Clerk’s Committee Meeting Minutes

October 31, 2014

Dean’s Conference Room

Attending: Zhihong Chen (Recording Clerk), Dave Dobson (Clerk), Sherry Giles (Business & Policy, and Sports Studies), Edwins Gwako (Social Sciences),        Adrienne Israel (Vice President for Academic Affairs & Academic Dean),                   Colin Macintosh (Community Senate), Lisa McLeod (Humanities), Steve Shapiro (Natural Sciences & Mathematics),

Guests for their portion of the meeting: Michele Malotky (Biology), Jose Oliva (Community Senate)

Minutes recorded for this meeting by Sherry Giles

Not attending: Jeffrey Ray (SGA)

  1. The meeting started with a moment of silence.
  2. The minutes from the October 24th Clerk’s meeting were approved.
  3. Guest Discussion: Faculty role in Serendipity issues – with Jose Oliva

Jose invited members of Clerk’s Committee to share their thoughts about Serendipity, which they did.  He described his hopes for what Serendipity could be ideally, concerns about past problems, and plans for making Serendipity a more positive and safe celebration.  Jose shared ideas for what faculty can do to support these plans.

  1. Review minutes from October 2nd faculty meeting.

The committee reviewed the minutes, with a minor correction of a typo.

  1. Guest Discussion: Proposed Biotech Major – with Michele Malotky

Michele addressed the issues Clerk’s Committee raised about the proposal for a new Biotech Major.

– Practicality: how feasible is it for students to take at least two classes in the major at other institutions? Is there transportation?

Michele explained that she had visited with Alamance Community College and an official there was enthusiastic about the collaboration, and would facilitate their students with an Associate Degree attending Guilford to complete the biotech major here. Regarding transportation, Michele said that if there were enough students who needed transportation, the department could rent a van to transport them to institutions such as Alamance.  A bus is available for transportation to NC A&T, where some courses would be available.

– Ethics: there is limited coverage of ethics in the proposed major.

The Biology department is amenable to developing and proposing a bioethics course, should the new major be approved by faculty.

– Distinctiveness: how is our biotechnology major different from other biotechnology programs in this area? Are we the only institution that offers this major at night?

Michele said that there are not other biotechnology bachelor’s programs in the area.

– Cost difference: since the tuition at one institution is different from that at another, will students feel OK paying a higher tuition at Guilford while taking classes at a lower tuition school such as GTCC? Also, for CCE students who have taken credits at community colleges, it works for them to transfer their credits and finish their degree at Guilford. But is this cost structure friendly to traditional students who come with no transferred credits? It seems that traditional students have to pay more to get the same degree.

Michele did a poll of students in one of her courses and asked whether they would be willing to take a course with the appropriate lab space and equipment needed for biotechnology (a clean room, etc.) at one of the area community colleges, and they said that they would be willing to do that.

– Enrollment: the CCE survey data from Rita is several years old. We don’t know the current need among the CCE for this major. Is it realistic to gear the major towards transfer students?

Michele shared data from Alamance Community College that indicate a substantial number of students would be eligible and interested in pursuing a biotech major at Guilford.

– Catalog Description: the various courses listed in the catalog description need to be further sorted out. For example, there are three Biotechnology courses listed in the “Tools in Biotechnology”: BIO 280 (GTCC), BIO 348 (Elon), and BIO 427(Bennett). Are they the same course?

Michele is willing to tweak the listing of courses to clarify subgroupings of courses from which students can choose.

The committee asked Michele to write a streamlined description of the rationale, potential market, cost to Guilford, catalog information, proposed list of courses and other essential information for presentation at the full faculty meeting.  Michele will complete the document by the end of November for Clerk’s Committee to review, and for Michele to present to faculty at the February meeting.

  1. Review of honorary degree nomination

The committee agreed to rank the nominee as the number one candidate for an honorary degree to be awarded in May 2015, and to put this nomination on the agenda for the November faculty meeting.

  1. Discussion of president’s community meetings, including status of position requests

The committee decided to discuss the president’s community meetings at a future meeting due to limited time at this meeting.

The president said at one of the community meetings, that she would make an announcement about which, if any, of the positions approved last year, would be approved by her for searches this academic year.  The committee decided that any of the positions approved by Clerk’s Committee in Spring 2014, that are not approved by Jane for a search this year, and are not approved for a search by Clerk’s Committee in Spring 2015, will be considered to be closed.

  1. Topics for faculty meeting on November 5th
    1. Campus tour guides will explain how they will work with faculty, with someone from Admissions present as well
    2. Consideration of honorary degree nominees
    3. Approval of revised slate for committee membership from nominating committee
    4. General Education Curriculum – new approach; response to concerns
      1. Clerk’s committee will recommend that a group is formed to examine whether we should undertake a comprehensive review of the general education curriculum. The group will propose a process to be used for the review, and will compile other relevant background information, for example, approaches to this kind of curricular change used by other colleges.

The meeting closed with a moment of silence.