UNDERGRADUATE COORDINATING COMMITTEE
November 6, 2003
Present: N. Boubekri (EET), S. Conklin (HHS), L. Derscheid (HHS), A. Doederlein (LAS), Downing (BUS), C. P. Eubanks (LAS), C.T. Lin (LAS), N. Osorio (LIB), L. Rigg (LAS), D. Rusin (LAS), D. Sinason (BUS), J. Stewart (EET), L. Townsend (EDUC), E. Wilkins (EDUC), Student: L. Krueger (EDUC).
Absent: W. Goldenberg (VPA), K. Millis (LAS), E. Seaver (Vice Provost)
Guest: K. Van Mol (Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator)
In the absence of E. Seaver , J. Stewart, chaired the meeting.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
MOTION: N. OSORIO/D. SINASON MOVED TO ADOPT THE AGENDA. THE MOTION CARRIED.
A. The minutes of the October 2, 2003 meeting were approved electronically.
The committee did not meet in October. K. Millis did not attend the November 5 meeting so D. Sinason reported that there were two major issues; one will be discussed under new business. He said the other major issue that was discussed yesterday and is still under discussion because it was sent back to the advising deans for rewording, is that when a student fails all classes in a semester, they are automatically on probation or sent for review for probation. He said that includes a student who takes one course in the summer and fails to complete that course, and even if they are an honors student with a 3.9 GPA, if they failed all courses in a semester they are on probation for review. He said the policy does not state that the dean or the dean's designee has the option to put that person in good standing. The options in the catalog to this point are dismissal of that student or put that student on academic probation. He said there is going to be revised catalog copy that will state that under the circumstances of failing all courses in a semester, the dean or the dean's designee can dismiss a student, can put a student on academic probation, or can reinstate a student to be in good standing at the university. He said that while the committee agrees with this in principle, they never came up with acceptable wording so they sent it back to the advising deans to rewrite. K. Van Mol said that one of the main problems is that the student who has a 3.9 GPA, and failed the one course that they took during the summer session, is put on academic probation with a stipulation that the next semester they have to achieve a 2.0 GPA., which they already have. She said that there is nothing in the catalog that clarifies the situation and that's what they're trying to get to. D. Sinason said that APASC members debated about making this a separate section to clarify that this is separate from the 2.0 issue. He said in principle everybody agreed that a student who failed one course in a summer or failed a semester but still has a very high GPA may be a student who should be kept in good standing. The whole issue was how to word it.
GEC - D. Rusin/E. Wilkins
On behalf of the GEC, D. Rusin moved that the UCC receive the October 16,, 2003 minutes. The motion carried.
D. Rusin said that the General Education Committee met twice if you count the retreat. He said they were getting underway with the course review procedure. E. Wilkins said that there was a presentation of a focus group that was done last spring concerning general education here on campus. She said it was extremely positive and that E. Seaver will see if this presentation could be made to the UCC.
Honors Committee - L. Rigg
On behalf of the Honors Committee, L. Rigg moved that the UCC receive the October 3, 2003 minutes. The motion carried.
L. Rigg said that a marketing student made an excellent presentation of the results of a project conducted by a marketing class last spring of an evaluation of the perception of Honors by alumni, and what things the alumni would like to see change in the Honors Program, what they would like to be accessible on the internet, and other aspects of the Honors Program.
L. Rigg said that this year all the faculty and students were broken up into subcommittees and each subcommittee has been assigned a task to evaluate and discuss possible directions for Honors, the first one being an Honors College, the second is curriculum issues when it comes to the Honors Program, and the third is student involvement. She said at the meeting very preliminary reports were made.
CIUE- L. Derscheid
On behalf of the CIUE, L. Derscheid moved that the UCC receive the October 13, 2003 minutes. The motion carried.
L. Derscheid said that at the October meeting there was a presentation by Brad Peters who talked about the Writing Center , and that while the CIUE in the past has been able to have a Writing Across the Curriculum grant to help support the Writing Center , there are no funds for that.
L. Derscheid said that it was clarified that the Presidential Teaching Professor receives a $2,000 base salary adjustment. She said they also talked about the grant guidelines. She said the most important changes that were approved at this meeting were giving an actual date, October 30, for grant recipients to submit a report, and to include travel as an approved expenditure in the $500 additional funding for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education grant. She said they talked about rubrics for evaluating grant proposals and a rubric for evaluating nominations for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awards.
