Committees Educational Policy and Governance Macalester College

Educational Policy and Governance (EPAG)


EPAG Minutes
April 22, 2008
4:30-6:00, CC 215

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

Guests: Jaine Strauss, Devavani Chatterjea, Victor Addonna

1. Our guests readied themselves for questions about the CGH concentration. The first question was about similarity to minors, and the lack of advanced courses. The response was that breadth in a concentration is thought to be valuable, and too much depth might put too much of a burden on the student. They’ve discussed putting a cap on the number of 100 level courses. Advanced work will probably be based on the major of the discipline, and may develop organically rather than having it mandated. We noted that some of the questioning seems at odds with the structural changes passed in Section 7. To a question about what is “global” about this concentration, Devavani pointed to the various courses that connect the micro and the macro; the community and the global. In response to q question from about library resources, we were assured that no new library resources would be needed for the concentration. What about documenting non-credit experiences? They described ways of documenting those. Devavani talked about how Mac is alone among liberal arts – there is much excitement in the “outside” world about the opportunity we are providing to our students to be education citizens, particularly in this area. Our guests left and we discussed issues about which we had concern – mainly stating that not every course be a 100-level. Why? Are we looking for prerequisites? Not all non-100 course level courses have prerequisites. But, they are all meant to be intermediate. Section 7 does not require hierarchy – why are we forcing this issue? If majors and concentrations are complementary, why would it not be acceptable to do such a combination? Kendrick will write a letter expressing our concerns and asking for a version in catalog copy format.
2. The minutes from April 8th and 15th were deemed non-adjustable and un-improvable – perhaps even a delight. They were therefore approved.
3. We turned to the discussion of a new drop/add policy. Kendrick distributed a summary of the proposal: change the drop/add deadline to the end of the second week of the semester, change the grading option deadline to the end of the fourth week of the semester, no changes to the grace period after each deadline, withdrawal period begins at the conclusion of the drop/add period and continues through the end of the ninth week of the semester. Jayne clarified some points – mainly that the use of weeks is approximate – the published deadline will differ in some semesters. Paul reported that from the student input he has received, students are against an earlier deadline, and feel they need the longer period to make a decision. We had much discussion about why they might feel that way, and the impact of the later deadline on classroom activities. Faculty on the committee felt that a shorter deadline would improve the classroom experience and would be in the best interest of the students. There was a vote: Seven were in favor, one against, and one was absent. It was decided the new deadline would be effective starting with Spring Semester 2009.
4. We discussed the notion of switching Monday and Wednesday evenings in the same way that Tuesdays and Thursday class days are switched to accommodate the fall calendar break issues. While switching sounds good in the abstract – in practice it doesn’t work for many of the faculty who choose to teach in the evening. In addition, it could negatively affect the co-curricular activities that are scheduled.

Adjourned at 5:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar

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