ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
DATE: February 3, 2011
PRESENT: Scott Murray Stephen Eliason
Don Larsen Sandie Rietz
Rakesh Sah Lorrie Steerey
Craig McKenzie Keith Edgerton
Doug Brown Mark Hardt
Bruce Brumley Patricia Vettel-Becker
Kayla Miller (student) Diane Duin (ex-officio)
Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio) Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio)
Vern Gagnon (ex-officio)
ABSENT: Paul Bauer*
Tim Wilkinson (ex-officio) Gary Young (ex-officio)
Terrie Iverson (ex-officio) Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)
GUEST: Rolf Groseth
PRESIDING: Lorrie Steerey, Chair
Lorrie Steerey called the meeting to order at 3:43 p.m. in the South Conference Room of the COT Health Science Building.
The minutes of January 20 were accepted as presented.
I. ITEMS – FIRST READING
Item 30 BS Major in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Modification of an existing program.
Item 30.a HHP 136 Snowshoeing. New course.
Item 30.b HHP 138 Telemark Skiing. New course.
Item 30.c HHP 183 Environment/Leave No Trace. New course.
Item 30.d HHP 184 Hiking/Backpacking. New course.
Item 30.e HHP 187 Mountain Biking. New course.
Item 30.f HHP 189 Basic Survival in the Outdoors. New course.
Item 30.g HHP 190 Rappelling/Belaying. New course.
Item 30.h HHP 191 Low Element Challenges. New course.
Item 30.i HHP 192 Caving/Spelunking. New course.
Item 30.j HHP 193 Canoeing. New course.
Item 30.k HHP 195 Kayaking. New course.
Item 30.L HHP 197 Scuba Diving/Snorkeling. New course.
Item 30.m HHP 198 Rafting. New course.
Item 30.n HHP 199 Avalanche Awareness and Safety. New course.
Item 30.o HHP 350 Outdoor Adventure Leadership for the Aging Population. New course.
Ž Motion by Doug Brown, seconded by Sandie Rietz to take Items 30 through 30.o off the table.
Ž Motion carried.
It was noted that the Department has supplied break-even numbers for all the new courses being proposed. Is this enough information for the Senate to take action on these Items? It was noted that these numbers show every course being offered every year.
The question was raised as to how part-time funding is allocated in the College. Diane Duin, Dean of the College of Allied Health Professions, stated that they first look at which courses are required in all of their programs. If a course is not required, rotations are considered. They work through this process every semester. Dean Mary Susan Fishbaugh noted that they make projections every semester of how much part-time funding will be needed, and the Provost allocates funding based on those projections.
It was stated that students could be grouped into cohorts to guarantee the courses will be offered when needed. Dr. Duin noted that they work with student plans of study rather than cohorts, and they plan to open these courses to any and all interested, along with additional advertising of the program.
It was cited that the Senate needs to see the rotation of how these skills courses will be offered, as well as a phase-in plan to add the new courses to the program.
The question of liability for students injured or killed in class was raised. Dr. Duin responded that they have a liability document that applies to all of their classes and they also have insurance.
Ž Motion by Doug Brown to table Items 30 through 30.o until the next Senate meeting.
II. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
A. Reading Course
Sandie Rietz stated that her unit has been collecting data for a long time on our students’ reading ability, and now the Academic Support Center has started asking some questions about our students’ reading ability. We currently offer RD 101 Reading Improvement for College Students, but it is done out of context with the students’ other classes. If a student scores 80 or below on the COMPASS reading test (a score of 80 is considered 13th grade level), it is recommended but not required that the student take RD 101. Many, many students drop out of RD 101 without finishing.
Dr. Rietz stated that her unit began collecting data with the review of General Education in 2002. The students often stated that Gen Ed was not relevant, but relevance is tied to coherence and understanding. If students do not understand the text, they cannot find it relevant. They collected 17 semesters’ worth of data, including more than 9,000 students’ COMPASS scores. Thirty-six percent of our students are consistently below the 80-point cut-off score.
In Fall 2002, Dr. Rietz and her colleagues did a readability study of the texts required by Gen Ed courses. Those texts consistently scored higher, sometimes much higher, than the 13th grade level. The study was re-done in Spring 2009 by graduate students, and they still found fairly high scores for Gen Ed course texts. Basically, the data is showing that a significant number of our students coming in at the 13th grade level are frustrated by the text they are required to read. Many students simply do not read the text.
Much as we don’t need yet another committee, a group of people should get together to discuss this. Ben Barckholtz, Director of the Academic Support Center, needs to be a part of that group. Dr. Rietz has agreed to chair the committee. Mark Hardt and Scott Murray agreed to be on the committee as well. Other faculty members who have shown interest in this issue will also be asked.
B. Budget Committee
Chancellor Groseth had to leave, but Dr. Steerey stated that he is not pleased with the way the current Budget Committee is constructed. He proposes a new Committee that is basically made up of the Senators who will have input into the larger group which includes administrators. The committee will be co-chaired by the Provost and the Chief Information Officer. No decisions will be made today. The Senators will get together informally to discuss this proposal next week.
The meeting adjourned at 4:37 p.m.