Motions and Recommendations passed by the
Committee on Undergraduate Education 2013-14
Emily Borda and Todd Haskell, Co-Chairs
|Formation of WSGE Task Force||
Matthew Hilliard moved for CUE to recommend the formation of a Western Study of General Education (WSGE) task force. Marie Eaton seconded. Passed by consensus. The text of the Report and Motion follow:
Framing language and motion to convene Western Study of General Education (WSGE)
The charge for the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) includes the following:
Over the past two years, in the course of fulfilling these aspects of its charge, CUE has examined a broad range of data, reviewed reports and policy documents, convened focus groups, met with an outside expert, Jennifer Summit, who took part in Stanford’s recent general education reform, and engaged in numerous conversations with stakeholders around campus. In addition, CUE has discussed these aspects of our charge in the course of ordinary business such as reviewing proposed GUR courses.
Although we have learned that there are many excellent GUR courses with talented and enthusiastic instructors, we have also come to question whether the program as a whole meets WWU’s liberal arts and sciences mission, and whether its current structure enables it to fulfill that mission. Although the earlier white paper released by CUE emphasized student survey data, CUE’s conclusions were not based exclusively or even primarily on those data; those data are simply easier to communicate to an outside audience than the other sources we have drawn on. Rather, we view those data as one of several indicators that the program is not functioning as well as it could be. Our focus is not on improving student satisfaction per se but student learning outcomes, and our question is whether those learning outcomes could be achieved more effectively with a different program structure.
Careful consideration of this question will require a substantial investment of time and energy that exceeds the time and energy CUE is
Motion: Therefore, CUE recommends the formation of a Western Study of General Education (WSGE) task force. CUE will propose the
Dual representation is acceptable. The membership must be approved by the Faculty Senate before the task force can convene. The task
|Review of GUR Program Assessment Guidelines||
CUE is responsible for the assessment of the GUR program and will be the primary body specifying requirments for the assessment in the 2013-2014 academic year. Members agreed that aligning GUR program assessment with internal departmental assessment would streamline the process. Committee members suggested modifying the assessment template to include the language of competency one, the specification that competency one is the only competency under assessment, and the inclusion of an assessment rubric.Motion: CUE passed a motion (forward by Carmen Werder and seconded) to approve the distribution of the assessment template with the modifications specified above.
|WSGE Feasibility and Desirability Criteria||
Motion: CUE passed a motion (forwarded by Carmen Werder and seconded) to forward the feasibility and desirability criteria to ACC for review and advisement.
The language of the feasibility and desirability criteria follows:
3) The task force will first determine whether revision of the structure of the general education program is desirable. This determination shall be guided by the following questions, in addition to any others determined by the task force:
The task force shall consult with stakeholders across the university community in examining these questions.
4) Should the task force determine that revision is desirable, it shall further consider whether such revision is feasible at this time. This determination shall be guided by the following questions, in addition to any others determined by the task force:
ACC Liaison on WSGE Task Force
CUE discussed the possibility of an ACC representative on the task force.
Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Marie Eaton and seconded) to grant Todd Haskell the authority to add the name of an ACC representative to the task force membership should all of the following three conditions be met:
|WSGE Task Force Appointments||
Motion: CUE passed a motion (forwarded by Josie Ellison and seconded) to recommend the following individuals be appointed to the Western Study of General Education (WSGE) task force, to represent the group(s) outlined below:
|Proposal to Eliminate SAT/ACT Exemption for English 101||
Donna Qualley, English, joined CUE to discuss a proposed change to English 101 exemptions eliminating the SAT/ACT waiver that high-scoring students currently can use to satisfy their ACOM GUR requirement. While AP/IB exemptions are to remain in place, standardized tests are not seen as an accurate measure of writing ability, and many other institutions, including the University of Washington, do not allow any exemptions based on test scores.
CUE intends to revisit this issue to discuss means of improving the writing proficiency of Western students.
Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Julia Sapin and seconded) to approve the change in SAT/ACT exemptions for the A-COM requirement for English 101.
|WSGE Task Force Memo||
CUE reviewed a draft of an email to faculty explaining the role and process of the WSGE task force, the language of which has been sent to both Faculty Senate President Johann Neem and ACC Chair Yvonne Durham for feedback.
CUE discussed the content and length of the email, which reports that the WSGE task force has been convened and will be reaching out to various groups on campus to encourage people to participate in the process of determining the feasibility and desirability of potential general education reform. Its purpose is to clearly frame what discussions might look like. CUE would like to discourage people from viewing the issue as a conflict between disciplines, but does not want to be seen as attempting to guide the process of any potential reform.
Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Carmen Werder and seconded) to approve the content of the draft of the email to faculty regarding the WSGE task force, subject to editing for length and clarity, with the final version being distributed to CUE members prior to being sent out to faculty.
|WSGE Report Timeline||
The WSGE Task Force requested that CUE extend the deadline for WSGE to submit its final report on the two questions it has been charged with answering: first, whether revising WWU’s GUR structure is desirable, and second, whether such revision is feasible.
Paul Chen informed CUE of the WSGE’s work thus far and their timeline for future work as outlined below.
WSGE has taken the following steps towards fulfilling its charge:
During spring quarter, WSGE plans to:
Motion: Ning Yu (seconded) moved to extend the deadline for WSGE’s final report to the last CUE meeting of spring quarter (6/5/14). The motion carried.
CUE discussed finding a new member to serve as CUE’s liaison to WSGE in order to allow Paul Chen to focus solely on his responsibilities as WSGE Chair. Once WSGE’s spring quarter meeting times have been determined, a call will be sent out to CUE members to volunteer as liaison. This position can either be held by one person, or by a rotating sub-set of CUE members.
|2014-15 Meeting Calendar||
2014-15 CUE Meeting Calendar
Motion: Josie Ellison (seconded) moved to approve the 2014-15 CUE Meeting Calendar. The motion carried.
|Six Questions Document||
Todd Haskell presented the summary document of CUE’s responses to the sixth question, which includes CUE members’ anonymous individual statements as an appendix.
Motion: Grace Wang (seconded) moved to approve the summary document of CUE’s responses to the sixth question: “What, in the years ahead, are to be the roles of liberal arts and sciences at WWU?” to be passed along to Brian Burton, Associate VP for Academic Affairs. The motion carried.
|WSGE Preliminary Report||
Motion: CUE voted on a motion (moved by Josie Ellison and seconded) that WSGE provide CUE with a preliminary report (a non-binding recommendation) on the question of desirability by June 5th, to be followed by a complete report on the questions of both desirability and feasibility by October 16th 2014, with the VPUE facilitating additional coding and analysis support over the summer to assist in meeting that deadline. The motion carried with 10 in favor, one opposed, and one abstention.
|Resolution Thanking Emily Borda||
Carmen Werder presented a resolution thanking Emily Borda for her service as co-chair of CUE.
The Resolution passed by acclamation.
|Resolution Thanking Maya Price||
Emily Borda presented a resolution thanking Maya Price for her work as CUE’s Recorder.
The Resolution passed by acclamation.
|Office Election||Motion: Emily Borda moved to approve Todd Haskell’s continuation as CUE Chair for 2014-15, and thanked him for his work as Co-Chair over the last year. The motion carried.|