April 9, 2009 Meeting of Gen Ed Council

April 9, 2009
Meeting of Gen Ed Council
Phyllis Rippey, William ThompsonJohn Miller, David Casagrande, Steve Bennet, David Haugen,
Candace McLaughlin (ex officio), Kathleen O'Donnell Brown, Doug Huff, Jim Schmidt (ex officio),
John Hemingway, Sofura Boukari.
Meeting called to order at 3:30 pm
Phyllis summarized the discussion from our last meeting. Phyllis invited Ginny to comment on how
CAS chairs responded to Fine Arts request for exceptions to CGE requirements.
Ginny Boynton: Chairs discussed this rule was a relatively new rule and so we aren't sure how this will
play out. Also, some concern about what sorts of writing goes on in the larger Fine Arts class as
opposed to the smaller CAS classes. Also discussing going back to the old rule of one humanities, one
fine arts, one of either.
Candace: The Advising Council supports the “one, one, and one” solution.
Ginny: Am I correct that under the Old Pre-GERC system, could you have taken two music and a
theater? Gives a few more examples.
Phyllis: Yes.
Ginny: The “one, one, and one” system might put pressure on seats in Fine Arts.
Kreider: We have enough to cover for one class for sure. We didn't run the numbers for two classes.
Phyllis: But under the old system, they could have taken three...
Kreider: I don't agree with that—by the way. Exceptions are warranted for teacher education. But as a
Masters Comprehensive, our students need to take a humanities class. We established the Fine Arts
requirement because we were the only school in Illinois of our size that didn't have a Fine Arts class.
John Miller: You can handle “one, one, and one?”
Paul: Yes.
John Miller to Ginny: How do you feel about “one, one, and one.”
Ginny: We'd be okay as long as teacher ed is okay.
Candace: It would work.
Jim Schmidt: CAS doesn't have a problem with “one, one, and one.” I don't think there is a problem
from that perspective or ideologically.
David Casagrande: What was the rationale for the change?
Phyllis: GERC wanted to guarantee a Fine Arts class. What came to faculty senate is two humanities
and a Fine Arts. That's what got passed. But maybe this doesn't work. Maybe we need to go back to
“one, one, and one.”
Paul: We should do what is proper both for students' career path and for what we want to achieve in
Gen Ed. I would like to see “one, one, and one.” This seems to be easier for everyone involved.
Candace: Practical things. Can this get to Faculty Senate ASAP/
Phyllis: Not likely before next Tuesday. We need to think our way through the process, too.
John Miller: Makes a motion for “one, one, and choice,” retroactively. John Hemingway seconds it.
Phyllis: Discussion?
No Discussion. Motion passes unanimously.
Phyllis begins discussing Gen Ed Assessmen.
Phyllis: Any comments.
David Haugen: Discusses difficulty with the data.
Phyllis: Responds.
Doug Huff: Where did this demand come from?
Phyllis: Provides history of Gen Assessment and reason why we do it.
John Hemingway: What consequences flow from these data?
Phyllis: We decided we wanted aggregated data by goal. I infer from that that this Council is not
concerned as to whether particular courses are meeting the Gen Ed goal.
John Miller: We need more than one semester's data to make a useful assessment. It may take four
years to get enough data to make decisions.
Phyllis: We have established a benchmark==that's what you are saying?
John Miller: Not a benchmark. We have established the beginning of the data.
John Hemingway: We have shown that the assessment program can be implemented.
John Miller: GERC made five underlying assumptions. Did we meet these? I think we are from a
program statement, we are. Number five is problematical.
Phyllis: We have implemented the program. We find it is doable. We are meeting the expectations of
the assessment program.
Jim Schmidt: We are establishing a baseline. We are still working on methodology, etc. On the
departmental level, we hope they are looking at the data differently, more “granularly.”
Judy Dallinger: Is this useful on the departmental level?
David Haugen: Discusses how the current assessment differs from the old writing exam.
Judi Dallinger: How do you discuss this stuff in your department?
Phyllis: Maybe people aren't talking about assessment this way across the campus.
Phyllis: Rehearses the above conversation.
John Hemingway: It is too early to make decisions on collected this year.
Phyllis: That is a good point. A future CGE will do the work of establishing whether the program is
meeting the goals at the appropriate level.
