Open Hearings

University of Delaware Faculty Senate

Coordinating Committee on Education 

December 9, 1999

Official Transcript

1:30 - 3:30 p.m. 103 Gore Hall

I'm Judy Van Name, Chair of the Coordinating Committee on Education, and I welcome you. This is our first open hearing about the general education proposal, an opportunity for all members in the community to be heard. Does everyone have the handouts? Everyone has the agenda? We have the schedule. No, O.K., would you raise your hand if you need the agenda, please? Thank you. There are plenty of seats up front. If you need an agenda, please raise your hand. It's like the first day of class. The other hand out, we're distributing at this point is from the Undergraduate Studies Committee, and where are those? Rita has those. Maybe you should raise your right hand if you need the agenda and your left if you need the other. O.k. Are there extra agendas in the back? And as long as there's an agenda per every two people, thank you. Bonnie has agendas, so again if you need an agenda would you raise your hand? Thank you, Bonnie. Marcia, I'm sorry - you look like Bonnie Scott back there, sorry. Ok, so as we're getting our seats, we want to be sure that everyone has an agenda. Marcia has extra copies and also the Undergraduate Studies Committee recommendations. Thatís the other handout, does anyone need that? Ok, and where are those? The Undergraduate Studies Committee recommendation, these are the hands now that the hand out from the Undergraduate Studies Committee. Once again, welcome to our first open hearing for the general education proposal. I'd like to introduce to you the members of the Faculty Senate Coordinating Committee on Education. Bob Brown, from Philosophy is Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee and a rep on our committee and a member of our committee, Joann Browning, from Theater, Carol Denson is unable to be here, Bobby Gempesaw is acting Vice-Provost for Academic Programs, Alicia Glatfelter is our graduate student representative and she's in Chemistry, Marcia Peoples-Halio from English, a former member of the General Education Committee, Beth Haslett, (unable to be here) from Communications also a member of the General Education Committee, Jeff Jordan who is from Philosophy and Chair of the Library Committee, and there are three committees that the Chairs serve on this committee. Thatís why I mention that. Jim Richards, Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee is on this committee, and from Health and Exercise Sciences, Cara Spiro is the Business and Economics and undergraduate student rep, and unable to be here, Rita Girardi is our Administrative Assistant from the Faculty Senate Office, and Marcia is assisting her. Karren Helsel-Spry is our other Administrative Assistant and unable to be here. We have been discussing the General Education Proposal in our Committee meetings this semester. We intend to share our thinking with you this afternoon. One clarification I need to make is in the memorandum dated December 2 to all faculty about these open hearings. While the Coordinating Committee on Education endorses the ten goals and four components of the General Education Proposal, the Undergraduate Studies Committee has not done so effective at this time. But we anticipate, or we are hopeful that it will. The four components include a Freshman-year experience, a basic skills development, discovery learning experience, and a capstone course, and you're probably familiar with the ten goals and these four components. By now, you're probably aware, that the report is available on the web at facsen/reports/genedrpt.html. And if anyone has any difficulty I could put that on the board. We are interested in sharing with you some of our alternative proposals for General Education. We will proceed in the order presented in the agenda, since there are twelve presenters, we would like you to limit your comments to five minutes and I did bring an impartial timer but I'm going to hold back on using that. But in any case we hope that in the interest of everyone having the opportunity to speak and of course we're willing to stay as long as necessary but we realize that itís a busy time for everyone, that we can have five minute summaries from each of the presenters. We do ask that everyone introduce yourself first as well as your identity and if you would save any questions for the end of the planned presentations, at which time we will open it for questions and answers. We will follow a similar agenda on Monday, same time, same place. So if there are others who would like to be here who couldn't be here today we thought having the two hearings would help. Please share your ideas and reactions with others and especially with the members of the Coordinating Committee on Education. We will develop recommendations, which will be passed on to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and of course eventually to the Faculty Senate. So, Bob would you please share the recommendations of the Undergraduate Studies Committee?
Thank you. I'm going to be speaking from this real small type hand out, that I put together with scissors and paste at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. I think it's important to understand the sequence that has occurred. The Ad Hoc Committee on General Education was a committee appointed by the University Senate, it worked for quite a long time, it studied many different options and presented a report on general education to the senate last spring. And the senate simply received that report, didnít do anything with it, except to send it this fall to the Undergraduate Studies Committee. With the assignment to try to take the prose of that report or at least make some steps toward turning the prose of that report into the form of some proposals that the University community and the senate could consider for possible action. So thatís what we did. We studied the Ad Hoc Committee report. And because of the fact that there's a Pathways Institute occurring in January in which people are training and preparing to possibly offer Pathways courses we felt that particular sense of urgency in sense of doing this and particularly in addressing the Pathways part of that report. So what we did working very hard during the month of October was to look at the whole report and in particular look at Pathways and formulate some recommendation. And please understand these are our formulations of where the best way we think one could proceed if one is going to implement that particular report. The report of the Ad Hoc Committee, cause thatís the task we were given to move that report toward possible implementation. So, you have here a digest of a longer report that we submitted to the Coordinating Committee and it's still in the Coordinating Committee possession. And the first thing we recommended was the University officially endorse the ten goals which don't seem to be very controversial. At least everyone is talking about them and referring to them so they are simply quoted here on your sheet. That was one of our recommendations. 
The second one was we address the Pathways course component of that report and we asked ourselves if the Pathways requirement is to be instituted at the University what would be the most feasible way in which to do that? In other words, how to configure it so that it would be workable. And so what we did is spend most of our time on that Pathways element. And so you see toward the bottom of this first page of this sheet under #2, you have the statement that a Pathways course requirement would be in place for all associate and baccalaureate degrees. And then you have an attempt to describe what a Pathways course would be understood to consist of, and we simply cobbled this description together from wording taken from the Ad Hoc Committee's report, and note the word normally that we put there. Pathways courses normally understood so that it would not preclude the possibility that something could pass muster as a Pathways course. It was a little weak on one or another of these elements, but quite strong on the others. But then we have the description that is to be understood as a course on a broad theme, a theme that is developed by a team of faculty collaborators from different disciplines. The course is to be taught in sections of 80 to 100 students, sections that would break down for a discussion type meeting of no more than 20 students in each subsection at least once a week. Notice that these descriptions do not make any reference to team teaching leaves open the possibility of a course being either officially team taught or simply being collaboratively planned with each individual teaching his or her section with a format and with the benefit of things learned, a format jointly planned by the other faculty collaborators who would be teaching their sections and with the benefit of things one learned from those other people in the collaboration and planning process. So it could be team taught. It doesn't have to be. There's nothing in the description that specifies that. And then it lists the activities or exercises which the Ad Hoc Committee report thought should be built into a Pathways course, and it's a pretty formidable list of basic skills and activities, and then refers to how the goal is to coordinate these things, so as to provide a coherent experience. I want to point out that two things here before we turn the page over. Of course there's a lot of concern about resources and what would be the resources that would be required to mount a Pathways requirement for all undergraduates and also the question of if you have TAs. What would need to be trained to do, and how would they be trained. And, I think, it will help to provide a little narrower focus to the discussion if we talk about resources if you keep in mind several things. One is that, as you'll see on the page, we recommend only one Pathways course required, and that would seem to call for approximately 4,000 enrollments per academic year to provide sufficient seats in classes to meet that requirement with a little elbow room for a little extra elbow room. And that would mean if you had sections of 80 to 100, that would mean somewhere in the range of 40 to 50 such sections being offered in an academic year. So that's the enrollment picture--one that we'd be looking at--and that's the number of enrollments that presumed we would be redirected to the Pathways courses and away from presently existing courses that serve general education students. No, for the academic year, I said. So 4,000 for the academic year. No, it's a one-semester course. Yes, you'll see that. So 2,000 per semester. The other question under #3 is what would the TAs be trained to do, and I think that a lot of people have assumed, and, maybe Carol will address this that somehow these students were going to be in full-fledged computer labs and taught English 110, a level composition and all that sort of thing, and of course no TA could possibly to do that, and of course I don't think that the report intends that this be a mini-course introduction to Computer Science and English 100 and Public Speaking and all these other things all wrapped up in one semester. I think the intention was simply to have some elements or some activities of these sorts in the courses so that students do do some writing, so some speaking and are made aware as appropriate of how computers and mathematics are of use in studying the subject matter of the theme. If you turn over the page to the back to put meat on the skeleton of how we would envision the Pathways course requirement if the University decided to adopt it would be this--a three-credit course. We thought that four credits was not feasible--that it would cause too many difficulties fitting into existing curricula where some students were already at 17 credits per semester with their present curricula. And we thought one course, not two. Some people had talked about requiring two Pathways courses, but one. We had, of course, would have specified a date for starting it, and having a transition period before the date at which it became applicable to all newly matriculating students so that some Pathways courses could be tried out on a smaller scale and worked into it gradually. The fourth, Item D, on page 2 we thought was particularly important. A Pathways requirement, if instituted, should not add to the total number of courses that students presently have to take in their majors, and so we recommend it strongly that if a Pathways is instituted, that the colleges be instructed, compelled, required, whatever the appropriate word is, to count a student's enrollment in that course toward some one of their presently stated general education requirements, whichever one the Pathways course, by virtue of theme, it dealt with, which would most nearly correspond to. And that would apply also to students who elected to take Pathways during some transitional year when it wasn't officially required of them. Then we suggested that Pathways courses should be perhaps offered under a UNIV rubric, at the 100-level common rubric, which would be used, and they would, in effect, be special topics type courses under the permanent UNIV numbers that would be allocated to them. We suggested that there be an approval process for Pathways courses. That they have to meet certain standards and the scrutiny of an established body in order to be so certified, and that they would be so identified in the course schedule booklets and on transcripts as satisfying a Pathways requirement in a way that multicultural courses are presently identified. And we thought if it's supposed to be a freshmen year experience, then registration priority should be given to freshmen. Students who do not need to meet the Pathways requirement, irrespective to classification, should not be allowed to take seats away from those who do, and students who delay meeting the requirement beyond the freshmen year, should have to take a back seat behind those who are seeking to meet a requirement in the freshmen year if it's genuinely supposed to be an introduction to the University experience. Then we suggested that a new committee would be needed since the Undergraduate Studies Committee has a large workload as it is, a Committee on General Education of the Senate that would report through the Undergraduate Studies Committee, but would be made up of different individuals, and would not simply be a subcommittee of members of the Undergraduate Studies Committee. And it would have the job of certifying courses for Pathways approval and would have the job of an ongoing assessment of Pathways courses, an ongoing study and assessment of all University-wide general education provisions and that specifically this committee would be charged with studying the other elements of the Ad Hoc Committee report that we think call for some additional study before they should be brought to the University community for possible action as formal requirements, and those are enumerated at the end of Page 2. And I think I'm finished. Thank you very much. 
