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Fall 2009

Faculty Senate General Studies Committee
August 26, 2009  PL 360


Handouts:  Agenda, General Studies Task Force Charge DRAFT, LEAP initiatives, Report on General Studies at Metro from the HLC.

Present:  Susie Cook, Mark Segall, Dorothy Snozek, Liz Friot, Alex Padilla, Andy Muldoon, Lunden MacDonald

Regrets:  Rodolfo García, Doug Petcoff

The meeting was called to order once we were all able to find the room!  We made introductions.

An announcement was made that Human Services is “putting together a packet” and had contacted Theresa Crater with some questions, which she answered.  She referred Tony Ledesma to our committee for future assistance.  Lunden will follow up on this somewhat nebulous topic.

The next item for discussion was the General Studies Task Force being organized and charged by the college.  As members of the Faculty Senate General Studies Committee, we discussed what we felt were the parameters and limitations of our role with regard to this task force, and in essence the discussion yielded two thoughts:  that the Faculty Senate General Studies Committee should play a purely advisory role to the Task Force, and that we wanted to be represented by making one of the Faculty Senate appointees a member of our committee.  We will be following up on that soon, as Lunden has already spoken with Lynn Kaersvang about this connection.  We then discussed the draft of the charge, written by Dean Joan Foster.  As a group we discussed and re-wrote the following suggestion for replacement of one of the charge bullet points:

REPLACE:  “incorporate where appropriate the College initiative to improve retention through programs like the first year program, learning communities, and others”

WITH:  “recognize where appropriate programs such as First Year Success and Learning Communities as pathways for implementation of General Studies Program goals and avenues for fostering enhanced student performance with regard to General Studies objectives.”

Follow up:  This suggestion for replacement was made to Lynn Kaersvang and subsequently read at the Faculty Senate meeting on the afternoon of August 26.  It was accepted via email by Dean Foster and will now be a permanent part of the charge.

We also decided to suggest that the Task Force committee include participation from the Dean’s office of the School of Business.  Ann Murphy’s name came up as someone who might be qualified and interested, given her past experience on the Assessment Committee.  It was mentioned that input from the ScoB Dean’s office might facilitate a more productive process in the long run.

Follow up:  This suggestion was made by Lunden to Dean Foster and Lynn Kaersvang.  Dean Foster replied that she had spoken to the other Deans and that they were satisfied with the composition of the Task Force, preferring to leave the General Studies Program more in the hands of the faculty.  NOTE:  if the committee decides that we should further press this issue, we should make a group decision and communicate our wishes to the Deans and to the Faculty Senate President.

The imminent HLC visit (Fall 2010) was also discussed at length.  With regard to this topic, we as a committee reaffirmed our commitment to serve as a liaison and advisor to the Task Force as the large workload of this foundational committee is distributed.  A suggestion was also made that the role of the incoming Provost, Dr. Vicky Golich, will be fundamental to the effectiveness of the Task Force and the implementation of their suggestions for program revision and alteration.  Alex Padilla offered to contact Dr. Golich in order to invite her to our next Faculty Senate General Studies meeting so that we can “set a tone” for the relationship between our committee and the Task Force and so that we can investigate what the Provost feels could be our most effective means of moving forward.

Alex Padilla and Lunden MacDonald were elected by acclamation to be co-chairs of this year’s committee.

We established Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. as our standard meeting time, setting a bi-weekly schedule for now with the option of increasing that meeting time should the demands of the committee require it.

We also discussed the website as an avenue for providing information to the college community and to the incoming Provost.  Alex said that overall the website was up to date, but that he would take a look at it to see if there were areas that could be improved. This may be an area of further interest to us as the Task Force begins its work—perhaps an area of communication between our two committees, and also a means of providing current information to the entire college?

Lunden relayed a message to the group from Sheila Thompson, Director of Student Assessment.  Sheila was interested in solidifying a Faculty Senate General Studies Committee representative to the Institutional Assessment Committee.  Doug Petcoff had served in this capacity in the past.  In his absence, Mark Segall offered to serve as our representative for this year with the understanding that he would confirm this first with Doug. 

The meeting was adjourned and we set the next meeting time for Wednesday, September 9, PL 360, 9.00-10.00 a.m.


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