Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Because of the new federal GI Bill (aka the Post 9/11 GI Bill), it is expected that universities will have an influx of vets in the next couple of years; John is doing his best to help UW prepare for this. He is working to improve UW's system of identifying veterans as well as guiding them through the process of receiving the higher education benefits.
During the final meetings of the semester, the committee will be compiling all of the information brought before the committee throughout the year in order to formulate recommendations to the Faculty Senate.
If anyone is looking for more information on what CURAFA has done this year or wants to give input on any issue this committee deals with, let me know.
What do you learn outside of class? Is it the same stuff you learn in class?
When do you learn (internships, work study, daily life, student groups)?
How would you measure how much you learn?
How would you compare what you learn to what someone else learns?
Please brainstorm and share your ideas about/answers to the questions above!
The cutting edge of assessment is figuring out how to measure how and what students learn outside of the classroom, in the co-curricular, and then using that information to show government officials, alumni, prospective students, and other schools how awesome (or not) this school is compared to others.
This question comes from the University Assessment Council meeting yesterday. We discussed reaccreditation for much of the meeting, but we also broke into small groups to discuss the future of assessment at the UW.
I’ll recap the December meeting quickly, which won't be hard because it was very short. It was the Thursday of finals week, and the big blizzard was right on our doorstep, so we were probably ready to move quick and get out of there. The item that’s of most interest to students was authorizing the implementation of a new BS in Personal Finance. We’ve always had a personal finance curriculum, as a track in the Consumer Science major. The current option covers all of the courses necessary for a graduate to obtain Certified Financial Planner status from the Fin. Planning professional society. The new major uses the same curriculum, but as an actual major will be easier for students to find, and be easier to explain to potential employers.
We closed the meeting with a commendation for Pat Farrell, as this was his last meeting as Provost and chair of the committee. We adopted the following: “The members of the UAPC greatly appreciate the leadership and dedication provided by Provost Patrick Farrell during his 2.5 years as Provost of the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Under Provost Farrell, the University of Wisconsin continued to excel as a world-class university, and Provost Farrell brought both integrity and vision to our University.”
We next met in February, with Julie Underwood, dean of the School of Education and now interim Provost as chair. Her meeting pace was a little quicker than we’ve been used to, but she’s very funny to match it and I have no doubt she’ll be a good chair for however long her tenure as interim provost runs.
We approved two items that of note to students. First, we agreed to a request to rename the Department of Rural Sociology to Community and Environmental Sociology. The name Rural Sociology didn’t cover much of what the department did, and the current students in the department are enthusiastic about the name change. The UW is one of just two universities to still use the name Rural Sociology. The department believes that the new name will help them attract more students to their program. (The Faculty Senate still has to sign off on the name change)
We also approved a new Certificate in German. Surprisingly, we don’t have many certificates in languages. With all of the emphasis in internationalization, language study is an important complimentary component to other majors, but short of getting a second major in the language, there are few options for getting recognition of those efforts. The hope is that by offering a certificate in German, we can help students who want to take more German than what was required to get retro-credits for high school German work, but don’t have the time or desire to get a full German major. This may take some pressure off the German major, because some students can opt for just the certificate. Other language departments will be watching to see how this works, and could potentially start to offer their own certificates.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is that we are not a speedy committee, and in February we took up a discussion of the makeup of the committee, which was an idea from October. We don’t have final approval over our makeup, but we have recommended to the University Committee (which is the executive committee of the Faculty Senate) that they amend our charter to make the student member a voting member of the committee. The UC may make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate, who may or may not take it up, but I’m hopeful and think that future student appointees will have a vote. I will obviously keep following this.
Finally, we discussed potential agenda items for upcoming meetings. At our March meeting, we’ll be discussing clinical/professional PhDs, and the distinctions between these degrees and the more traditional research PhDs. I’m also concerned about time-to-degree for PhD students, but we may not have the right data for that discussion until next year when the Council of Graduate Schools study finishes up. I want to keep on this, because I think we can make progress before we need that data. I also hope that we will be discussing transfer credit agreements and the processes involved in approving those yet this year.
In the past week or so, there has been a fair amount of news coverage about multiple majors and the implications they have on the University. This is something that is within the scope of the UAPC to discuss. It is not on our agenda for March, but I will get a sense if this is a discussion that is coming for a future meeting. Look for a post about multiple majors, hopefully near the end of spring break.
Monday, March 9, 2009
President - Xiangyun Zhang
VP Public Relations - Kaitlin Koehler
VP Program Administration - Ade Afolayan
Their positions officially begin on May 7th, but their training begins as early as this week.
The Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance Committee Blog serves as a space for shared governance appointees and the UW-Madison student body to communicate on issues relating to shared governance. As part of their responsibilities as student representatives, appointees will post a report following each meeting attended.