Carol Hoffecker will be next.
Hi, I'm Carol Hoffecker. I chaired the General Education Committee, whose report Bob Brown has been speaking of. And I want, first, to thank the Coordinating Committee on Education and its chair, Judy Van Name for holding this hearing and inviting us all to discuss this report, and I want to thank the Undergraduate Studies Committee and Bob Brown for the good work that they have done in moving this forward and massaging somewhat and making it really a better proposal than it was before. And I particularly want to thank those people in this audience who are members of the General Education Committee for two years and who found time to come today as we discuss this report. I'm going to be very brief. I suspect that later on points will be raised that I'll be asked to address, so I don't want to take up too much time now, and maybe if I'm lucky, I won't have to do anything afterward. Hey, one can always hope. I was asked to talk about a couple of things that I know are going to be in the minds of many of you. One is the phase in of Pathways. At the time that we wrote the report, there seemed reason for us to believe that the administration of the University wanted us to implement, if it was going to be implemented, to implement it all at once. Since that time, I think we're all glad to be able to see that the administration has rethought that model and has now is perfectly content with the notion that this can be phased in, and it can be phased in at whatever speed the Senate, the Coordinating Committee, and the natural evolution of faculty coming forward who want to participate in this program makes possible. Now, as already been mentioned, we're going to be having a workshop, I would call it. It has this fancy name of institute, but I'd think of it as a workshop. The week of January 24, and we invited people proposals to teach Pathways courses, and those who submitted proposals are invited to participate in the workshop. We got quite a number of proposals. We're going to have somewhere between I'd say in the vicinity of 25 people participating in the workshop. Some of them are planning to work in teams with other people to develop their courses. Others are planning to do this all on their own. Clearly in the way that this is really working out, in the real world, folks are naturally falling into one or another of those categories that seems appropriate to them, and that makes a good deal of sense. Now this team-teaching concept, I take folks are a little bit worried about because the image that they have is that you're going to tie up several faculty members sitting in a room with only a certain number of students. The image that we had on the committee, and we aren't wedded to this. I mean this was the way we imagined it, would be that faculty in various units would work together to develop a particular thing, but they would teach the courses individually. They would not teach them as a team. Although they might very well be guest lecturers in one another's courses. In some cases, I think those of us who are on the committee hope that turns out be the case, because there are some good opportunities there throughout the University for collaboration. But it certainly isn't something that is absolutely necessary. The thematic concept is the important thing, and if one is a sufficient polymath, to be able to do this all on one's own, more power to you. And there are certainly people out there who can do that. Now, the resource issue and this business about TA training is also something that keeps coming up, and I admit it is a bit of a thorny issue. You may know that Deborah Andrews and some other people in the English Department are working on a project called "Writing Across the Curriculum." The idea being that courses throughout the entire curriculum of the University ought to include a component of writing, and that students ought to know that they are going to be expected to improve their writing and to be graded on their writing or at least to some extent on their writing in courses that are not specifically designed to teach writing, like E110. What better time to get students into the knowledge that, hey, this is the way the University works, than in the freshman year when they're taking what we hope will be one of the very first courses that they take at the University. Similarly, with skills such as using mathematics. The idea that after one has passed the math requirement in one's particular unit, one can then literally forget everything in math they have ever learned and never have to use it again except to balance their checkbook, is not a good idea. We think that once you have mastered this math, you ought to be finding occasions to apply it, and so we would hope that introducing the use of rather simple math in the Pathways courses, we would be again we would be putting something in people's heads that, yes, they can expect that they may have to do percentages, make graphs and do things like that in other courses down the road. Another issue that has come up, thanks to our new Dean of Arts and Sciences, Tom DiLorenzo, who comes to us from the University of Missouri, which has a freshmen interest group program, as they are often called, FIGS. The University of Washington also has a similar program. Our committee looked at FIGS, and we liked very much the concept. In fact, we like it a great deal. The one thing that we were a bit shy about, with respect to FIGS, had nothing to do with the College of Arts and Sciences, where they make splendid sense, but rather had to do with some of the other colleges, and particularly the engineers and the nurses, who have very constrained curricula, even the freshman year because of all of the courses that they absolutely, positively have to take in order to get certification. So, I think that, as far as speaking for myself, and certainly it isn't a matter that we discussed recently in the Gen Ed Committee. We have not met in the Gen ED Committee since we handed in our report, nor do we intend to do so. But, certainly there is everything in the spirit of our report would contribute to the idea that freshman interest groups would be a very very good thing. Wherever, the curricular design for particular majors make them possible, I suppose that if in the spirit of the report we wrote, which doesn't necessarily govern anything, we finally came to the conclusion as a committee, that meant issues such as that, should be left up to the individual colleges to determine. And I suspected other members of the Gen Ed Committee would continue to concur in that fundamental idea that if there are differences throughout the University that have to be honored in curricular matters. So, those are the really, the principle issues that I was called upon to address and if there are other things that come up later I will be happy to address them I just want you to know that not only do we have a bunch of enthusiastic participants, in the forthcoming institute in January, we also have a very good program based on the free time being offered by a number of people in this room right now, Beth Haslett is going to teach people how to get up on their two feet and give a little talk, and she's probably grading me on mine right now. So, I'm sure that one of the things is that you've got to get off the stage in five minutes. So here I go. 
Can I ask for a show of hands of how many here are going to participate in the Pathways Institute? Ok, thank you, and Dean DiLorenzo is our next speaker.
Thank you, Judy. In the spirit of saving some time, I really don't know if I have much to add beyond what Carol eloquently put together there, I really support the work that the committee has done in the past, they've really done a marvelous job. I support the ten goals, the four components, I really support the notion that we look at conceptually what we're interested in, and then allow other groups to work out the implementation pieces, so I really don't have much to add beyond that except to say that in the freshman interdisciplinary experience as Carol laid out, I would just hope that we could be as flexible as possible, and I think she was saying that as well. There's a diverse group of faculty who may want to implement a variety of different themes, thematic themes, if you will, in this freshman experience and some of the Pathways's courses that have been proposed really look exciting to me, I think there's other ways that we could develop these experiences as well, and I'm most familiar with the freshman interest group concept. So, having said that I prepared a one page overview of what a freshman interest group is and I'll pass that out, or I'll give it to Judy to pass out and end with that. Thanks, for your presentation, Carol.
