Committees Educational Policy and Governance Macalester College

Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG)


EPAG Minutes
October 16, 2007
4:30-6:00, CC 215

Fahima Aziz, Kendrick Brown (chair), Pete Ferderer, Terri Fishel, Ellen Guyer, Dan Keyser, Paul Maitland-McKinney, David Martyn, Diane Michelfelder, Jayne Niemi, Manoj Vemula, Peter Weisensel, Eric Wiertelak, Karl Wirth

  1. The minutes were approved without need for improvement or correction.
  2. Reminder to GES chairs:  The submission deadline is October 29th.  Schedule a meeting to turn things around fast.
  3. Kendrick met with Jim Dawes about the Human Rights concentration proposal.  A revised version has been received and will be on next week’s agenda.
  4. Kendrick distributed a revised draft of the letter to the Math and Computer Science department about their proposal for a new major in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.  If you have further comments, please get them to Kendrick quickly –he is meeting with Karen Saxe tomorrow.
  5. Kendrick reported on the ad hoc committee on EPAG and its possible restructuring.  It’s been suggested that there be a current EPAG member on the committee.  It was further suggested that the EPAG member be the chair.  The group agreed in principle, but with further discussion questioned whether that was necessary or desirable.  Once again, Professors Moore, Montgomery, Kurth-Schai, Gunderson, and Krueger have accepted appointment to the committee.
  6. Karl presented information on an alternative to the current course evaluations that was piloted with a small group (28 faculty, some with more than one course) last year.  Students also participated in formation of the additional questions so that results would be useful to the student body as they choose courses.   We applauded Karl’s presentation, as well as offering kudos to the faculty who participated.  Discussion then ensued.  We talked about how this rating system could be useful to individual faculty for improving their teaching, and to the institution as a whole. We talked about the most effective means of implementation here at Macalester -- ranging from mandating its use to a “use it if you want to” model.  We know that the usefulness of the tool will depend on participation, and we also think that confidence will build with increased use and exposure.  We hope this could eliminate some redundant efforts at evaluation.  EPAG will recommend to the Institutional Research Office that these new tools begin to be used as soon as possible, and will encourage faculty to attend the Windows On our Work session on this topic.    
  7. Kendrick has received several queries about retroactive approval for GER courses.   The group decided to allow late requests during the semester the course is taught, but not after the semester is over.  Jayne mentioned that requests from new transfer students may be coming up soon, and that she has warned students they will be required to provide documentation such as a syllabus and assignments.

Adjourned 5:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar


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