Minutes of the Curriculum and Teaching Committee meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007

The meeting was called to order in room 117 of the Sheehey-Farmer Campus Center at 4:03 p.m.

Present: Committee Chair Pavlac (presiding), Chair-Elect Concannon, members Hosseini, Corgan, Evan, Malesic, VPAA Holodick; visitors: Bolan, Rose, Ockerman.

1. Minutes from Sept. 21 meeting were not approved because the committee members had not received a draft of the minutes prior to the meeting.

2. The proposed service learning requirement was addressed.

a. C&T has been charged by Faculty Council (hereafter, FC) to explore ways to ensure that all King’s students take a course involving service learning.
b. A C&T subcommittee headed by Dr. Concannon and including Dr. Malesic and others TBA will take up this charge. Issues will include this requirement’s possible place in the core, in the majors, in orientation, and in FYE.
c. This subcommittee will need to be in contact with the service learning project team already in place.

3. The issue of civilization, social science, American studies, and global studies in the proposed core revision was addressed.

a. The chair asked the committee if members thought that in light of continuing disagreement over this issue both within the committee and in the faculty at large, the proposed changes to the core improved upon the current “Farmer” or “white” core.

i. The sense of the committee was that yes, the proposals were generally superior to the “white” core in that they allow for much innovation in course offerings and allow for expanded offerings in fine arts.
ii. Members acknowledged that last year’s C&T committee and FC approved revisions on the grounds that the “salmon” core was an improvement.
iii. Members acknowledged the need for compromise in drafting any new curriculum.
iv. A visitor noted that some social science faculty see much merit in CORE 150 as it is.
v. Another visitor expressed concern that students who do not major in a social science will not be exposed to the social sciences’ interdisciplinarity if a form of CORE 150 is not required. The visitor compared CORE 150 to the interdisciplinary natural science course CORE 270, which is required under all proposed core revisions. Committee members pointed out some disanalogies.

1. A member noted that CORE 270 is being revised to introduce students not to the various natural sciences, but to the scientific way of thinking via a single discipline.

2. Other members pointed out that unlike CORE 150, which even social science majors currently must take, science majors are exempt from CORE 270.

b. A member of C&T thanked the visitors who have attended the committee’s meetings and offered much that has been helpful lately.

c. The “blue” core proposal was introduced by the chair and discussed.

i. This version recognizes C&T’s growing consensus in favor of the “green” core, but modifies that proposal.
ii. In the “blue” core, the one social science requirement can be fulfilled either with disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses.
iii. It does not require CORE 150 of all students.
iv. It rescinds the Feb. 2007 C&T committee vote resolving that macroeconomics would qualify as an American studies course.
v. Variants of CORE 150 could fit in the American and global studies categories.

d. The committee discussed the merits of the “purple” core, noting that this proposal retains some support.

e. It was noted that the social science division has voted in favor of requiring CORE 150 of all students.

f. The chair then tried to gauge the committee’s support of the three major core proposals on the table: “salmon,” “purple,” and “green/blue.”

i. A majority was opposed to the “purple” core.
ii. In judging the relative merits of the “salmon” and “green/blue” cores, the committee was asked if members thought CORE 150 was disadvantaged in the “green/blue” proposal.

1. Members pointed out that versions of CORE 150 could seemingly fit in the social science category, the American studies category, or the global studies category.

2. Members noted that CARTs have the primary job of determining what to offer.

3. C&T can mandate what percentage of American and global studies courses be offered by social science faculty.

iii. A majority of the committee, in an informal poll, favored the “green/blue” [Linked here] core proposal over the “salmon” one [Linked here].

g. The chair announced that he would bring C&T’s informal support for the “green/blue” core proposal before FC at its Sept. 28 meeting, to gauge FC’s level of support for the proposal.

The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Jonathan Malesic

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