Academic Foundations Committee
March 16, 2009
Present: Bernie Quetchenbach Melinda Tilton
Neil Suits Mike Havens
Matt Redinger Mark Fenderson
Lorrie Steerey Richard Pierce
Brent Roberts Mary Alice Walker (student)
Diane Duin – ex-officio Tasneem Khaleel – ex-officio
Absent: George Czyz
Kurt Toenjes – excused Tom Regele – excused
Neil Jussila – excused
Rita Kratky – ex-officio Gary Young – ex-officio
Mary Susan Fishbaugh – ex-officio Karen Heikel – ex-officio
John Cech – ex-officio D’Ann Campbell – ex-officio
Presiding: Lorrie Steerey, Chairperson
The meeting was called to order at 4:06 p.m. in room 306 of the College of Business.
I. ELECTION OF CHAIR & CO-CHAIR
- Melinda Tilton nominated Lorrie Steerey for chairperson, and Brent Roberts seconded.
- Motion carried.
- Lorrie Steerey nominated Matt Redinger for co-chairperson, and Melinda Tilton seconded.
- Motion carried with one abstention.
II. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS
A. Explanation of Committee Make-up
Dr. Steerey noted that each subcategory will now have a member representative from the College of Arts & Sciences, which can be up to 10 faculty. Each of the other colleges (excluding CPSLL) will have one representative.
It was agreed that the Committee will meet on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the College of Business.
B. Major Role – Assessment
It was noted that the faculty who have not completed their data entry may just need to be shown how easy it is. The handout written by Melinda Tilton and Lorrie Steerey is fully explanatory and very helpful.
It was cited that some faculty have input their data—in some cases more than once—and subsequently lost it. If this occurs, faculty members need to call Regina in IT.
It was noted that some departments are not using the same system for assessment. It was stated that it doesn’t matter what kind of system any department uses as long as they can boil the data down to fit into our current assessment database. It was cited that we don’t have to keep this system, but we do need to show NWCCU we are using it. Later, if we decide it doesn’t work we can change. Next Spring semester, NWCCU will be doing another campus visit and if we do not have results for them, MSUB will be put on probation. Probation is not a good place to be with our declining enrollments.
It was stated that the Montana University System is also working toward the same learning outcomes for all general education/Academic Foundation courses. After the transferability initiative and common course numbering are complete, we will have to re-evaluate our outcomes for Academic Foundations.
It was cited that many faculty have not entered their assessment data because they feel it is not a valid measurement and they don’t want to “close the loop” with this invalid data. They do not want this data, which they find meaningless, to reflect back on their teaching.
It was observed that personal contact with faculty members may be the most effective motivator to get the data entered.
Dean Tasneem Khaleel noted that there is a conference this October regarding assessment in general education. Some members of the AFC should attend this conference to find out what other institutions are doing, since all universities are in the same quandary.
The meeting adjourned at 4:42 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Rita J. Rabe Meduna.