EPAG Minutes
January 23, 2007
9:45-11:15, Campus Center 214

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

  1. The minutes from the last meeting in December were approved.
  2. Course changes:  Jayne distributed a draft of changes requested since the last meeting.  We discussed when courses should be deleted from the curriculum.  There is no requirement that a course must be deleted if it hasn’t been taught in a certain number of years, although the registrar does periodically audit the catalog for such courses and suggest their deletion.   Some departments find that their courses are so specialized that only the incumbent faculty can teach them, and they end up deleting large numbers of courses each year.  As a result of this conversation, Peter withdrew the request to delete the course U.S. Since 1945.    The rest of the course changes were approved and will be circulated on February 1st.  Jayne will notify the chairs.  We also considered and approved the changes submitted by the Hispanic Studies department that had to do with their major and minor.    This does not need to be circulated, and Jayne will notify the department.
  3. Calendar changes for 2008-09:   Jayne distributed a document showing three variations on a Fall 2008 calendar.  One simply moved the semester’s important dates & deadlines to one week earlier than a typical fall semester calendar.  One other lengthened fall break to a week, and changed the end date of the semester.  A third left a 2 day fall break, made Thanksgiving break an entire week, and changed the end date of the semester.   Recognizing that there is some interest in considering long-term changes to the academic year calendar, we agreed that we would propose this to the faculty as a one-time change.  There was not much interest in lengthening the Thanksgiving break.  There were sentiments supporting a week-long fall break, but given the one-time nature of the event, we agreed to present the first option (moving everything one week earlier) to the faculty.   Karl will prepare a motion for the February 14th faculty meeting. 
  4. Agenda for spring semester: 

    a. EPAG’s role and relationship with Admissions – we think it is an advisory role.  How can we fulfill that role?

    b. Grade inflation:  We decided to take this off our spring agenda.  Acknowledging that individuals on campus are interested in this topic, we feel that conversations on this topic would not result in any action that would stop grade inflation, and we can have more influence on grading practices in smaller, collegial settings. 

    c. The reconsideration of EPAG structure and process:  Is this model working, or should we go back to a 2 committee model?  That might allow some deeper conversations about important topics.

    d. We need to meet with the assessment coordinators.  The meeting will be scheduled.

    e. The general education subcommittees need to think about assessment.  They also need to be ready for the next round of requests.  Do we want to revise anything about the process, having been through it once?

    f. Interdisciplinary department issues:  We need a report back from the lunches where this was discussed. 

    g. Consider establishing a Dean’s list.

    h. Appeals of academic standing:  should these decisions be subject to appeal?  A quick discussion resulted in a decision to keep the status quo, but perhaps try to collect more information (about personal or family issues) prior to the committee’s decision.

    i. There is an upcoming personnel appeal; the new process doesn’t kick in until next year, so this remains on the EPAG agenda (faculty members only).

    j. We expect a proposal from the Global Institute.

    k. Karl wants to spotlight the Statement of Purpose and Belief and its relationship to learning outcomes (a web page? a group could talk about it?).

    l. Allocation request deadline is Feb 15th and we devote March to considering those requests.

    m. Can we use subcommittees and budget our meeting time to keep us to task on the agenda?  One idea is to spend the first 15 minutes on specific topics that can be done quickly, or can be introduced and discussed again, and then use the 75 minutes for lengthier discussion topics.

    n. For next week, we plan to use the first 15 minutes to talk about religious holiday policies, Latin honors and a dean’s list, and then discuss the ES review.  We’ll refine the agenda and subcommittee idea as well.  (Items on the agenda list that aren’t covered elsewhere in this document are the change in class schedule to allow for midday faculty meetings, and handbook revisions, and the unexpected appeals and requests that are inevitable.)

Adjourned 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar