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Minutes of the Great Books Committee

September 9, 2013, Meeting #1, 3:30pm, Bate 2003

Members: Assoc. Dean Derek Maher, Anne Bunnell, Helena Feder, John Given, Thomas Herron, Su-Ching Huang, Anne Helene Miller, Kevin Moll, Frank Romer, Mona Russell, David Smith, Nancy Spalding, John Stevens, Anoush Terjanian, Edmund Wall, David Wilson-Okamura, Tricia Wilson-Okamura

Present: Professors Helena Feder (via skype), Derek Maher, Anne-Helene Miller, Mona Russell (via skype), Nancy Spalding, John Stevens, Ed Wall, David Wilson-Okamura

1. Election of Officers: John Stevens re-elected as chair. Agreed to rotate task of secretary.

2. Report on 2400 planned for spring. Prof. Anne-Hélène Miller agreed to offer a seminar if funding is available. She will circulate a list of texts in October for input and comment.

3. Speakers. Stevens extended a call for speakers. Faculty discussed additional funds available from other programs and sources.

4. Assessment. Stevens made a suggestion to unify GRBK program and FC assessment. Problems and challenges of gathering results in one course with one instructor, and taking action in a subsequent course with a different instructor with follow-up. Discussion ensued about how to unify the curriculum and use the same goals in all courses. Feder suggested using more short papers since students experienced difficulty writing term papers. D. Wilson-Okamura suggested that a unified curriculum might be possible organized around "transferrable skills" including the ability to read, summarize, argue and respond both orally and in writing. Feder followed up that the main deficiencies amid generally good performance concern the ability to engage texts in a comparative context and to respond "on the fly" to other student questions or direct interrogation. Primary respondent exercise less successful in her experience.

Stevens asked 2012-13, Fall 2013 faculty to meet separately to help complete current year assessment.  

Minutes submitted by Nancy Spalding, September 19, 2013