Thank you for coming and adding a new dimension to it all. 
Ok, and now Jim Richards will say a few words.
Hi. It was my job to summarize the current understanding of the Coordinating Committee in terms of the common grounds between all the various groups involved in creating the Gen Ed Proposal. After our first speakers, this is going to sound like a report from the Department of Redundancy Department. The Committee listened to comments from representatives, from the Gen Ed Ad Hoc Committee from the Undergraduate Studies Committee and from the Panel of Deans and Named Distinguished Professors. Based on those comments, there are specific components of the Gen Ed proposal that are quite common to all of the interests of each of those groups. First of that, all of the groups have endorsed the goals set forth by the Ad Hoc Committee, and we all know what the ten goals are by this point. All groups have endorsed the four major elements of general education including a freshman year experience, the acquisition of specific skills, a discovery learning experience, and a capstone course. All groups have supported the creation of an implementation an oversight committee for governance of the Gen Ed process. And finally, all groups have recommended an implementation strategy that introduces the four elements of Gen Ed individually, starting with the Freshman Experience. Additionally, the pilot implementation of each element should be followed by a period of assessment, evaluation and if necessary, revision, prior to elevating the element to the status of a requirement. To date, there is consensus among groups studying the Ad Hoc Committee report that the establishment of a timetable for the pilot implementation phase of each element is essential, and that is what we have at this point. 
David Colton is our next speaker.
Thank you Judy, and I would like to thank everybody also for giving me the opportunity to say a few words here. For those who don't know me, my name is David Colton, I'm UniDel Professor of Mathematical Sciences and I'm speaking on behalf of the named professors. We got together at a meeting to discuss the whole proposal. For those who didn't come to the meeting, we've had various correspondence by email and personal conversation. And, so far, the people I've talked to, itís a very strong consensus backing the comments I want to say to you right now. I think its remarkable, probably that the named professors got together to agree on anything. So the fact that they came together to actually speak on this, is the first time in my twenty-some-odd years at the University of Delaware where such a group has done that, and I'd like to see that go on in the future, but I want to emphasize that it means that from this group of people anyway we have certain concerns which we consider to be particularly important, and we want to speak at about it at this moment. Our concern is both of the implementation and the content of the Pathways courses. There's already been several comments on implementation so I'm not going to speak on that, I'd assume in the discussion today and tomorrow if there are further comments on that, it will be discussed. I want to rather talk more about the intellectual aims of the proposal and the content of the Pathways courses. I'm only going to address the Pathways part, not the rest of it, just the first beginning. The comments we have we made in a letter to Professor Huddleson, and in that letter we said basically we support the basic goals of the General Education Proposal. However, as I just said we do have some specific concerns about the Pathways proposal. I'll say these very briefly now and leave you be. And I'm sure others will say other aspects as we go on. The difficulty I have at the moment, or I should say we have as the shared Professors, is that its difficult to evaluate the proposed courses because they're just ideas at the moment, in particular, just to remind you, they have the ideas that the concepts of oceans, justice and equality, food, money, bio-ethics, death and dying and the future are suggested types of courses which will be given in this Pathways. We're not quite sure what will go into that, so in order to evaluate that, we have to look in the paragraph before that, look in the motivation behind it. What's the rationale behind these courses? The first one that we come across is the idea of interdisciplinary work, and in particular it says a little later on that students work both individually and in groups to solve problems just as researchers do. Now, we assume that this is not meant to be taken literally because its without having a knowledge of any discipline is very difficult to do interdisciplinary work. In particular, I do do interdisciplinary work in both mathematics and physics and some basic knowledge is required of each one of those areas in order to actually do anything that could remotely qualify as interdisciplinary work. At that level, the concern of the named professors is that the feasibility of trying to actually do interdisciplinary work is questionable. It's certainly desirable later on in the program, you know, in subsequent years, but to ask that of a freshman to do that, we question whether thatís possible. Again, basically because you have to know something before you can cross-fertilize it. The other concern we have is the, which I have a particular concern I want to mention, is that they would use basic mathematics to solve problems. And later it suggests that the M114 would be a possibility for such a course. I'd like to say as far as the sciences are concerned, and this is in support of all named professors in Science and Engineering that we've spoke to, M114 is simple not sufficient to do interdisciplinary work in science. It's just not. I mean, this takes more. Therefore, if you try to do it, your gonna have to go later in the curriculum, later in the subsequent years to try to accomplish that goal. It's very worthwhile to accomplish that goal, but the possibility to do it at that level is not possible. The way that we figure is particularly important, not only for the University of Delaware, but to put our students in Science and Engineering in a competitive place for graduate school and careers after they graduate is to allow them to take more basic core courses first, so then we have the possibility of later doing interdisciplinary work. And that's where the concept of the Fig proposal, that the Dean of Arts and Science has just proposed to you, fulfills that criteria. It allows this to happen. We're not saying that in other areas, for example right at this point outside of science and engineering that maybe some concept like that is possible but in science and engineering that flexibility needs to be allowed in our opinion. Not only needs but must be allowed in our opinion to maintain the intellectual integrity of this science and engineering curriculum. So what we propose, and we say in our letter at the very least, the Pathways course should not be a required course for everybody. We feel that would undermine the aims of the Science and Engineering courses particularly. Now, if its not required, and I think its been suggested several times that its not necessary for it to be required, that would go a long way towards giving the flexibility thatís needed so people who do know what they're doing and when to do it and when to pursue those areas could do so. It should not be imposed on all freshmen coming to the University. Thatís our opinion. So, one thing I did learn in my ump-teen million years as a Professor, that it's always wise to end before your five minutes is up. You'll be loved and thanked forever and ever, which I hope you will do now cause I'm ended. Thank you very much.
O.K. Ray Wolters.
Thank you, Judy and Committee, colleagues. I've come in from sabbatical leave. I'm trying to write a biography of W.B. DuBois. I'm preoccupied with the man at the moment. So I thought I would begin with a story he tells in his autobiography, "Dusk of Dawn." He describes the situation of a man who is encased in a box of glass that was so clear that passers-by did not realize that the man was in a glass box. DuBois's purpose was to suggest what it's like to be segregated in America. But my purpose is a little different. It is to suggest that some of us who have reservations, criticisms really of this Pathways proposal simply aren't being heard. The man in the box would speak courteously and persuasively, but since he was in a glass box nobody could hear him. The man talked evenly and logically but noticed that the passing throng did not even turn its head, or if it did glanced curiously, and walked on. Finally the man in the box realized that the people passing did not hear, that he was separated, cut-off. Then he became excited, he talked later, he gesticulated. Some of the passing people stopped out of curiosity but they could not hear him. And the gestures seemed pointless, so they laughed and walked on. Then the man in the box became hysterical. He screamed and hurled himself against the glass but that only made him seem ridiculous to the passing world. I mention this because I wonder if anything anybody, in particular the members of this Coordinating Committee, are really hearing what is being said about Pathways or if they're hearing what I'm hearing. I have discussed this over the semester with any number of people and all I hear is criticism of the proposal. And yet, it seems to move forward. I've heard criticism from the grounds that it can't be implemented at the college parallel program. I've heard that it won't accommodate disabled students. I've heard that it doesn't possess sufficient rigor to qualify as college credit, et cetera. Now, a few weeks ago, Dean DiLorenzo, excuse me, Tom, recommended a modification of the proposed Pathways. And to my way of thinking, the Dean's proposal is sound and offers a way to save what is valuable in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee. The Dean's modification I think is a lifeline. I hope this Coordinating Committee will grab it, but again I wonder if people are listening. So, in an effort to get your attention I want to make a statement that is a bit more candid than is customary in faculty meetings. I don't want to leave the impression that my principle objection to the proposed Pathways stems from the impracticality of implementing the program. My principle objection is to the philosophy that underlines the proposal. I take particular exception to the way that the Ad Hoc Committee has redefined the term General Education. As used by the Ad Hoc Committee, the term not longer applies or refers to the knowledge that should be common to all students. I realize this when the Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee told me that the introductory survey course in American History would not be a Pathways course. Now, if the introductory course in American History does not qualify as common knowledge that all students should have, then I wonder what does count as general knowledge, as general education. And the answer, Professor Colton just mentioned, is in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee. A course on justice and equality will count. So will a course called "Death and Dying," and a course called "Oceans," and a course called "Money." As envisioned by the Ad Hoc Committee, I think, General Education courses will be courses of surpassing generality. The courses will be interdisciplinary, but in the sense that the courses would involve a team of professors who are authorities in different specialties. Rather, the courses will be taught by a single professor, a generalist, who has a passing acquaintance with the pertinent scholarship. In "Death and Dying," for example, the professor need not be a specialist in physiology, but should be one step ahead of most students on that subject. He or she need not be a specialist on the psychology of bereavement, but again, one step ahead of the students. So it goes. The University already has a good, outstanding economics course called "Money and Banking." But that's not what the Ad Hoc Committee has in mind for General Education. The professor who teach money and banking have spent years studying discount rates and open market operations and reserve ratios, but that knowledge is too specialized for what is now being called General Education. If you read between the lines of the Committee's report, you will detect a bias against focused, disciplined learning and a preference for what used to called dilettantism, but has now been re-christened as General Education. Now, this strikes me as highly problematical. You try to require that a thousand students take a course on "Death and Dying." I think you're asking for trouble. I think you're asking for protests, when those protests eventuate, I would predict that the public would not regard the protesters as hysterical, ridiculous creatures who, for no reason, are throwing themselves up against an impenetrable glass wall. What should be done? I think that by endorsing Dean DiLorenzo's modification, his FIG proposal, this coordinating committee would avoid the problems I have mentioned. Of course the Dean's modification will allow students to enroll voluntarily in courses that I might think insufficiently rigorous to warrant college credit. But that's the price that I'm willing to pay. The Dean's modification will allow the Pathways courses mentioned in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee. The disadvantage of the proposal, as I read it, is that it will not allow the combination of choice and focused concentration that the Dean's modification permits. Well again, I have spoken more candidly than usual in these meetings, but I thank you for your attention and time. Thank you.
