124th Meeting
March 4, 2004

Present:     L. Derscheid (HHS), C. Downing (BUS), D. Gough (HHS),  C.T. Lin (LAS), S. Linden (LAS), K. Millis (LAS), N. Osorio (LIB), L. Rigg (LAS),
                 D. Rusin (LAS),  D. Sinason (BUS), J. Stewart (EET), L. Stoffel (VPA), L. Townsend (EDUC)
Absent:     A. Doederlein (LAS), N. Boubekri (EET), W. Goldenberg (VPA) E. Seaver (Vice Provost), E. Wilkins (EDUC)   Student: L. Krueger (EDUC).

Guest:       K. Van Mol (Catalog Editor/Curriculum Coordinator)



A.     Electronic Approval of Minutes

The minutes of February 5, 2004  were electronically approved.


APASC - K. Millis

On behalf of APASC, K. Millis moved that the UCC  receive the February 4, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

K. Millis said that there was discussion about limited admission and clarifying language in the catalog which was reported at the last UCC meeting.

GEC - D. Rusin

On behalf of the GEC, D. Rusin moved that the UCC  receive the January 15, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.
D. Rusin said the GEC has been looking at the interim reports from the science and math departments.  He said all the departments are supposed to go through the resubmission process but, since the last cycle for science and math was longer, they were asked to submit interim reports which asked primarily about assessment.  He said at this meeting there were quite a few interim reports that were approved.  He said the departments will have to submit resubmissions in a few years.  He said that the expectation was that the last time the science departments were reviewed they would come up with an assessment procedure and that this time they would have the assessment results.  He said that they discovered that the science departments did not have the results.

On behalf of the GEC, D. Rusin moved that the UCC  receive the February 19, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

D. Rusin said that the GEC course review cycle was discussed.  He said that currently we have one year for each of the areas– humanities and the arts, social sciences, interdisciplinary, science and math, and core competency.  He said that the committee thought it might be easier for the departments involved if the 8 year review cycle was used to review all of the courses in a different order, e.g., all of the anthropology courses were reviewed in one year, and be tied to their program review cycle.  He said that the committee wasn’t sure if this would be a benefit to the departments and will continue discussion at their next meeting.

D. Rusin said the online survey was developed from Elisa Fredericks’ marketing class presentation on general education courses.  He said that Craig Barnard will work on the survey for continued discussion.

Honors Committee - L. Rigg

On behalf of the Honors Committee, L Rigg moved that the UCC  receive the February 6, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

L. Rigg said that there was nothing particularly substantive at this meeting.  She said that the director discussed the potential strain on the Honors program from two ends: not enough courses being offered and more students potentially coming into the program.  She said that one of the things they’re going to work on is once again trying to get the word out that people can offer capstone courses and special honors sections, and trying to get the word out that honors students are willing to put in the effort and do the extra work and attend the honors sections.

L. Rigg said the Vice Provost talked about the potential for grading change and what it would mean to an honors student and how they felt about it.  She said there was some discussion as to having a focus group talk about the issue.  She said that they put off anything concrete until after they receive the official word that this is something that needs to be acted upon.

C.T. Lin discussed the summer consortium and research institute for high school students across the country that is being held at NIU in conjunction with the Illinois Math and Science Academy, and wanted to know how NIU honors students can coordinate with these students.  L. Rigg said that she couldn’t attend the next Honors Committee meeting but would send an email to the committee chair about C.T. Lin’s question.

K. Van Mol asked the committee to change the listing under ex-officio member for Earl Seaver from Provost to Vice Provost.  The committee agreed.

CIUE - L. Derscheid

On behalf of the CIUE, L. Derscheid moved that the UCC  receive the February 9, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

L. Derscheid said that at that meeting they approved the rubric of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award to try to standardize the review process.  She said they also ranked the 35 CIUE grant proposals that they received.   She said that all the money was spent.  She said there was some confusion and that the money is for projects and not for each individual .  She said they funded or partially funded 25 of the 35 proposals.

