Minutes of the March 23, 2018 Meeting

University Curriculum Committee Minutes
March 23, 2018
George Washington Hall, room 303

The meeting began at 2:00 pm. Present were the following:

John Morello, Kevin Caffrey, Lance Gentry, Marie Sheckels, Dianne Baker and Jackie Gallagher.

PDF copy of the minutes


SCHEV did not approve the proposed Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Their reasons may be informative for future proposals. There were three:

  1. The MSN does not fall within the mission of the university. We have no health science division or college or program, except the BSN degree completion program – in which students complete the ‘liberal arts’ part of the degree. One implication may be that we have no business offering any degree in this area.
  2. Since there are five other MSN programs in Virginia, this program introduces unnecessary duplication. Those programs were surveyed by SCHEV and gave negative responses. Duplication is always an issue when we propose new programs.
  3. The program relies too much on adjuncts for instruction. This would have been true.

The proposal has been withdrawn.

A special major in Communications/Digital Studies was approved in 2014-15 by the various committees (CAS CC, UCC, UFC) and has become very successful, with over 100 majors at the moment. It still uses the special major CIP code, so is “hidden” – not a formal degree. We need to submit paperwork to the state to create a new degree. If SCHEV approves, it will be listed in Fall 2019. The CIP code we propose is not used by any other programs in Virginia (other schools with communications majors have used their existing speech CIP codes). This move would create a separate degree housed in the ELC Department –

John has put out a call for catalog PDF updates.

New Business:

Consideration of the deadlines for proposals for the 2018-19 academic year. After discussion of previous dates and their impact on “back end” procedures, it was decided to establish a date in late fall 2018 (Nov or Dec) for new programs and program changes, and a later date in early spring 2019 (Jan or Feb) for new courses and expedited changes.

Discussion of the impact of changing a course number or pre-requisite on an expedited basis, where implications for other programs are not realized until the changes reach the catalog. Rather than having influenced departments write separate course- or program-change proposals, John suggests that the proposer includes a list of impacted departments/courses/programs with the initial proposal plus some acknowledgement and acceptance of that change (by signature or by email) – due at the time of the initial proposal. If the impacted department does not want to accept the change, it would have to submit its own program/course change. Benefits would be that the original proposer would have to find all instances of impact, which would be known immediately. The committee agreed to this change; John will write up instructions.

John wants guidance on how to make the procedure by which changes are approved through the system more efficient. One suggestion is to see if Brian Ogle (or someone else in the Registrar’s Office) could review paperwork for a special major before it comes to the CAS CC – mistakes would be caught that much earlier (on the basis that faculty and students don’t complete such paperwork frequently, if at all). Another suggestion is to include instructions on how to digitally sign a PDF. Signatures of the committee chairs are not required, however – they are a product of this committee. The decision is to keep signatures on paperwork through UCC, but after that to use the tracking system that John has created on the web page, which clearly tells the status and date of change for all proposals. (There is commercial software that would keep track of everything, but it is expensive so will not be purchased.)

Who will chair this committee next year, and who will sit on it? A decision will be made by the end of spring semester, so that members can meet at the UFC organizational meeting before classes start in August.

The meeting was adjourned at 3.00pm.

Respectfully submitted, Jackie Gallagher