Minutes: December 1, 2016

1. Minutes from November 17th were approved as written.

2. Academic Program Reviews

The following APR’s were discussed and accepted:

English –  It was made clear in both the Self –Study and the Report of the External Reviewers that the ability to sustain the Communication and Technology track in the English major was contingent on the acquisition of additional faculty resources.  Delivery of the CT curriculum had been seriously compromised by   recent faculty resignations. The UGC is happy to report that the Dean of CAHSS has approved  two faculty hires, one in CT and the other in Digital Humanities. These hires should allow the Department to meet its immediate needs for course delivery in the CT track.

In its APR Self Study, the English Department also requested and the Dean approved a  reduction in the enrollment cap for all writing courses, including ENGL 100, from 24 to 22. While the Self-Study notes that  professional organizations such as the Council of Teachers of  English and Council for Writing Program Administrators recommend class sizes of between 15 and 20  students, the UGC recognizes this decision as a move in the right direction.

Political Science –  The external reviewers’ and the Dean’s reports agree that the Political Science program is doing excellent work in all areas, teaching, research, and service. The Dean’s report concurred with the reviewers’ recommendation to review the curriculum in order to find cross cutting lines connections that would mitigate the “silos” that the internal areas of specialization may be creating. They were also in agreement that the department needed to revisit its assessment plan, something that the department said it intended to return to in its self-study. The Dean agreed with the reviewers about the need to reconsider tenure guidelines to allow for greater interdisciplinarity in scholarship and to find ways to work more effectively with Global Studies. The Dean’s report also responded to the reviewer’s recommendations for more faculty, more space, and adequate computer support, as well as other recommendations including the challenges at Shady Grove that fall “outside of the purview of APR.”

Undergraduate Education – Terry Worchesky has offered to review this APR and it is expected to be ready for review at the first meeting of the Spring Semester (February 2, 2017).  Jill Randles has offered her assistance if there are any questions that Dr. Worchesky may have with this review.

2.  Discussion of Interdisciplinary Studies Year Three Review

Steve Freeland presented the YTR review of Interdisciplinary Studies to the committee.  This YTR will be presented by Susan McDonough, as chair, at the next meeting.

3.  Discussion of the Audit Grading Policy

Simon Stacey and Amanda Knapp attended the meeting to gather the committee’s feedback regarding the Audit Grading Option. The group agreed to provide written feedback regarding the “future considerations” section of the document by the December 15th UGC meeting. Feedback will be collected via email at aknapp@umbc.edu.

4.  Program Certificates

UDC in Cybersecurity (CSEE) – Tabled until the February 2nd meeting.  There were many questions about this certificate and Anupam Joshi was asked to get clarification and report back to UGC for discussion of these topics in the Spring.

5.  Courses approved