EPAG Minutes
October 30, 2006
2:45-4:15, Campus Center 205

Kendrick Brown, Beth Cleary, Natalia Espejo,  Ellen Guyer, Diane Michelfelder, Jayne Niemi, Wang Ping, Peter Weisensel (co-chair), Karl Wirth (co-chair)

  1. The minutes from the October 23rd meeting were approved.
  2. Jayne reviewed which course proposals were deemed acceptable, and the circulation to the faculty will go out November 1st, as is customary.
  3. The 2007-08 calendar proposal was approved.  We then considered the problems posted by the GOP national convention meeting in St. Paul at the start of our 2008-09 academic year.   Alternatives for starting the fall semester were considered.  One faculty member wants to be able to say that we have 42 class periods for every class.   Others would like to see a longer study period before exams.    Several noted that the Thanksgiving break comes very close to the end of the semester.  The possibility of a week-long fall break was discussed.   Would a week long fall break be something we want to think about adding permanently?   Jayne and Ellen will come up with several alternatives to present to the group.
  4. We discussed Middle Eastern studies group response to our questions.  We are still troubled by some of the language statements.   Most of our students come having completed at least part, if not all of their language requirement.   We will ask for a proposal that includes actual catalog copy.  Jayne will find out if it has to be a motion to the faculty or a circulation.  (NB:  The African Studies concentration was approved by the Curriculum, and then circulated in the monthly mailing to the faculty.)
  5. Peter reported on the meeting of the global citizenship committee.  The first meeting was built on EPAGs questions.  Peter has already emailed EPAG members his notes from that meeting.  They discussed a timetable and assignments to subgroups to flesh out details.  The idea of each department nominating one fellow for the purpose of the pilot program was discussed.  Some EPAG members are still trouble by the feel of “elitism”, although the committee doesn’t seem concerned about that issue.  We think there still needs to be some more thought around the access issue – appointment, application, open competition, what?   What is the timing of the whole application process – when is a student eligible?  Is there a length of time one can be a fellow?   We are not clear about the bookend courses, who is teaching them and in which departments.  Particularly in the case of the leadership course, we felt it could be taught by other faculty within the semester, for broader “ownership” of the program.
  6. Karl hopes to have the forms for the new graduation requirements up by the end of this week.  Ellen asked how she could and should monitor the “musts” of the new FY course review.  We advised her to ask for a syllabus or more information from the FY teachers in late spring or early summer.
  7. The group began a discussion of the ExCo proposal, which we understand is still being modified.   Karl reported on his conversations with some Oberlin colleagues who informed him that there is a move towards non-credit at that campus.  Most of the discussion surrounded the issue of giving credit for ExCo courses.  There were questions raised about issues of liability, what recourse the College would have if a teacher performed below standards or unethically, and about students grading other students.   There was much concern about the workload for students teaching these courses; course development is a lot of work, will student-teachers suffer in their own academic work?   The conclusion was that EPAG is supportive of the ExCo program, but only as a non-credit-bearing program.  Peter will communicate this to the ExCo committee.

Adjourned 4:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar