General Education Initiative Task Force:
Minutes of Meeting - November 5, 1997
Phil Creighton, Jane Dané, Tom Erskine, Mike Garner, Ben Greene, Steve
Hetzler, Victoria Hutchinson, Fred Kundell, Jim Lackie, Robert Long, Chapman
McGrew, Pat Richards, Fatollah Saliman, Kathleen Shannon, Sarah Sharbach,
Debra Thatcher, Gail Welsh, Arlene White, George Whitehead, Ellen Whitford,
Members Not Attending:
Mike Boolukos, Greg Cashman, Robert Smith
- Minutes were revised and approved as revised.
- Future minutes will reflect comments without names except if someone
distributes a handout.
- The holding of an open meeting on 11/18 as discussed last week cannot
occur due to a conflict with a Senate hearing on 'The Culture of
Conversation' - a part of the Alcohol Task Force.
- If you wish to attend a conference, please let Pat know and she will
provide the names to the Provost to make the arrangements. The Provost
is currently working on the registration for individuals attending
conferences in January and February. He would like each member of the
committee to attend a conference over the course of this initial study year
that addresses Gen Ed issues.
- Homework: If you are a school representative, please gather the following
- A list of professional organizations that represent disciplines
within your school. The department may be already be affiliated
with the professional organization or may be interested in that
- Request that department members provide us with information
from these professional organizations that address or define desired
attributes or competencies that the organizations deem necessary
for majors of their discipline.
- You may include any organizations that you feel are relevant
including crossover organizations or honorary societies.
- This information should be synthesized into a 1 to 2 page executive
summary for each area/professional organizations.
- Please start gathering the information - it may take time to pull
together - committee would like to have it by the 12/10 meeting or
at latest by January retreat. Request was made that Sarah and
George assist the Fulton school rep - Bill Zak -due to the large
number of departments within Liberal Arts.
- Provost discussed the issue of attributes of a SSU grad. We don't want to
get ahead of ourselves in the process. We need to stay focused on
identifying those attributes - this is the critical starting point. It is essential
to identify the attributes by doing the reading on Gen Ed and by
investigating associated agencies.
Once we go to the open meeting- each member on the committee must act
as a task leader and the committee must appear focused. This was
scheduled as the year of learning - each person meeting on this committee
should go to the library and do the reading. Of all the campus committees,
this is probably the most critical one - we must make informed decisions.
It is important that we do not get ahead of ourselves. We must do the
attributes first and then get to the models etc.
- A suggestion was made that the reference material be divided up into
groups and each team review and report back on it. Jim Lackie was asked
to do a classification of the reference material so that we can go through it
more easily. Jim will bring a focused list next week and then the
committee can split it up for review.
- The issue was discussed as to whether a representative from Student
Services or Student affairs should be asked to join the committee. Gen Ed
requirements may also deal with service learning and orientation, and
having someone from a student support area may provide additional
insight. Concern was expressed that by inviting an additional non-faculty
person to join this committee of 24, which is already large and currently
has 4 non-faculty members, the committee may become even more
cumbersome and the perception that this is a faculty committee may be
diluted. Finally after a lengthy discussion, the consensus was that a
Student Services or Student Affairs representative will be identified and
will be invited to selected meetings, but will not become a part of the
committee at this point. This decision may be revisited later when we are
further along into the process.
- No Deans and Chairs meeting will be held on January 22nd so the date of
January 21/22 for the planned retreat will be acceptable.
- Pat passed out two handouts - one from Becky Emery in Career Services
and the other from Robert Smith on COMAR regulations.
- There was a lot of discussion on when to have an open meeting and the
process that we wanted to follow. Ideas included:
- Holding an open meeting on 12/9
- Waiting until the beginning of February for the first meeting on
attributes and then meeting again within a month for an open
discussion of the attributes.
- Combining the discussion of our attributes with the discussion of
the strategic plan on 11/25.
- Discussion as to whether we are ready to even present our attributes list
ensued and also how the attributes would fit into the strategic plan.
Timing issues were raised. The Provost indicated that although we may
not be ready to incorporate our attribute list in the strategic plan that will
be presented on 12/2/97, the plan can be modified once we have come to
The Provost explained that the strategic plan needs to be completed now
so that it can be meshed with the capital plan and the building plans and
presented in a package in April to the Board of Regents.
- The question was raised as to whether the strategic plan will be codified
and become like a contract that we will do these things - whether we get
the additional funding or not. The Provost emphasized that a strategic
plan is a living document - one that changes and grows continually. Even
though things are written on paper, the idea is that this plan will continue
to be molded and enhanced to fit our changing needs and environment.
The intended audience of the strategic plan is first the Board of Regents
and secondly, the faculty. The strategic plan will be used as a tool to
increase the funding base that we receive from the Board of Regents. If
we get money, we will implement the plan as written, if we don't get the
money we will modify to fit with what we do receive. People should not
be afraid of the plan - it is not being created to set people up for failure - it
is our attempt to increase funding so that we can meet target goals like
85% percentile for faculty salary, conversion of contingents, technology
- When will we complete our discussion of attributes? It appears that our
work so far is not terribly different from what we have currently. There
are issues about how groups came up with their top 5 list's and how each
group organized their categories. Can we come to consensus on the
attributes so that we can at least present a draft to the faculty by the 11/25
meeting. If we can circulate it for a while, we can then use the faculty
feedback to revise and refine during January retreat.
- We will work specifically on the identifying the attributes at the 11/19
meeting. We hope to put together a document that can be distributed to
faculty on the 25th and even discussed if time allows at the end of the
Strategic Planning meeting.
- It was the consensus of the committee that we hold an open faculty
discussion meeting about attributes in early February.
- Homework - In order to accomplish our goal on the 19th, there will be
Go through the attributes and look at the minutes from the meeting
of the 15th. Each individual produce a reflective listing of the
attributes that you feel are necessary - make a copy to distribute to
the members of the committee.
Try to mesh the attributes with the strategic plan as it is written.
On 11/19, we will try to pull the attributes together. We will need
- At this point, we do not plan on scheduling an open meeting until the list
is pulled together and circulated first to faculty.
- Jim Lackie discussed the COMAR reg's and what SSU does. He will
copy and distribute the overhead that he used at the next meeting.
- Vickie will forward meeting handouts to those individuals who are absent
from the meeting.