David Casagrande: Reads from GERC about any actions taken need to be reported to Faculty Senate
(D.5 in GERC report).
Phyllis: I will put this together and submit this to you all for final submission to Senate.
John Hemingway: What happens if a department changes its assessment plan during a fvie year period,
say, in year 3, that it feels is useful? Wouldn't that make assessment difficult.
Phyllis: If what people are doing to report data changes, as long as it meets our needs, we would could
deal with that.
Judi Dallinger: We could ask them to explain the changes.
Phyllis: Since the last meeting we sent a letter to all departments about their reporting requirements for
assessment. The new CGE chair needs to create a memo that will remind departments about the
deadlines for reporting requirements.
Judi: I can write that memo
Phyllis: Returns to the topic from last meeting about sampling for assessment, etc.
David: The guidelines say that sampling is all right. So no need to change.
Phyllis: We can still recommend a change if we like.
John Hemingway: Discusses methodological issues with sampling.
Phyllis: Should we clarify that every course must be sampled, but not every section? In the future, we
assume that the departments will continue to assess the same goals they got this year. I don't think they
can opt out of the goals.
John Miller: Points out that assessment is at the department level for goals, not at the class level.
Phyllis: We can wait and see if this becomes a problem. Every department who turned in data, we got
information on two goals. Some departments made errors, but not most. Those that did we can correct.
Judi Dallinger: Do we assume that if a department chooses not to measure every course in every
section, do we want to hear from...
Phyllis: Wait—that's not what we are saying. We are saying that courses are sampled but not every
section in every course.
Phyllis: Are we saying that sampling means courses, not sections? Is that what we want to endorse or
Bill: Makes a motion that every course is assessed but not every section in a particular course?
John: Seconds motion.
John Hemingway: Brings up methodological issues.
Kathleen: Why not every section? We do, in English.
David: We have some sections taught by adjunct faculty. Their contribution might be not be indicative
of a long term contribution .
Hemingway: On the other hand, it would measure the long term effects of using adjuncts.
Jim: Sampling is okay as long as it is not systematic—at the level of the college. But at the
departmental level the data becomes worthless.
David Casagrande: At the departmental level if your adjuncts are not meeting the goals, we need to
know that.
David Haugen: But these assessments are not to be used for personnel decisions.
David Casagrande: But the data might suggest your adjuncts need to go to a workshop.
Phyllis: Discusses briefly contractual issues related to assessment.
David Casagrande: Personally, I don't think the burden of assessing every section of every course is
that great considering the real benefits you get from assessing every section.
David Haugen: Who came up with the sampling language.
Judi Dallinger: John Miller did.
John Miller. Don't blame me.
Phyllis calls a vote:
2 in favor. 5 Opposed. 1 Abstain
John Hemingway: Assess every course and very section of every course. All the goals assigned must be
Doug Huff: People will get used to this. It work better if its predictable, universal.
John Miller: I still wonder about the problems associated with adjuncts: training, conveying them the
necessary information.
Phyllis: That is an administrative problem—not this council's concern. Adjuncts are faculty. They do
what faculty do. They can do this.
David Casagrande: Discusses the need for clearly stated expectations regarding Gen Ed to / for all
Phyllis: All in favor: 6 Oppose: 2 Abstain 1
Motion passes: No sampling. Every section of every course must be assessed for the assigned goals.
Judi Dallinger: referring to GERC's reporting mechanisms in re: reporting to Deans.
Phyllis: If you (Provost's office) want to share the reports to the Deans, you can but it's not up to Gen
Ed Council to do that.
Judi Dallinger: Discusses the kinds of information she wants from the departments in re: methodology
for assessment in Gen Ed.
Phyllis: Chastises Bill for not responding to e-mail about minutes.
Bill: Protests.
Phyllis: Faculty Senate shot down the Honors Gen Ed because GERC doesn't allow any new 300 level
courses in the Gen Ed curriculum.
Phyllis: Discusses the need for new officers for the committee at the next meeting for next year.
David Casagrande: Writing Survey Subcommittee will provide a report at the next meeting.
David Casagrande: Who is eligible for Chair?
Phyllis: Anyone on the Council.
Judi Dallinger: We should revise your new course request form to include Assessment: which goals are
you assessing for?
Phyllis: Gives Judi this job. “Be careful what you ask for,” she says.