I'm not sure how to pronounce Cindy's last name. Is Cindy here? Oh, I'm sorry. Jan Blits? 
Thank you Judy, and the Committee, and colleagues. I'm Jan Blits. I'm Vice President of the Delaware Association of Scholars, and I too would like to talk about the Pathways courses. In particular, I would like to raise some questions about what Carol just called the thorny issue of TAs--staffing for those courses. While the Gen Ed Report gives a lot of attention to the faculty for the proposed Pathways courses, it gives almost no attention to the TAs, who will be involved in those courses. Much of the Pathways success rest squarely on the TAs. In fact, more will be asked of the TAs than is asked perhaps of any senior faculty member, including the faculty who will be teaching Pathways courses. Besides sharing the responsibility for introducing greater coherence into the undergraduate program, TAs will responsible for teaching writing and public speaking, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and other skills, and according to the Gen Ed report, each of the TA's 20 students will "write several reports that will be graded both for content and writing, and each student will give at least two oral presentations that will be critiqued for effectiveness." That's not all though. TAs will also be teaching subject matter outside their fields of graduate study. Where will the University find enough TAs to cover approximately 200 discussion sections a year. And where will they find TAs who are sufficiently qualified to accomplish one, let alone all of the Pathways goals. The writing component is an obvious problem. At a previous open hearing, someone said that a good number of the TAs could come from English. But, in fact, the English Department would not be able to staff any of its E110 courses if the graduate students were channeled to any other work. The English Department has a difficult time enough staffing its various service courses with its S-Contract people. In fact, somebody in the English Department who knows about these things said the loss of even one grad student would be serious and material. Well, perhaps then the TAs might come from other graduate programs and be given training to teach writing as well as the other things. Here again, however, there seems to be an enormous problem. Graduate students teaching English courses receive at least one semester of master's-level training in the teaching of composition before going into the classroom. The Gen Ed proposal, however, would require only "a training period of three to five days in late summer to prepare TAs for all of their obligations, not just for writing. We heard Bob Brown, just a short while ago, respond to these questions by saying that the Pathways courses would, in fact, be watered-down courses, not the level of MATH114, not the level of E110 and so on. Would they really be college-level courses? What would the students, in fact, learn. I suspect that we are hearing high public goals, while the people making the proposal have low private expectations for these courses. There's also a great problem for the TAs themselves. These students are studying in order to learn their chosen field. The Pathways courses will generally pull them away from their fields and their mentors, and while dividing their time and attention, greatly burden them with responsibilities which are at once extraneous to their studies and excessive in themselves. The Delaware Association of Scholars is concerned about the Pathways courses effect on the University as a whole as well. Delaware enjoys a reputation for undergraduate instruction by faculty, rather than by TAs. Our reliance on faculty instructions is a major reason why many students come to the University. It is also a major reason for the University's national ranking--why it has kept climbing. The Pathways courses, however, threaten the success. While the courses would be a conspicuous part of Delaware's undergraduate program, students in them would react primarily with TAs, rather than with faculty. Ironically, in the name of upgrading undergraduate education, the University would, in fact, would be shifting a large and important part of freshmen teaching from faculty to nonfaculty. It is hard to see how either the quality of our undergraduate instruction or our reputation can escape unharmed. I hope that the Pathways proposal does not go to the Senate until the problem of adequately staffing the 200 Pathways Discussion sections is clearly resolved. Thank you.
Thank you Judy, and the Committee, for the opportunity to speak. I'm Linda Gottfredson. I'm a Senator for the School of Education. Our Director, Professor Robert Hampel, had a prior commitment today, so he asked me to read the following statement. The statement focuses on the General Education proposal's experiential learning component, which would require service learning, professional internships, research or other such activities outside the University. This aspect of the proposal is not the school's only concern, but it's the one that some school faculty and staff believe would create the biggest problem for us. So here is Dr. Hampel's statement.
The School of Education is currently hardpressed to find enough schools for our undergraduates. Our freshmen and sophomore field experiences, typically 10 to 20 hours observing or tutoring, require approximately 800 placements per year. For our juniors, who spend seven dozen mornings and afternoons designing and teaching lessons, administering tests, and assisting teachers, we need another 300 sites. For our seniors, who all student teach for two nine-week periods, another several hundred classrooms are necessary. Furthermore, we seek excellent classrooms taught by experienced teachers, so we can't use classroom with rookie teachers or teachers who are not outstanding. In addition, other colleges in this area--Lincoln, Widener, Wilmington and West Chester--compete vigorously for field placements, and their enrollments are rising as rapidly as ours. Finally, the new accountability regulations in Delaware have prompted several districts to limit the number of grade levels open to our students. Taking together all of those factors mean that a sudden surge of undergraduates seeking a place in Delaware public schools would create significant hardships for the School of Education and for the public schools. 
Now, Dr. Hampel's statement has just described how one element of the General Education proposal might damage the School of Education's and UD's responsibility or ability to meet our responsibilities in educating preservice teachers. I would add that there are risks for the rest of the University as well. Mandating field experiences for all students, UD students, would be a massive undertaking, even if it were phased in gradually. Our staff can tell you in exquisite detail how difficult and time consuming it is to develop, run and monitor hundreds of field experiences, specifically placements that are pedagogically sound and feasible simultaneously for students and faculty and the host sites. Good placements are labor intensive. They are cultivated over time. They take much advanced planning, including for such mundane things as transporting students to the sites. Good field experiences also require close supervision and monitoring. We have staff in the field giving advice and troubleshooting. Who will do that for hundreds if not thousands of students, UD students, each year. Unfortunately, none of the School of Education's key faculty or staff in this area could attend the hearing today to elaborate these concerns, and perhaps only one will be available for the second hearing. It was a real problem for us that the Open Hearings were scheduled suddenly during the most hectic time of the semester. We appreciate the desire to move forward expeditiously, but we hope that the Coordinating Committee will schedule additional time for open hearings after the holidays, something which Judy Van Name said at Monday's Senate Faculty Meeting it could do. Thank you.
