Motions and Recommendations passed by the

Committee on Undergraduate Education 2010-11

(from Minutes) 

Kathleen Kennedy, Chair (fall/winter) and Matt Miller & Carmen Werder, Co-Chairs (spring)








Election of Chair

CUE members discussed the benefits and challenges of electing two co-chairs rather than one chair. Members decided to elect one chair for the time being.

Motion: Kathleen Kennedy was re-elected as chair of CUE for the 2010-2011 Academic Year.

Chair Authority to Speak on behalf of CUE

The Registrar's Office request's that CUE's chair have the authority to make decisions on behalf of CUE in the event that the Registrar's Office needs to make a time-sensitive decision on a student's record with regard to GUR status.

Motion: CUE members approved a motion to empower the CUE chair to consult with the Registrar’s Office and to make decisions regarding a student’s individual situation (e.g. granting GUR status for a specific course) when waiting for the next meeting is not possible. The CUE chair is empowered to make the decision, but must report back to the full committee for discussion to develop principles for future decision making.

ACGM and BCGM Catalog Copy Revisions

CUE members approved the revision to the Comparative, Gender, and Multicultural Studies (ACGM and BCGM) description in the CGM CUR requirement catalog copy. The changes are outlined below:


This section of the GUR provides an introduction to civilizations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, to multicultural experience in North America, and to gender studies.

Acquaintance with the values and viewpoints of a variety of cultures and societal roles helps overcome provincialism, aids self-understanding and is an important element in an educated outlook on the contemporary world.

Complete 2 courses, one from Block A and one from Block B.

Block A—Primary emphasis outside North America and/or Europe. Provides an introduction to civilizations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Block B—Primary emphasis inside North America and/or Europe. Provides an introduction to multicultural experience and to gender studies.

Authority of Faculty Director of Writing Program on Writing Proficiency Credit Petitions

Motion: CUE members voted to approve allowing the Faculty Director of Writing Program to decide on the validity of Writing Proficiency credit petitions as long as she/he serves on CUE.

The committee asks that the Faculty Director of the Writing Program report back to CUE periodically regarding petition decisions. Members noted that revisions still need to be made to the petition and the petition form.

Committee members discussed the Writing Proficiency requirement. CUE is considering having upper-division WP courses. Members also acknowledged that there is no clear oversight for the program.


Viking Launch Courses Approved for FYE Status

CUE members discussed whether to approve ENG 195 and ESTU 195 for FYE status given that they are both Viking Launch Courses and delivered in a shorter time-frame. Members decided to grant FYE status to the two courses because they met the FYE criteria and are concentrated educational experiences.

Motion: CUE approved ENG 195 and ESTU 195 for FYE status.

Resolution Recognizing Wendy Knight

Kathleen Kennedy, CUE Chair, read a resolution of the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) recognizing the service of Wendy Knight on CUE.

Resolution Honoring Kathleen Kennedy

A resolution appreciating and thanking Kathleen Kennedy for her leadership as chair of CUE was passed unanimously.


Implications of Theater and Dance Department Merger on GUR Credits

Recently the Theater department and the Dance department have merged. CUE discussed the implications for students taking a GUR course in each department and whether they would receive GUR credit for both courses now that the two departments have merged into one. The Dance department and the Theater department each have distinct GURs with individual assessment plans.

Motion: Davide Rossiter moved to allow Theater and Dance to continue acting as two separate academic departments in this instance for the purposes of fulfilling GUR requirements (seconded). The motion passed.

CUE members agreed that this issue can be determined on a case by case basis should it arise again.

Election of Interim Co-Chairs

Motion: David Rossiter moved to select two interim co-chairs at the next meeting at which time CUE will vote on a desirable future structure (seconded). The motion passed.

GUR Summary of Needs Document

Matt Miller and Carmen Werder, CUE Interim Co-Chairs, presented a document to the committee titled GUR Summary of Needs that outlined six needs for the GUR program and possible solutions. The list of needs and possible solutions were derived from Faculty Senate and ACC minutes, discussion held in CUE, and relevant documents. The following needs were identified:

  1. More efficient and productive process for CUE to meet its charge for advising ACC on the GURs
  2. Clearer and ongoing ways to communicate the purpose of the GURs
  3. More coherence and relevancy in the GUR curriculum
  4. Expanded access to GURs with consideration for time to degree
  5. Enhanced development opportunities for faculty teaching the GURs
  6. Specific recommendations for assessing the GURs

Motion: Emily Borda moved to approve the needs in the GUR Summary of Needs document (seconded). The motion passed unanimously.

New Meeting Structure

Matt Miller and Carmen Werder, CUE Interim Co-Chairs, proposed a new meeting structure:

4:00 pm Meeting convenes
4:00 pm Review of meeting minutes and agenda
4:15 pm Committee splits into two working groups to discuss one or more of the needs listed in the GUR Summary of Needs document
5:00 pm Group discussion to review suggestions from working group discussions and set agend for the following meeting
5:00 pm Meeting adjourns

Motion: Emily Borda moved to approve the general meeting structure as outlined by Miller and Werder (seconded). The motion passed.

