CAA passes class revision

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs passed a revision on a communication studies course at their meeting Thursday.

The class, CMN 3660 Communication and Conflict Management, was revised to have an online element.

Beth Gill, a professor from the communication studies department, came to explain what changes were being proposed for the course.

“The course is a required course for the interpersonal concentration,” Gill said. “There were several reasons for the changes we made.”

Gill said they updated the course description, which was formerly outdated, to fall in line with the University Learning Goals. They also added a component for online delivery as they want more courses delivered online in the future.

The course was changed from being writing intensive to writing active.

“It is more of a course that is focused on skill development,” Gill said. “They do writing in the course but they don’t have the high percentage of written assignments.”

No questions were asked about the proposal and the item was unanimously approved.

The status for the general education committee was discussed at the meeting.

Rebecca Throneburg, a professor in the communication disorders and sciences department, said they started to recruit members for it at the end of last spring for a general education committee, which would be a sub-committee of CAA.

The original plan was to slow down by a semester, but they were planning on having the committees populated at the beginning of fall.

“During the fall we were going to be trying to finish the general education handbook and we had a set of course proposals we were working on during the summer,” she said.

She said two out of the three were finished, with the third one still in progress.

“When we start looking out and saying who were the people who would volunteer for the committee, who were the people who were willing at first glance to work with the learning goal committees, had changes in assignments,” she said.

Because of changes that happened during the summer, many of these volunteers became a lot busier.

“Even the leader themselves said yes, this is a very important project that we want to continue, but will we have the bodies to fill the committees, and even if we get yeses, those of us that we’re putting in 10-15 hours per week on this project may only have four,” she said. “What can we really get done, or get done well?”

In the spring, the chairs of the departments were able to be more positive about progress in the committee, but during the summer they lost members of faculty and other staff members due to layoffs.

Faculty members were also given new assignments and shifted around, making things difficult.

Since the committee would involve people taking on more work and responsibility, it was decided that in light of recent events, it would be a bad idea to ask people join.

“We’ve done a lot on campus, it’s an important project, but right now I think we’d be viewed as insensitive and unrealistic, like we were trying to shove things down people’s throats,” Throneburg said.

It was decided that the general education committee decisions would be slowed down, and deadlines would be reevaluated.

It will not be stopped completely, and Gronnvoll said she hoped to pick things back up next year.

CAA also had a brief orientation for new members where Gronnvoll explained what CAA does and the importance of attendance.

“The CAA makes course recommendations to the president regarding undergraduate curriculum,” she said. “We are down some people this year, and we need eight people to make quorum. We cannot proceed to do any business at all without eight people.”

Faculty Senate will appoint a member to replace the member who is on sabbatical.

She said the most challenging thing was understanding the course proposal form, which changes often.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]