I've got a few copies of a handout. I don't have enough for everybody here. Basically, the only additional piece of information on the handout is going to be a couple of Web Sites, and if anybody wants it, I'll be glad to give it to you. I was planning only to speak about the enrollment limit, but I can't resist adding to what Professor Gottfredson said, since I taught a section of Elementary Science Methods this fall, and I just came from our closing meeting, in which discussed the difficulties of problem placements. When you teach students all about how students ought to learn in groups, and they go to a school in which their cooperating teacher thinks this is a bunch of hooey. What I take this to mean, if I can operationally translate what you said into a couple of sentences, is that for those of us outside the School of Education, to look to the Delaware public schools as a place to get a lot of students placed in field experiences, is dreaming. We struggle in the School of Education to find the right kind of places that we've got. So we're going to have to look elsewhere. And the other thing that I've learned from being involved in this section is the amount of work that's involved in supervising it, is not trivial. It's a good bit. The main thing that I wanted to talk about, and I will stay within my five-minute limit, and you can cut me off if you need to, is the enrollment limit. I've taught General Education courses ever since I've been here at the University. I think I've had some success in that. For most of my career I've taught hundreds of students. I had one year where I even had to limit the enrollment in my class to fit into the big rooms in Smith Hall, which hold about 400 people. And when all I was doing was lecturing, I perceived, and the research and the education supported me on this, that there was really a relatively weak correlation between teaching effectiveness and class size. Put it differently, if all you're going to do is lecture, it doesn't matter that much whether you're lecturing to 40 students or 400 students. But in about the last five or six years, I've started to use active learning methods, and one of the things I really like about the Committee's proposal is the use of the words group methods and active learning. I think those are the two important phrases in the whole thing. When you do that, things change. Barbara Duch and I did some research on my Physical Science class last spring. We taught a section of 240 students, and we taught a section of 120 students. As close as we could, we kept them identical. When Barbara was in charge of the class, I took notes. When I was in charge of the class, she took notes and I kept them really, really close and parallel. And we gathered a whole lot of data about the different experiences of the different students, and what the data shows is that the group learning component of this class in the section of 120 was considerably more effective. So, I think the enrollment cap of 80 to 100 students in the proposal is entirely appropriate. We could argue. I don't really think there is data out there that shows whether it should be 80 or 100 or 120, but I think those are methods of details, but I think you want to be talking about 100 or so, rather than 300 or so. 
And now we'll open it for questions, and if you please remember to state your name and your identity for the record.
Where is the money going to come from to hire all these TA's. Its clear that TA population as of now that exists is completely used by the existing courses. So, the logical conclusion is, we got to get a whole lot more new people, who's going to pay for it?
I forgot to mention that it might be helpful if you use the microphones and you could see, I think we heard you, John. Did we pick that up? But I just thought I'd add that now, and also there are some portable microphones, would you hold those up? Oh, right here, I'm sorry they're right here in front of my nose. O.K. The Committee has been discussing about resources and I'd like to ask Bobby Gempesaw to respond to that.
I'm Bobby Gempesaw, Acting Vice-Provost for Academic Programs. I guess being one of the only other administrator present. We have to have some answer for John's question. We would have the same number of students entering the University of Delaware. We would not be teaching more students, so the same size, and the administration is committed to doing that. So if we are mounting other courses that our students will take, obviously some of the courses that we've been teaching may experience drops in enrollment. If we're going to do all of these Pathways approaches. The other thing that we would like to emphasize is that there are ways of implementing the freshman experience and one way would be what DiLorenzo has proposed. If you read closely to what the Freshman Interest Groups concept is all about, the realignment of the TA's, if you will accept the term, is not seriously present if we compare it to the concept of the teaching of the faculty. So what I think we envision, is when we do this pilot implementation we would study the appropriate procedure or process of how we could mount Pathways courses or freshman interest concepts, or there might be other options out there that we haven't studied. And then we would put an assessment plan - an evaluation plan, and then come back to the faculty and say this is what we learned after all this period of pilot implementation and let's decide what is best for our students. 
I'm Alan Fox from Philosophy. I don't really have a question I just wanted to respond to some concerns that came up. I was on the General Education Committee, and I was part that wrote some of the Pathways things. So, I don't know what form the Coordinating Committee will finally forward these proposals, but some of the concerns that come up, obviously people are feeling somewhat threatened by some of these things. But I think some of that is based on, at least misunderstandings of what the Committee had in mind. So I wanted to address some of those concerns. First of all, the interdisciplinary component, the skills component of the course, and the concern that the TA's wouldn't be capable of teaching all these different kinds of things, and the fact that interdisciplinary necessarily means that it has to be watered down and all those kinds of things. I think that does reflect what, just based on reading, it seems to kind of be a sort of trend throughout the country, to see interdisciplinary work as somehow watered down in someway. I don't think it has to be that way and of course we're hoping that the very best teachers would teach these kinds of things. But we don't necessarily expect students to have all this interdisciplinary ability when they come in as freshman. The idea is to expose them to it, and I think expose them is really the critical term here because we seem to be thinking that the TA's will be responsible for teaching these people how to read, how to write, how to do math, how to speak in public, and how to do all these things. I think the goal of the TA's is, at least how we envision it, or the goal of the course is, in general is not to provide students with all of these skills but rather to show them how all the skills can come to bear on a single problem. So that its not so much that you learn to read and write and do math in this course, but you learn that when you're doing a philosophy problem it helps to be able to analyze certain kinds of data quantitatively and that you'll have to take into consideration social factors and historical factors and so on and so forth. So I think if that sounds dilettantish I guess I'm not sure, I guess that's just kind of a, seems to me kind of a simple equation of interdisciplinary and dilettantish. Obviously, you are sacrificing a little bit in depth, but you're also giving students, I think, a way of approaching the rest of their training, the rest of their career in a way that will enable them, I think, to make much better use of what they're exposed to. So again, I don't see why that can't be a disciplined learning experience. I think that depends on the teachers involved. And I donít think, I do want to emphasize that the Committee, we did not have low expectations when we went into this, we had very high expectations and we expect that obviously this is going to require a certain amount of brokering and a certain amount of hard and effective work on the part of some really skilled teachers. But not everybody is going to be teaching a Pathways course, obviously enough. As far as the coherence, the coherence is going to be provided by the faculty members and not by the TA's so much. Obviously TA's donít have to teach everything. Their job is like a conference leader in a discussion except different kinds of days there might be different kinds of activities. And also, just one other concern I had was about, it seems to me that people were suggesting the service component of this is immediately going to mean that everybody is going to go out and try to get a job in the public school systems. It seems to me that the service component was meant to be understood way more broadly than that, doesnít have to mean external placement. It can be things like independent studies and stuff like that. Most programs already have service learning components of this kind, already in place. So there's no need to even think about where these additional people come from. Those things are already going to count for those people already doing it. Other people can satisfy that in all kinds of other ways. Anyway I'm not selling any of this to anybody, but I do think that there seems to be some concerns about the Pathways courses that donít seem to reflect what I thought was in the report, and donít seem to reflect what the people who worked on this stuff had in mind when they produced it. Thanks.
Other comments? Let's see I saw this hand first. Yes?
I'm Jerry Beasley, I'm chair of the English department. I was also a member of the General Education Committee and I simply want to affirm some of what Alan Fox was saying. Namely that the committee did not work with low expectations, I think thatís a very unfair characterization of the Committee to say that. And I donít say that defensively because I donít think it was an unfair characterization I think it is an inaccurate one. If anything, our expectations may have been higher than some of you here think they should have been. In any rate, the ideal we imagine for the freshman year experience is just what Alan tried to describe--an opening up of experience to students. An exposure to introduce interdisciplinary approaches to the range of disciplines to the range of a discipline to get them excited. To have students experience opportunities for learning that might lead them in the direction of certain kinds of majors for example. The second thing I want to do, again underscore something that Alan said. I think there's been a confusion about the term service learning and discovery learning here. If I've understood the discussion correctly, what's really at issue is discovery learning. And as Alan I think was trying to say a great many of our students are already engaged in discovery learning, it is not simply a matter of placing students in the public schools or in other local service organizations or in other kinds of public forums. We have students doing study abroad programs, we have literally hundreds perhaps thousands of students on campus who are already placed in internships and I believe that the Committee's figures will show that something over fifty percent of our Undergraduates are already involved in discovery learning of one sort or another. So this is a much lesser problem than the Gottfredson's characterization of it would suggest. And I wanted to say just one more thing. We were all aware in the Committee of the feasibility issue--the difficulty that we would all have coming to terms with the implementation problem with respect to the Pathways courses and TA's. We were finally instructed because we spent so much of our time wrestling with that problem just to leave it alone and let someone else work it out. Which is what we decided gratefully to do. But in the interim, many other people have become concerned about those issues and I would like as others have done to second Dean DiLorenzo's proposal that serious consideration be given to an alternative model of a freshman integrated group, or the FIG. It seems to me also that this offers opportunity to accomplish a great many of the objectives that our committee had in mind. Perhaps not in the ideal way that we imagined but in a very effective way that would offer opportunity for interdisciplinary study, for collaboration among faculty, for allowing students to be exposed to multiple fields of study in the freshman year while also perhaps avoiding a lot of the staffing or other resource problems. So I do hope, as I've said to the Coordinating Committee before, you will take that proposal very seriously in the spirit in which it has been offered, it has been offered and it has been supported. Thanks. 
Lets see, there was another hand here and then here. Yes, please.
