Index of Topics 5/26/09

For Approval 10/6/09;  to Faculty Senate 10/12/09

Final Reports from ACC Standing Committees


Non-Credit Bearing Courses and Implications


Comments from Outgoing Members


E-forms – MOTION


Off Campus Programs – Discussion continued





Regular Meeting  --  May 26, 2009


Chair Roger Thompson called the meeting of the 2008-2009 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:02 pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.  There were fourteen (14) members present and the Recorder (1) for a total of fifteen (15). 


Approval of ACC minutes Members approved minutes of May 12, 2009 as written.


Report from the Chair

·    Chair Thompson reported that a May 28th meeting from 5 to 8 pm will include dinner and will launch the new CUE committee.  On June 3rd there will be a curriculum presentation to curriculum committee members, chairs and assistants from 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., the second meeting this spring quarter to bring everyone up to date on improved forms and processes.

·    Thompson asked Commissioners to pick up their manila folders with calendars and membership lists for 2009-2010.  No binders will be distributed for minutes this year.

·    Thompson addressed a memo which was sent in the packets but which is not quite ready for prime time.  The memo is a discussion on forms that describes how to number courses, special topics courses, current trends, special seminars, including x17s and x45s.  Susanna Yunker and Doug Nord are also working on the form for international courses.  Thompson asked that if there are particular ways these are used specific to each department, please forward an informal email to Thompson so it can be included in discussions at the beginning of the year.  Thompson added that we want to rationalize against unintended consequences, and added that the new forms will be of substantial assistance to the accrediting agency.


Report from Provost Murphy

White Papers.  Provost Murphy pointed out that initiatives regarding white papers can be found on the Provost website.  A substantial campus-wide conversation and task force is planned to examine Western’s off campus presence.  White papers, one on extended education, another on the role of graduate studies at Western, and one on the Allied Health initiative are being prepared.  While this may or may not translate into a nursing degree in the future, the work is being done to prepare for what the initiative could mean.  Extended Education is timely given the state and national interest in distance education at present.  Another paper will be done on International Studies and all of these reports are planned for completion by the end of calendar year.  There are other initiatives that could be considered, such as sustainability which began under George Pearce, which Murphy hopes will be continued.  Murphy has links to all on his website.


Other InitiativesIn addition, Murphy has substantially reformed the personnel involved in institutional research, and will soon inform the campus.  There are lots of things we ought to be doing, especially since accreditation becomes a yearly activity.  We just cannot do only what we have done in the past.  Performance agreements will continue.  The legislature has now ratified this so all we have to figure out is what to do.  There are also new accountability standards we have to talk about. 

·    We have been required to apply for the Washington State Quality Award.  Murphy found out late and put together a team of 10 persons who did a huge amount of work in 90 days, and we got a report card back from the state, with all median grades.  Scores ranged from 1, meaning you have a long way to go, to 4, meaning you are there already.  Western got mainly 2’s and 3’s which suggest preliminary to substantial stages of development.  We have to reapply in 3 years, so that will become a continuing effort, and is linked to the accreditation effort. 

·    Murphy has asked an analyst to understudy Ernie Sams’ reports, to figure out what he does, how he does it, and how that information can be moved into an information system process that will be more accessible and amenable to managerial use.  The Dashboard process will incorporate this information, and aspects of institutional research will be ramped up.  In the interim he is asking Barbara Fasser to direct this effort, but at some point we will look for a modern institutional research director, a person who knows what questions to ask, so we are ready to give the answers.

·    The technical writer will report to Dr. VanderStaay, with additional reporting by the CUE committee to obtain several voices as input into the accreditation process.


Kristi Tyran asked how Murphy plans to form Task Forces related to the white papers and other initiatives.  Murphy responded that the Senate and administration will provide interested representatives prepared to work collegially.  Murphy added that you “don’t want groups with only advocates and you don’t want groups with no advocates”.  Extended Education has lots of possible directions.  Do we want evening groups of community members reading Chaucer together?  Do we want to be out there in the distance for any two or three who are gathered together?  How will this be self-supporting?  We need to think very seriously about how we want to do that.  There may be more extensive opportunities we may want to pursue, and so we ought to think about all of this more extensively than we have thought about in the past.  The Faculty Senate will be helpful in thinking about who should be on these committees.  Doug Nord is also keen to get back to his position.


Chair Thompson expressed appreciation to Provost Murphy for this briefing and added that the Commissioners appreciated his participation and all he has done working closely with this Commission.  Thompson also thanked Steven VanderStaay who has ensured continued close collaboration with the faculty.



