Council for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

November 13, 2007, 12:15pm
BOT Room, ADM 305

In attendance: Ed Pratt (chair), Charles Brown, Sandy Norman, John Pritchett, Karl Stevens, Gary Perry, Tim Lenz

1.  Approval of October 9, 2007 meeting minutes
The minutes were approved as distributed.

2.  Update on the Freshman Reading Committee (FRC)
Ed handed out a list of book titles that the Freshman Reading Committee compiled, based on recommendations from faculty in each of the colleges.  The committee will read four or five of the books and make a decision within the next two or three weeks.  Their decision will be based on a number of factors, such as whether the author is living or deceased and whether the book is in paperback or hardbound.  The committee will also consider how the book can be incorporated into ENC 1101 and the Living Learning Communities and whether the book should be mandatory to read.

3.  Draft Revision to the Core Curriculum
Ed drafted a document relating to the undergraduate curriculum, which he distributed to members. He explained that he wrote the document in order to get the process of core revision moving, but that the Core Curriculum Committee and the faculty as a whole could make whatever changes they wished.  Ed stated that each component of the core should have clear expectations and should inform the students (and the faculty) why study in that area is important.  The revisions are consistent with state guidelines, mandating 36 credit hours in communications, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  It is also consistent with Gordon Rule requirements.  The major changes are in the social science and humanities requirements.  There is still a social science component (now called Foundations of Society and Human Behavior), but the credit hour requirement has been reduced from 9 to 6.  There are three new requirements: Foundations of the Western World, Global and Multicultural Foundations, and Literary and Artistic Foundations.  The first two of these might include courses from both the humanities and the social sciences.  In addition to the Intellectual Foundations core curriculum, the document recommends that FAU work on five areas that are considered hallmarks of the best undergraduate programs: the development of capstone courses in the major and the promotion of study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, and service learning.  Charles has had a discussion with Ed already about the promotion of service learning at FAU.  He also would like to see more internship opportunities for our students.  Gary, too, is trying to increase internships but few are available.  Karl mentioned that his college sees the importance of all of these five areas, but that it would be impossible for every student to have exposure to each of the areas.  Tim discussed problems in distance learning and how many students have difficulty using web-based materials.  Sandy suggested that some core courses might deal with finding and evaluating information on the web.

Ed asked the committee to review the draft and to bring to his attention any questions or suggestions for revision.  Because most of the major changes to the core are in Arts and Letters, he would like to talk it over with Sandy Norman and her department chairs before presenting it to the Core Curriculum Committee (CCC).   The CCC will discuss and revise the draft before being sent on to the faculty.  The UPCs in each college will solicit faculty views and then forward their recommendations to the CCC.  The CCC will deliberate on those recommendations and forward its own recommendation to the UUPC.  The UUPC recommendation must then be voted on by the UFS and, finally, by the BOT.  The provost asked about the timing of core revision.  Ed replied that he would discuss this with the CCC.  He would like to set a deadline of February 2008 for recommendations from college UPCs.  Gary suggested that the end of March might be better.  Given the fact that core courses will have to go through an approval process, it appears doubtful that the new curriculum could be implemented by fall 2008. 

4.  New Business
No new business

During the meeting, we enjoyed a fine lunch provided by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 12:15pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

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