Clerk’s Committee Meeting Minutes, February 16, 2017

Clerk’s Committee Meeting Minutes

Thursday February 16, 2016 2:30 pm

Present: Dave Dobson (Clerk), Don Smith (minute taker), Beth Rushing, Sherry Giles, Eva Lawrence, Kathryn Shields, Alfonso Abad Mancheño, Gwen Erickson

1.The committee gathered in silence at 2:33 pm.

  1. We reviewed the minutes from the meeting of 2/9/2017 and made no changes.
  2. We discussed our reactions to the faculty forum of 2/15/17 on aspects of the newest proposal from LAGER about the General Education revision.  The activity to indicate our reactions to aspects of the proposal seemed to go well, and the ensuing discussion revealed some confusion as to the leadership for this project, between LAGER, Clerk’s, Administration, and Admissions.  Although there seems to be some convergence happening, there are parts of LAGER that people are still unhappy with, and there are still facets that people want that are not yet in the LAGER proposal.

We discussed how the Art&Science response does and does not intersect with the LAGER process.   Beth reiterated that the response from A&S calls for transformative change, not small tweaks that delude us into thinking we’ve made a change.

One challenge with the forum was that the proposal is being revised as we speak, and there was some confusion as to which version we were responding to.  There is lack of clarity as to whether LAGER has completed their charge, and has handed it off to… Clerk’s?  The faculty?   “In which court is the ball now?”  How many proposal reviews do they need to do?  Some faculty are still reacting to previous versions that are no longer relevant, or someone on the committee will use language that evokes earlier versions, and that can lead to confusion.  Sometimes there is confusion between who is presenting and who is facilitating.  Often we don’t truly trust the committees we empower to go off and do the work.

There seems to coalescing support around separate breadth courses, experiential components, and faculty led programs (although some student led programs in some cases would probably be exciting).  Does the group work requirement leave room for introverts?  Or is it good to help people step outside their comfort zones?  Are we ready to shepherd the groups to maximize productive discomfort without crossing over into dysfunction?  There was concern expressed that we are “pulling bricks out of the building as it’s being built” and whether we are supporting the committee we entrusted to do this work.  It’s been a long process, and there does seem to be progress.

Some people who were here for the 1998 revision compared our current process with that one and felt we were actually doing quite well, in terms of speed, progress, and general rancor.  We may be in “the spaghetti”, but this is not surprising and should not be discouraging.

Next steps: hand it back to LAGER for a final revision?  Clerk’s has a scheduled meeting with LAGER next week; we could give them the March 1st forum.  There could also be a large chunk of time at the March 8th faculty meeting.  Should we have a called faculty threshing meeting?  We will talk to LAGER next week about what would be most useful for them.

  1. We discussed a proposal to add “Peace” to the list of Core Values.  Clerk’s didn’t seem to be the most appropriate venue to discuss this proposal.  We reviewed the process by which the Core Values were originally established, and it was emphasized that the original process involved the whole campus, with many constituencies involved beyond just faculty.  We decided that the SPOC would be the best body to consider this proposal, and the Clerk will send the proposal on to that body.
  2.  We discussed a proposal to modify the requirements for being able to participate in the graduation ceremony.  The next step is for the faculty to consider it, but we also want to solicit student input, to ensure that this is something they want.  Before the meeting of Clerk’s on March 2nd, Beth will discuss the proposal with student leadership.  We will decide on the 2nd whether to bring it to the faculty for discussion or approval.
  3.  Further agenda items were postponed to later meetings.
  4.  The meeting closed with a moment of silence at 3:51 pm.