On behalf of the CUAE, C.T. Lin moved that the UCC receive the October 14, 2003 minutes. The motion carried.
C.T. Lin said there was considerable discussion but no action items. He said Tim Griffin, Ombudsman, was a guest at this meeting and talked about the function of his office. At that meeting Mr. Griffin said that only 17% of the undergraduate students on campus are aware of the Ombudsman's office and what it does. He said that the emergency loan program is no longer in existence. E. Seaver said that emergency funds may be available through his office but specific guidelines must be followed.
C.T. Lin said that the committee was looking for future issues to discuss at upcoming meetings. One issue was related to campus safety and it was suggested to invite the chief of Campus Police to discuss strategy and policy. He said another item discussed was the President's Task Force on Undergraduate Life. He said this was a very comprehensive report of student concerns along with recommendations. He said one student concern was in student communication and the change in the way students will receive information from the university. He said students will receive their schedule and grades electronically. He said that in the future the committee will be discussing the various chapters in the report and may begin with communications and invite Don Larson and Missy Gillis to speak at the next meeting.
J. Stewart said that there may be temporary loan money available from the University Women's Club. There was considerable discussion about the progress on Gilbert Drive . There was also discussion about the ZID account and linking e-mail sent to the students' ZID to their email address.
On behalf of the CUC, S. Conklin moved that the UCC receive the October 9, 2003 minutes.
S. Conklin said the CUC acts as the curricular approval body for both UNIV courses and also IDSP Black Studies courses. A. Doederlein would like to remove from the minutes we're approving the item on page 1, UNIV 102. S. Conklin said that the CUC approved UNIV 102 with a name change to The Leadership Experience. A. Doederlein would like this to be removed and sent to the college curricular deans for non-duplication investigation. He said this is a course for which there are many departments in the university who have faculty involved in instruction in leadership. He said there are people in the College of Education , the College of Health and Human Sciences, the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences whose research area is leadership. He said he was at the LAS curricular committee meeting and they agreed that this should be sent around for non-duplication statements. S. Conklin said it was not the CUC's intention in approving this course to substitute this for any other leadership course that occurred in any other college, and she thinks that it probably was not considered that most college curricular procedures do expect that new course proposals go through the non-duplication procedure, and so this probably was a slip up on their part not to do that. She said that she thinks that the point of the Orientation office was to pilot something that was a followup in the Spring semester for students who took UNIV 101, so it's not a broad audience of the entire university but a focus just on freshmen. D. Sinason said he didn't think the audience that is targeted makes a difference. He said they had a business course that was struck down because they were dealing in decision making and there were already courses in decision making in LAS. He said they thought they were going towards different audiences which would be involved in business decision making. A. Doederlein said that, in reference to the statement “Data show such courses make a difference in retention,” he would like to see data about these courses here at NIU. S. Conklin said that what they asked for was that after the course is offered on a one-time trial basis in the spring, that the fall report from the Orientation Office include something specific about the effect of this class, in terms of success and feedback from students. A. Doederlein said he would like data from NIU about UNIV 101 and UNIV 201. S. Conklin said they received that in the annual report that the Orientation office submits. A. Doederlein said he would like to see a grade correlation done by Dan House correlating UNIV 101 grade with grades in general in the freshmen class. He said that this is a completely separate issue.
MOTION: A DOEDERLEIN MOVED TO SEND THE ITEM PERTAINING TO UNIV 102 BACK TO CUC AND REQUEST THAT IT BE SENT TO THE COLLEGE CURRICULAR COMMITTEES FOR NON-DUPLICATION ISSUES. THE MOTION CARRIED.
S. Conklin said that there were routine things involving name changes. She said a proposed new course, IDSP 316, was returned to the Center for Black Studies for clarification of the evaluation methods and the course objectives and their relationship for assurance that this 300-level course will contain an appropriate amount of rigor. She said the Certificate of Undergraduate Study in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies was approved. She said a new course that came through with that, ENGL 383, and was approved which looked like it should be added to the list of electives for that certificate. She said there was the on-going situation with the chemistry and biochemistry teacher certification program, which had some catalog language change to be consistent with the physics, biological sciences, geography and geology and environmental sciences. She said at the present time there is a revision of the sentence in the teacher certification general information in the catalog, strengthening that statement about how important it is to seek help from an advisor or the program coordinator regarding current teacher certification requirements. That will be at the next CITC meeting.