CUAE - L. Derscheid

On behalf of the CUAE, L. Derscheid moved that the UCC  receive the February 10, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

L. Derscheid attended the meeting for C.T. Lin.  She said that Chief Brady came to talk to the committee, and told the committee that an independent survey of all the campuses in the state found that NIU is the safest university in the state.  She said often times when parents come to campus they think the call boxes are very safe, but nobody gets attacked by call boxes.  She said that he talked about mechanisms that, when activated, send out a radio frequency that can locate you within ten feet.  She said that it could be used for both safety or medical issues.  D. Sinason asked if anything was done to disseminate the information about NIU’s status as the safest university in the state.  He said that NIU is perceived as being unsafe.  L. Derscheid said that as far as she knew the report has gone out to the president’s and provost’s office but whether it’s getting disseminated through admissions she did not know.  D. Sinason suggested getting this information to high school guidance counselors across the state.  He said that we have people who aren’t even submitting applications to NIU because they are under the perception that we’re not a safe school. J. Stewart asked the committee to come up with a letter to the University Council explaining what Chief Grady said about our status as the safest university in the state and asking if this information is being disseminated; if it is not we recommend that it be disseminated and if it is being disseminated could they tell us how and to whom. L. Derscheid said that Chief Brady talked about the assignment of a detective to every residence hall on campus, and about the increase in participants of the late night ride service.  She said he has instituted some interesting programs to help keep the students and the community safer.  She said the last part of the meeting they discussed civility, or lack of civility, on campus.  She said Ombudsman Tim Griffin mentioned that every spring and fall, when the weather is nice, there is more activity on the Martin Luther King commons where there is more solicitation and people who approach students.  She said he had several students come and complain to him that they have been mildly accosted both physically and verbally.  She said it was recommended that Rick Clark from University Programming and Activities be asked to speak to the committee regarding these issues.

CUC - D. Gough

On behalf of the CUC, D. Gough moved that the UCC  receive the February 12, 2004 minutes.  The motion carried.

D. Gough said that this meeting was conducted electronically.  She said that most of the activity was about adding additional options in terms of courses in the various departments to either give additional options or to make revisions in selection of courses for different departments; updating some of the designators; and a change in the name of the Speech and Hearing Clinic to Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.  She said there was a section on description of the freshman and transfer student application management.  K. Van Mol said that the change in the name of the Speech and Hearing Clinic to Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic was actually approved by the CUC last November; these minutes report that it has been approved by the President and now we have complete approval.  She also reported that the March meeting is also going to be held electronically.



N. Osorio said that the UAP met on February 6 and February 20.  He said one of the things that the UAP does is to monitor and discuss reports on assessment from the IBHE.  He said they discussed the IBHE Statewide Results Report.   He said they review assessment tools; usually they are created by the assessment office.  He said they reviewed one for the alumni survey, and one for the withdrawing/non-returning students.  He said another thing the panel does is review non-academic programs.  He said they reviewed the Career Planning and Placement assessment plan, and the University Programming and Activities assessment plan.  He said they also had a presentation from Mary Munroe from the library about collection assessment.  He said they are beginning to review and provide feedback for those assessment plans and reports that were sent back to the academic units for reviewing.

There was no old business.


A.     Demographics of NIU Students

Dan House was not able to attend this month’s meeting.

B.     Grading System Change - J. Stewart

J. Stewart said that at the last University Council Meeting there was no official word that we are doing anything with the grading system change.  He said that Carla Montgomery at the Graduate School felt that we didn’t necessarily have to have the same grading system for undergraduate and graduate students.  He said he wasn’t happy with that idea.  D. Rusin said that there are crosslisted courses.  J. Stewart said there were two models being looked at; one from Ohio which is A, AB, etc.,  and the other is the Wisconsin model which is the + and - system A, A-, B+, B etc.  D. Sinason said that at Florida State there was no A+ , and once you got below a C- there was no D+, etc. J. Stewart said that it is not a done deal that there will be a change in the grading system, but, however, there is a strong consensus of people that would like a change in the grading system.  There was considerable discussion.  C.T. Lin said that there was no discussion or participation by students on this issue.  J. Stewart said before we can go to the students we need to formulate a plan.  He said we need to look carefully at what we’re going to do and design what we’re going to do before we can ask people whether they agree with it or not.  L. Townsend asked who decided that there was a problem with the current system.  J. Stewart said that the Senate took it to the University Council.  L. Townsend said she’d like to know if students think there is a problem with the current grading system.  D. Sinason said that the issue is that we give the same grade to a student who knows 70% of the materials as to a student who knows 78% of the materials.  He said even though it may not be a problem per se, he thinks that those who initiated this wanted more ability to discern between the students in their classes to the material that the students knew.  J. Stewart asked Keith Millis to bring this issue to the next APASC meeting.

Meeting Adjourned 2:25 p.m.
Christine Welch