Academic Policies Committee
Minutes – December 4, 2007
Present: Ken Abernethy, Robin Visel, Linda Bartlett, Ben Able, John Harris (recording), Dan Koppelman, Doug Cummins, Kristy Maher
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 pm.
The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
The following courses were approved in a “virtual meeting” finalized on November 15:
- ANT 344 for World cultures
- BIO 432 for HNE and NW (2008 offering only)
- CL 111 for HA (already approved for AGRS).
- CL 120 for TA (already approved for AGRS)
- CL 220 for HA (already approved for AGRS).
- CL 221 for HA (already approved for AGRS).
- CL 230 for TA (already approved for AGRS)
- CL 231 for TA (already approved for AGRS)
We were joined by Bill Thomas, chair of the Music Department, to answer our questions regarding proposed changes to the music curriculum.
According to Bill, what has been done is primarily a redistribution of existing hours and teacher resources. In terms of credits, the numbers in the new plan are very similar to those in the current plan. Bill discussed the nature of the revisions, how they relate to Furman’s new curriculum and how they relate to the accreditation process that the Music Department must regularly undergo.
A question was asked regarding the placement of music students in first year seminars --- the degree charts provided indicate that one of the seminars should carry CGA credit. Bill indicated that Brad Barron was aware of this issue and was willing to work with the Music Department in order to ensure this.
Bill stressed that this was not a departure from current practice (or from national norm) involving total percentage of undergraduate hours.
After Bill left, the committee continued to discuss the Music Department’s proposal. The committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed changes.
The next item on the agenda was discussion of the proposal that sought Mathematics and Formal Reasoning credit for ECN 225 (currently known as ECN 25). Prior to the meeting, Harris emailed the committee an extensive statement about this course. While he spoke very highly of the course (and of its twin course, MTH 30), he described three reasons why he felt that the course was not appropriate for the MFR category. In short, his reasons were as follows:
(i) The course was more appropriate for the Empirical Studies Human Behavior category.
(ii) The CRC did not intend for the MFR category to be simply a “quantitative” category. The MFR description in the CRC document describes courses that do more than just provide tools for working with data.
(iii) The responses on the course proposal form did not merit inclusion of the course in the MFR category.
The committee discussed these issues at length. In the end, the following arguments prevailed:
(i) The course would not be appropriate for the Empirical Studies Human Behavior category since the course mainly provides tools for the study of data.
(ii) While the course may not be as “MFR strong” as the other courses already in the category, it does cross an appropriate threshold.
The committee voted to recommend approval of ECN 225 for MFR credit. The vote was not unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15.