MOTION: ON BEHALF OF THE CUC, S. CONKLIN MOVED THAT THE UCC RECEIVE THE OCTOBER 9, 2003 MINUTES WITHOUT THE SECTION PERTAINING TO UNIV 102. THE MOTION CARRIED.
V. OTHER REPORTS
A. UNIVERSITY ASSESSMENT PANEL — N. Osorio
N. Osorio said the first meeting took place October 3, 2003 . He said Dr. Cassidy presented an overview of the work of the Panel and discussed some of the projects for this year. He said that in preparation for the reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, the members of the panel were asked to review the self-study document which is available on the NIU internet. He said that Craig Barnard gave a PowerPoint presentation on the structure of the University Assessment Plan.
N. Osorio said the second meeting took place October 17, 2003 . He said C. Barnard announced that the fall issue of Toolkit, the newsletter of the Office of Assessment Services, was sent out and is available on their Web site. He said the Panel was informed that the Higher Learning Commission site team will be on campus February 23-25. He said the Panel engaged in an extensive discussion of the first three chapters of the Self-Study document: Introduction, History and Mission , and Governance and Planning. Numerous recommendation were made and will be forwarded to Jan Rintala. He said that C. Barnard, Assessment Services, talked about a couple of projects in his office. The first one is a survey coordinated by the IBHE in which 1998 alumni and 7 th semester students will be asked about college level learning and attitudes. The second one is that NIU is part of a pilot project to develop electronic portfolios for students enrolled in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Software and training will be available.
A. UCC Retreat wrap up
J. Stewart reported that the Provost attended the retreat and that most of his responses to specific questions were general in nature. He said most of the subcommittee chairs were there. He said the big topics that came up were on raised standards and limited admissions. He said the provost said that there are efforts to keep the cap at 18,000 undergraduate students and that there was work beginning on retention efforts. He said that most of the issues that were brought up were about things that were being planned within the committees. A. Doederlein said that when we had more resources the cap on undergraduate students was 16,500; and that now when we have less resources the cap is 18,000.
A. Course Prerequisites - D. Sinason
D. Sinason said that there was a situation where a student had met all the catalog prerequisites for a class but was told by the professor that to be successful in the course you not only had to have the prerequisites in the catalog, but you should have taken additional courses. He said the student was not in the position to drop that course and take another course. He said all of the policies dealing with prerequisites deal with prerequisites as a gate-keeping mechanism, even the definition in the catalog. He said there is nothing in the policies that says we should make students aware of all the courses that they need to have to be successful. He said students cannot make good decisions about what courses they should go into if they don't have all the information, and, to put a student into a course where they don't have all of the material that they should have had coming in or the prerequisite knowledge because those prerequisites have not been communicated, would set that student up for failure, which is exactly what this student is going through. He said the student is finding it extremely difficult to pass this course so that he can graduate and would never have gone down this road if he knew about the additional prerequisites which were very difficult courses. D. Sinason requests that the UCC send this to the appropriate subcommittee to review the policies on prerequisites and see if there should not be something on prerequisites that says there should be a communication to the students of the material the student should have coming into that course to be successful in that course. A. Doederlein said it seems like an APASC issue. K. Van Mol said that when she started 20 years ago people were very concerned about “hidden prerequisites” and there should not be hidden prerequisites. She said that she has not gone to see what the APPM says specifically about prerequisites, but she has no doubt that it needs to be updated. She said that it is not an individual instructor prerogative to set out prerequisites that have not been required through the curricular process. D. Sinason said that the student consulted with the department chair, the Associate Dean and the Ombudsman and no one said that they would go back to the professor and say that they can't do that. D. Sinason said he is asking for a review of the policies to see if they are appropriate or need to be updated.
MOTION: D. SINASON/D. RUSIN MOVED THAT THEY SEND THIS CONCERN ABOUT HIDDEN PREREQUISITES TO APASC FOR REVIEW OF THE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES THAT EXIST FOR PREREQUISITES AND THAT THEY UPDATE THESE AS THEY DEEM NECESSARY. THE MOTION CARRIED.
Meeting Adjourned 2:50 p.m.