CAA has tied vote over agricultural program option

Brooke Schwartz, News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs did not pass through a proposal for the organizational development, agricultural and rural enterprise option through the organizational development program at its meeting Oct. 25.

Bruce Barnard, the program coordinator for the organizational development program, presented the proposal, which was different than other major options on campus because it required interested students to have an associates degree in agriculture, something Eastern does not provide, before being accepted into the option.

Barnard said this program was developed in association with Lake Land College to come up with Eastern classes that could benefit students who already have an agriculture background.

“Essentially, (students) come with an agricultural focus, because their associates degree was built on agriculture, so what we would be adding would be the organizational competency that might be associated with running a larger operation, or working in an agro-business environment as opposed to directly on a farm,” Barnard said.

Rebecca Throneburg, council member and a communication disorders and sciences professor, said she was not comfortable having the word ‘agriculture’ be in the option name if Eastern was not adding to the agriculture part of students’ degrees.

“If students have got 1000/2000 level (agriculture classes) that they are bringing from community college, I’m fine with advising them to take a major in OPD when they get here, … but to call this a (new option) that has agriculture in the title without us offering something that has 3000/4000 agriculture classes, (that concerns me),” Throneburg said.

Throneburg said she does not like the idea of students graduating with this degree option and only having 1000/2000 course expertise in agriculture.

With these concerns, the council voted with four no votes, four yes votes and one abstention.

The proposal, since it was not pushed through, will go back to the departmental planning stages to try and address the concerns of the council members before CAA will review the proposal again.

The council did approve a new course through the organizational development program; OPD 2200.

This is the lower level version of the current course 3200, the only occupational experience course before the approval of the new one Oct. 25.

These courses allow students who complete occupational portfolio to receive credit in OPD 3200, the current system, or now OPD 2200, if the student writes to the learning objectives of a lower level class they will now receive lower division credits.

Revisions to the HTM 3500: Hospitality and Tourism Professionalism, in an effort to break away from the old School of Family and Consumer Sciences, were also passed by the council Thursday.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].