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December 2002

Faculty Senate Meeting Notes- December 11, 2002

excused: Kamber, Kobrynowicz, Rao, San Pedro
absent: Allyn, Behre, Bennett, Conjura, Knobler, Leake, Ruane Miller
guest: Amanda Norvell, Biology Dept.

Discussion of “Homework?  What Homework?” Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 December 2002.

-Crofts stated that the article calls attention to data from NSSE, suggesting that few American college and university students put in much time on their studies (45% of all seniors spend ten hours or less per week preparing for their classes).  Crofts noted that TCNJ was attempting to separate itself from the common herd, and that this would not be easy.

-Edelbach asked whether the college suggested to incoming students that it expected them to work hard.  He also noted that some students apparently arrive at college expecting to work hard, only to find that they can get adequate grades with scant effort.

-Nicolosi stated that getting rid of Gen Ed courses would be an important step in the right direction.

-Venturo noted that First Year Seminar (FYS) was designed to raise student expectations as they entered college.

-Quinton reported that seniors did not expect to work and considered it a blow to their self esteem to receive a grade lower than a “B.”

-Fradella regretted that incoming students often were greeted by non challenging courses.  He hoped to get strong teachers into FYS, including those in Math and Science.

-Lovett appealed for a halt to grade inflation; said that students in some courses reported that anything less than a grade of “A” would be considered a stigma and a failure.

-Crofts pointed out that grading standards in student teaching had made grades meaningless.  He urged colleagues in School of Education to make student teaching pass/fail or to uncouple it from the grading system altogether because each student already received a written evaluation.

-Venturo proposed a forum to discuss FYS.

-Carney noted that a preceptor could be attached to an FYS section to consult and assist on writing-related issues.

-Gross wanted a forum and speaker on FYS, especially to reassure faculty from School of Science.

-Wolz regretted exclusion of Computer Science from the CAP draft on Liberal Learning.

-Fradella reiterated need to get committed teachers into FYS, including Math/Science faculty.

-Clifford recalled that Tim McGee said that writing across the curriculum would not save on costs.

-Edelbach wanted college to support the transition from General Education to Liberal Learning.

-Gross applauded making writing discipline based.

-Wolz thought the language of the CAP report was too precise.

-Vandegrift wondered whether the discussion had moved toward a topic scheduled for later on the agenda.  Crofts agreed.

CSCC, report from Lovett.  Two issues discussed during fall semester: Academic Integrity codes and College Alcohol policy.  According to federal law, the latter has to be reissued or revised every two years.  If literally applied, current policies would be draconian.

CPP, report from Venturo.  Committee had reviewed plans to reorganize Student Services and to enhance academics.  The principal fall activity has been to develop a system of ongoing assessment that would provide an alternative to previous Middle States reviews.

CFA, report from Palmer.  Following input from various schools, the committee had prepared and nearly finished a written report addressing Faculty Work.  It would be available by Monday and will come before the senate next semester.

CAP, report from Klug.  He alluded to Liberal Learning report and said that his role was to moderate a discussion rather than to defend every particular.  A great deal of time and work had gone into preparing the report, including the taking of testimony from many different constituencies.  The result was necessarily a compromise rather than a unanimous consensus.  The report is a preliminary draft to which the entire campus community may now respond.  The Faculty Senate, as the one elected group of faculty, should study the report carefully and consider making suggestions.

-Curtis wondered how much writing was expected in FYS and observed that this course was presented as fulfilling many requirements, perhaps too many.

-Klug: it is not a course about teaching writing; it is to be writing intensive.  Talented part-time Rhetoric faculty will continue to be available to assist FYS instructors on writing-related matters.

-Strassman regretted that the current draft’s definition of “Diversity” appeared to shortchange the previous “Western” category and the imperatives of responsible citizenship.

-Klug: if read between the lines, the report does address such concerns.

-Wolz stated that Science and the Arts are marginalized in the report and that there is too much emphasis on writing in FYS.  Communication is more broad spectrum than writing.  Wolz also thought the college will be laughed at for excluding Computer Science from the Mathematics and Statistics requirement.  Many aspects of interdisciplinary work will require interactive and multimedia underpinnings.

-McMahan wondered whether FYS had to be taught the first year.

-Klug stated that it was definitely a first year course, and that the principal question is whether all incoming students will be able to take the course during the first semester.

-Venturo: all students will take at least three writing intensive courses, one of which is FYS.  Music can and should develop its own writing intensive courses for second or third year students.

-Morrison welcomed the attention given to race, ethnicity, and gender in “Diversity” section, but she regretted that class had been overlooked and hoped that Liberal Learning would ask students to consider the disparities separating “haves” and “have nots.”  She also regretted that the report perpetuates the system of “double dipping” (allowing one course to satisfy multiple requirements).

-Klug noted that class is mentioned.  He also noted that CAP had deliberately organized the Breadth requirement so that the two “interdisciplinary concentration” options (A and B) precede the “distribution list” (C).

-Paul wanted 30 hours of Community Engaged Learning (CEL), not 15, and also wanted in-class reflection on it, which we do not now have.

-Klug said that CAP expected many forms of CEL to develop, and that some may be connected to an in-class experience, but that CAP was loath to add another course to Liberal Learnings.  Nino Scarpatti, who oversees the current service learning requirement, testified to CAP that 15 hours of CEL was the national norm.

-Fradella commended the Liberal Learning report, said that he loved its interdisciplinary aspects, but wondered why breadth distribution required two science courses from different fields.

-Klug said that the proposed new science requirement was designed to break the survey course format of the current science requirement, and it that it was thought wise to expose students to two differing forms of scientific inquiry.

-Vandegrift proposed modifying the breadth requirement in science to allow two math or stat courses and one science course.  He also observed that Gender and Race/Ethnicity involve parallel methodologies that will not prove to be applicable outside of academia.

-Klug suggested proposing courses that would be more applicable outside academia.

-Karsnitz wondered why nothing was proposed regarding “technological competencies” despite lip service on page 5.

-Klug agreed that language of Middle States (standard #12) invited implementation, but that CAP had not been able to figure out how to do so.

-Venturo asked about timing of FYS; could it be up and running in Fall 2003?  English is willing to offer eleven sections.

-Klug: CAP did not address an implementation schedule.

-O’Connell opposed the apparent imbalance or inequality in the options for meeting the Breadth requirement.  She noted that all students under option C of the Breadth requirement were to complete nine courses, with three in Math/Science.  She questioned why options A and B of the Breadth requirement contemplated that some students might satisfy their Breadth obligations with as few as six courses, and only two in Math/Science.

-Klug affirmed that the inequality was part of the report.

-O’Connell suggested that students be given the option of taking both science courses in the same discipline.

-Klug suggested that the “two discipline” restriction for science might be broadening and might better serve students than the “one discipline” rule applied until now, but that this was precisely the type of issue the Senate should debate before providing its testimony to CAP.

-Karsnitz asked what part time faculty will teach if full time faculty teach FYS.

-O’Connell suggested a team teaching approach to writing.

-Norvell mentioned that she was involved this semester with a Biology course that was paired with a Rhetoric course.

-Klug said that FYS was designed to accomplish a number of things; among them, giving experience in writing.

-Venturo thought the CAP report had wisely provided a replacement for Rhetoric.

-Konzal requested support for writing.

-Carroll requested workshops on writing for which faculty would be paid.

The meeting then adjourned.