University Libraries Logo University Archives of Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
Governance Minutes Archive

January 27, 1992

 

                                    MINUTES

                      COMMISSION ON UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

                            President's Board Room

                               January 27, 1992

 

  PRESENT:  Dr. E.F. Carlisle, Chair; Deans J. Buffer, G. Clough, D. Egger,

                J. Marchman, R. Purdy, S. Ritchey, N. Spencer, R. Sorensen,

                C. Steger, L. Swiger, J. White, M. Ogliaruso; Drs. R. Daniel,

                J. Hoerner for K. Eschenmann, L. Geyer, D. Morris, M. Murray,

                B. Reed, C. Shoulders P. Sorrentino for N. Simmons, J. Taper;

                B. Sgro, Dean of Students, D.  Bousquet, Admissions, W. Dean,

                University Registrar; C. Burch-Brown; B. Haddican, M.

                McGuire, M. Stegura, SGA.

 

 

  ABSENT:   Drs. H. Doswald, P. Feret, M. Lewis; E. Fox, SGA.

 

 

  VISITORS: E. Guertin, J. Williams-Green, J. Shepherd, P. Knox, S. Brooker-

                Gross, J. Craig, R. Jones, G. Haugh, G. Hammond, J. Dudley.

 

 

 

  1.  CALL TO ORDER AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

      Dr. Carlisle called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

  2.  The AGENDA was approved as distributed.

 

 

  3.  The MINUTES of the December 9, 1991 meeting were approved as distrib-

      uted.

 

 

  4.  COURSE CRITERIA COMMITTEE REPORT  - J. White

 

      Dr. White offered for first reading the January 27, 1992 report.

 

      A motion was made and seconded to approve for second reading the Decem-

      ber 9, 1991 report.  The motion CARRIED.

 

      Courses approved effective Spring 1993:

 

      o   ESM  1054 Introduction to NDE Engineering

 

      Action on Curriculum Checklists:

 

      o   Biochemistry (Agriculture and Arts & Sciences) Class of 1993

 

      o   Forestry and Wildlife, Class of 1993, all options

 

 

  5.  REPORT OF THE UNIVERSITY FORUM ON LIBERAL EDUCATION - Members, Univer-

      sity Forum on Liberal Education

 

      A motion was made and seconded to receive the report of the University

      Forum on Liberal Education (UFLE).  During open discussion, Carol

      Burch-Brown, chair, briefly described to the Commission the process

      through which UFLE solicited feedback about the initial draft of the

      report during Fall 1991.  Numerous meetings were held with faculty,

      colleges, department heads, college curriculum committees, and other

      groups to discuss the recommendations.  The Forum also received consid-

      erable written response.  All suggested changes were considered by the

      Forum.  After carefully reviewing the feedback received through this

      process, the Forum outlined possible revisions which were presented for

      response to the colleges.  The final report and recommendations, Burch-

      Brown stated, thus draw together input from across the university to

      create a more responsive and truly university-wide program of liberal

      education.  The Forum attempted through its recommendations to "set in

      motion an approach to the liberal education program which would assure

      its vitality" and provide the core curriculum with a workable place in

      the governance system, through which positive change could occur.  She

      concluded by noting that the report was intended to be a "living docu-

      ment," subject to continued improvement as it is used.  With no further

      discussion, the motion CARRIED.

 

      Dr. Carlisle thanked UFLE for its extraordinary commitment to preparing

      this report.  He added that this is the kind of faculty involvement

      that provides the necessary intellectual leadership to enable the uni-

      versity in the formation of a liberal education program.

 

  6.  RESOLUTION 91-92.A, REVISED UNIVERSITY CORE CURRICULUM, FIRST READING -

      Members, University Forum on Liberal Education

 

      A motion was made and seconded to offer for first reading Resolution

      91-92.A, Revised University Core Curriculum.  Dr. Carlisle detailed the

      procedures to be followed for discussion and subsequent voting on the

      resolution.

 

      o   Each of the ten points of the resolution will be discussed sepa-

          rately during first reading.

 

      o   Each of the ten points of the resolution will be offered for vote

          via separate motions, with any accompanying amendments.

 

      o   A final vote will take place on the entire resolution.

 

      o   Amendments to the parts of the resolution must be offered by a mem-

          ber of CUS and provided in writing prior to the meeting at which

          the amendment is offered. (Refer to page one of the UFLE report)

          Deadline for submission of amendments is Tuesday, February 4, 1992,

          5:00 p.m.  All amendments should be directed to Wanda Dean for dis-

          tribution to the commission.

 

      Dr. Carlisle opened the floor for general discussion, inviting visitors

      as well as members to participate.  Dean Sorensen commended the Forum

      for the depth of its discussion with the colleges, noting particularly

      its thoughtfulness in answering inquiries from the College of Business.

      Dr. Carlisle then led the commission through a discussion of the resol-

      ution, providing opportunity for discussion or comment concerning each

      point.  Margaret Murray referred to questions that had been raised by

      members of Faculty Senate about the feasibility and meaningfulness of a

      one hour requirement in the arts.  Burch-Brown responded that the Forum

      had taken seriously these concerns and had revised the recommendation

      in several ways.  The proposed area would include three hour as well as

      one hour courses, thereby incorporating the existing Arts and Sciences

      requirement in the Arts.  She pointed out that colleges can increase

      the minimum requirement if they choose.  Further revisions were made to

      allow for a broader range of course options, including the incorpo-

      ration of arts-oriented segments in other courses.  She added that the

      Forum hopes that the flexible structure will provide a framework for

      Colleges to collaborate on creating appropriate courses for this area.

