Motions and Recommendations passed by the

Academic Coordinating Commission 2002-03

(from Minutes) 

Steve Ross, Chair






GER Committee

A motion made by James Inverarity, seconded by Tjalling Ypma, was passed by the ACC to create a �statutory time� for the meeting of the GER committee on Thursdays at 4 pm. Without such a statutory time it proves close to impossible to find a time acceptable to all members.  This way, potential members will know whether they will be able to serve.

Procedure for 5/13/03 ACC Meeting A motion, made by Steve VanderStaay, seconded by Fred Grote, was passed by the members (seven in favor, four opposed) that the next meeting of the ACC be restricted to procedure.  Members agreed that this would not rule out the possibility of taking straw polls, or moving to a committee of the whole. 4/29/03
Thanks Expressed to Task Force A motion was made by Tjalling Ypma, seconded by Reiko Darling, to receive the report of the General Education Task Force and to discharge the Task Force with thanks, which was passed unanimously by the Commissioners. 4/29/03
Geology 204 as a Science B GUR course Robert Thorndike moved to approve offering Geology 204 as a Science B GUR course, seconded by Brian Burton, and passed by the members. The GER Committee approved this on April 10th and requested that the matter be expedited so that the course could be offered for GUR credit next year. The intention is to teach this in tandem next year with English 238, though each of Geology 204 and English 238 is approved as a stand-alone GUR course. There was substantial departmental and CASC enthusiasm for the novel experiment of tandem teaching these courses. 4/15/03
'Advanced Media Literacy'-Title Change   A motion was made by Shelby Sheppard, seconded by Brian Burton, and passed by the members, to approve the change in title of �Advanced Media Literacy� to �Media Literacy�, since the first title implied that there was a preceding or introductory level class. Perry had already obtained the required signature from the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. 4/1/03
Policy on Use of Honor Cords at Western Commencement

Tjalling Ypma proposed the following motion, seconded by Shelby Sheppard and unanimously passed by the members:

�Only cords issued by Western Washington University (Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude, and WWU Honors program) may be worn at Western�s commencement ceremonies.�                          The policy will be included in the brochure sent to all prospective graduates. Rationale:

v     Chair Downing led the discussion with members on the subject of �cord� policy at Western�s graduation ceremonies because constituents have brought the concern to ACC about the proliferation of different and varying kinds of cords worn at graduation.  As it stands, the university allows cords for students graduating Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude, and in the Honors program.

v     In earlier discussions members who were surveyed noted that several additional organizations were encouraging students to wear their cords.  Members recommended that Western allow graduates to wear only those cords provided by Western.  Graduates are earning degrees from Western Washington University, and these cords acknowledge that.

v     ACC commissioners expressed concern that the proliferation of cords from different organizations, some of whom might begin to solicit Western students to join their organizations, and even request a type of acknowledgement in the ceremony�s printed program might have a cheapening effect on the meaning of wearing cords.  At the same time members acknowledged that at some future date the ACC may wish to broaden the policy. 

v     According to the Associated Students Vice President for Academic Affairs, who solicited some student opinion on the subject, a slight majority of Western students are supportive of a strict cord policy in light of the importance and formality of the commencement exercise.

General Studies Major Committee

The Executive Committee moved and seconded the following charge to the Ad Hoc Committee on the General Studies Major, which was passed by the members.


The Committee shall consist of five members: The Director of Academic Advising, one student to be chosen by the ASB, and three faculty to be chosen by the ACC. The Committee's task shall be to review the current General Studies Major and to identify its strengths and weaknesses. The committee shall make recommendations on strengthening the major should that appear to be appropriate, keeping in mind the importance of preserving its role as an alternative for students who have found it difficult to complete a departmental major late in their undergraduate careers.  The Committee shall select its own Chair.�

Advice for the committee (not an exhaustive list):

         Determine why it is important to have this major.  What factors led to its creation?

         Collect data on the profiles of current General Studies majors. Interview at least some of these students and inquire as to the reason for their choice to become GS majors.

         Consider whether the General Studies Major should be housed in a single college.

         Examine similar majors at other schools, such as UW and WSU, as well as student designed majors at WWU.

         Consider requiring students to declare a GS major in a timely fashion so that the major would not be simply a collection of courses already taken, but would reflect a coherent design or plan.

         Consider ways of making advisement a larger part of the GS major than it is currently.

         Consider whether there should be a standing committee of the ACC called "The General Studies Major Committee" which would scrutinize and approve individual proposals.

         Decide whether all GSMs would be described simply as General Studies Majors or whether they would be further described by category (see WSU) or even by individual content.

         Consider requiring a capstone course or paper for all GS majors (cf. the UW program)

         Consider finding ways of permitting GS majors to enroll in courses that are ordinarily restricted to students in a departmental major (otherwise the courses available to GS majors would simply be left over courses in many cases, and this could easily interfere with attempts to make the major more coherent).�

Reading of Minutes

A motion was brought by the ACC Executive Committee, which the members passed unanimously (text follows):

�The ACC will henceforth abandon the practice of subjecting minutes of committees reporting to it to both a 1st and a 2nd reading.  If questions or concerns arise regarding the minutes as a whole or on particular actions recorded in those minutes, approval of the whole or part will be delayed until those questions or concerns are satisfactorily resolved.�

Extension Courses

A motion was brought by the ACC Executive Committee, which the members passed unanimously (text follows):

�No more than fifteen credits of WWU courses taken with the �EXT� rubric can be applied towards an undergraduate degree at Western Washington University.� 
All courses subject to ACC review MOTIONNo credit-bearing courses may be offered by Western Washington University without being reviewed and approved by the Academic Coordinating Commission.  Credit-bearing courses that do not undergo review in a collegiate curricular committee or committee that reports to the ACC must be approved directly by the ACC. Jan 21, 2002