I'm Brian Ackerman from Psychology. I'm going to beat a dead horse a little bit here because I appreciate the FIG's construct, I'm not sure I know what it is yet, but it seems like we're devolving, or evolving into that sort of medium. When I attended the earlier, I attended the earlier session that Carol chaired on the Pathways approach, a month or so I guess, and the resource question was raised there and Carol suggested that the solution was that you know, you take some from this give some to that, and its all going to even out or it was going to be wash and that was part of what Bobby Gempesaw just suggested that was going to be wash because we have a certain fixed number of students with a certain fixed number of resources, divided this way divided that way and so forth. Well, I guess I would like to suggest that more attention be paid to the people who actually distribute these resources. I direct the graduate program in psychology, Bonnie Scott does it in English and there's a Committee of us that have gotten together to talk about these sorts of issues. One of the pieces of information that must be heard is that it's just not going to be tit-for-tat. In psychology we have an intro psych course of about 2500 students or so a year. Is that about accurate, Tom? And one would think that the twenty TA's that we devote to that 2500 students a year, well some say, a fixed percentage say half could be devoted to Pathways, say those 2500, go down to 1000. We take our twenty TA's, give ten to Pathways keep ten. Seems reasonable, but we donít devote twenty TA's to one course, we devote two. Two. What that means is, in respective of the education consequences of devoting two to a course that size, what that means is that I have no TA's to give you. None. Nada. Not a one. There will not be one. If you take half of my intro psych enrollment away, you're getting nothing from me. Now there's an alternative. Suppose you give me more resources. You double the amount of TA resources I get. Well I'm having trouble recruiting. I can't even fill my lines right now and I know that's true in several other disciplines because we've been in communication. I can't recruit anymore, at least I can't recruit high quality students and it seems to me from what I heard it should be high quality students we need to run these Pathways courses. I can't recruit. More importantly, if I'm going to recruit, I'm going to take the money you give me, and I'm going to double the stipends of my graduate students. So, it's not a question of me getting more bodies. It's a question of me being able to fill the lines you already have. You're just not going to get any bodies from me. It's just not going to be possible. Now, I don't know for sure that this issue is general across disciplines. The one or two or three or four other graduate coordinators that we've met with seem to have the same sorts of issues, but insofar as we haven't yet addressed the FIGS Program, and insofar as this Pathways Program is on the table, I think that a little more detailed? Work needs to be done to talk to the people that actually allocate these graduate students. I'm just not sure the resources are at all possible, even in a dream world. Thank you.
I just want to take a couple minutes to follow Professors Fox and Beasley in responding to the comment that interdisciplinary necessarily means watered down. I teach interdisciplinary courses. The way you teach it and not water it down is you stop trying to survey everything. You focus on a few areas. And I've taught for a couple of yearsóteam taught a course that Jeff Jordan and I both considered to be a Pathways course in Science and Religion. That's how we've done it. I don't think the papers are watered down, and Jeff is here, and he can respond to that if he wants. But I don't see it as being watered down. Another example comes from my Cosmic Evolution course, PHYSICS 145. If people are concerned about it being watered down, take a look at the relativity problem on my course web site, which 80 percent of my students were able to solve. When this same problem was given to physics graduate students in the Ph.D. qualifiers, only one-third of them were able to solve it. So my 145 students--now the comparison's a little unfair--my students got it as a homework problem. They got a support system. The physics grad students got it in the qualifiers when they were sitting, sweating in a room. They had no support system. But still, my students were able to do pretty well on it. So you can teach rigorous, interdisciplinary courses. 
Yes, sir. Probably the best way for me to describe what a FIG is just to tell you very briefly about one that I participated in. I think it was about a year ago. I can't remember exactly when it was. Students were co-enrolled in three classes--in my introductory psychology, in a lower-level communication class, and in what could be translated as ENGLISH 110, an ENGLISH 110 section. There was no change in the number of students in any of the classes. It was simply the case that 20 students were co-enrolled in those three classes. So much of the implementation issues or much of the resource we've talked about go away immediately. The faculty members would get together on whatever regularity basis that you would choose to do. Our freshmen interest group I think was called something like Psychology in the Media. And I taught my course. Each of them taught their own courses, and there could have been common content. We could have set up the syllabus so that we talked about similar types of themes at certain times. The important concept is that these students during this experience followed each other around. So it was a study group that was created among the group, also connected to the residence hall. So the living, learning component was there as well. Research indicated that you enhance retention rates, you enhance graduation rates. A significant number of students are involved in more appropriate academic experiences that freshmen would be organized in, and it's relatively low cost. They put together much of the interdisciplinary aspects as well. So it ends up being relatively low cost but relatively high academic rigor, and an excitement is generated among both the faculty and the students. Interestingly enough, we collected data from this and ended up presenting them at a national English conference. I would have never gone to a national English conference, not because I'm sure they aren't wonderful things, it's just that I don't do that. But there was a certain amount of excitement that came with working with my colleagues in the other disciplines, and that was fun. Now, I'm not proposing that the current Pathways courses that are being designed, that we would do away with those. It's exciting to me to see the excitement that has grown from that group as well. And so, perhaps we could look at some way to set this up that is really quite flexible, that allows colleges or departments to create experiences, and in the two that we are talking about the FIGS and the current Pathways courses interdisciplinary thematic. It really achieves, I think, what we want to achieve. There can be a number of ways that we can create these freshmen interdisciplinary experiences, and that's where the excitement can really come from among the faculty. Thank you.
I'm Theodore Braun from Foreign Languages. I'm glad that Dean DiLorenzo suggested these as sort of parallel tracts. That one of the things that we do in my department has been for 20 or 25 years now to try to open up parallel tracts for our students, but we are very flexible major program, for example, in all our languages. I would like to suggest a third tract, which is really very simple. I really hope the Committee will consider not as either/or but both and. Students would make the choice of either/or or maybe the department would do so. But I would like to add a third one, which every department in the University can participate in and create themselves, which is a study abroad program in the summer or particularly the winter session. A lot of departments don't have, maybe have been resisting study abroad opportunities for their students. But these can be designed to meet all the goals that are mentioned in any of these experiences that we've had described to us now, and I'd like to propose that as a kind of third pile on your table. Thanks.
I'm Mike Keefe from Mechanical Engineering and I have a much more mundane question, except for Bob's comment about upper-level students kind of being bumped for freshmen. The Committee discussed transfer students--people who come in the University after a few years--whether this kind of experience makes sense to them at that level. I just was wondering, although it's not a lot of students, since this would be a University requirement, it would have to be addressed somehow. So, I was just wondering if somebody . . 
Yes, we did. We discussed transfer students. We discussed Parallel Program. We discussed students who are attempting to do a degree at night through Continuing Education. As far as the transfer students are concerned, it seemed to us what would be wise would be to have the Assistant or Associate Deans, who do graduation checkout in the students' colleges, make a judgment call on those people, just as they do with respect to other requirements, and establishing equivalencies between courses they may have elsewhere and here as to whether or not they think that student should have to have a Pathways course, if a Pathways were a requirement, and leave it in those people's hands the way things like that are handled now, where people are allowed to make substitutions or are excused from requirements for good reasons. The people who make those judgments we think should be able to make those judgements with regard to these kinds of requirements as well.
So seniors could be in this Pathways sequence?
I think it would be extraordinarily unlikely, extraordinarily because presumably they would have, unless they went to a most unsatisfactory kind of place elsewhere, they wouldn't, they would seem to probably to have had many of these experiences already in one form or another, so, and my supposition is that it would be unusual to require transfer students unless they were people who hadn't done very much work at another place before transferring in. And similarly with the Parallel Program they might or might not have difficulty mounting these kinds of experiences and that call could be made when they transfer to the main campus. It seems to me that the mechanisms that we have in place for deciding whether these special categories that people need to meet existing requirements or can substitute others for them would work just fine for this as it does for other instances.
