarks for departments to qualify for the option, in addition to the existing standard of a required sequence.
  • The GEC shall consider a requirement that any prerequisites for GE courses may be waived by permission of instructor.
  • The GEC shall consider limitations on the number of upper-division GE courses that a department or program may offer.
  • The General Education Committee met on Monday. Concerns were expressed regarding the transition to the C- requirement for math. There will likely be several appeals related to this issue. It was suggested that ASCRC consider establishing a procedure to grandfather students to avoid the need for appeal.



Good and Welfare - none

The meeting was adjourned at 3:45.