Index of Topics

Curriculum Minutes

  Elimination of Directing Concentration

  Academic Honesty Policy - Motions



Approved 3/27/2012

To Faculty Senate 4/2/2012


                                                                                                                                 ACADEMIC COORDINATING COMMISSION

                                                                                                                                                Meeting of February 28, 2012


CALL TO ORDER.   Chair Roger Anderson called the meeting of the 2011-12 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:06 pm.  There were twenty-three (23) persons present.  See attached roster.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES The ACC Minutes of 2/14/2012 were approved as written.


Minutes Postponed from February 14 meeting:

Team (T)

CC Committee


Topics and Team Review


45    (T2)



Elimination of “Directing” as a concentration in the Theater, BA major..Vote by show of hands:  12 YAY, 1 NO, 1 ABSTENTION

See Discussion below.


55    (T3)



ACCEPTED.  Sciences

E Sasnett

48    (T2)

CteUndergradEd (CUE)


 ACCEPTED.  Courses approved as GURs; plans for Viking Landing (Feb 22)


49    (T2)

CteUndergradEd (CUE)


ACCEPTED.  Courses approved as GURs; GenEd website; Viking Landing


57    (T2)

Grad Council


ACCEPTED.  Course review

M Barr


Elimination of Direction ConcentrationDan Guyette, Dean, CFPA; Deb Currier, Chair Theater & Dance

ACC Chair Anderson began the discussion by mentioning last Spring’s economically related rapid changes.   Some graduate programs, majors, emphases, some minors ACC put into moratorium, some ACC eliminated.  What became clear is that things were moving quickly and it was not always clear why decisions were being made or that departments and colleges had all the requisite data and information to make a thorough decision.  One example might be the Directing concentration in Theater and Dance.  It seems a shame to lose the advertising draw of the Directing concentration at the undergraduate level, particularly since the courses for the concentration continue to be taught by TT faculty.  Anderson asked for a better perspective on what a concentration is vs. an emphasis, and whether academic mentorship is a teaching focus of concentrations in that college. VanderStaay  reported that he had asked for data about the concentrations in the Theatre Arts major from institutional research. 


Deb Currier, Chair of Theatre and Dance, stated that concentrations in CFPA are a more of a method of tracking and advising matriculating students through their interests; these are not exactly like “emphases”  in the science majors.  The degree is in theater but the concentration does not show up on the transcript (which is also the case with “emphases”).  Concentrations in CFPA major degrees may only have one or two course differences between them.  CFPA repre-sentatives who were present mentioned that the Directing Concentration had low enrollment recently (2010 & 2011) and only one required course attached to the Directing Concentration and the rest are courses for directors under advisement.  Without enough guidelines for the Directing Concentration, Dr. Currier suggested that the Directing Concentration possibly harmed time to degree for these students.  Anderson commented that despite that opinion, he still did not see a compelling reason to eliminate the Directing Concentration.


Dean Guyette replied  that he was following the President’s mandate and Provost’s guidelines for rebasing.  Guyette tied it to Maureen’s line because she retired.  The compromise he reached with the department is that he would not press them to eliminate Theater 470 which is stacked with 370 and this is a cost savings because an NTT will not be required to teach one of the two courses.  Guyette stated that THTR 371 (Directing Projects) and THTR 471 (Advanced Directing Projects) are elective courses that do not have to be taught and this is a financial gain with no loss of TT faculty.  Dean Guyette said he was trying to avoid the possibility of firing Mark Kuntz, because Mark was the TT faculty member most closely allied with the Directing Concentration.


VanderStaay reported he went to see the Provost for context; she is asking departments to do less and do it better.  Colleges with small classes have to whittle that down and this is hard work and upsetting.  Combining 470 and 370 will have 21 students altogether.  Vanderstaay offered course enrollment data and mentioned there is no opportunity for Directing to be a graduate program here.  Chair Anderson mentioned that the question is whether there is a unique niche among universities in the region for WWU to maintain or evolve the undergraduate concentration in Directing.  It depends on how you repackage it, and perhaps whether funding from the State can be obtained.  Perhaps for now the Directing concentration could go into moratorium rather than eliminating it outright, thus providing the time to thoroughly discuss its future.  Dr. Vanderstaay noted that there were several concentrations that were significantly smaller than the Directing Concentration.  Currier replied that four small concentrations in the general category of “design” were being combined into a single, new concentration.  


Currier explained the general Theater major which has concentrations in Management, Design, Dramatic Writing, a Woodring endorsement, and Acting.  Currier suggested that the strongest concentrations are playwriting, design, and the outreach programs are what we are known for, not directing.   Guyette mentioned that future directions of the department include a focus on entertainment design with engineering and design.  Writing and playwriting are key as writers are bridging into screen writing, film, TV, and entertainment design.  This is trending toward where the jobs are.  Visual literacy is a new focus through Fine and Performing Arts and he wants to stay ahead of the curve to which film and writing is trending.  Guyette stated that directing opportunities are available in education.


Anderson mentioned that over the past two years, opportunistic eliminations occurred for entire programs, not just majors, minors, emphases, and concentrations, because retirements were a convenient means of eliminating a program, particularly if the program had been largely dependent on a single faculty member.  The Dean’s decision to seek a programmatic change was one that was clearly typical across the university, within the context of recent budget cuts. In that context perhaps there is nothing ACC can argue about except to plea for the principle of academic freedom, that is, a lost opportunity is a loss of freedom, and in the case of the directing concentration and directing projects (should those course eliminations be allowed by the department) the ability for true mentorship in directing may be lost.  Anderson asked if the other programs come out stronger in CFPA and if CFPA is obviously strengthened by the elimination of the Directing Concentration. 


