Academic Senate
Santa Barbara Division

General Education Workgroup
Minutes of the Meeting of June 6, 2003

Members Present: J. Heinen (GSA Rep.), D. Kohl (Chair, Committee on Student Affairs), C. Lawson (AS President), H. Marcuse (Co-Chair, GE Workgroup; Chair, Committee on Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policy), A. Wyner (Dean, Undergraduate Studies, L&S), X. Zhao (Undergraduate Council)

Others Present: D. Blake (Analyst, Undergraduate Council), M. Dahleh (Assistant Dean of Student Services, College of Engineering), J. Proctor (Undergraduate Council), D. Segura (Chair, Undergraduate Council)

David Kohl reported on enrollments in the language classes that may be affected by implementation of the prerequisite criterion.

Copies of an old course proposal form were distributed as to provide an example of a course that doesn't clearly fit the criteria for either the non-Western culture requirement or the ethnicity requirement, but would be a good fit for the proposed ethnicity/gender/queer studies requirement. There was disagreement about which area the best placement of the course best fit into, indicating the need for clarification of the that we still have various interpretations regarding the appropriate criteria for the proposed new requirement, as well as the existing ones.

There was further discussion of the petition issue. It was acknowledged that we don't know what the volume of petitions would be if we established a petition process. Since petitioning has not been allowed for some time, most students don't bother to make appeals. There was somewhat circular discussion of the same petition-related issues that were discussed at the last meeting.

There was discussionThe group was informed of CUAPP's decision- making process and some of the problems that have been encountered by the committee. Both students and faculty are believed to contribute to the problem of proliferation of the GE list. In addition to student demand, the desire to boost enrollments drives the submission of GE course proposals. There is concern that inadequate emphasis is put on whether the content of the course really fits the pedagogical intent of the GE Program.

It has been quite evident to the workgroup that faculty are not generally well versed in the philosophy or the logistics of the GE program. It is usually the advising staff who carry out the process of submitting proposals for GE. When there are discrepancies regarding proposals, calls to the department often indicate that there is only minimal communication between the faculty who offer the courses, the department chair, and the staff members who submit proposals. It was suggested that education may be needed within departments regarding the pedagogical philosophy behind the GE program and the limitations involved in administering it. It was also suggested that in matters related to GE proposals, CUAPP may want to consider negotiating with department chairs only.

David Kohl and Denise Segura agreed to meet with a sampling of departments over the summer to assess how departments make decisions with regard to GE and what practices are used when submitting proposals. It was agreed that a brief discussion should take place after the upcoming Undergraduate Council retreat to determine which departments will be contacted and how they will be approached.

Attest: Harold Marcuse

prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Oct. 22, 2003
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