EPAG Minutes
November 20, 2006
2:45-4:15, Campus Center 214

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

  1. The minutes of the November 13th meeting were approved.
  2. We reviewed the questions we intended to ask of  the ExCo representatives.
  3. The ExCo representatives arrived:  David Boehnke, Miriam Larson, Jason Rodney.  They distributed an outline of their plans and summarized it verbally.  They asked for collaboration as they build on the potential they envision.  We had questions about staffing and funding.  Current funding is through Student Government.  Keeping costs down is important to them; other than course-related expenses (copying, etc), they anticipate only the occasional need for honoraria.   They realize that as the program grows, expenses may grow as well, and MCSG has expressed that same concern.  They hope to have 2 student workers in the future.  The conversation turned to J-term courses.  They hope to pilot a J-term program of courses in 2008 that would be students teaching their honors thesis.  We expressed concern about whether an honors student would have the time or readiness to “teach” their projects in January, which is usually a time for intensive work on the project itself.   Eligibility to live in the Residence Halls in January is also an issue.   Are enough students on campus during January to provide an audience for courses?  We discussed the teaching application, and advised some consultation with Human Resources about the most appropriate way to handle references.   There is an Advisory Council being formed.  It is modeled on Campus Environmental Issues committee.  Its main concerns will be continuity and stability.  Some additional issues about the teaching were discussed:  there are student evaluations of the course; the current review of teacher applications is done by the ExCo committee at this time; there is no restriction on the class year of a student who teaches; the minimum and maximum enrollment numbers are set by the teacher.  We wondered how many times a teacher would volunteer before they burned out and would that hinder the program?   ExCo does not think that will be a problem, given the broad resources in the Twin Cities, and they anticipate one of the student workers would help with outreach for new teachers.  The ExCo committee is looking for resources of any kind (money, people, ideas), and invites EPAG members to get involved with the advisory committee that’s being formed.    We told them how impressed we were with the organization and sustained energy that has been exhibited thus far.   They encouraged us to give them further ideas.   After the representatives left, we pondered our next steps. Should we have a more pro-active role?  Should there be an EPAG rep on the Advisory Council?  What about student affairs staff involvement?  Should senior staff discuss and formally endorse the idea of ExCo?  This might help to clarify where staffing and other responsibilities would reside.  We agreed that we would develop a list of suggestions for the ExCo Committee, and that this list-building would happen over email.    
  4. Questions have come up about the general education requirements.    Karl confirmed that the section-by-section email response was okay.   Since the new requirements only apply to students entering Fall 2007 and later, we will have a period of transition when both old and new requirements are in effect.   Jayne and Ellen will work on some documents to help advisors, which will be distributed on paper and available on the Registrar’s web page. 
  5. We reviewed a study away appeal.  There were no procedural errors found.  The appeal was not approved.  
  6. On the general issue of study away, we hope to learn a lot from this spring’s review.  We still need to consider questions about study away that were left over from last year.  We should consider whether there should be a deadline for appeals.  There is still the impression that the content of the denial letters does nothing to discourage appeals. 

Adjourned 4:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar