Index of Topics 3/4/08

       Approved 4/1/2008;  to Faculty Senate 4/7/08

Early Registration and Catalog Deadlines


Topics for Discussion:  ACC Charge, Minors and Majors, Truth in Advertising, Interdisciplinarity in Catalog, Link between Professional Programs and Liberal Arts Education, Student job Market Pressures,  Data for 5 and 10 years after Graduation, Returning Student Clientele,  GURs





Regular Meeting  --  March 4, 2008


Chair James Hearne called the meeting of the 2007-2008 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:04 pm on

Tuesday, March 4, 2008.   There were fifteen (15) members present and the Registrar (1) and the Recorder (1) for a total of seventeen (17).  


Approval of ACC minutes

Members approved minutes of February 19, 2008 with corrections that include the rubric Fairhaven in front of 414b on page 1, and a revision to Huxley minutes on page 2 to read:  “ESTU435, 453, and 454 were withdrawn since they are already offered as ESTU437 International Studies courses for the summer.”


Change to the Agenda

Chair Hearne postponed review of the ACC charge until a more polished copy could be provided to the membership.


Reading of Curricular Minutes (Exhibit B)


 Items 50b and 52 added at the meeting.



Curriculum Committee



ACC Action


College of Business and Economics


New course:  MGMT 397 (no approval required for 397)



College of Fine and Performing Arts


Revisions and clarifications  -- See notes below


a.  General Education Requirements

b.  General Education Requirements



GUR or FYE status

Early Registration




VP Undergrad Ed:  Women Studies


Minor revision; WMN353 cancelled

Accepted, with minor wording changes*


Approval Discrepancies in combined majors submitted by Catalog Coordinator


Chair will discuss with departments



College of Fine and Performing Arts, 2-21-08

Minutes are accepted, with the exception of the revised language to the Dance Minor and the Teaching Endorsement in Dance, since these were not approved by the CFPA curricular committee at its meeting of 2/8/08.   In addition,  ACC rescinded approval of the Teaching Endorsement in Dance, brought forward in the TCCC minutes of January 29th, (#44, p. 2) and approved by ACC at its February 19th meeting


PLEASE NOTE:  Since the CFPA minutes did not meet the catalog deadline, ACC concurred with the Catalog Coordinator that none of the approved changes will appear in the 2008-2009 catalog.  These revisions will appear in the 2009-2010 catalog only.  The exceptions to this are:

1)      the Minor in Art History (p. 7), and

2)      The PRESENT LANGUAGE for the dance minor, since with the one-credit increase to 221, 222, and 223, the total credits shall now read 39-41 rather than 36-38.  The PRESENT LANGUAGE for the Additional Teaching Endorsement in Dance will also reflect  the addition of credits, changing to 39-51 from the current 33-45 because of the 1-credit increase to 121, 122, 123, 221, 222, 223.  (The increase is not a true credit increase, but rather a change in numbers to reflect the amount of credit hours that students actually take).


In reviewing these minutes, particularly the Teaching Endorsement in Dance, Commissioners noted a resurfacing problem, that of the order in which minutes get to TCCC, and back to the curriculum committee. 

Commissioners would like to see TCCC minutes (and minutes of the Graduate Council and the General Education Requirements Committee) conditionally approved, and then a final approval when they are returned and reviewed again by the original College Curriculum Committee.  A policy to this effect will be formulated by the Chair.

§    Music Education, p. 5

§    Only 53 credits are listed, although the Woodring Secondary Ed requires 64 (listed elsewhere).  Are the 11 credits actually music courses?  (Please respond to Lisa Zuzarte on this question)

§    Details missing from the box on top of page 6 are believed to refer to guitar requirements.


*Women Studies, 2/21/08

Revised language will be simplified to read:  “One course in each of the following”


Early Registration and 2009-2010 Catalog.  Lisa Zuzarte estimated that there may be additional curricular minutes brought forward for this catalog since there is a planned early registration.  Hearne responded that we will welcome these minutes.  Zuzarte claims that some committees have been formed for early registration, and that Graduate council, General Education Requirements, and TCCC all have early deadlines.  Zuzarte commented that all have agreed upon deadline dates after consulting ACC’s calendar for next year.


Proposed Topics for ACC Deliberation

Commissioners reviewed topics for continued discussion, and implementation of written polices:

§    Chair Hearne will bring ACC Charge.  Chair Hearne will bring this forward at a future meeting.

§    The Acceptability and Meaning of a Minor.  Hearne suggested that the definition of a minor is very diffuse.  People seem to group a bunch of courses and then give them a name.  Hearne believes there should be standards as to what counts as subject matter for a minor, including intellectual coherence, relevance to social need, etc.

§    Interdisciplinarity.   Mark Kuntz pointed out that many courses which might be interdisciplinary are not listed in that section, and cannot be talked about within an interdisciplinary degree.  That has to be clarified.  Commissioners agreed that this seems like there is a narrow constriction.  Lisa Zuzarte confirmed that there has not been during her experience any formal move to create an interdisciplinary section in the catalog.  There is a section which is just a home for miscellaneous documents, sometimes called interdisciplinary studies, or then interdisciplinary programs.  This still implies these are the only some and not others.  Readers have no clue as to what else there is. 

§    Interdisciplinary Section in Catalog.  Commissioners suggested that there could be a list in that section, that directed people to other sections where there would be interdisciplinary programs.  “All University programs” was created in anticipation of additional new programs that fit the category.  But the Honors Program does not fit as it is not a major.  Marie Eaton pointed out that the section of the catalog devoted to interdisciplinary programs (beginning on page 259) is inadequate and misleading in several ways. It hardly touches on the interdisciplinary opportunities that actually exist, and includes programs which are not, strictly speaking, interdisciplinary majors.

§    Interdisciplinary Seminar:  Roger Anderson added that in the context of interdisciplinary, and a high quality liberal education, it would be useful to have each upper-level student in a major that is not interdisciplinary and not combined, to take a 400-level, 2 credit seminar that is interdisciplinary (e.g., representing departments from different colleges) with 2 faculty leading it, one from each discipline.  Moreover, it would be useful for us to recognize and discuss the increasing prevalence in Universities across the nation of applied/professional programs at the undergraduate level, and to formulate a wise academic approach to the incorporation of these programs at the undergraduate and graduate level (including, perhaps, an increase in 5-year BA/MA or BS/MS programs across campus).

§    Hearne promised to review the Interdisciplinary section of the catalog and bring suggestions forward for improvement and approval.

§    Importance of the Arts in a liberal arts environment.  Mark Kuntz noted that right now it is virtually impossible for a student not majoring in the arts to have a hands on visceral experience in the arts. Are we resigned to leaving the arts to the artists?

§    Definition of a Major.  Kuntz added that some think that a major is 45 credits, others think it is 85 credits. Are we serious about encouraging students to explore classes outside our academic area?

§    Truth in advertising:  Kuntz reported that the Music Education degree in the catalog this year will say (for the first time) how many credits in total it will take to receive the degree (the only topic specific education degree to do so in the catalog). Should all departments be required to do the same?  It is frustrating that there are so many uses of different language phrasing to communicate about our degrees.   PE actually lists all the credits required also since some of their courses are imbedded in other areas.  Shouldn’t that be something we ask of all degree programs, that the full credit load, including certification load, be included.  That is a legitimate request.  Some majors also seem to require additional GUR courses, and that should be noted.

§    Preparatory Courses and Prerequisites.  Can a course or series of courses be taken out of the degree and be labeled "preparatory courses"? This means that a student who wants to pursue the degree is required to take these courses in topic area before taking courses in the degree. This is a way to keep the number of courses in a degree way down, while still requiring other courses as a part of the degree.

§    Language Synchronization.  Many of the departments use different terms and language when communicating the relationship between the degree and the education component of the degree. Should that language be unified to clarify requirements for the perspective student?

§    Inter College Communication.  Roger Thompson asked if this was part of a broader issue, that is, part of the communication between Woodring and the rest of the university.  We don’t have any idea how Woodring comes to its decisions, and there was talk of getting a briefing of how this works. Commissioners agreed that we need better integration between Woodring and the academic departments.  It would be really helpful for Commissioners to learn how TCCC and other colleges and Woodring work together, since this seems both complicated and full of all sorts of regulatory powers.  Marsha Riddle-Buly pointed out that Dana Edward,  Woodring’s Director of Certification,  would welcome suggestions.  She is the one who actually looks at all that catalog copy to make sure it meets state regulations. 

§    Other commissioners added that there is a lot of head nodding, but we ought to have a rule.  All of the education requirements ought to be listed for each major. 

§    Thompson added that this is also a heads up about the role ACC needs to begin playing in the years to come; as content has to be tested.  This is the first time people realized the implications for state requirements for teachers-to be in History, for example.  If they really want Western students to have these competencies in History that it appears the State wants, we would have to revamp our entire curriculum.  A lot more communication is required than we are used to doing.

§    Whose Value System?  Kuntz responded that this is altogether somewhat sad, because it alerts us that we have to teach to a value system that rests somewhere else.  It requires us to go back to look at our curriculum to change it to some other people’s value system.  So our uniqueness and tradition and style is being taken away by an applied professional program requirements, for example, rather than our own unique experience and understanding.

§    Liberal Education vs. Job Crunch.  Roger Anderson mentioned that this brings up another area of concern, namely that there appears to be an uneasy interaction between people who are interested in liberal education, and those who are interested in making sure people get jobs.   They don’t have to be separate, but are two overlapping philosophical magisteria. We need to have a better feel for how our undergraduate programs function in an increasingly applied professional world.  With outcomes assessment and quality control we (faculty) need to be the people to say what the criteria should be.  Right now it appears to be more of the tail wagging the dog than the dog wagging its tail.

§    It would be nice to have a clear view of how the applied professional programs in computer science, engineering technology, environmental science, business, and other preprofessional and applied programs, PEHR, fit into the context of a liberal arts education.  The Western cachet to these programs includes a high quality liberal education of greater importance that with some programs elsewhere.  Anderson is pointing out it would be nice to have continued and extended communication between sciences and technology and theater /dance, etc., as applied professional programs, and make sure we understand how they are connected within the liberal arts.  Commissioners agreed and pointed out that tension and pressure for students to focus on immediate careers is strong. Students have to have the techniques and methods in order to take the first step career wise.  But that does not need to be overemphasized on this campus -- students do not yet realize the need for balance, yet employers seem to clearly consider that business is ours. Students are operating under a myth, namely how fast and how well they are paid when they graduate – which has little to do with their education.

§    Students as Returning Clientele.  Predictably certain disciplines are paid higher than others.  But we are more concerned with how they are employed when they are 45, not when they are 22, and students don’t have that perspective.  Also, there is a potentially large clientele for retraining from past western graduates.  How well is this being mined?

§    Huxley Students Take the Long View.  Robin Matthews reported that students in Huxley are very aware of the need for breadth and the need for jobs at age 45, and visualize the narrow training track vs. the broader one. We get to see feedback from students in the long run.  We are an upper division program, and tend to attract students who come back intentionally, they make it a career choice.  Students can be one of the best sources of feedback on what kinds of information they would like to get to make them employable in the long run.  Matthews added that it is not just the need to articulate the importance of a liberal arts education.  We need constant vigilance on this within the institution, constant emphasis on the importance of the liberal arts.

§    Student Debt.  Student Commissioner Aaron Hayman reported from a student’s perspective, that he will be facing a significant amount of debt.  “If I am going to be investing all of this money up front, I need it back relatively soon.”  Students see a rise in the amount of debt at graduation, and that is where the focus gets more short term, not long term.  “Happily I will be in less debt graduating from here than from other schools I am looking at.”  Chair Hearne acknowledged that the younger generation has a lot fewer resources to invest in education.


Chair Hearne asked what ACC can do to advance these ideas.

Can ACC advance this discussion or formulate principles  -- like with interdisciplinarity.  How many applied professional programs are there? Which majors are providing strength and breadth?  For example, students in Biology: some get B.A. and some get B.S.  Some might not be just technicians, but might be managers of programs and should be encouraged to go ahead and get an MBA.  Others might be pushed toward education, science education.


Commissioners ask for Data -- What kinds of jobs do these students have in five years?  What professions are they typically in?  The information can’t just be random.  An employment report comes out every year.  But what is more interesting is not just whether you are employed, but whether you are employed in same field, in five years, in ten years, lets take that information in ACC and review it.  We will see what people are doing in terms of a changing society, not just income.


Kuntz explained that in the Arts we have had this challenge, frequently hiring people from conservatories. So when you talk about a B.A. in Liberal Arts, etc., there is a tendency to hire people with high specific skill levels in a particular area, but not the overall liberal arts.


Matthews explained that Huxley has done a lot of very extensive post graduate surveys; not just where they are placing, but what kinds of classes and information serves you best in getting and keeping your job.  Huxley discussed this at their faculty retreat and used the information to shape curriculum.  They asked questions such as “What was it about your education at Huxley that got you your job, and what makes you keep it?”


Provost Murphy commented that all of this is fairly complicated.  The notion of a liberal arts education is not that well defined.  In business school; we do not let undergrads have more than 50% of their undergraduate courses in business.  We tell them “Go and study Faust because you are not going to be able to take another course in accounting.”  But if you have to major in “water science” (for example)  and get a job in the field, you have much to learn in the basics, and that is another challenge.  In the GURs we codify our expectations in the liberal arts.  The expectation is that the undergraduate degree should be an opportunity for students to experience something else.  So business majors frequently take anthropology.  If the GURs are not our “embodied wisdom”, where is it or where should it be?  If it isn’t right, maybe somebody should tackle it again.


Kuntz suggested that the GURs are where the liberal arts start, not where they are.  It is in exploring them that a student may find something that sparks their curiosity or interest.  Some degrees don’t encourage this because there are so many credits required in some majors.  “Because there are always good reasons why you need one more course in your major.”  At the same time we have a lot of graduate courses masquerading as undergraduate courses.  A major enemy of exploration is the monstrous size of so many of the majors.



Commissioners adjourned at 5:24 pm.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, March 4, 2008





Membership (term ending 2009)



Chair – James Hearne 2007-2008



A -  James Hearne, Computer Science, Chair (4 yr)



Vice Chair – Roger Thompson



A - Roger Anderson, Biology (SENATOR) rep to UPC






D – Mark Kuntz, Theater






E – Yvonne Durham, Economics, CBE



Dennis Murphy, Provost, nv  (K Bulcroft)    



G – Robin Matthews, Huxley



Lisa Zuzarte (Catalog Coordinator) voting



H –Marsha Riddle-Buly,  Woodring,






Membership (term ending 2008)



Registrar, Recorder, Guests



A –  Michael Meehan, Computer Science



Joe St. Hilaire, Registrar



B – Dan Boxberger, Anthro; rep to GER



Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder



C -  Leonard Helfgott, History



Kathy Kitto, Assoc Dean, CST



C – Roger Thompson, History



Kathy Knutzen, Assoc Dean, CHSS



F -  Marie Eaton, Fairhaven






I –  Stefanie Buck, Library, rep to EESP






S -  Annie Jansen, ASVP-Academics, 2007-2008







S -  Chelsea Fletcher, ASVP,  2007-2008






S -  Kristina Mader, ASVP,



Members Present



S-   Aaron Hayman



Registrar, Recorder, Guests Present






TOTAL PRESENT  March 4, 2008



Members (18)






12 faculty (2yr terms) representing each area with 2 as Senators.  6 more members include:  Provost (nv), Catalog Coordinator (ex officio) and 4 students (1 ASVP).  ACC sends reps:  to UPC and to GER Cte.  Registrar & Recorder are permanent guests