General Education Initiative Task Force:

Minutes of Meeting - December 17, 1997

Members Attending:

Greg Cashman,, Jane Dané, Tom Erskine, Mike Garner, Ben Greene, Steve Hetzler, Victoria Hutchinson, Fred Kundell, Jim Lackie, Ross Leisten,, Pat Richards,, Kathleen Shannon, Sarah Sharbach,, Debra Thatcher, Gail Welsh, Arlene White, George Whitehead, Bill Zak

Members Not Attending:

Phil Creighton, Robert Long, Chapman McGrew, Fatollah Saliman, Robert Smith, Ellen Whitford

Jim Lackie will distribute an annotate bibliography shortly.

Meeting dates for the spring semester are:

Feb 11, Feb. 25, March 11, April 8, April 22, May 13. Time 3:30 - 5:00. Meeting room will be confirmed - try to keep it in Nanticoke A.

Retreat January 21 and 22 - likely to be Ocean City venue. Team and reading assignments were distributed by the Chair. The final agenda will be determined by the Retreat Agenda sub-committee.


Wednesday morning: Meet on team assignments and report back to group. Each member should look for a model that you would like to bring to the team time.

Thursday morning program including a 1 hour presentation and interactive discussion.

Additional topics to be discussed at retreat include:

-Possibility of writing proposal for an Asheville 98 team.

-Begin to look at possible models of other programs. Part of the retreat focus will be on 'how do others do it?"

Increased interest in the GenEd task force from different sources including Student services. As the process progresses, others could be brought in to contribute including student services, publications, individual feedback.

Campus feedback on the listing of attributes was presented. Statements include:

-Suggestion to include phraseology on citizenship and voting.

-The 'Broad Base of Knowledge" phrase was critiqued as to whether it is misconstrued to be knowing facts. What about a statement about exposure to great ideas and classics.

-What does a 'variety of media' mean?

-Where is the understanding of basic procedures of mathematics?

-What is the role of Gen Ed- what should or should not it be? Include competence in a academic discipline, be a set of guiding principles.

The feedback statements indicate that there is some miscommunication about the purpose of the document and the target audience. This needs to be clarified.

Issue discussed: Should we offer 'values free' education? No - the Strategic plan is very value oriented. But is Gen Ed responsible for creating value based education?

Issues with attribute listing:

What format/structure is best - relational, laundry lists, language, details, prioritization, weighting, other issues?

What do you do with the attributes once done? Go to the faculty at large for discussion and agreement. Provide input meetings to clarify what we mean and try to tailor the document with as little redundancy as possible. Provide it as a starting point for discussion.

What level of support should we exhibit about our document? We are representative of the faculty community and the issues that we grapple with now will also arise within the university community. We should try to obtain committee consensus by the end of the year.

Create a writing team to draft and refine the attributes better than what we hurried to get out for the Strategic Plan. Keep in mind that:

- Attributes are shared by Gen Ed and the major.

- Gen Ed is not an infringement on the major but more like a partnership.

- Eliminate the detail to get the attributes out.

- Large group action does not flow as well as smaller writing teams.

- Spend the afternoon at the retreat reviewing the written document

- Address the capability and skills of an SSU grad.

- Writing team will be: Kathleen Shannon, Bill Zak, Greg Cashman, George Whitehead. Anyone else who is interested is welcome to participate.

Asheville was explained: Must write proposal and be selected to attend. Offers private working time to develop time lines, courses, assessment etc. with the help of 6 to 10 different consultants. Entire process is individualized.