Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2016-2017‎ > ‎

2016 - 11/17


University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, November 17, 2016

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 October 6, 2016 UCUE Minutes (Action Item)


  1. Comments from the Chairperson


  1. Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education


  1. UGS Freshman Seminars (Discussion Item) (UGS 101)  (UGS 110)  (memo from Jim Lucas)

Jim Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum


  1. IDN Designators for Integrative Studies Courses (Discussion Item)  (IDN for IS)

Jim Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum


  1. Roundtable
Status of 11/17/16 UCUE Minutes:  Approved at 12/1/16 UCUE Meeting


University Committee on Undergraduate Education


Thursday, November 17, 2016

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

Board Room, 4th Floor Administration Building



Attending:  Eva Almenar, Rich Bellon, Sekhar Chivukula, Andrew Corner, Jan Eberle, Kathy Forrest, Nicole Geske, Richard Miksicek, Laura Nelson, Matt Pontifex, Steve Rohs, Fred Rodammer, Jessica Sender, Cassandra Shavrnoch, Mary Kay Smith, Jordan Stomps, Emily Tabuteau


Absent:  Giles Brereton, Marcos Caballero, Sheng-Mei Ma, Jacob Snyder


The agenda was approved.


The minutes were approved for October 6, 2016.



Comments from the Chairperson


Chairperson Miksicek commented on the various colored buttons that have been made available promoting inclusion across campus in light of the current campus climate. Faculty, staff, and students were encouraged to wear and share the buttons.  The visibility of the buttons hopes to promote a welcoming environment to all. 


Chairperson Miksicek commented on a recent survey done by University Senate which was to identify areas of interest to faculty across campus that could be improved upon.  A list was circulated for UCUE to consider.



Comments from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Associate Provost Chivukula referred UCUE members to a statement on Provost Youatt’s website that addresses the divisiveness that campus has recently experienced.   He pointed out that we should generate the type of campus climate that we believe our campus should have.  Issues of bigotry, violence, and hate do not fall within the core values of the University and should be reported.



Jim Lucas, Assistant Dean, Global Education and Curriculum gave brief presentations about the following:  First Year Seminars, the I-D-N requirement, and commercialization of academic resources.


Dr. Lucas spoke about First Year Seminars indicating that the original intent of UGS 101 was for small group interaction with faculty and the subject area was around an area of scholarship or unique interest not found in a typical curriculum. The proposed curriculum changes will be for UGS 101 to be a topical, big ideas seminar.  The focus for UGS 110 will be a transition seminar for students new to MSU.  This proposed change brings UGS 101 back to its original intent.  A proposed credit structure was presented.


Discussion focused on the possibility of zero credit vs. one credit courses.  Surveys have been distributed to departments to begin an inventory of what type of freshman seminars departments are currently teaching.


Dr. Lucas spoke about inclusion in MSU’s curriculum and the meaning of IDN requirements, representing international and national diversity.  Faculty are being asked to include an IDN requirement in their syllabi and resources are being provided to faculty to help.  Dr. Lucas stated that IDN definitions should be developed that are associated with the undergraduate learning goals.


Dr. Lucas spoke about the various fraud issues that MSU is currently experiencing.  Some of these include: marketing for profit note taking services, test taking/advising services, and ID fraud.  It has been determined that these issues are not considered an academic integrity issue and can’t be dealt with the same way that academic dishonesty is dealt with.  Students are using D2L to market note taking services.  WeChat, the Chinese version of Facebook, advertises test taking, note taking and advising services.  Fraud issues associated with personal identification is happening when students use a low quality picture for their ID card and it becomes difficult to determine if the person carrying the ID is the person reflected in the picture.  Some of these issues are addressed in the Code of Teaching Responsibilities, item number nine.


Discussion focused on challenges and possible solutions.  Dr. Lucas asked that UCUE members email him with questions and comments.





A discussion took place about the use of the SIRS form and if it its use should be re-evaluated.  It was suggested that one form could be used to evaluate instructors and a different form could evaluate student learning.  UCUE members stated that it is problematic for SIRS results to be tied to promotion and tenure.


Associate Provost Chivukula stated that on the University Educational Technology Roadmap for 2018 there is a placeholder to change the platform that is used for SIRS.  Members discussed the need for a more flexible system and one that could be tailored for different classes.  A pilot is currently being done in Lyman Briggs for mid semester feedback and the response has been favorable.


The possibility of creating a subcommittee to create a framework was discussed.  The subcommittee could look at the issues of, “Do we need to change the policy? and “What kind of framework do we give the campus as we move forward?”


One member stated that the Educational Technology group in the College of Education could be consulted.



Meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.


Respectfully submitted by Lynne Frechen.