When this started, which was some years ago, was it? Oh, Ken Ackerman. I'm in Anthropology. I think I was very close to the beginning of it. I kept thinking that I probably shouldn't be doing this because I'm too close to retirement, and it will have nothing to do with me. I probably will be retired before it ever gets done, so I'm closer to right than I even intended to be. I think that when we address questions of education, we ought to ask why we're doing what we're doing. It really ought to be central to why we do what we do, and I saw the original rationale set out. And, for those of you who don't know this, it started with a committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Science and then went several steps to where we are now, and I saw the set of justifications for examining our curriculum, and I could not find in that set of justifications a single defensible proposition which is not the same as saying that there is not anything wrong with the education that we offer. The problem was that we had not stated what was wrong, and in failing to state what was wrong, we were unlikely to be addressing means of dealing with it. I think that's still the case. I still think we haven't addressed what's wrong, and I'm not sure that anything we propose to do will address it. Now it may be that I'm wrong in my conclusions about what's wrong. But I'll tell you what I think is wrong. What I think is wrong is that we have not succeeded, and I'm not sure we know how to succeed in interesting young graduate students in learning. That's what we're about. As an institution, we are about learning, and we are about offering to people the opportunity to learn. We can't force them to, but we could possibly get them excited if we did the right things, and I think many of the things that have been proposed have been proposed with that at the very least as a subtext. It is hoped that the outcome of these courses will be that we will get some students, some proportion of students, some part of the students who come to the University, who are not now excited about learning excited. I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of our students, who is about, I'm quite certain, to go off to a first-rate graduate school, and it was a very easy letter to write. I wrote it this morning. Actually, it dragged on into this afternoon, which is why I was late. What was I able to say about her? That when she walked in our door, she was excited about learning. She was easy to teach. She was a delight to have in classrooms, not just in our classrooms. I suspect she was a delight to have in every classroom she went into. I taught a class this semester with 150 students. I did my damnedest--required attendance. You cannot miss this class. I'll count your absences, and they will count against your grade. I had 20 people asleep on a pretty regular basis, and if I'd counted more closely, it would have been more than 20. I don't think I'm a bad teacher, but I had people asleep. And I have a good, I think a reasonable, I may be wrong--I may be a bad teacher--but I have a reasonable understanding. I don't think they were excited. I don't think I could have excited them. Well, maybe I could have, but I failed. How do we turn our classrooms into places where students are excited. That's our problem. I think that's the University's problem. It's not this University. We didn't create this problem. I read in the paper the other day. I think. I hope haven't distorted the date. I think this is roughly correct. Sixty-five percent of American eight-year olds have television in their rooms. Try beating that. Try beating that. How good are you at what you do because the production values in my classroom don't match the production values of even the worst commercials, much less those other programs. So, what do we want to accomplish? We want to excite students about learning. I wish I had proposals. I wish I knew how. I'm out. I missed this phase, about us too. I can remember a meeting of the faculty, when we had general faculty meetings, to discuss a change of curriculum. It was the first change of curriculum that occurred after I came here. I can't remember in what class it was held, though I think it was in one of the Smith classrooms, and that room was damned near full of faculty, of faculty. This meeting is held on a day when there are no classes, and we held it in a room small enough so that it would look as though a lot of us were interested. I think a lot of us are not. I think there's very little excitement about these proposals, and I think there's very little excitement about them because they're not very exciting. Not because a lot of good will and thought has gone into them, but because they don't really address the problem. The other half of the problem I think is skill. We want people to be excited about learning, and we want to improve their skills, basic skills. I think we probably do an excellent job of providing people educations in those things that they finally decide to major in. But skills are lacking. We're satisfied a relatively low level of competence in language. We're satisfied with a relatively low level in mathematics. We're satisfied with a relatively low level in English, in writing. We're satisfied with those things because we almost have to be satisfied with them, because if we try to take them to a higher standard, the University of Delaware would lose a good deal of its enrollment. Other schools, after all, may not be willing to do this, but I think it is what we should be addressing. We should be addressing passion. We should be addressing skills, and if we could succeed in addressing both of those things, I think we'd be proud of the students that were going out of this University, rather than wondering how they were going to survive out there in the world. They probably will survive. I wish I knew a way to overcome the television set in the bedroom of eight-year olds. I don't, but I haven't been able to discover, and I think the lack of enthusiasm, and I have to count the lack of enthusiasm in terms of number of people present, in terms of what Ray Wolters said about people who were questioning the program in one way or another, either with their bodies present or their bodies absent. I think we haven't succeeded in generating the kind of enthusiasm from the faculty that we have to have if we want to make this work, and I think one of the reasons we failed to do that is because the programs themselves, well meaning, simply don't seem to address the root causes, not our problem, but I think the problems of higher education generally may be the problems of education generally. I think it would be smarter simply to talk about the particulars--how's this going to work, how's that going to work--and that's what we've been doing. But from the beginning, I have found myself asking the question, what's broke and does this address what's broke. Definitely, something's broke and there are shards all over the place, and I don't think this will address what's broken. I like, in preference to the Pathways course, and not because I didn't think the Pathways courses were a good idea, but because they would have demanded considerable enthusiasm on the part of a great many more of the faculty than seem to be enthusiastic about them. Twenty-five, after all, is not a large number. I had some doubts as to its likelihood of success. I do much prefer between that proposal and the Pathways proposal, the proposal offered by Dean DiLorenzo. I think there is at least within that the possibility, given that students will actually be working together. At least that's the ideal model for it. That we can generate in some students a passion for learning that is not now there. If we can't generate it, we will have performed another useful exercise in examining the curriculum, looking at the parts of it that probably aren't broken and never looking at the parts that are. 
First of all, I think that this has been a wonderful discussion. I think that a lot of very important have come to pass in this discussion, and I'm only going to limit myself to addressing what Ken just said because I think, ultimately, it's the most important thing of all. I think he really did hit the nail on the head as to what our Committee was all about trying to do and why we chose the idea of having thematic courses. We recognize the same things that Ken has just commented on--that too many of our freshmen come to the University without much interest in learning anything. Yes, they want to get a good job when it's all over, but they don't have any particular desire to learn. They're facing a very complex world, and they don't know it, and they couldn't care less. And we put them into a lot of introductory courses that are in various disciplines that are taught by people who are skilled in their discipline, but who are very constrained as to the way they approach teaching because they have to cover this, that and the other thing by the end of the course. The opportunity that the Pathways concept gives us is just the opportunity to overcome that problem. It is the opportunity to specifically design courses from the bottom up that are targeted to things that will be of interest to students, first of all, and that will incorporate these various skills into them because you don't have to be so concerned with covering this, that and the other thing and getting to such and such a chapter by the end of the semester. You can design the whole thing to be an entryway into the University. It can work very well as part of the FIG or it can stand alone. It's true that you're not going to teach this kind of a course in a way that you would teach Money and Banking. You're not going to assume that the purpose of the course is that at the end of the course, a student is ready to walk into a bank and get a job and decide how to do things in a relationship to the rediscount rate. What you would hope, if you were going to teach say a course on money, would be a) that students are interested in money. Let's cut to the chase here. The students don't know anything about it. None of us do, except the people in the Economics Department. You hear, that so-and-so's currency is going down and so-and-so's is going up and Alan Greenspan is saying this and Wallstreet's reacting like that, and you think ay ay ay ay ay. How does all this . . How many of us really feel like, "Oh, yea. I understand what's going on." If we could just say to students, "Hey, listen to the radio every day. Listen to this stuff." You hear this on the radio. What's it's all about. What are they talking about? How is the United States involved? How are you involved? And take it from there. What do you do? You begin a Pathways for that student, that group of students to say, "Gee, I need to know more about this. This is interesting. Maybe I want to major in economics. Maybe I do want to go into banking, or, hey, I'm going into fashion merchandising, but it's a good thing that I know something about this. Or my career will probably be in engineering, and may be sent off by my company to China or India or Brazil, and it will be important for me to have some concept of how the Peso is doing or whatever currency it may be relative to my own in order to understand the conditions in which I'm operating. Even though my purpose is to try to sell them some new widget and gadget, it's a Pathways." It isn't the whole story. It isn't a replacement for the concept of general education. It isn't any of those things. It's a way in to open the window, so that the students will say, "This place is important. This place has stuff to teach me that I really need to know. Why this is a wonderful opportunity. I am surrounded by a banquet of learning and knowledge." Now, can we do this? Can we pull it off? Ken is absolutely right. If the faculty aren't interested in doing it, it doesn't matter what's in the report. It doesn't matter the Senate endorses it or not. It doesn't matter at all if the Provost were to walk in the door and say, "Here's money for six zillion TAs." That it wouldn't make a bit of difference. If there's aren't enough faculty members who are excited about developing courses that have these kinds of aspects to them, it will be a flop. Thank you. 