Anderson added that he had the impression that the department did not really want to lose the Directing Concentration, but there did not seem to be a congenial way to get around this.  Faculty vote taken in the department (which has no subset of faculty that form a dept curriculum committee) to eliminate the Directing Concentration when the Dean was chair of the college curriculum committee were later discussed and reconsidered  by the department but no official rescinding vote took place.  There was a request to the dean to save the directing concentration and tie the loss of the faculty position to the area that the faculty member largely taught in.  It was not always clear that faculty knew what their options were. 


Troy Abel suggested that it was not quite accurate to characterize it that the department decided to make the Directing Concentration  go away; the department was in a tough situation with the dean saying this might need to go away, in response to the Provost’s  request for elimination of small courses and small programs. 


Chair Anderson pointed out that we need to make sure there are enough alternatives to elimination and in his opinion the E-form should have a box that says “other alternatives (list) have been considered”.  Moratorium was a potential choice for the Directing Concentration, lots of other departments chose the moratorium option.  Dean Guyette replied that he did not want to go that route because it would open up the opportunity for others to reconsider their elimination choices in other programs in CFPA.


Anderson asked if there is any discussion of making sure they stay robust in terms of mentorship, workshops, internal internships (e.g., THTR 371 and 471), etc. for directing by Western students, given all the directing opportunities and awards available to students over the past decade -- perhaps a capstone  course that might offer this, such as Acting and Directing.  This would give former concentrations, upper level courses some sort of endpoint.  Currier responded that a capstone experience already is required in the major. 


Sheila Webb called the question; Kristi Tyran seconded and a vote was taken.

Vote by show of hands:  12 YAY, 1 NO, 1 ABSTENTION


Chair Anderson gave Mark Kuntz, Vice Chair of ACC the opportunity to summarize his response  before the vote.  Dr. Kuntz  respectfully disagreed with virtually everything that was said by the chair and dean,  but also noted that ACC was not the appropriate place for him to discuss such an internal college matter. 


MINUTES for TODAY’S MEETING:  2/28/2012   -  (TEAM 1)


International Programs Advisory Cte (IPAC)



ACCEPTED.  FAIR437B (Himalaya); MGMT437 (Rwanda)  (Had been accepted earlier)



Honors Program Memo


ACCEPTED.  Informational items  (CUP has seen these)



Cte Undergrad Ed (CUE)


ACCEPTED.  GUR approvals; Debrief on AAC&U; civic learning; Viking Landing, Writing proficiency, future agendas


Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures  ACC discussed concerns forwarded from the Senate Executive on the policy.  A motion was made by Sheila Webb, second by Troy Abel, to send the document, with several edits recommended at tonight’s meeting, to the Senate Executive to revise and edit and present in Peabody format for policy and procedures.  ACC is encouraged to send comments and concerns to Senate Executive and the Senate President, Karen Stout.  The motion passed unanimously.


Plans are that the completed document will then be returned to ACC as main stakeholders for penultimate edits and then back to the full Senate and the campus community for comment and review (as is the practice with university policies).   ACC at that point will provide a final vote of approval, as the catalog is within its purview.  The document can be submitted to the Faculty Senate for final vote of approval.


Adjournment:  5:40 pm

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder – February 28, 2012


                                            ACADEMIC COORDINATING COMMISSION 2011-2012 ROSTER


Voting Membership (terms ending 2012)



Roger Anderson, Chair 2010-12



B –  Billie Lindsey, PEHR



Mark Kuntz, Vice Chair 2012



C –  Holly Folk, Liberal Studies



Jeffrey Grimm, CUE Liaison with ACC (nv)



 At-Lg: Kristi Tyran, Management



Steve VanderStaay, VPUE for Provost Riordan



E- Yvonne Durham, Economics



Dave Brunnemer, Registrar (nv)



I – Peter Smith, Library



Lisa Zuzarte, Catalog Coordinator (nv)



F-Niall O Murchu (for John Bower), FAIRHAVEN






Sheila Webb, Journalism, SENATOR



LeaAnn Martin, Associate Dean, CHSS



David Gilbertson, Accounting, SENATOR



Kathy Kitto, Special Asst to Provost



Fabiola Arvizu, ASVP



Dan Guyette, Dean, CFPA



 Victor Celis:



Deb Currier, Chair, Theater and Dance



Megan Housekeeper:



Cher Carnell, Sr Instructor, Theater & Dance



Kaylee Galloway:






Voting Membership (terms ending 2013)






H-Tracy Thorndike-Christ, Spec Ed



Records: Senate Recorder



D-Mark Kuntz, Theater and Dance



Rose Marie Norton-Nader



A-Roger Anderson, Biology, Chair,  UPRC rep



 Zach Cisco, Distinguished Student Emp Senate



G-Troy Abel, Huxley College



Members Present






Recorder  and Guests






Meeting: 2/14/12        TOTAL:


Members (18):12 voting faculty (2yr terms) include representatives of 9 areas and 1 at-large plus 2 Senators (1 yr terms).  6 additional members include:  Provost or representative VPUE (v), Catalog Coordinator (nv), Registrar (nv) and 4 students (voting).  ACC sends rep to UPRC (v) and liaisons with CUE (nv).  Recorder attends (nv).