November 10, 2015
Present: Mylene Dressler, Michael Dutch, Edwins Gwako (Chair), Martee Holt, Norma Middleton, Michele Malotky (Recorder), Beth Rushing, Karen Tinsley, Marc Williams
- The meeting opened at 1:03 pm with a moment of silence.
- Approved minutes from the November 3, 2015 meeting with minor revisions.
- Sustainable Food Systems Proposal: There was continued discussion of the issues surrounding the SFS major proposal.
- In regard to procedures/protocol for proposing new majors, it was noted that the draft of the Faculty Handbook-Appendix G, which circulated through the committee this week, has not passed the corporate faculty and therefore, cannot be used to guide our decision…we are in uncharted territory.
- The major was recognized as potentially providing valuable contributions to the institution in regard to reflecting the institutions mission and core values, enhancing the utilization and potentials of the farm, providing community-based principled problem solving opportunities in an area recognized as a food desert and serving to recruit and retain students.
- Concerns remain regarding both staffing and the lack of syllabi that are required for the major. This major represents the first new major proposal in recent history where a program is submitted and reviewed that requires an area of teaching expertise not currently available at the college. This presents a conundrum, as standard practice has required sample syllabi for all required courses for a proposed major that are not currently in the catalog. Suggestions were made about how this major might move forward without prior course approval.
- A significant concern was raised about the uncertainty as to whether a full time hire would be possible. It is the committee’s understanding that staffing concerns are not the purview of the committee as they deliberate about a program, however it is difficult to uncouple these concerns given some of the current staffing issues across campus.
- After significant discussion, the SFS major was approved with the following conditions:
- Syllabi for the three required courses should be submitted to curriculum for approval within the first semester of being offered. They can be offered as a special topics course the first semester, but should apply for a permanent number before being offered again.
- A sunset clause that the program approval will expire if the program is not launched and the required position is not staffed within two years.
- Recognition that the unusual circumstances surrounding approval of the major without normal documentation constitutes an exceptional case and should not be used as a precedent for future programming decisions without strong justification.
- The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 with a moment of silence.