Minutes of Curriculum and Teaching Committee
September 21, 2007

Present: Brian Pavlac (Chair), Kristi Concannon(Chair-elect), Margaret Corgan, Joseph Evan, Kyle Fetterlof, Hamid Hosseini, Paul Lindenmuth, Jonathan Malestic, James Wallace, and Dr. Nicholas Holodick,Vice-Presdient for Academic Affairs

Guests: Beth Admiraal, Ed Ockerman, Howard Fedrick, Margarita Rose, and Valeri Kepner

1. The meeting was called to order at 2:00PM, in Sheehy-Farmer 115.

2. The minutes of the meeting of September 14, 2007 were accepted as amended.

3. The first item of discussion was the position descriptions of and advertising for new CART coordinators. This generated a great deal of discussion about CARTS and CART duties, qualifications of CART coordinators, compensation to CART coordinators, background, and the relationship of CARTS to C&T and to Vice-President For Academic Affairs.  The faculty members who are interested in coordinating new as well as present (Project Teams) CARTS should respond to the Chair’s e-mail by October 3rd,2007 before the October 5th meeting. During the conversations, it was obvious that C & T members wanted CARTS to be more serious and more active in their deliberations.

4. The next item of discussion was the New Core. The discussion began by the Chair stating that our discussions have to reflect the four questions he asked in his e-mail of September 21,2007. His four questions were prefaced by the following: “As we prepare for today’s meeting ,the key questions are: What do our students need to know and how do we provide them to gain that knowledge.”

5. The Chair asked C & T members to state the reasons for the need to change the Old Core to the New Core. Two or three individuals explained the reasons for the change. The most important reasons given included the problems with some of courses in the old Core (courses like Critical Thinking, Oral Comm, and Core 150), the need to give the students more choice in the Core, the need for emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach in some areas of the Core, and making sure that students are exposed to American Studies and Contemporary Global Studies.

6. Following those discussions, a guest spoke at great length stating that the New Core marginalizes American history, since it does not have more courses in that subject. To prove his point, the guest mentioned a new study that found graduating senior students in American universities deficient in American history. In response, a member said that one might approach this problem by requiring a test at the beginning, as was done in the case of mathematics and writing. This member emphasized that better students who may have a good grasp of American history should not be personalized (by being forced to take more American history courses). A member added that the argument could be made that students might be deficient in many other important subjects, including astronomy.

7. A new C &T member questioned the assumption that students are
given much choice in the Revised Core. Examples given were having two courses in science and in philosophy. In response, a more senior member stated that the new Core is the compromise outcome of a great deal of discussion that took place in several years.

8. Next, the Chair redirected the discussion by explaining his proposed
Purple Core and an explanation of G and A tracks in its section II . This generated much discussion about the proposed Purple, Green and Salmon Cores and their similarity /differences . These discussions/comparisons generated various questions and comments such as:

a). The Green Core does not include Core 150, –should it be a required course?; it is not obvious.
b). Tracks A and G in the Purple Core limit choices proposed in the Salmon Core.
c). Margarita Rose’s proposal should be supported for many reasons.
d). Since History and Literature have given up courses, other programs should be willing to give up courses as well.
e). Our concern should be what is best for our students.
f). We should allow more choices for social science courses.

9. The Chair stated that we have to finish our discussions about the Core soon, before October 9th. He also stated that “everything is on the table.”

10. The meeting adjourned at 3:42PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Hamid Hosseini


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