Commissioners reviewed the following:


General Education Requirements Committee

María (Paqui) Paredes Méndez, Chair

This has been an exciting and busy year for the GER committee. As usual, we have dealt with the revision of proposals and revisions/cancellations of both GUR courses and FYE courses. This year we reviewed a total of 26 courses, from November through January. The rest of our time was devoted to three main issues: assessment, the new creation of the CUE committee, and revision of existing GUR/FYE course proposal and course revision forms. In terms of assessment, the committee’s input was requested by Steve VanderStaay on several issues, all related in some form to the need for creating a new assessment plan for Western that would meet the recommendations stated in the accreditors’ report, which established Western’s need to “close the assessment loop”. One of the topics of discussion was a possible link between Western and the LEAP initiative (Liberal Education and America’s Progress). The committee discussed the advantages and disadvantages of fully adopting the LEAP outcomes vs. keeping the list of competencies that, as stated in the catalogue, the general education program at Western is designed to develop. The committee’s final recommendation was for Western to join the Leap Initiative, but not to adopt their outcomes. Instead, Western would maintain the GUR competencies as stated in the 2008-2009 catalogue. VanderStaay also requested the committee’s input on adopting one of the different options before Western with regard to assessment of the GUR program. Members agreed that achievement tests would be a good route to go in order to get started, but some members also felt that qualitative measures (like e-portfolios) might round-out the assessment process and at the same time provide additional information for colleges and departments in their assessment processes. The Committee also contributed to the discussion on the creation of the new CUE committee, recommending its creation. The last few meetings of the quarter were devoted to revision of forms.


Graduate Council

End of Year Summary – Michael Barr

Graduate Council reviewed and approved curricular requests from departments with graduate programs.  Many of the changes are minor, often housekeeping items, or realign the curricula and graduation requirements with current needs and practices within the discipline or profession as required by the State or accrediting agencies.  One graduate program was terminated (M.Ed. – Advanced Classroom Practice) and one program underwent a name change (M.Ed. – Elementary to M.Ed. – Literacy).


Graduate Council also reviewed the following five graduate programs as part of it annual review cycle:  MS – Mathematics, MA – Rehabilitation Counseling, MA – History, MS – Geology, and MS – Environmental Science. 

AY 08-09  Kirsti Charlton, Michael Barr




George Mariz, Chair

In addition to its normal round of work, e.g., choosing its new student member, selecting Honors seminars, deciding on the normal number of policy questions, the committee completed an updated and ambitious strategic plan for the program. 


At its final meeting of the year, next week, it will embark on a plan of curricular revisions, notably regarding sophomore level classes, and will talk about initiatives for getting more space for the program.



Scholastic Standing Committee (a subcommittee of Admissions Cte)

The Scholastic Standing Committee reviews petitions for reinstatement from students who have been dismissed in accord with the University’s scholarship standards.  Responsibility for determining reinstatement to the University rests with the Committee.  The Scholastic Standing Committee (membership of 15 faculty) reports to the Academic Coordinating Commission through the Admissions Committee.  Numbers of reinstated students vary from 56% to 77% over the last year.

June Sager, Administrative Assistant

Academic and Career Development Services


International Programs Advisory Committee

Issues in 2008-2009  -  Amir Abedi-Djourabtchi, PoliScience

1.       Travel Policy:

Guest Paul Mueller, Risk Management, handed out the WWU Traveling Outside the United States policy and the List of Suggestions.  Questions arose regarding faculty being required to submit a travel authorization to the Provost for any traveling they may do in places where there is a travel warning regardless as to if the University pays for the travel. 

The committee recommended to Paul that the policy focus on student international travel, including faculty-led study abroad programs, student independent travel and international internships.  Faculty and staff would not fall under this policy, unless they were involved with a group of students or with an individual student planning for international study or travel under official university business.   

2.       x37 Course Approval Process (study abroad courses):

Liz Partolan-Fray, IPE, requested the committee to clarify and provide feedback on the process for approving international study courses within departments.  The x37 courses are taught by WWU faculty abroad through faculty-led programs or through other positions in the Northwest Council for Study Abroad programs.  These courses are normally assigned x37 numbers, are letter-graded and computed into the student’s GPA.  The x37 courses differ from the x97 courses because they are specifically for study abroad. The committee agreed that faculty-led programs should use the x37 numbers instead of x97 so that they are distinguished as a study abroad program.  Guest, Lisa Zuzarte, Registrar’s Office, presented the International Courses (x37s) Initial Course Approval to Creation in Banner Catalog & Schedule document to the committee and stressed the importance and urgency of getting this procedure out to the departments. 

It was approved unanimously that the committee recommend the International Courses (x37s) Initial Course Approval to Creation in Banner Catalog & Schedule document to ACC as a provisional policy.

