General Education Committee Minutes, 3/22/11 Members present: Ex-Officio Members Present:

General Education Committee Minutes, 3/22/11
Members present: J. Adams, J. DeBoer, J. Edwards, J. Luckowski, J. Rabinovitch, D. Reisenfeld,
D. Sloan, T. Thibeau
Ex-Officio Members Present: E. Johnson
Members absent: E. Adams, D. Klapmeier A. Lawson, A. Walker-Andrews, N. White
Guest: S. Bradford
The minutes from 3/8/11 minutes were amended and approved.
Professor Sue Bradford has had discussions about the need for a civil discourse component
to general education with the Faculty Senate leadership and Associate Provost Walker
Andrews. On their recommendation, she is bringing her idea to the General Education
A summary document was provided to committee members. It is clear from the news that
civil discourse in the political process is deteriorating. A seminar that integrates
interdisciplinary topics and civil discourse (including the use of appropriate language,
listening, and speaking) should be added to the general education program. Students would
benefit from leaning how to engage opposing sides in a respectful collaborative inquiry. A
public institution has an obligation to teach skills that are essential to citizenship.
One of the value rubrics among the Association of American Colleges and Universities’
Essential Learning Outcomes is Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global.
Therefore a civil discourse component may be appropriate for assessment. The committee
may consider how civil discourse could be incorporated into current general education
courses or added to the Big Idea pilot project.
Chair Thibeau gave an update regarding the meeting with Phi Beta Kappa. The
representatives indicated that a symbolic system requirement is often used as a substitute for
foreign language for credit-heavy programs.
Business Items:
The symbolic systems issue was discussed. Several programs with exceptions to foreign
language are not credit heavy according to a cursory credit count. If students in these
programs are required to take a foreign language, then they must also satisfy symbolic
systems courses because they are required by the major.
Anthropology = 36 credits
Communication Studies =36 credits
Geography =36 (min) 60 (max)
Psychology = 38- Gen Option, 41- Research Option
Sociology= 36- General Option, 42- Other Specified Options
The pending motion was revised to the following:
Effective autumn semester of 2012, undergraduates must fulfill the general education
modern and classical language requirement unless enrolled in a program of study
requiring more than 48 credits leading to a first baccalaureate degree.
The motion requires further clarification in terms of how credits are counted. It will be
discussed further at the next meeting on April 12th.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m.