COMMITTEE:           Academic Standards


MEETING DATE:            September 16, 2002


PERSON PRESIDING:            John Tilley


REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Jim Decker, Joseph Gershtenson, Nancy House, M. S. Ravi, Catherine Rigsby, and John Tilley


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Michael Bassman, Pat Dunn, Dorothy Muller, and Katie Sagle


OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Rick Niswander, William Swart



Agenda Item: 1: Call to order


Action Taken:  Tilley called meeting to order.



Agenda Item: 2   Approval of minutes for the August 26, 2002 meeting


Action Taken:  Rigsby moved for approval of minutes.  Motion seconded and approved without dissent.


Item Considered in Suspension of Agenda:  Committee officials


Discussion:  Tilley informed committee that House will be unable to act as Secretary for Fall 2002 due to time conflict.


Action Taken:  Gershtenson and Rigsby volunteer to alternate as acting Secretary for remaining Fall 2002 meetings.



Item Considered in Suspension of Agenda:  Committee membership


Discussion:  Tilley informed committee that Rick Bamberg has a time conflict for Fall 2002 and will be unable to attend meetings and informed committee that Purificacion Martinez is in Spain.  Asks if we should consider replacing members on committee.


Action Taken:  No one suggests that replacements are necessary.


Agenda Item 3:  Guests


Discussion:  Dr. Rick Niswander (Vice Chair of the Faculty) thanked committee members for serving and recognized the importance of the system of shared governance at ECU.  Dr. William Swart (Provost) also expressed thanks to committee members and proceeded to outline some thoughts on the committee’s task of considering possible alterations in General Education.  Swart encouraged the committee to think about the possibility of introducing “community-based projects” as part of the General Education requirements.  He argued that having students work in teams on “real-life” community problems would be consistent with University mandates (especially the economic development mandate) and would be beneficial to both the community and to students.  The community would benefit from the resources of the University.  Students would be able to apply classroom principles and would be better prepared to compete in the job market.  Swart acknowledged that logistical problems with implementing the projects exist, but argued that the committee members should ultimately consider “what is right to do?” for students in constructing General Education requirements and indicated that his office would offer its support to the committee in proposing and implementing changes.

After Swart finished, a discussion involving Swart and committee members ensued.  Rigsby indicated that the committee should consider implications for faculty and departments (e.g. ability to generate FTEs) in thinking about changes.  Swart said his office would help figure out “how to do it” if the committee came up with a plan that was “right to do.”  Bassman noted that Arts & Sciences dominates General Education requirements and that we should be more inclusive in our requirements.  Swart suggested including technology as part of General Education, mentioning the possibility of instituting a technology certification requirement.  Tilley raised concerns related to unit requirements and the articulation agreement with other schools, asking if General Education requirements was the best manner in which to address some of the concerns being raised.  Muller said that we can have have degree requirements apart from General Education, and Swart indicated that he has no particular attachment to General Education as the route for requirement changes.  Dunn argued that we should “be willing to get out of the box” and Swart concurred that in thinking about changes we should not be confined by what we have now.  Tilley indicated that Bob Morrison views the committee’s review of General Education in very broad terms, that we can propose anything we want and that we have the time to do it.


Action Taken  None.


Agenda Item 4:  Report of the subcommittee on student evaluation of distance learning courses (Gershtenson and Ravi)


Discussion:  Ravi presented memo by the subcommittee recommending that student evaluations in distance education courses be due on the Monday following the last full week of classes.  Discussion ensued about other issues concerning the SOIS.  Specifically, Muller suggested having all evaluation take place on-line and also indicated that a broader review of the SOIS instrument and process might be desirable.  Committee members agreed that a broader review of SOIS is desirable, but that this option should not be presented to the Faculty Senate at this time.


Action Taken:  Motion that Tilley put subcommittee recommendation as written before the Faculty Senate at its next meeting, passed.  Tilley to talk to Bob Morrison about having Information Technology Committee examine issue of having student evaluations of instructors for all classes be conducted on-line.


Agenda Item 5:  Report of the subcommittee on the University policy regarding the auditing of courses (Decker and Muller)


Discussion:  Muller and Decker presented an overview of issues related to auditing including the number of permissible audits, the cost of auditing, the types of courses in that individuals are permitted to audit, instructor/department permission to audit, and the timing of students registering to audit.  Discussion ensued regarding several of these issues.


Action Taken:  Muller moves that we recommend to the Faculty Senate the inclusion of language in the audit policy in the University catalog creating a “limit of two audits per semester.”  Motion passed and Tilley to report recommendation to Faculty Senate at its next meeting.


Agenda Item 6:  Review of the Annual Reports of the Honors and Writing Across the Curriculum programs.


Action Taken:  Decker moved to commend both programs for their efforts, motion passed.  Tilley to send e-mails to both.


Agenda Item 7:  Ongoing discussion of General Education goals and objectives.


Discussion:  Tilley reported that he contacted Kris Smith regarding data related to General Education and was referred to Michael Poteat.  Tilley arranged for Poteat to attend October meeting to discuss data.  Ravi suggested that we get the data in advance of the meeting to review.  Muller reported that the subcommittee to study general education requirements at other universities had not yet met.  Rigsby reported that she had spoken with individuals from Educational Policies and Planning and Arts and Sciences regarding general education and had received little response.  She suggested that we should seek faculty input as soon as possible in the process.  Tilley suggested that we are now at the point of contacting faculty, unit heads, etc. to solicit input.  A discussion of exactly how to proceed ensued and the committee determined that Tilley should solicit possible questions from committee members for inclusion in an e-mail memo to all faculty regarding issues related to general education.  Tilley will send committee members an e-mail request for questions, to draft a letter, to send letter to faculty.  Committee will look at data at next meeting.  Rigsby will ask Lori Lee to establish a webpage to serve as a general education discussion forum.



Motion to Adjourn:  Passed.


NEXT MEETING:    October 21, 2002