Lisa Zuzarte updated the committee on the x37 course approval creation process, as recently accepted by ACC.  Additional details of this process and procedure are being addressed.  One of the changes to this process is that the academic departments are now initiating the course forms instead of Krista Mantello, IPE.   Lisa brought up that the cross listing of study abroad courses (x37s) with other departments is problematic, and consequently delays the course set up in Banner.  Faculty who wish to cross-list x37 courses should refer to the ACC handbook for additional guidelines on cross-listing courses. 

3.  Program Approval: AHA International in Fes, Morocco:

Krista Mantello presented the new study abroad program site offered by the WWU sponsored program, AHA International in Fes, Morocco. The program will offer 120 hours of Arabic language instruction at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels through the Arabic Language Institute of Fes and a 50 hour course, American Representations of Morocco, taught in English by a US visiting faculty member.

The AHA International Fes, Morocco program was approved unanimously.


4.       WWU Study Abroad Scholarships:

Krista Mantello informed the committee that there is no availability of funds for the three WWU study abroad scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year. The Foundation office indicated that this will probably be the case for the next few years.




Curriculum Committee


ACC Action


Fairhaven College




General Education Requirements Committee




Graduate Council

April 09



Graduate Council

4/21/  09



College Humanities & SS




International Programs




Non-Credit Bearing Courses and Their Implications

Members reviewed an Editing program offered in Extended Education and overseen by Journalism.. The course is non credit-bearing and so does not have to come to ACC.  This brought up several questions.

·    Some Commissioners were concerned about consequences of not reviewing non credit-bearing courses.  If faculty offer a course that resembles a credit-bearing course and are paid cash for this extra portion there may be a conflict of interest where students are paying tuition twice.  The question of faculty status vis-à-vis the bargaining unit arose, but courses taught for non credit are not part of faculty load under union contract.

·    But as funding decreases there may be incentives to move programs that might otherwise end because of lack of funding into Extended Education where students have to pay and these become self supporting.  As an example, in Human Resource Management students can take a preparatory course to help them prepare for the management test.  This is not a degree requirement, but to prepare for the test they have to take that course.  Other CBE courses could fall into such a category. 

·    Murphy pointed out that is why this is ripe for review, but there are separate issues here.  One issue is quasi personnel, one is a review matter.  Anybody who teaches has to have a separate contract.  We know what proportion of a point you have and if something exceeds the point it is flagged for review. 

·    But it seems like another one of those gray areas, like asking should faculty be allowed to use their own text books in their own courses.  Faculty should be able to make the best textbook available to their students, but ethics laws may prohibit this.  Thompson noted that this discussion now has traction and these concerns are going to be extensive and challenging as the white paper is written.

·    Murphy concluded that courses go to ACC if they are credit bearing and they don’t go to ACC if they are not.  And ACC has no purview over personnel.  If a course earns credit is has the ordinary academic purview and review.



Outgoing members commented on their ACC experiences as follows:

·    Marsha Riddle Buly has been on the Commission for four years, and found it a wonderful learning opportunity.  She commented that the Commission is very different than it was 4 years ago since we are getting into some substance and digging deeper into topics.  Riddle Buly leaves here reassured since she is moving on as faculty legislative liaison for the next two years.  Extended Education comes up for discussion in Olympia and she is particularly happy  there will be a white paper in December for Olympia.

·    Andrea Goddard, Associated Students Vice president Academics wished she could be around next year since the Commission is involved in so many exciting ideas.  She plans to read the minutes when she moves to the University of San Francisco law school.

·    Julie Helling enjoyed learning more about the rest of the campus and feels that there is still an information lack about Fairhaven and in Fairhaven about the rest of the campus.  She will be on sabbatical next year.

·    Midori Takagi, will replace Helling and expressed excitement to be serving on both ACC and the Committee on Undergraduate Education.



Following discussion at the last meeting, new language was proposed for the back of the Request for A New Course Form.  Commissioners voted to approve  that language as follows (moved by Spencer Anthony-Cahill, seconded by Yvonne Durham):


Commissioners also heard that “Course Request for Special Topics, Seminars, Current Trends” is the new and more descriptive name for the form that was previously identified as Request for University-Wide course.

Zuzarte plans to have updated forms and word documents on the web by the end of the week or early next week.

Also there will be a permanent standalone form x37 for study abroad.  Thompson thanked Lisa.


Update on Discussion of Off-Campus Programs

Both ACC and the Senate will be part of any discussion in this area. 

·    Provost Murphy suggested that new programs for credit must come out of mature deliberation.  Some schools have a whole division devoted to off campus programs with its own dean and operate autonomously.  We have never gotten close to that model here and Murphy does not expect we will.  We need to ask what needs some local schools might be fulfilling that we are not.  Or, can we afford to be insular or not? 