Election of Co-Chairs Motion: Elsi Vassdal-Ellis moved to elect Matt Miller and Carmen Werder as Co-Chairs through the 2011 spring quarter (seconded). The motion passed unanimously.
Open Discussion on GUR Course Proposal Form Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Larry Symons and seconded) to open discussion on a proposal to revise the GUR Course Proposal form.
Revision of Course Proposal Form

CUE members discussed revisions to the GUR Course Proposal form. The following changes were made to the form:

  • Proposers were asked to check off only one or two GUR competency categories in addtion to the Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World category.
  • GUR competencies were organized under the following headings:
    • Intellectual and Practical Skills
    • Personal and Social Responsibility
    • Integrative and Applied Learning
  • A request for concise course rationale and competency assessment statemens was added.
  • Instructions on completing the form were moved to another webpage and a hyperlink to the instructions was added to the form.
  • A check box was added to indicate whether a course was new or already existing.
  • A space for a course proposal contact person was added.

Motion: Nick Wonder moved to accept changes to the new GUR Course Proposal form (seconded). The motion passed.

New Description of ACGM and BCGM GUR Categories

During the 2010 fall quarter, CUE passed a motion modifying the descriptions for the ACGM and BCGM GUR categories in order to clarify the difference between the two cateories.

Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Sylvia Tag and seconded) to recommend that the changes to the ACGM and BCGM that were approved in fall 2010 be implemented immediately, allowing for a transition period where all courses are aligned with the new description by January 15, 2012. Course revisions for the 2012 academic year must be submitted by course revision deadline.

Committee members noted that CUE needs a systemic way of communicating these types of changes to the departments.

Communication Campaign

CUE members created draft recommendations for ACC's consideration that were revised by committee members via Blackboard discussion threads.

Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by Diane Johnson and seconded) to accept the following ammendments to the draft recommendations:

"CUE proposes to initiate a communication campaign to better convery the purpose of the WWU General Education program and of the GUR courses in particular including the following:

  1. Endorse the following statement of the purpose of the General Education program as an official message for use in this communication campaign: Western believes that higher education enables people to lead full and interesting lives, to perceive and to understand the world around and within themselves, and to paricipate intelligently, sensitively, and deliberately in shaping the world. Our general education program includes knowledge of human culutres and the natural world, intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibility, and integrative and applied learning.
  2. Communicate this common statement of purpose to WWU students, faculty and staff and the wider community in multiple ways and in partnership with, but not limited to, the following: Academic Advising, Admissions, Alumni Office, chairs of departments, deans of colleges, Registrar's Office, Residence Life, the Teaching-Learning Academy, and the Western Foundation."
General Education Homepage

Motion: CUE passed the following motion (moved by David Rossiter and seconded) to recommend the creation of a General Education homepage:

CUE recommends the creation and appropriate resourcing of a General Education homepage where students and faculty may easily access information pertaining to the Generual University Requirements program at Western Washington University. In order to highlight the centrality of the GUR program to the university's mission, the General Education homepage should link directly from a prominent place on the university's homepage.

Syllabi Alignment

Motion: CUE passed the following motion (moved by Emily Borda and seconded) to recommend the alignment of GUR course syllabi:

In order to improve the communication of the GUR competencies to students, CUE recommends that all GUR course syllabi identify two GUR comptencies that align best with the learning and student work products in the course. CUE will provide models of such language, but it is left to the discretion of the instructor how to frame the language within the syllabus and introduce it to students.

Viking's Landing

Motion: CUE passed the following motion (moved by Sylvia Tag and seconded) to recommend the sponsership ofViking Landing Days:

To support students in navigating the GURs, CUE recommends partnering with Academic Advising, the Libraries, the A.S. Board, and academic departments to sponsor a series of “Viking Landing Days” in the Library’s Learning Commons beginning Fall Quarter 2011 that would afford students opportunities to learn more about academic domain areas of interest (such as the humanities, social sciences, and sciences) and their connections to the GURs. These co-sponsored days would bring together students, Academic Advising counselors, and departmental faculty advisers during the week before winter quarter registration begins and repeated at the same time before spring quarter registration begins.

Revisions to CUE's membership

Motion: CUE passed the following motion (moved by Emily Borda and seconded) to recommend the addition of the Director of Academic Advising or a designee from Advising Services to CUE's membership:

CUE recommends that the Director of Academic Advising & Career Development Services or the Director’s designee from Advising Services become a non-voting, ex officio member of the Committee on Undergraduate Education. This member can be excused from meetings that do not pertain to advising.

CUE's Review of GUR Courses

Motion: CUE passed the following motion (moved by Anu Singh-Cundy and seconded) to recommend the review all GUR courses listed in the WWU catalog:

CUE recommends that within four years of the passage of this motion, CUE will review every GUR course in the WWU Catalog except those exempted by CUE on account of a recently accepted GUR proposal or course revision form. The department or program offering each course to be reviewed must submit a GUR course revision form indicating the one or two competencies assessed in the course and the means of assessing those competencies by categories.

GUR Teaching Award

Motion: CUE passed a motion (moved by David Rossiter and seconded) to recommend the creation of a GUR teaching award:

CUE recommends the creation and appropriate resourcing of an annual university-wide award that recognizes excellence in teaching in the General University Requirements program. This award should be high in profile so that it communicates the value that the university community places upon faculty engagement with General Education.

Election of Co-Charis Motion: Sylvia Tag moved to elect Carmen Werder and Matt Miller as Co-Chairs for the 2011-2012 academic year (seconded). The motion passed unanimously.