Core Curriculum Task Force Meeting
DATE AND Friday, January 12, 2007
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: SU 80, Room 223
Member(s) Present: Susannah Brown; Fred Fejes; Jeff Galin; Paul Hart; Tony Lombardo-chair; Cliff McCue; Debbie Raines; Allen Smith
Member(s) Absent: Marina Banchetti; Oliver Buckton; Mark Jackson; Robin Jordan; Lee Klingler; Tim Lenz; Maria Petrie; Don Torok
Guests: Lyn LaVigne, Karl Stevens
1. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of November 20, 2006 meeting were approved as distributed.
a. Task Force Chair – Interim Dean Search
With Tony retiring in a few months the Provost has decided that an interim dean should be appointed until the dean's search is concluded. The Provost sees the new dean as chair of the Core Curriculum Task Force but Tony feels that consideration of one of the task force members should not be precluded.
b. AAC&U Conference in Miami
Information was distributed on an AAC&U conference taking place in Miami on March 1-3. The conference will highlight general education assessment and CTESS funds will be provided for anyone wishing to attend. Another conference taking place on May 18-23 in Rhode Island will be held by the AAC&U Institute on General Education. Campus teams consisting of a team leader and at least four additional members will have ample opportunity to meet one-on-one with faculty consultants, work collaboratively within their teams, and to share ideas with the other campus teams on general education change, assessment and communication and learning improvement. CTESS funds can be provided for anyone wanting to attend this conference. Information on registration, lodging, etc. can be found on the AAC&U website.
3. Report on the December 1st UUPC Meeting – Subcommittee on criteria for adding core courses
Tony discussed the freshman reading program at the December 1st UUPC meeting and asked the members to take the issue back to their colleges for feedback. Tony will ask Jerry Haky to remind the UUPC about this for discussion at the next meeting on February 9. Tony will be attending the meeting to see what the outcome is. A tutorial on "The Orchid Thief" was distributed that was found on the website by Tony's wife Daphne.
Tony stated the UUPC is anxious to know the criteria for adding courses to the core. He will report at their next meeting that a subcommittee of the task force has been formed but delayed until we get further into proposals for revision. Tony will send out an email to the task force asking for volunteers. The subcommittee should consist of not more than four members.
4. Review and discussion of Subcommittee Draft Proposal on Core Curriculum Revision – Learning Communities and the Core
The CCTF shared their comments on the Core Curriculum Subcommittee's draft proposal to revise the core.
- Implement item number 1 by establishing a University Core Curriculum Committee that would replace the CCTF and would report to the UPC (note added: or be a sub-committee of the UPC). This committee would oversee the establishment and teaching of the Core and would seek input from departments and colleges. It would review all proposals for core courses and make recommendations to the UPC and periodically review the content of core courses.
- Implement item 2 by establishing the core curriculum as a separate program – give it its own identity. One view states that the core curriculum belongs to the University and colleges and departments only implement the core on behalf of the university. This justifies the core having a unique, programmatic, university identity. It was also stated there should be a "keeper" of the core, an individual who is the responsible contact person for all matters pertaining to the core and its assessment.
- Implement item 3 by adopting a set of clear but flexible guidelines that would define the general characteristics of core classes. The "keeper" of the core and the CCC would be responsible for assuring that these are adhered to. Drop the "terminal course" language and promote the basic criterion "if this is the only course in (inset discipline) that the vast majority of the class will ever take, what would you want them to know?" This will be discussed further at the next meeting of the CCTF.
- Implement item 8 but change the word number to identifier. This will be pursued with the registrar and reported on at the next meeting of the CCTF.
Tony stated that Cleveland State organizes its Learning Communities around the core whereas FAU does not. He asked the task force if this is the direction we want to go in. Tony is interested in a hybrid learning community that links courses around the core and within discipline communities. An example would be an engineering community linked with a business course and an english composition course. Tony will talk about this at the next CEUE meeting on January 19 and will be pursue it further at the next CCTF meeting.
5. Curriculum Initiative in the College of Engineering and Computer Science – Presentation by Dean Karl Stevens
Dean Stevens gave a PowerPoint presentation on a curriculum initiative being developed in response to suggestions made by his college advisory committee. The purpose is to create a "new kind of engineer" and that the core curriculum reform could be of great importance to the initiative. He presented the fact that globalization will dramatically impact the profession and students need experience in the area of leadership and leadership development. Entrepreneurial coursework will be important and an increased emphasis on developing creativity and ingenuity as well as experience in soft and interpersonal skills. He went on to say that engineers need to develop better verbal and written communications skills and enhanced understanding of non-engineering disciplines such as business, medicine and social sciences. Dean Stevens has joined the Council for Excellence in Undergraduate Education at Tony's suggestion.
Tony handed out an article from USA Today titled "Panel urges collegians to focus on liberal arts." A panel of national higher education and business leaders issued a roadmap for reforming higher education, arguing that college graduates must be able to do more than equip themselves for their first job. It their report they identify four "essential learning outcomes," grounded primarily in the liberal arts, that graduates should posses. One panel member says "We need more than just the technical skills. The thing we often see missing (in new hires) is the ability to use the right side of their brain, the creative part."
Next Meeting: TBD
Meeting adjourned: 2:45pm