Committees Educational Policy and Governance Macalester College

Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG)


EPAG Minutes
February 5, 2008
4:30-6:00, CC 214

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

  1. The minutes from January were approved.
  2. The course change memo was approved for circulation to the faculty. 
  3. A letter from the Psychology department regarding EPAG’s recommendation for the Cognitive and Neuroscience Studies program was distributed. 
  4. We turned our attention to the CST Director Job Description.  Kendrick hopes to make an announcement at the faculty meeting, then distribute the document electronically.  There were some editorial suggestions. In response to some questions, there was brief discussion about teaching load, assessment, and the role and job description of the Associiate Director.  Please let Kendrick know if anything is missing from the description.
  5. Handouts of possible handbook revisions were distributed – one tracking changes, and the other “cleaned up”.  This proposal describes 4 types of academic course of study instead of 3:  Disciplinary departments and interdisciplinary departments, interdisciplinary programs and interdepartmental programs.  Discussion ensued.  Diane passed out an article on the state of interdisciplinary studies.  Disciplinary majors seem to be regarded as the “gold standard”.   Are they?  Should they be?  Diane reported that by rough count 36 percent of departments are interdisciplinary with 12 percent of the faculty.   The upcoming Mellon meeting was brought up as a good source of information about what other colleges are doing and discussing.     In the meantime, we still have to deal with the concerns about concentrations/programs.   Once again, we state the problem:  currently concentrations are ephemeral things to which the college has made little commitment.  But the people within at least some of the concentrations would like more from it and feel that it needs more investment by the college.    Do we want another structure?  We want clarity and simplicity of communication.  Yet we are saddled with a thing that has too broad a definition, and examples that fit the entire range.  We could consider a simpler, perhaps 2 x 2 matrix.   We need to flesh out 2 different things:  academic administrative units versus academic courses of study. 

Adjourned at 6:03

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar


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