·    Murphy reported that the President worries that we are not thought of as being relevant to many parts of the State.  In the community, unless you have a child that comes to Western, Western does not get much sympathy or play.  We are not going to have a task force on relevance, but that certainly should be part of any discussion on what to do.  We need to have a defensible position and we don’t at present.   Murphy added that we have not had a well conceived plan of what we want to do in this arena. We don’t even offer conversational Spanish to the community, people go to Whatcom. 

·    Anthony-Cahill asked if getting more involved would require greater resources.  And the great concern is that we become relevant to a broader population at the expense of what we already do.  How would our niche change?  Murphy mentioned other campuses and noted that a statewide system design study is now going on.  We have now 12 community colleges and technical colleges that have authorizations to grant B.A. degrees of a limited nature.  If that is a direction we would like to continue to go in or not, that is what the system design study is supposed to answer.  This will also be a study of technology and will answer questions from legislators who have in mind one system from kindergarten to graduate school.  But we have to ask why should Eng 101 be the same at every school, for example?

·    Murphy reported that one administrator commented at the HEC Board meeting that there are students at Western who cannot get into a course and so they are taking it online at Whatcom.  So Murphy came back and checked to see who is transferring in credit from someplace else and learned that one student transferred in one course from Harvard, and a couple of students from Whatcom who transferred in attempted a math or chemistry course as a GER at Western and did not complete it so they went back over to Whatcom to get it.  So there was not much evidence to support such a HEC Board comment.  Some students take online courses to get organic chemistry.  Murphy will study to see if access is the problem.  The highest number in one term was 40 students who earned credit at Whatcom for one course.

·    Murphy added that main question is what kind of values we are going to use to guide those extended education discussions.  Will resources guide our discussion?  Or, is Western represented consistently in the light in which it wishes to be seen?  Whether we provide it or not, there are places students can go to get courses online all the time anyway.  Yet we only have 4 students who transferred in any credit from Phoenix online over 5 years.  Some legislators proposed that the way students learn today is they shop while using IPods.  This seems silly and uninformed.

·    Anthony Cahill noted that he understands that resource allocations are not the purview of ACC, but next year we are not offering Honors in Chemistry and he had to tell 90 parents that this will not be offered.  What do we have to do to make this State realize that we need to offer the educational opportunities that we claim Western are all about?  No Natural Sciences Honors courses for freshmen might be a counter indication to our claim to excellence.  Thompson concluded that it is important that ACC be part of the conversation as these are issues that faculty care about.


Appointments and Elections – Election of Chair and Vice Chair, and representatives

ACC re-elected Roger Thompson, Chair, 2009-2010 (nominated by Kristi Tyran, seconded by Billie Lindsey, unanimous).  ACC elected James Hearne, Vice Chair, 2009-2010 (nominated by Kristi Tyran, seconded by Spencer Anthony-Cahill, unanimous).  ACC then appointed Roger Anderson as ACC representative to UPRC.

ACC then appointed Tracy Thorndike-Christ as ACC representative to CUE.



Thompson thanked the members for their hard work all year prior to adjournment at 5:50 pm

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, May 26, 2009





Voting Membership (term ending 2009)



Chair – Roger Thompson 2009-2010



G – Robin Matthews, Huxley



Vice Chair – James Hearne 2009-2010



H – Marsha Riddle-Buly, Woodring






Andrea Goddard



Ex Officio



Shanai Lechtenberg



Dennis Murphy, Provost  (v)



Nikki Brown, AS



Lisa Zuzarte, Catalog Coordinator (nv)



Brianne Kumar, AS



Susanna Yunker, Registrar (nv)



Voting Membership (term ending 2010)






B –  Billie Lindsey, PEHR, rep to GER Cte






C – Roger Thompson, History, Chair






E -  Kristi Tyran, Management  ( At Lg on leave Fall & Winter)






I – Sylvia Tag, Library






Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Chemistry, SENATOR






James Hearne, Computer Science, SENATOR, ViceChair






Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, ASVP Academics, 2009-2010





















Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder



Voting Membership (terms 2011) Senate appoints 6/1/09






H-Tracy Thorndike-Christ, Special Ed, ACC rep to CUE



Members Present



E-Yvonne Durham, Economics



Recorder and Guests



D-Mark Kuntz, Theater



TOTAL PRESENT   May 26, 2009



Cynthia Camlin, Art (At Lg, replacing K.Tyran FallWint 09-10)






A-Roger Anderson, Biology, ACC rep to UPRC






F-Midori Takagi, Fairhaven  (1 yr term for J. Helling)






G-David Shull, Huxley College






Members (18):12 faculty (2yr terms) represent 9 areas and 1 at-large plus 2 Senators (1 yr terms).  6 additional members include:  Provost (v), Catalog Coordinator (nv), Registrar (nv) and 4 students (voting).  ACC sends reps to UPC and CUE.  Recorder attends.