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Faculty Senate » 2004-2005 Annual Report

Baccalaureate Core Committee

Baccalaureate Core Committee

TO: Faculty Senate Executive Board
FROM: Joanne Sorte, Chair
Baccalaureate Core Committee
SUBJECT: Baccalaureate Core Committee ANNUAL REPORT 2004-2005

2004-2005 members of the Baccalaureate Core Committee included: Ruth Vondracek, David McMurray, Patty Watkins, Milo Koretsky, Pat Muir, Kevin Ahern (through May 2005), and Joanne Sorte. Ex-officio members included: Vicki Tolar Burton and Jun Xing. The Baccalaureate Core Committee met twice each month from October 18, 2004 through June 9, 2005. The BCC had regular and full participation of the membership. The BCC had no student members during the year in spite of efforts by the Faculty Senate office and BCC members to invite students to participate. The actions and discussions of the BCC during this year are summarized below.

Operating procedures: The BCC adopted operating procedures to guide review of course proposals and to give structure to the year-to-year follow through activities of the committee. These procedures include:

  • General Operating Procedures of the Baccalaureate Core Committee
  • Expectations of the Baccalaureate Core Course Syllabus
  • Operating Procedure for the Writing Intensive Course in Double Degrees and Dual Majors
  • Operating Procedure for the Periodic Review of Baccalaureate Core Categories (sometimes called the Categorical Review)
These procedures are attached below for future reference.

Course review: Across the year a total of 32 new or "change" course proposals were reviewed. Review action was as follows: 2 proposals were denied, 8 were approved following return/resubmit, and 22 were approved at first review.

DPD Category Review: As charged by the Standing Rules, the BCC conducted a categorical review of a portion of the Baccalaureate Core. During 2004-2005 the BCC reviewed the Difference, Power, & Discrimination category. DPD courses that had not been reviewed during the previous 5 years were identified. 25 courses were proposed for review. Of these, 5 courses had been dropped, 17 were approved at first review or upon revision/resubmission, and 3 courses were returned for additional information with review and findings to be determined during Fall 2005. These carry forward courses include: HST 201, HST 202, and HST 203.

Establishment of electronic submission system for the category review: The BCC worked with the Faculty Senate office to promote development and use of an electronic submission system for the Category Review. Vickie Nunnemaker supervised student worker Keith Prickett in the development of the system that allows BCC members to access and review materials submitted by faculty teaching the courses under review. The system will be refined and continued in use for Categorical Reviews in subsequent years.

Writing Intensive Curriculum guidance: The BCC worked in collaboration with the WIC Coordinator and WIC Advisory Board to identify the role of the WIC in Double Degree and dual major programs. This is summarized in the procedure attached below.

Participation in faculty discussion of the Oregon Transfer Module - OTM, and management of transfer course fulfillment of the OSU Baccalaureate Core requirements. Members of the BCC participated in campus and state-wide discussions related to the OTM. Implications of the OTM and other transfer studentís fulfillment of the OSU Baccalaureate Core were discussed. By decision of the committee, the BCC spoke in favor of approval of the OTM design during the Faculty Senate discussions. In doing so, the BCC recognized that the experience of each student with the OSU Baccalaureate Core will be somewhat unique. This variation of experience is to be acknowledged for both the 4-year on-campus student as well as the transfer student. The importance of the upper division OSU Baccalaureate Core was underscored. It was also determined that Academic Programs personnel in collaboration with department advisors would assign fulfillment of Baccalaureate Core requirements to transfer courses on a case by case basis.

Recommendations for continued Baccalaureate Core Committee discussion during 2005-2006:

DPD and transfer courses. The BCC suggests exploration and discussion around the identification of transfer courses fulfilling the OSU Baccalaureate Core DPD requirement. The DPD is considered to encompass a unique approach to study. It is unclear whether the OSU DPD contribution is unique, and whether transfer courses address the depth and breadth of the DPD as envisioned for this aspect of the Core. To this end, the BCC began discussions with the DPD Coordinator and members of the DPD Advisory Board about the advisability of:

  1. recommending changing the DPD to an upper division requirement, or
  2. requiring that the DPD be taken at OSU.

In this discussion it was important to recognize that the current lower division DPD courses make a significant contribution to the student experience at OSU. The DPD Advisory Board has proposed that History 201, 202, & 203 be withdrawn from DPD to address the issue of transfer-in DPD credits. These courses comprise a large number of the transfer-in credits assigned to fulfill the DPD core requirement. In this way it was thought that the quality of the student's DPD experience would be enhanced by achieving the Bacc Core requirement here at OSU. The History Department chair countered this recommendation by noting among other points, that withholding DPD Bacc Core assignment from these transfer courses is inappropriate (it is anticipated that transferring institutions pay heed to DPD perspectives in the study of history) and that limiting this current opportunity for students to obtain the DPD requirement through the study of HST 201, 202, 203 (both for transfer students and on-campus students) would significantly increase student enrollment in the remaining on-campus DPD courses creating a situation that would be untenable. The Baccalaureate Core Committee has a logical responsibility to participate in and guide these conversations to promote the DPD in the Baccalaureate Core and to assure an optimal DPD experience for students.

