2017-2018‎ > ‎

2017 - 09/21


University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, September 21, 2017

10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Board Room, 4th Floor Administration Building




  1. Approval of the Agenda (Action Item)


  1. Approval of the Thursday, September 7, 2017 UCUE Minutes (Action Item)


  1. Comments from the Chairperson


  1. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education


  1. Jim Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum (Discussion Item)

Undergraduate Learning Goals and Global Competencies  (supporting document 1, supporting document 2, supporting document 3)

Integrative Studies – plans for I/D/N regularization  (supporting document 1, supporting document 2)


  1. Jen-nien (Ryan) Yang, Assistant Director, Information Technology (Discussion Item)

Parameters for a system of Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)


  1. Roundtable
Documents for Student Evaluation of Teaching Discussion from Richard Miksicek
Status of 9/2/17 UCUE Minutes:  Approved.


University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, September 21, 2017

10:15 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.

Board Room, 4th Floor Administration Building



Attending:  Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah, Joanna Bosse, Marcos Caballero, Sekhar Chivukula, Caroline Colpoys, Andrew Corner, Jan Eberle, Waseem El-Rayes, Kathy Forrest, Anna Krupka, Sheng-Mei Ma, Richard Miksicek, Matt Pontifex, Robert Richardson, Katherine Ruger, Emily Tabuteau, Antoinette Tessmer, Janette Vani, Elizabeth Webster, Jiahao She


Absent: Giles Brereton


The agenda was approved as amended adding a discussion regarding Student Evaluation of Teaching will occur prior to the Roundtable.


The minutes were approved for September 7, 2017 as amended to indicate that Waseem El-Rayes was present at the meeting.


Comments from the Chairperson

Chairperson Miksicek referenced the documents that he asked to be distributed to UCUE regarding Student Evaluation of Teaching.  He indicated the documents were sent to facilitate the discussion regarding the current concerns of the UCFA on the use of SIRS data for annual reviews and decisions related to merit raises and RPT decisions.  Chairperson Miksicek welcomed new members and asked that they introduce themselves.


Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Associate Provost Chivukula reminded members of the short timeline that exists during the academic year for issues needing Faculty Senate approval.  If issues are brought forward by UCUE needing Faculty Senate approval, it would need to be finalized in early spring semester to have time to move through Governance.  Otherwise, another option is to choose a subcommittee that could carry forward the work into the next academic year.




Jim Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum (Discussion Item)

Undergraduate Learning Goals and Global Competencies

Integrative Studies – plans for I/D/N regularization


Dr. Lucas reviewed the MSU diversity distribution requirement known as I-D-N and described the current challenges.  He gave a brief history of the I (International), D (Diversity), and N (National) labels for the IAH and ISS requirements.  During the semester transition and creation of Integrative Studies, MSU began a requirement that all students have an I/N, I/D, or N/D course combination for graduation.


Dr. Lucas explained that over time, new courses were developed that were not labeled and a lack of clarity existed around the definitions. In addition, we are now living in a more global world.  Also, the IDN labeling was not associated with specific learning outcomes or objectives.  The IDN requirement was often waived which led students to believe it was not a priority.  Dr. Lucas has been working with ISS and IAH faculty to define what IDN currently means and develop learning outcomes for the labels based on the Undergraduate Learning Goals.  College committees have provided a draft to Dr. Lucas which was sent to UCUE members.


Dr. Lucas indicated that current plans are to revise current drafts and have college approval by December, vet “final” drafts through key stakeholders such as OI3, ASMSU, CORES/COPS, and UCUE, present new information to UCUE by January, 2018, and work with UCUE and academic governance to instantiate definitions into Academic Programs as well as other policies. 


Dr. Lucas asked for input from UCUE on the following items:  is the timeline realistic, specific language that should be used, should this requirement be more strictly enforced or can it be waived, how are transfer credits handled?  The plan is to first define what IDN means and associate learning outcomes, then set the curriculum, letting the definitions drive the curriculum.


Discussion focused on whether UCUE is the correct committee to review this, if there should be a subcommittee that could work with Dr. Lucas, and if this requirement should also be a part of the Science classes.  This requirement is currently only in the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences.  Discussion continued regarding confusion of what constitutes an I, D, or an N course and if these requirements are still actually needed.  Members indicated that most students are getting this information regardless of if the classes are labeled or not.


Associate Provost Chivukula brought forth questions to UCUE asking how we could operationalize the current policy, or is the current policy out of date and does it need to be redone?  It was determined that due to a limited time frame in the academic year, it would be best to focus on operationalizing the current policy.


