ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:         February 20, 2003

 

PRESENT:    George Benedict                               Doug Brown

                  Sandie Rietz                                    Audrey ConnerRosberg

                  Paul Bauer                                      George Madden

                  Keith Edgerton                                Randall Gloege

                  Alan Davis                                     Mark Hardt

                  Connie Landis                                 Matt Redinger

                  Dan Zirker (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:     John Cech (ex-officio)                        Joe Michels (ex-officio)

                  Randy Rhine (ex-officio)                     George White (ex-officio)

                  Janie Park (ex-officio)                        Nichole Alley (ex-officio)

                  Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)                    Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

GUESTS:     St. John Robinson                             Joe Samsel

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

 

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. on February 20, 2003, in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

 

The February 13, 2003, meeting minutes were approved.

 

I.       OLD BUSINESS

 

A.  Update from the ASMSU-B, Nichole Alley – Discussion.  The question was raised as to what Ms. Alley wanted the Senate to do.  It was noted that Ms. Alley was just updating the Senate about the Regents.  It was also noted that the ASMSU-B voted unanimously against donating money to the lawsuit against the governor.  It was also noted that the Senate could create a resolution to be sent to the Regents, stating that more frequent changes in the Student Regent position are needed.  It was then noted that usually the longer a Student Regent can stay, the more she or he understands and is able to help.

 

It was decided that if President Alley needs anything further from the Academic Senate, she should request it.

 

 

II.      NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  Intersession Courses – St. John Robinson.  Dr. Robinson stated that this past Intersession was the first in which he taught a course.  Under pressure from Dean Zirker, Dr. Robinson attempted to teach a literature course.  The course was four hours per day, five days a week.  The students read six novels in that time, and it proved nearly impossible.  It was not a good setting for a literature course.  Perhaps the Intersession could be longer, like it is at other institutions.  Some colleges have a “January Session” which runs about a month, and that would provide adequate time for many courses.

 

It was noted that in Intersession courses, the quality of student seems to be higher.  More hard-working students take these Intersession courses.  It was also cited that the schedule (one day after another, rather than every other day) allows for more focused work.

 

It was stated that often incompletes are given so the student can finish the work they set out to do, especially since the grades are not due until the end of the spring semester.

 

It was noted that Dillon is using a block schedule now (the Colorado College Model) where students take only one class for a month.  This is much more focused work, like our Intersession.  It was cited that the block schedule does not allow for the interplay between courses being taken at the same time, which is essential in some programs.

 

It was cited that one of the original intents of Intersession, besides raising the FTE for spring semester, was to attract students from other schools who may be home in Billings for the winter break.  A longer Intersession would lose those students.

 

It was noted that if we had a longer time to teach, perhaps more faculty would like to teach during Intersession.  It was also cited that if Intersession was a month long, courses could still be offered for just two weeks as well.

 

It was then noted that if Intersession was extended to one month, and the spring semester would start around February first, it would push us into a quasi-quarter system.  In order for students to adequately plan, required courses would have to be offered during Intersession.  It was cited that many students use the winter break to work to earn money to pay for their education.

 

It was noted that right now courses are being offered in an Intersession format.  A course can be offered for five Saturdays in a row, which results in a workshop-like setting.  This will not work for all courses, but it works well for some courses.

 

Keith Edgerton and Connie Landis stated that they will do some research on creative scheduling models for flexibility and report their findings to the Senate.

 

B.  Streamlining Academic Senate Forms – Keith Edgerton.  Dr. Edgerton stated that he has been working on the forms, but would like to defer this item until next week.  It was noted that the New Course Form is the worst of all.  It was then noted that form was created to help suppress the number of new courses being created.  A few years ago, there was a push to create a new course for everything, and this form was intended to cut down on that.  It should now be revised.

 

It was also noted that a requirement should be added to the New Course Form that a faculty member must come to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) and explain the new course to the committee.  This process, which was used for the last batch of items to go into the catalog, works well to justify the new course.

 

C.  Online Course Concerns – Student Joe Sampsel.  Mr. Sampsel stated that he is currently taking EDCI 300 (Curriculum Theory and Design) online, but was forced to do so.  He stated that the on-campus section of EDCI 300 was closed when he attempted to register.  Even though he is an on-campus student, he had to take the course online because it is a prerequisite for seven other classes in his program of study and he would have had to essentially stop his education until he could get into the course..  Mr. Sampsel would have much preferred to take the course in the classroom, but there was only one section, and it was closed.  He also stated that he questioned the quality of a methods course being taught online.

 

It was cited that the online course gave Mr. Sampsel an option he otherwise would not have had.

 

It was also questioned as to why there was not another section of EDCI 300 offered, since there seems to be a need for it.

 

Mr. Sampsel also noted that in the on-campus class, students do hands-on activities like writing lesson plans.  In the online class, the students mostly read the book and post to the discussion board.  He has not written a lesson plan yet, or done any other applied exercises.

 

It was noted that there are many, many local students online.  They do not “need” the online program like place-bound students in other states.

 

It was also noted that the Senate could ask the College of Education and Human Services to change the prerequisites of those courses so EDCI 300 would not cause such a bottleneck.

 

 

III.     ITEMS – SECOND READING

 

Item 44  Resolution from the General Education Committee Concerning Course Approval.

 

It was stated that the Resolution is a good one, but the way the Senate went about passing it is wrong.  The Resolution says the same thing as the motion that came before it.  It was then stated that the Resolution is substantively different than the earlier motion.

 

It was then cited that the program structure of Gen Ed and the criteria that courses must meet should be built first, before this Resolution is approved.

 

It was noted that there is nothing more frustrating than being charged with doing something, and not given the power to do it.

 

It was then stated that passing this motion says to the committee, “Good job.  We expect more.”

 

Mark Hardt, Chair of the Gen Ed Committee, then stated that the committee is shooting for the end of the semester to be finished with the structure of Gen Ed.

 

Ž Motion by Mark Hardt, seconded by Doug Brown to approve Item 44 on second reading.

 

Ž Motion carried:  9 for, 1 against, 2 abstentions.

 

 

 

Matt Redinger passed out the revised Charge to the Academic Computing and Allied Technology Committee.  It will be discussed at the next meeting.

 

The meeting adjourned at 4:42 p.m.

 

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