Committee on Undergraduate Education Meeting Minutes 





4:00 pm – 5:30 pm


WL 268


Listed below


CUE 5/6/10


Called to order by Matt Miller 4:00 pm.


I.            Approval of the minutes

a.       Minutes from 4/8/10 meeting approved.


II.            Curricular proposals:


GUR Category

Requested action


CUE Action

LDST 197



Will apply for permanent status next year.


MGMT 201

QSR stand alone


Concern about selected GUR category. CUE will invite Matthew Liao-Troth and David Zhu to next meeting.



Discussion of LDST 197:

Miller stated that ACC is willing to consider x97 courses as GURs if the course is intended to become a permanent course.   Thus, the submitted LDST 197 course may be reviewed for GUR status since it will apply for permanent status next year. 


Joseph Garcia provided an overview of the proposed LDST 197 course.  Course will be an introductory course with about 100 students and will include 3 hours of lecture + 2 hours discussion.  It will also be linked to LDST 497, a senior level course.  LDST 497 students will serve as instructional assistants in the LDST 197 discussion groups.  LDST 197 will include outside guest speakers and virtual mentors.  CUE members encouraged Garcia to widely advertise the course to potentially interested students since it will not be listed in the catalog.   Suggested areas to specifically target include: Western Leadership Advantage/VIP program; Bowman Scholarship recipients; Woodring /CBE/International Scholars type programs; Teaching-Learning Academy; FYE program/Viking Launch; and general student advertising.  Garcia plans to offer course next winter.   

CUE members appreciated that one of the GUR competencies for LDST 197 is “reflect on one’s own work” because it isn’t as widely used in the GUR program.  Garcia volunteered to participate in the rubrics pilot that CUE is currently developing.

Discussion of MGMT 201: 

·         How much of the course uses the provided simulation document? 

·         Do we have other social science-like courses that had been approved as QSR?

·         CUE should know the standard of what distinguishes/qualifies a course as a QSR stand alone versus the other QSR options.   How much of the course needs to be quantitative to meet the GUR expectation?    

As submitted, this course would fall under option 4.  There is an advantage in giving more students more options, but would like to make sure that it does not dilute or relax the standard.  


LDST 197: Introduction to Leadership Studies

5 credits, 3 hour lecture course + 2 hour discussion, SSC, not a FYE


Catalog description: 

An introduction to leadership theory, research and practice in small group, organizational and societal contexts.


Rationale/goals for course:

The development of leadership is featured among Western’s strategic goals yet no undergraduate general education course is offered that focuses on leadership studies.  This course is aimed at closing this gap and providing a vehicle for introducing undergraduates to the topic of leadership linking theory, research and practice.  In addition, the offering of this course is consistent with the purpose of the newly created Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership in developing opportunities for leadership education and scholarship at WWU.


GUR content:

1.       The general education program at Western is designed to develop knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, and the following academic competencies and perspectives.  Mark all the appropriate competencies that will be developed by the course being proposed.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

§  Analyze and communicate ideas effectively in oral, written, and visual forms.


§  Analyze and interpret information from varied sources, including print and visual media.


§  Use quantitative and scientific reasoning to frame and solve problems.


§  Apply tools of technology, with an understanding of their uses and limitations.


§  Work collaboratively and manage projects to effective completion.


Personal and Social Responsibility

§  Understand and evaluate assumptions, values, and beliefs in context of diverse local, national and global communities.


§  Understand and assess the impacts of interactions among the individual, society, and the environment.


§  Recognize the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of participating in, and contributing as a citizen in, a diverse society.


§  Reflect on one’s own work and on the ethical dimensions of academic pursuits.


Integrative Learning

§  Identify and analyze complex problems.


§  Explore, imagine and create.


2.       In narrative form, explain how the different competencies marked above will be achieved/ addressed in the course.

A.       In this course, students will be required to communicate in writing with professionals to discuss the relationship between concepts presented in class and the practice of leadership.  They will receive specific instruction on how to communicate effectively in this venue.

B.       Students will be provided readings from the text, and professional press and be exposed to guest speakers from the faculty and from outside WWU who will provide a variety of perspectives on leadership.  In discussion sessions, the students will be provided instruction on how to analyze the merits of information from these different sources.

C.       Cultural, societal and organizational contexts, and their embedded assumptions, are woven throughout the content of the course (e.g., text, variety of guest speakers, additional readings) and will be included in lecture and discussion sessions as a critical reference point for all discussions.

D.       Self-Assessments will be assigned to enable the students to gain greater awareness and understanding of their own approach to leadership and the implications of their approach on others.

        E.    Case studies of leadership will be used to help student learn to critically examine and analyze leadership situations as part of discussion session activity.

3.       How will the course being proposed meet the description established in the catalog for the specific GUR category selected in the form (i.e. Humanities, SSC etc.)?  Please refer to the description in the introductory paragraph of each GUR category in the catalog, pg. 45-49.

The study of leadership is typically grounded in the social sciences, and in particular, psychology, sociology, political science and anthropology.  This course will be grounded in, but not limited to, an empirical orientation to understanding leadership as a social and cultural phenomenon which is common to these social science disciplines. 