ASMSU students in the Honors College indicated that as incoming freshman, they were told they did not need to worry about the IDN requirement and therefore, it made it seem unimportant. 


Chairperson Miksicek indicated a final draft would come to UCUE for endorsement.


Dr. Lucas referenced a handout and provided a history of the Undergraduate Learning Goals (ULGs) and Global Competencies (GCs).


Dr. Lucas stated that the Higher Learning Commission requires MSU to have learning outcomes for its programs and use the learning outcomes for quality improvement on campus.  The original MSU goals (Liberal Learning Goals) were created by the University Committee on Liberal Learning (UCLL).   An effort for campus internationalization was launched which led to the creation of the GCs which were written in the same language as the ULGs.  It was originally thought by some that the GCs would fade away. 


Dr. Lucas referenced a chart showing the relationship of GCs and ULGs and how to do assessments of student learning.  He noted a challenge that we currently have is that the UCLL no longer exists and therefore no one is overseeing what the role of the undergraduate learning outcomes are.  He noted that MSU has separate ULGs and GCs and would like to see them brought together.  Dr. Lucas sighted advantages of having the two combined and creating Global Undergraduate Learning Goals.  He asked for suggestions on combining the two and assistance in identifying a group that would move this forward.


A discussion took place on the distinction between an outcome and a competency with the answer being that an outcome is written in a measurable way and a competency is the knowledge and skills you want students to have.  A question arose on how are the ULGs with an emphasis on GCs different than the requirements for I-D-N and could these things be merged?  After a discussion, it was noted that the GCs and ULGs could be combined and have one set of learning outcomes and then I-D-N would refer to those learning outcomes. 


After a discussion, it was agreed that Colleges and Deans would need to work with their departments to map out their individual programs to meet their learning goals.  Dr. Lucas agreed to prepare a proposal merging the GCs and the ULGs and have one set of learning outcomes for UCUE to review, make recommendations, and endorse.



Jen-nien (Ryan) Yang, Assistant Director, Information Technology (Discussion Item)

Parameters for a system of Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)


Associate Provost Chivukula reminded members that MSU currently has a Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) policy stating that units must collect student feedback on courses each semester, however it does not specify the instrument to be used.  It was noted that some departments collect paper SIRS and others are electronic.


Dr. Yang provided a brief overview of the current SIRS system stating that it only minimally meets business needs and it is not sustainable.  It was never completed to the original specifications and there are limits on how much you can customize the survey.


Dr. Yang stated that he is gathering feedback and requirements of what people would like to have in their Student Evaluation of Teaching system.  Once this is determined, a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be sent out externally for bid.  Dr. Yang stated that many vendors have standard survey question banks that other Universities use and those are benchmarked across multiple institutions.


Discussion focused on the fact that participation in SIRS dramatically drops when switching from paper to electronic. If mid semester feedback is implemented, some members feel it should be kept between the faculty and student and not involve the department.


Chairperson Miksicek referenced a handout to summarize questions for UCUE about how to move forward.  Discussion took place regarding if UCUE should create a subcommittee and whether or not it should be composed of just UCUE or additional stakeholders.  A discussion was also held if MSU should continue with SIRS or look at other options for student evaluation of teaching such as qualtrix.   It was determined to create a subcommittee that would include members from UCUE, UCFA, COGS, ASMSU, and MSU it.  The subcommittee will assist in determining what the needs are for a new system of evaluation of teaching and what should be in the RFP.  It was agreed that vendors would be invited to campus to review their systems.  Some features mentioned that members would like to see in a new system include:  mobile friendly, able to customize questions, option to produce a bubble sheet version, confidentiality, and option to include a mid-semester evaluation.  It was agreed that best practices should be utilized in a new system.  A suggestion was made to inquire if the Academic Advancement Network (AAN) could assist.


A brief discussion was held regarding the Student Opinion of Courses of Teaching (SOCT).  Members stated that students use other methods to find out information about instructors.  It was agreed that the RFP would not address SOCT.


It was determined that this semester would be used to gather data and a report would be provided to UCUE in January or February.  The report would be forwarded to the Steering Committee.  Vendors would be invited to campus to present in the spring, 2018.


The following UCUE members volunteered to serve on the subcommittee:  Antoinette Tessmer, Waseem El-Rayes, Jan Eberle, Robert LaDuca, and Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah.  Chairperson Miksicek agreed to contact UCFA and COGS to ask for a representative.




There were no items for Roundtable.

Respectfully submitted by Lynne Frechen.

Adjourned at 11:50.