ASCRC Minutes 9/9/08

Members Present: J. Bergman, I. Crummy, J. Dempersmier, S. Gauthier, S. Lodmell, J. Luckowski, D. MacDonald, M. Nielsen, H. Thompson, E. Uchimoto, K. Unger, G. Weix, K. Zoellner

Members Absent/Excused: E. May, R. Vanita

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

Guest:  Associate Dean Tompkins

Chair Weix called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.

The minutes from 9/2/08 were approved.



  • Next week Professor Bach will be updating the committee on the Commissioner of Higher Education's common course numbering efforts. Professor Bach has been appointed the transferability liaison at UM. Members requested that a summary be provided in advance of the meeting. Professor Bach has been asked to provide a written summary prior to the meeting.
  • A reminder email message was sent to all faculty regarding general education course review. It provided additional details regarding symbolic systems because there have been several questions from departments. The general education framework stipulates that "Students may substitute a symbolic system sequence required by their major and approved by ASCRC"; and "All General Education courses must be at least 3 credits, must be introductory and foundational, and have no more than one pre-requisite. ASCRC may allow exceptions for upper-division courses, courses fewer than three credits, and for courses with more than one-prerequisite." So ASCRC may see some forms related to the general education review.

  • The Writing Committee met on Monday and approved revisions to the Catalog Language and the Writing Course Guidelines. It was discovered over the summer that the drafts were not parallel to the language proposed by the English Placement & Composition Workgroup. ASCRC will be sent the drafts electronically to review. The Writing Committee should think about a deadline for submission of writing course forms for the spring review. It is unlikely the updated list of writing courses will make the 2009-2010 catalog or the schedule in time for pre-registration given the review would need to be completed by February 8th. The committee has changed its meeting time to 2:10-3 on the second Monday of the month.

    There are new general education program implementation issues that will need to be addressed. Students will still be able to graduate from a previous catalog for six years. Language should be developed that will guide students in terms of how to meet old general education requirements with the new group designations, such as the old non-western requirement can be met by Indigenous and Global Perspective courses.

Business Items:

  • The committee agreed that it was not necessary to implement formal appointments of subcommittee members. The subcommittees seem to function pretty well with members circulating on and off.
  • The committee approved revised language to correct the discrepancy in its special topics policies. (Language appended below.)
  • Members of the Repeat Fee Workgroup were confirmed. At the workgroup meeting it was suggested that additional members be added from Disability Services and Business Services.

    The charge of the Repeat Fee Workgroup was clarified. There are two aspects to the issue that need to be addressed - how to calculate the GPA and what to do about the loss of revenue. Logistics of implementing a policy change should also be considered.

    Today the Workgroup will discuss the six-year analysis of student repeat behavior conducted by Sharon O'Hare and her follow-up proposal. Student members were asked to research GPA calculation practices and repeat fees at peer institutions.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.


Suggested Revision of Special Topics Language

Suggested changes shown in strike-out, underline.

Logic behind the suggestions shown in italics.

Special Topics Courses on ASCRC Policies Site

Under "Adding New Courses"

6.  Has the course been taught experimentally? An X95 course taught twice three times must be reviewed and approved by ASCRC or Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate prior to inclusion in the catalog.

Makes the policy consistent, in line with general understanding of policy.

Under "Course Cross-listing Policy"

"Special Topics" of "Studies in . . ." or other variable content courses should not be cross-listed with established courses that have specific subject matter and catalog description. (If the established course is substantially interdisciplinary in nature, the same number should be established as a cross-listing in the other department rather than using a special topics number.)

No change.

Under "One-time Only Courses for General Education (Approved 11/22/85, Revised 9/30/03)"

In order to accommodate the possibility that a special course taught once only might be well suited for general education, ASCRC can consider proposals that meet the following requirements:

The course must be taught as a Special Topics course using the numbers 195, 295, 395, or 495.

The General Education Course Request Form including both a paper copy and electronic copy of the syllabus must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office, UH 221 (

ASCRC as a whole will consider requests.

One-time-only general education designation may be requested for experimental courses (X95), granted only for the semester taught. A NEW request must be submitted for the course to receive subsequent general education status. (9/2006).

No change.

Reserved Course Numbers

Recommend that we not adopt an additional bag number labelled "experimental courses".  The current system works well.  The title "special topics" is a good description for both courses taught in response to special circumstances (visiting faculty with special expertise, response to specific events, etc) and courses that are taught with the intention of conversion to permanent courses).  Note- only one bag number in the series is not yet committed (X92). 

Special Topics Courses: (revised 2/23/99)

After the department offers a course three times At the third offering of an X95 course, the Registrar will send a notice notify the department that curriculum forms should be submitted to establish a permanent course number.  In the case of compelling special circumstances, ASCRC will consider exceptions and allow a fourth offering.  and require the curriculum change forms or require a letter indicating why an exception should be made to offer it a fourth time. The letter would be received during the third offering and the Registrar will not accept the course if it comes in again

Special Topics Courses on ASCRC Procedures Site:

6.  Has the course been taught experimentally? An X95 course taught twice  three times must be reviewed and approved by ASCRC or Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate prior to inclusion in the catalog.

Repeatability: Normally a course can only be taken once. Exceptions are allowed for variable topics courses (e.g. seminars, independent studies, special topics, theses.). Usually the limit for repeatability is 9-12 credits.

X95 Descriptions in Catalogue:

X95 Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.