      She pointed out that these might not be only in the traditional "high

      art" mediums but might include applied areas as well.  Burch-Brown also

      noted that the Collins Report had identified the ommission of a re-

      quirement in the arts as a serious flaw in their proposal for a core

      curriculum, recommending that this be addressed at a later point.  Now,

      ten years after that initial recommendation, the university is in a po-

      sition to respond.  Dr. Marchman added that members of the College of

      Engineering had expressed a number of objections to the initial draft

      of the proposed area, but these concerns seem to have been satisfac-

      torily addressed in the later revision, particularly with the inclusion

      of the experiential and performing dimensions of the arts.

 

      Dr. Shoulders shared the concerns of some of his colleagues with re-

      spect to the addition of the Writing-Intensive course requirement.

      Specifically, he noted that the reward system of the university does

      not presently recognize the additional duties that may be involved with

      offering these courses.  Paul Sorrentino responded that there are a

      number of effective ways to integrate writing without creating an undue

      burden for faculty members and that it is important to provide appro-

      priate educational oppportunities for faculty in this area.  He men-

      tioned a successful and relevant initiative in faculty development at

      Virginia Tech from several years ago, which was sponsored by the State

      Council on Higher Education.  Burch-Brown agreed that extensive faculty

      development will be needed to assist faculty in incorporating student

      writing in non-traditional ways.  The Forum has therefore recommended a

      long implementation period of eight years to assure a firm base for

      faculty and departments.  Dean Sorensen commented that the College of

      Business recently held a successful workshop on writing for its faculty

      and considers writing to be an important area of the curriculum.

 

      Dr. Spencer observed that increasing the amount of writing is perceived

      by some faculty to have a negative effect on course evaluations, which

      may undermine faculty participation.  Burch-Brown observed that we must

      influence the institutional culture as a whole with respect to writing.

      For example, as writing is integrated more fully across the university

      and is emphasized in our university publications on undergraduate edu-

      cation, students will come to see it as more integral part of their ed-

      ucation.  Dr. Geyer suggested that concerns about the faculty reward

      system should be routed to the Commission on Faculty Affairs, where

      discussions of this topic are taking place -- rather than allowing it

      to be the basis for a decision against establishing a university writ-

      ing program.

 

      Dr. Marchman and Dean Ritchey voiced concern over ambiguities in the

      wording of the sixth point of the resolution, which addresses "depth

      study" in the core curriculum.  Various suggestions were made to clar-

      ify the wording.  Burch-Brown referred to page twenty-three of the re-

      port as describing the intent of the Forum.  These guidelines describe

      the circumstances and conditions in which the designation or re-

      striction of core course options by colleges and departments will be

      considered appropriate under the new plan.  Elizabeth Guertin asked

      whether colleges could specify certain core courses as required on

      their own or if these designations are to be forwaded to the university

      core committee.  Burch-Brown responded that the requests are to be for-

      warded to the university committee.  Dr. Carlisle noted that until an

      amendment of the point is offered to clarify the language, members will

      not be able to determine if their questions are answered.  Professor

      Burch-Brown and Dr. Marchman agreed to meet to revise this part of the

      resolution.

 

      Dr. Shoulders asked whether the guidelines for implementation which are

      included in the report are an implied part of the resolution.  Dr.

      Carlisle responded that the specifics of implementation can be handled

      in several ways.  They can be brought for a vote or members of CUS can

      work with the core committee to develop a detailed plan.  Various mat-

      ters pertaining to implementation were referred to, including the need

      for staged integration of new requirements.  Burch-Brown pointed out

      that the Forum has amassed a great deal of information about the core

      curriculum -- in more detail than what appears in the report -- which

      can be conveyed to the new committee as it develops a detailed program

      of implementation.

 

      Dr. Ogliaruso asked if existing core courses would be re-evaluated to

      justify inclusion in the new core before the transition begins in Fall

      1992.  Burch-Brown responded that the guidelines developed by the Forum

      (p.22) call for these courses to be integrated initially.  Departments

      will thus have the opportunity to work as needed with the courses in

      the new framework of goals and criteria during the first phase of the

      plan.  However, all core courses will be evaluated for continued re-

      tention in the core on a periodic basis.  Burch-Brown pointed out that

      waiting to evaluate all existing courses by the new criteria before

      making the transition would delay the process very significantly.

 

      Dean Clough asked for further explanation of the recommendation regard-

      ing an on-going program of faculty development related to the core cur-

      riculum.  Burch-Brown responded that faculty development is an

      essential part of maintaining a good program of liberal education.  She

      said that the new Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching will

      be an important resource for faculty development projects related to

      the core curriculum.

 

  7.  Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.

 

                                     Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                     Wanda Hankins Dean

                                     University Registrar

 

 

Current Virginia Tech Governance Minutes Archive

Return to Virginia Tech Governance Minutes Archive


VT History | Digital Library and Archives | Special Collections | University Archives


Send questions or comments to:

Tamara Kennelly, University Archivist
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA, 24062-9001

URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/minutes/cus/1992/January+27++1992.html
Last modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 13:57:35 EDT