Undergraduate Studies Committee of the Faculty Senate, March 6, 2002.
The meeting was called to order at 10:05. Present were Kenneth Koford, Michael Gamel-McCormick, Thomas Leitch, H.W. (Tripp) Shenton, Julie Waterhouse, Joe DiMartile, and Maggie Masso.
1. The B.S in Health Studies revision (of a new major) was considered. The committee members saw the changes as not very substantial. Since the Coordinating Committee had previously requested changes, the committee thought it was important to be quite serious in its review.
Committee members noted the following problems:
a) The major notes the importance of the “normal structure of body systems” which means anatomy, but there is no requirement for an anatomy course.
b) In contrast to the CHEP general major, the 4 interest areas are not given a set of specific courses, but only a grab-bag of classes that students could fill up with their courses previously taken in the area. This is not really an organized program of study.
c) Would it be possible to increase the core course credits from 15 by perhaps 12 while reducing the number in each interest area from 30 to 15? Then it might be reasonable to allow students to provide “any” classes from that area, and there would be a serious core to the program. One course from each area could be required, for example.
d) It seems possible that the “push” to approve this new major is driven by individual student cases? Koford noted a request from the Faculty Senate President to move the major quickly, a quite unusual request. Normally it is possible to make “exceptions” to permit worthy special cases to be approved. But the committee thought that writing a program based on urgent individual cases would be unwise.
The committee discussed whether it should request these changes as it had previously approved the major (admittedly, with reservations). It decided that given the intervention of the Coordinating Committee, the Undergraduate Studies Committee had the duty and right to revisit the issue. Koford asked whether he should oppose the current proposal on the Faculty Senate floor, should the major be “extracted” from the Committee, and the response was “yes”.
The committee unanimously voted NOT to approve the B.S. in Health Studies, and to request that the above changes be made, noting that items b and c are alternative routes to the same general goal.
2. The Nursing Honors major was reviewed. A committee member asked whether faculty in Nursing were willing to teach a significant number of extra honors courses. It was stated that they were. Then the committee talked about whether the many new honors majors were actually effective. It was agreed that Koford would ask Ann Ardis to give a progress report on how the new honors degrees were going, and how they would succeed, if the number of majors was small. And Joe DiMartile would obtain information as to the number of honors majors in the various departments obtaining honors degrees. This will be reviewed at a future meeting.
3. ECON/WOMS 385, Women and the Economy was approved as a multicultural course. While the course is essentially focused on the U.S. economy, ALL of the class deals with women and women’s issues. There are many other courses listed under WOMS that deal with issues involving women, in the U.S. context. The form notes that such matters are appropriate.
4. Women’s Studies major. Addition of 1-credit capstone course. This modified proposal now includes both a conference and some degree of evaluation. While the course was still considered somewhat unfocused, at least it had been improved somewhat. Koford noted that Bill Frawley had worked with Marian Palley to modify the proposal to meet with the committee’s objections earlier this year and last year. The committee approved the modified proposal.
5. Examination and Test Conflicts. Registrar Joe DiMartile proposed a revised policy on exams and tests, to replace the earlier (unworkable) policy and the even earlier non-policy. Faculty described their concerns, and noted that sometimes single-section undergraduate courses would have to be scheduled during the 5-7 blocked period. It seemed, according to Koford that “will refrain” is not an absolute prohibition, and that interpretation was accepted. In that case, the last sentence was revised to replace “one section of a multi-section course” with “a” to allow for occasional courses to be scheduled in conflict with a common exam.
Committee members had previously been concerned that some courses with only two sections had common exams, and after discussion it was agreed that this seemed unnecessary. Thus it was proposed to add “with three of more sections” to line 5 of the first active paragraph, after “...multi-section courses”.
A committee member pointed out that there had been several out-of-class exams for single-section courses. This apparently was banned. The committee reviewed the possible need for such exams--basically, to give extra time for students, who might face “exam panic” and it was agreed to keep the current wording which does not permit such scheduled exams.
Koford wondered if an open hearing would be appropriate, but committee members regarded the policy as clear and sound, and did not want to encourage “bellyaching”.
With these changes, the committee unanimously approved the new policy.
6. Revision of Wildlife Conservation major. This modified proposal merely adjusts the Group B requirement back to COMM 312 and AGRI 212 Oral Communications... after the committee previously denied the request to create a joint AGRI/COMM 312 course. The revison was passed.
The meeting ended at 11:45 a.m.