III.            AAC&U Conference Report from Carmen Werder

Carmen Werder provided a report of her experience at the February AAC&U Gen Ed Conference held in Seattle.  Werder commented that IUPUI advertises their Gen Ed program everywhere (in the residence halls, on bookmarks, etc) and effectively explains the value of their Gen Ed program to their students.  Werder spoke with John Purdie and our Residence Life department is interested in helping promote our GUR/Gen Ed program on campus.

The conference plenary speaker emphasized that the language that we use regarding Gen Ed really matters.  For example, “Liberal arts education” sounds like a political item.   We need to find out from students what speaks to them.  Ramon Rinonos-Diaz pointed out that it is more impactful when a professor verbalizes what the course learning outcomes are and why the course is important part of the GUR program.

IV.            VPUE  Report (Steve VanderStaay unable to attend, so VPUE update provided in written format)

1.       With the help of the Testing Center, WWU completed testing of 101 seniors for the CLA exam in April. This will give us a baseline “value added” score in communication, analytic reasoning and other GUR-related items.

2.       By the end of the year VanderStaay will need to summarize the progress CUE has made on establishing a GUR assessment plan.  He can state that CUE studied course-based, testing-based, and senior seminar paper-based methods and that we developed tentative rubrics for assessing the competencies.

3.       VanderStaay will also need to know the plan for fall.

a.       Analysis of CLA results? [Yes – including map results to competencies]

b.      Pilot of GUR Rubrics through sampling papers/projects?

c.       Next Steps? (Review the pilot and, if successful, expand to more courses?)

d.      We have talked about a few options for the GUR Improvement Plan such as:

                                                               i.      implementing a coordinated effort to explain the value of liberal education and the GURs in orientation and the GUR courses.

                                                             ii.      conducting an education campaign to teach faculty about the competencies and to encourage them to name one or two in their syllabi.

                                                            iii.      experimenting with linked courses, as the Sustainability Academy wants to do.

                                                           iv.      Another improvement option was raised at ACC: to pilot a linked core curriculum of three GUR courses, along the lines of Honors  or the old core curriculum.

CUE affirmed these items, but also wanted to discuss further at next meeting.   CUE members would like to identify how communication between the University Accreditation and Assessment Committee (UAAAC) and CUE will occur on a regular basis.  Is there a built-in mechanism?  Currently a CUE member sits on UAAAC, but it seems like there should be something more formalized.   If all the programs in the university are going to be assessed, then we should think of the GURs as a program.  The GUR program will need to align with all the others.  Tracy Thorndike-Christ will bring up these issues at Monday’s UAAAC meeting.

Where does the Writing Proficiency (WP) requirement fit in the structure?  CUE assimilated the Writing Assessment Group.  Do we need to clarify role regarding the writing proficiency requirement?   Is the first year experience group of classes considered a “program” on their own?  Interesting that CUE approves FYE (non graduation requirements) but not WP courses.   CUE doesn’t have an interest in vetting WP courses.    The Teaching Writing Interest Group (not an official committee/meets off -campus) may be interested in helping to pilot communication rubric in the courses the faculty members teach.

Rubrics Pilot: Implement in fall, instructors could report back to CUE in winter.  Have heard that Women Studies may be interested in helping pilot rubrics as well as Kathleen Kennedy’s HIST 103 course. 

This year CUE could come up with four or five questions to ask instructors after the pilot in fall.  For example: Did the rubrics map on to the course and what had to be changed to make them effective?  Can you use this rubric in your course?   How does it assess the learning of students in your course?  What changes would you want to see?  CUE would encourage faculty to adapt them as needed during the pilot phase.

CUE acknowledged that the course approval process this year limited the amount of action/progress on   the assessment aspects of CUE’s work.  And, the progress on assessment that has been achieved so far has required work outside of CUE meetings (i.e. the subcommittee work on rubrics).   At next meeting, CUE would like to discuss plans for CUE and how to balance the workload next year.

V.            Draft Rubrics

CUE began reviewing the rubrics drafted by the subcommittee.  Members commented that usually there is one word that separates the levels such as “adequate” or “minimal”. That could be problematic because it is open to interpretation.   Categories may work but the language may have to be translated in each discipline/area.  Subcommittee also noted that the intention is to make the rubrics as streamlined as possible and to avoid redundancy.   For Rubric One, in additional to AAC&U materials, the rubric draws language from the Writing Assessment Group’s 2006 document.  Rubrics conversation will need to continue at next meeting.

VI.            Future agenda items

1.       Develop a set of 4-5 questions for pilot rubrics.  Tracy Thorndike-Christ will develop some guiding questions. 

2.       CLA:  How do we analyze those results?  We need to map CLA to our competencies.

3.       Work on CUE structure for next year.


VII.            Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 5:33 pm.


Minutes submitted by Wendy Knight.








Borda, Emily





Grimm, Jeffrey


CHSS (2)



Kennedy, Kathleen


CHSS (1)



Miller, Matthew





Rinonos-Diaz, Ramon


Appointed by AS



Rossiter, David





Tag, Sylvia


Western Libraries



Takagi, Midori





Thorndike-Christ, Tracy


ACC representative



VanderStaay, Steven

Ex Officio

VP Undergrad Education



Vassdal-Ellis, Elsi





Werder, Carmen

Ex Officio

Director Writing Instruction



Wonder, Nicholas





Knight, Wendy


Admin Asst to VPUE



Luke, Linda


Registrar’s Office



Garcia, Joseph


Morse Institute for Leadership