Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate

Unapproved Minutes

April 23, 2013 

Meeting called to order at 12:28 pm.

1. The motion was made to approve the minutes from the March 26, 2013 meeting.  Motion was approved. Voice vote.

2. Jennifer Thiel presented the May 2013 Candidates for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Sciences. Candidates were approved. Voice vote.

3. Benedetto Piccoli, on behalf of the APC committee, presented the following courses and recommended them for approval:

  • 50:730:181-Self and Identity (formerly The Problem of Identity)
  • 50:730:250-Environmental Ethics
  • 50:730:252-Eating Right: The Ethics of Food Choices and Food Policy
  • 50:940:424-The Inquisitorial Mind
  • 50:940:471-Technology in the Spanish Classroom
  • 50:940:478-Spanish Grammar and Linguistics I
  • 50:940:479-Spanish Grammar and Linguistics II

All courses were approved. Voice vote.

Also presented for approval on behalf of the APC committee were the following learning abroad courses. The clarification was provided that the course numbers were being presented primarily for administrative reasons, in order to allow students to pay for these courses using financial aid awards and loans.

  • 50:350:385-386 (BA/BA)-Dept of English Learning Abroad Program
  • 50:415:387-388 (BA)-Learning Abroad Program in Foreign Languages
  • 50:420:387-388 (BA)-Learning Abroad Program in French
  • 50:470:387-388 (BA)-Learning Abroad Program in German
  • 50:510:365-366, 50:512:378-379, 50:516:365-366-Dept of History Learning Abroad Program
  • 50:730:381-382-383-Philosophy & Religion Learning Abroad Program
  • 50:790:376-377-378-Dept of Political Science Learning Abroad Program
  • 50:940:387-388 (BA)-Learning Abroad Program in Spanish

All courses were approved. Voice vote.

4. There was continued discussion of the proposal, “A New Model for General Education Requirements at Rutgers-Camden”. Stuart Charmé distributed a report from the Strategic Planning Committee as it outlined that other stakeholders on campus are working on similar items to the proposal.  Secondly he distributed the course proposal form from Harvard’s general education program to correct confusion from the original proposal samples, as the original proposal modeled the sample form after Harvard’s version.  Dr. Charmé discussed two categories that he felt were important for discussion prior to a straw vote. The first is that this proposal would make a conceptual change in general education to a thematic model from the current one. The second topic included the logistical and administrative concerns regarding the proposal if passed. He began the discussion with a summary of what will happen to the general education model as it currently stands, if the new proposal is not passed. He explained that the current model will still need to develop student learning objectives and assessment methods and implementation. The general education model would remain at 42 credits instead of slimming down, and the BA and BS would remain separate tracks.  He outlined the pros of the current distributional model:  each department maintains their own stake, there is a large supply of courses, categories are straightforward, it’s already established without much complaint, and there are no administrative changes needed. The outline of the cons included:  the “distributional” model lacks coherence, there is no differentiation of general education courses and regular courses, and there is a lack of goals for general education courses and little faculty initiative and innovative pedagogy.  Dr. Charmé then presented the pros and cons of the proposed or “thematic” model. The cons included higher startup workload and ongoing maintenance (although he admitted that the original projections of this may have been overestimated), supply of courses will take more management as not every course will count as a general education requirement, departments will not be able to rely on general education requirements for enrollment in all courses, and there will be necessary reprogramming of Degree Navigator and NJ Transfer.  He outlined the pros of the new model as: there would be a single general education model for Arts &Sciences BA and BS , the School of Business, and School of Nursing, increased student freedom, more ability to determine goals and objectives of general education requirements, would increase faculty development, fewer courses that would be more carefully designed for general education, encourage integration at disciplinary level and also skills and content, differentiation of general education courses from non-general education, and would also make greater use of new pedagogies in courses.  Dr. Charmé then addressed the issue of faculty concern with vetting.  He clarified that the vetting process will not be to define what should be taught by faculty, but would rather be to ensure that the designed courses integrate the general education goals with the content of the course as it is designed.  He then addressed the issue of transfer students. He discussed requirements in the relationship between Rutgers and the surrounding community colleges that there must be a full year notification of the new general education requirements so that they can advise their students of the new Rutgers general education requirements. Campus implementation of this proposed general education plan will take two years, longer than the initial one year plan.  There will be ample communication between the departments on campus with the community colleges on the new requirements with time to fully prepare the transfer students for these changes. The floor was then opened for discussion.  Ira Roseman pointed out a concern by his department that there would be a possibility that students would be able to go through the proposed model and miss out on a well-rounded experience by not participating in social or hard sciences at all during their undergraduate career and wanted to ensure that students would have some experience with courses other than the humanities.  He stated that he received communication from the committee that a rule could be included in the proposal that states that each student must have at least one math, one social science, and one humanities course so that students have a diverse educational experience.  Kate Epstein raised the question if classes would be taught differently and the response from Dr. Charmé clarified that not all classes will need changes and it will depend on how the goals for each category fit in to what is the current content of a course.  Dr. Charmé made a motion to approve the members of the permanent general education committee, which would include James Rushing, Elizabeth Demaray, Cati Coe, Bill Whitlow, Howard Jacobowitz and Joseph Martin.  Motion approved. Voice vote.  Some additional concerns over the logistical implementation of the proposal were expressed.   Andy Lees directed the discussion to the straw vote regarding the proposed general education requirements.  The majority of the representatives voted in favor of the proposal.  Three representatives voted “no” to the proposal and one representative remained undecided.  Dr. Charmé announced that there would be some additional meetings held in the coming weeks to adjust the proposal and a binding vote for the proposal would be held in the first faculty senate meeting of the next academic year.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:19pm.

Present: A. Lees, L. Bernstein,  B. Saidel, A. Samokhvalov, R. Stevens, D. Lun, J. Smith, C. Fitter, W. Fitzgerald, C. Singley, M. Amdur, C. Giaudrone, A. Belander, K. Esptein, L. Thomas, J. Gerver, H. Jacobowitz, H. Li, M. Yates, G. Brannigan, R. van der Wel, I. Roseman, J. Siegel, J. Mazelis, J. Hippolyte, W. Glasker

Absent:  S. Kotchoni, A. Espiritu, J. Still, M. Fortner, M. Chevrier, C. Dell Clark, K. Hohing