EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Fuller, King, Logan-Peters, Miller, Peterson, Sawyer, Siekman,
Spann, Whitt, Wolf, Wunder
Absent: Bryant, DiMagno
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Miller called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm.
2.1 Interim Workshop for Faculty
King announced that there will be an Interim Workshop for Faculty Development on January 7th. Workshop sessions will focus on the faculty role in student life and UNL faculty who use active learning strategies. Dr. Richard Light from Harvard University is the keynote speaker.
3.0 General Education, ES/IS Courses: Interim Associate Vice Chancellor Kean; Professor Bergstrom, English; and Professor Berger, Director, Honors Program
Kean stated that the ES courses still fulfill a function at the university. She noted that there are 869 ES courses and 814 IS courses listed. She pointed out that while the idea of IS courses is good, it may be time to reevaluate them to see if they truly meet the criteria for IS courses. She stated that there is support for the IS courses but there needs to be some form of quality control at the department level.
Berger stated that it is time to engage faculty in a discussion of what they expect students to learn in IS courses. He stated that he appreciates the distribution of requirements for ES courses.
Bergstrom stated that the intent of the ES courses was to have them taken throughout the students college career rather than cramming them into the first or second year. He noted that the intent was to design a program that was less complicated. He pointed out that the designers had no idea that there would be such an explosion of courses qualifying as ES.
Bergstrom stated that IS courses need to be reviewed at the local level and that there needs to be a mechanism in place to inform new professors about these courses and what they should contain. He stated that people need to be informed about the benefits of the comprehensive education program.
Fuller asked if they see a role for the new Dean of Undergraduate Studies in coordinating the ES/IS courses. Bergstrom stated that the responsibility of supervising these courses would fit under the job description of the Dean. He stated that he hopes the new Dean will provide leadership in this area. Berger stated that he sees the oversight of these courses as one of the primary responsibilities of the Dean. He noted that the new Dean would have the best chance of affecting change in these courses.
Peterson asked what process would be used to get faculty involved in reviewing, and possibly revising, the list of classes designated as ES/IS courses. Miller noted that the program needs to be simplified. Kean stated that Academic Affairs is waiting to have the new Dean in place before working on the revision of the ES/IS courses.
Wunder asked if there were procedures within the Curriculum Committee that would allow for the process to be simplified. Kean stated that there are no policies in place that guide decision making in the Curriculum Committee. Bergstrom noted that the Curriculum Committee is more reactive than proactive. Peterson asked whether the Curriculum Committee could set up an ad hoc committee to review the ES/IS system. Bergstrom thought the new Dean would be the person to initiate any changes. Wunder stated that the faculty should monitor and initiate these changes. He noted that the present system is extremely complicated. Peterson pointed out that part of the problem is that each college is allowed to select what courses should be listed as ES/IS. He noted that colleges have a benefit in having a number of these courses to offer. Spann pointed out that a large selection of courses allows students with difficult schedules to meet the requirements of the system. Whitt noted that the faculty members have had control of the curriculum and that he is reluctant to see that control handed over to a dean.
Bergstrom noted that when the system was designed, it was suggested that someone should oversee it. He pointed out that no one was ever appointed to monitor the system. Whitt stated that the issue would probably fall under the domain of the Academic Planning Committee, but they are currently overwhelmed with work.
Berger stated that discussions need to be held within departments on what faculty members think students should know about a discipline. Kean pointed out that departments and colleges need to decide what they want students to know when they graduate. Wunder asked if this was an issue that the Senate could raise. Kean stated that the Senate could raise the issue, but she suggested that there should be a plan before this is done. Bergstrom noted that the curriculum belongs to the faculty and that the Senate is a reasonable body to suggest a review of the ES/IS courses. Berger noted that the discussions would be a long-term process and that it is essential that the leadership for this review come from administration. The committee agreed to place the issue on the agenda when they next meet with SVCAA Edwards.
4.0 Approval of 12/4/02 Minutes
Wunder moved and Peterson seconded approval of the minutes as amended.
5.0 December 18th Executive Committee Meeting
The committee agreed to cancel the December 18th meeting due to finals week.
6.0 Professor Becks Suggestion on Faculty Salary Increases
The committee discussed Senator Becks suggestion to bring in outside speakers such as Professor Bacon from UNO, to discuss strategy plans for faculty salary increases. The committee agreed that they would like to discuss the issue further with Senator Beck at an Executive Committee meeting.
7.0 Unfinished Business
7.1 Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics
Wunder stated that the call to create the coalition is not clear about what they hope to achieve. He noted that the Senate should be the body to approve whether or not they want a faculty representative to the coalition. Miller stated that he will obtain more information regarding the coalition.
8.0 New Business
8.1 General Computing Policy Professor Jackson, Chair of the Computational Services and Facilities Committee
Jackson reported that the Academic Senate approved changes to the general computing policy in the spring. However, he noted that administration did not approve the changes and wanted several revisions made. He reported that the changes suggested by administration are the inclusion of the following language: institutional infrastructure, or personal safety. He noted that the spirit of the policy has been maintained.
The committee agreed that the policy should be given to the Senate for review and a vote. Jackson stated that he would present the policy to the Senate at the January meeting.
8.2 Merit Review
Wolf asked if SVCAA Edwards was going to have the faculty go through the merit review process when there will be no faculty salary increases this year. The committee agreed to place the issue on the agenda when they next meet with the SVCAA.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:27 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, January 15th at 3:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and James King, Secretary.