David and then
After hearing Carol speak I was moved to say something in response. I want to remind people that there are students who come here who do know what they want to do, are dedicated, like the person Ken talked about he wrote a letter from. I want to mention two of them. One happens to be my wife who came here Phi Beta Kappa, took courses from Carol, knew what she wanted. I showed her the Pathways course. She says she didn't want to take that, she wants to take a course in American history. That's what she was interested in. She wants to take a course in other things. In Women's Studies. That's what she took a course in. And we need to be able to attract people like that. Not force them to go into things. That's why the idea of requirements is so crucial. It can not be required for everybody. Or otherwise we wind up as student people like my wife in this case. I want to get personal with that. I think the personal is correct to talk about this time. The second example I want to give you is my daughter who came here and majored for two years in sociology and Women's Studies and went on and graduated magna cum laude from New York University. She is currently a lawyer or studying to be a lawyer hoping she passes her exam right now at Georgetown law school. I showed her this also just to get some feedback. I realized a sample of two--this may not be a big sample--but it's the only sample that I had direct access to and I knew would be honest. My daughter, Natashia, looked at this and said no. I don't want to take those courses on death and dying, oceans and so forth. I want to take a course like she took. I know what I want to do. I want the opportunity to make my choice. That's where FIG will allow that option. I have no objection to people who are enthusiastic to design a course like described in the Pathways program. They should do it. If people are enthusiastic enough to do it, more power to them and God bless. They have their work cut out for them. But to require that for 3,500 students coming here would be to sacrifice the students who are best. The students who are dear to my heart like my wife and daughter. We have to allow that flexibility. So what I would urge this committee and I was moved by hearing these last two talks is to allow people to experiment in Pathways. Named professors aren't against that. The dean's not against that. Probably no one here is against that possibility. You could do it now. Design a course. People, your chair will love you if you say you want to design a course. But allow people who know what they want to do, who are our best students, that we do attract good students, to get on with it. We have exciting courses here. We have people coming here who want to learn. We should encourage that. Let them learn and let us be able to do it. But don't require them to go into these sequences first described that they have to take these Pathways courses. That would be a shame. I would be very sad. My wife would be very sad. And my daughter would be very sad. Thank you.
I'm Phil Goldstein from the University Parallel Program. I'm not supposed to talk hard into this, am I? I'm not going to comment on these polemics for and against the Pathways, I just wanted to say that it surprised me that people think the Parallel Program can't run a Pathways course. My two colleagues are already thinking of one. They have ideas for one because nobody told them it was difficult for them. And I teach three courses that I could put together into a Pathways course. I think it might be a little easier for us to run Pathways than to run say the FIG. Because with the FIG you need an additional one- credit course beyond the courses you are already teaching and that starts to squeeze us a little. So I just wanted to add that. 
I've really appreciated the discussion as I have all the way along because I am speaking to you from the standpoint of someone who's on the Coordinating Committee, who's also been on the Gen Ed Committee, and who has been dealing with these issues. I was very again struck by what Ken had to say about passion. And I don't think he would have any question in mind about passion had he been able to sit in on some of the Gen Ed discussions, because one of the things I will be privileged to carry away from this, regardless of what the University does or does not do about this, is the wonderfully exciting, thoughtful, challenging, passionate things that people are doing in the classroom. And I have been privileged to observe and talk to people about that and to incorporate it in my own learning as well. And I'm also sensitive to Ken's remark, not so much because I think it's television's problem, but if you think about our educational system we have invested twelve years in teaching people not to learn. To be passive consumers of knowledge not to be active learners, and if we expect them to be active learners then we have to challenge and create them with opportunities we designed to do it here. Because I think unless your children have some exceptional experiences, and I'm not saying there are not any of those out there, saying by and large the bulk of students coming in have been taught not to ask questions. And taught not to be active learners, and taught simply to master whatever it is they are required to know. And that is not something what any of us has as an ideal for education. One of the ways that I have discovered to make students interested in learning is to make them owners of their own knowledge, and I have been able to do that by learning from some of my colleagues and having students participate actively in this. So I have been very effective, not me personally, but students have been effective at teaching other students, at making relative, at making connections. And once you start doing that in the classroom, wonderful things happen. I had a small group of students enter my gender communication, an organization class who could have cared less about any of those issues. I now have a group of students who are powerfully interested in that because they have connected those issues to situations they are going to face after graduation. In this case, they were all seniors so itís a pretty close experience. But I will confess that in my case, passion for learning ran up to practicality. Because the kind of experience I would like to have students have is simply not possible in a public university of this size. At Bucknell, yes, at some ivy league schools, yes. But what I've tried to do was to learn from the discussion ways in which that can be incorporated into my own teaching, but I think the real questions that have been raised here about resources are ones that continue to trouble me. I understand that from the administration's point of view and some of the studies that have been run, they think its going to be an equal exchange. But, I would be very surprised if that would be the case. I'm concerned that we have not had any discussion of what this might take in terms of dollar values. If we are arguing even exchange, ok, where's the exchange going to come from? And, the cost is not just in the Pathways program. The cost is also in the FIG program. If you take a look seriously in the details of the proposals because then you're going to have serious elevated responsibilities for residence people. And I think that's an intriguing idea because I think we are all interested in the concept living - learning and making that more of a connected experience. But again, I think there's a resource question and reminder again that its going to be an issue regardless of what we decide to do and I would like to have at some point some serious attention, some discussion, some data that has been run to see whether or not we can have an exchange system. Thank you. 
Thank you, Beth Haslett. I was trying to get her to say her name at the beginning. It's ok. Other comments? Marcia?
I'm Marcia Halio from the English Department, and for a moment I want to step out of my role on the Coordinating Committee and go back to the Ad Hoc Gen Ed Committee where I worked with Carol and Beth and others in the room for two years. Was it Carol? O.k. Some of the issues that have been raised here today have reminded me of some of our discussions and also some of the reasons I think that I was probably asked to be on that Committee. For the past fifteen years, I worked almost exclusively with freshman. So I'm very well aware of the freshman mind. And the freshman interests. I think that some of the issues, for example that Ray Wolters raised, are very interesting and very important. His discussion of, I'm sorry that Ray isn't here right now, his discussion of the course in money and banking and the way that it is taught now in the College of Business and Economics, contrasts sharply, in my mind, with, for example, with how such a course would be taught to freshmen--a course about money. O.k. What do we know about freshmen? Well, as Carol said, yes, they are interested in money. They spend lots of it certainly on Main Street. But we also know from looking at some of the research for instance the Perry cognitive scale, which I learned about from Judy Green years ago. That, freshman are not able to see themselves as part of the world, That their view is very, very insular, very, very tiny. We might go back again to Ray's image, in a way, of the glass box. O.k. I'm not sure their box is glass, but itís some sort of a box that many of these students are in. And so how do we design courses that will help them get out of that box? How do we design courses that will help them see the world and view themselves as part of the world? For example, if we're teaching freshmen a course on money, one way we might do that is to have them learn something about how money affects people in different parts of the world. What's it like to be poor in America? O.k. Many of our students come, not all, but many come from very comfortable, middle class homes. Many come from middle Atlantic states. Many of them have not had experiences that let them see, that it's no wonder that there are some conflicts in the world because people do not all have the same resources, the same opportunities as they do. I try to do that with them in my freshman English course in various ways, some of which involve discussions on listServes, and in role playing in some of these discussions. But I think that the intent always of Pathways or FIGs, as I could imagine it, is to take a look at where freshmen are, and help them get to where they need to go or where they want to go. And I think that we have a lot of wisdom about the freshman mind, on this campus. We maybe need to express that more eloquently or forcefully to our faculty, some of whom may not work with freshmen much anymore. Certainly they don't work with freshmen one on one much anymore. But I can certainly say that I agree we need to get our students excited about learning, motivated about learning. But to do that, we have to know who they are, and we have to know how to help them expand their visions. 
I'll be quick, Bobby Gempesaw here again. Because the resource issue has always been brought up, I'd like to say maybe one or two things about this topic. First, in the lunch meeting between the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and the President and the Provost of the University, this same issue was raised, and both the President and the Provost have said eloquently that they will not allow this initiative to fail because of lack of resources. I know we faculty do not like to hear general answers that way. But let me say another thing we understand. We the faculty, I consider myself the faculty first, and an administrator second, understand that if there is a new initiative that we would like to embark upon and it is justifiable, itís something we would like to do as Ken has said. If we have the passion of doing it, the administration will support us. For us, to say we want the resources question answered now, its saying, do you know how to embark the Pathways program? Do you know how to embark the FIGS? I said let's practice the implementation phase by not requiring it. Let's learn from our experience. And if we slowly do it, we learn from it, we will learn what kind of resources we need. We do not say it will be an even exchange. That is not the intent of the administration. And another thing I'd like to say is I really appreciate the discussion here, there was so much passion here. I wish I had a class this way. Thank you. 
Other comments, questions? We're a little over our time but I appreciate everyone coming. I'd like to thank everyone and for the special input that we've received from many people. And I'd like to just double check regarding David has left, and Ray has left. But Cindy will be here and I'll need to find out how to pronounce her last name. Okolo, thank you. Okolo. Will Jan, will you be here Monday? Ok, Linda said she would not. You will be, I apologize. Is Harry still here? We look forward to another session on Monday, same time, same place. Thank you very much.