This Week's Message
On behalf of the Curricular Study Task Force, we'd like to welcome you to what promises to be a stimulating winter term! We have been busy since our membership was determined at the end of September. Following an initial organizational meeting, we convened weekly to compile and begin assessment of information pertinent to our mission. Thus far, representatives who oversaw previous work have met with us including: 1) Steve Klien regarding his summer conversations, 2) Margaret Farrar who shared data from the fall retreat and offered possible contacts from colleges that have undertaken faculty-load and graduation-requirement transitions and 3) Kristin Douglas who provided perspectives as chair of the General Education Committee. Through our membership representation, we are also in continued communication with EPC and Gen Ed. We will soon meet with Bob Haak and Mike Augspurger to examine materials they have collected, and Allen Bertsche joins the task force this week upon his return from Latin America. We will review his summer research as well and once we establish this background, we will determine how to best proceed toward faculty and departmental communication and discussion.
Jeff Abernathy forwarded our charge, quoted below (as moved by EPC and passed at the full faculty meeting on 25 August 2009):
"To create a short-term (1 year) Curricular Study Task Force composed of representatives of EPC, representatives of Gen Ed and representatives chosen at large from the faculty (in a process decided either by Faculty Senate or during a full faculty meeting.) This committee would use the materials gathered this past summer and the commentary from the Fall Retreat to coordinate an investigation into the possible effects, positive and negative, of a curricular change, in particular a change which reduces student load from 41 courses to a range from 35-37 (TBD) and which may include faculty course reduction from a standard load of 7 courses (21 credits) to 6 courses (18 credits).
This committee would offer regular faculty information sessions and work with Faculty Senate to schedule faculty fora or full faculty meetings at appropriate times throughout the year. They would work with departments to develop predictive models which might demonstrate the pedagogical ramifications of any possible curricular and possible ramifications of any proposed change on departmental offerings as well as report regularly with EPC and Gen Ed so as to examine the impact of possible curricular changes on a college-wide scale. The task force would complete their work with the introduction of a recommendation at a full faculty meeting in the Spring. This recommendation may push us to make a radical change, a modest change or encourage us to stand pat with our present structures intact, depending upon the data gathered and a cost-benefit assessment of the options before us."
We look forward to meeting with you very soon and launching a complete dialogue on this multi-faceted undertaking. In the meantime, please feel free to contact any member of the task force with any ideas or concerns you might like to share. This promises to be a rich and important discussion. Thank you.
Catherine Goebel, Chair
Curricular Study Task Force:
Allen Bertsche, Kurt Christoffel, Randall Hall, Peter Kivisto, Pat Shea, and