GENERAL EDUCATION 
INITIATIVE TASK FORCE MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1998, 3:30 P.M., 
FREDERICK ROOM, COMMONS
 

MEMBERS ATTENDING: Don Cathcart, Greg Cashman, Sandra Cohea-Weible, Jane Dane', Mike Garner, Ben Greene, Steve Hetzler, Victoria Hutchinson, Charles Long, Robert Long, Patricia Richards, Kathleen Shannon, Sarah Sharbach, Debra Thatcher, Gail Welsh, Arlene White, George Whitehead and Bill Zak

MEMBERS NOT ATTENDING: Tom Erskine, Fred Kundell, Ross Leisten, Chapman McGrew, Fati Salimian and Robert Smith

1. Minutes - The minutes of November 18, 1998 were approved as recorded.

2. Provost’s Comments: Don shared with the Task Force his thoughts of the possible concept of a university within the university.  Through immense changes, new programs will be forthcoming that will mean a departure from the old.  Change will happen because of what this task force does; its influence is very important.  Funds will need to be there as well.  Service learning, civic engagement and leadership are major initiatives each requiring $100,000 funding.

 The Provost will ask Tony Whall and Anna Marie Roos to focus on the correlation of the Honors Program and General Education.  Realistically, 25% of our faculty will come on board with enthusiasm for the General Education initiative.  The SSU educational experience should be part of the funding growth.  When looking at requests for funds, the Provost will focus on the issues facing the Task Force and the overall plan to achieve those goals.  It was acknowledged that the pace of the committee’s progress is slow but unavoidable given the task and workload schedules of the those involved.  The Provost invited Pat to submit a written proposal for subcommittee members to receive compensation/release time for their efforts.

3. Gen Ed Retreat -A retreat will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 1999 in the Frederick and Montgomery Rooms from 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.  A continental breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m.; the working session will begin at 9:00 a.m.  Lunch and dinner will be provided. Agenda items will include learning goals, prioritizing the plan and focusing on procedures to move us forward.  Suggested points to be debated are the freshman experience; the pluses and minuses of sample models.

4. Review of Survey Results - Following distribution of the survey results, Gail reported there were 97 faculty responses and the comments offered provided valuable information. The actual surveys are accessible for Task Force members to review.  Questions were raised as to whether the survey results will be made available on the Web and whether the written comments should be included.  As some surveys are still out, it is hoped that by January a final report will be available.  The deadline for collecting outstanding surveys will be the end of next week (after finals).  Thanks was extended to Kathleen and Gail for their work in tallying the survey results.

5. Handouts - Copies of the articles “Higher Education and Psychology in the Millennium” and “The Adult Learner in Higher Education and the Workplace” were distributed.

6. Discussion - General Education today may need to become an eclectic model and an evaluation made of the composition of  such a model.  General Education courses could be structured to coincide with majors and provide a vital link by the time students are seniors.  Perhaps a speaker could be invited to attend the retreat or a visit could be arranged during the semester to offer insight into the content area of the freshman seminar.  Faculty involvement during this presentation might be a good idea.  A review is needed of majors that are lock step where students have to take courses X, Y and Z in Freshman Orientation.

Meeting adjourned.

Recorder,
J. Young