Electronic delivery of Baccalaureate Core Courses. During the past year the BCC met with the Director of E-campus and faculty who teach Bacc Core classes through electronic delivery. Currently approved Baccalaureate Core courses that are revised to include electronic delivery receive no BCC review. It is the perspective of the BCC that while electronic delivery may be perceived simply as an alternate form for class presentation, it is also important for the BCC to find ways to ensure that the Bacc Core requirement for interactive learning is satisfactorily achieved. One way of exploring this would be to consider reviewing electronically delivered courses as a categorical review, or to conduct a random review of e-courses. Similarly, it would be incumbent upon the BCC to review the Bacc Core categories represented in the electronically delivered versions to assure that all categories of the Core are satisfactorily represented through this method of course delivery, and to encourage submission of electronic delivery courses in categories that are under-represented.

General Baccalaureate Core Committee Procedures

Approved by action of the Baccalaureate Core Committee, October 2005

  • The Agenda will be forwarded to the committee and posted to the web one week in advance of the meeting.
    • The Agenda forwarded to the committee members will list the name of committee members assigned to review the course proposals. This will assist/remind committee members to identify materials they need to prepare in advance of the meeting.
    • The Agenda forwarded to the web will NOT include the names of individual reviewers.
  • The Agenda will list WIC and DPD courses scheduled for review at the beginning of the meeting. This will allow the WIC and DPD directors to attend just a portion of the meeting if they wish.
  • Minutes will be taken by committee members by rotation.
  • The Minutes will list the ACTION items - course review actions, at the beginning of the minutes.
  • The minutes will be forwarded to the Chair for review.
  • The Chair will forward the minutes to the Faculty Senate Administrator to post to the web.
  • Minutes will NOT list the names of individual reviewers.
  • Minutes will be revised/affirmed by consensus at the following BCC meeting.

(11-2- 2004)

  • Proposals to be reviewed will be listed on the agenda in advance of each meeting.
  • Two committee members will be assigned to review each course proposal.
  • The reviewers will conduct their reviews individually but may choose to correspond about their findings before the assigned review meeting.
  • If one reviewer is not able to attend the review meeting, that person is encouraged to communicate with the other proposal reviewer so that her/his feedback might still be heard and be part of the decision-making process.
  • Feedback from only one committee member may be deemed sufficient to recommend a decision of action as determined by the members in attendance at the review.
  • The Chair is appointed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
  • The Chair will work with the Faculty Senate Administrator (Vickie Nunnemaker) to schedule committee meetings. The meeting schedule will be posted on the web.
  • The Chair will assist to orient new members, convene meetings, assure timely and appropriate review of course proposals, support the discussion of relevant issues, and forward the findings and concerns of the BCC to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee liaison or others as appropriate.
  • The Chair will:
    • receive electronic notice of course proposals submitted for review
    • assign course proposals for review to two committee members
    • schedule the proposal review by listing on the agenda
    • track progress related to the course reviews to assure timely management of the review process
    • obtain consensus on action related to course reviews
    • submit electronically, action findings of the committee including request for resubmission of materials and/or approval
    • correspond directly to the submitting faculty member as appropriate, to further clarify the action of the BCC related to resubmission requests, approval with recommendation, or other information as deemed useful by the committee
  • Each year a category of the Baccalaureate Core will be identified for review. The Chair will work with the BCC to identify the category for review. Categories recently reviewed include:
    • 2004-2005 DPD
    • 2003-2004 Social Processes & Institutions
  • Courses reviewed by the BCC in the last 5 years will NOT be reviewed. The Chair will work with the Faculty Senate Administrator to identify courses in the category review that were approved up to 5 years previously.
  • The Chair will work with the BCC to draft the category review materials. The materials will direct faculty about how to submit their categorical review proposals. (See the sample from 2004-2005 attached.)
  • Courses reviewed in the Categorical Review will be held to the standards currently in place for that portion of the Baccalaureate Core.
Expectations for the Baccalaureate Core Course Syllabus

Approved by Action of the Baccalaureate Core Committee November, 2, 2004

Background & Context

Upon review of Baccalaureate course proposals during 2003-2004, the Baccalaureate Core Committee recognized that, while faculty were ultimately able to articulate how a particular course addresses the Baccalaureate Core criteria, it was unclear if students would know if and how the Baccalaureate Core goals are being met. The following recommendations are proposed in an effort to strengthen the contribution of the Baccalaureate Core to the student experience.

Expectations for the Baccalaureate Core Course Syllabus
  • All courses carrying Baccalaureate Core status should clearly identify the category of the Baccalaureate Core on the course syllabus.
  • All Baccalaureate Core category criteria should be described on the syllabus. The URL connection to the Baccalaureate Core should be listed, allowing students to know what the Baccalaureate Core is contributing to the course.
  • All courses carrying Baccalaureate Core status shall include the Baccalaureate criteria as part of the student learning objectives.
  • All courses carrying Baccalaureate Core status should clearly identify the category of the Baccalaureate Core on the course syllabus
  • Faculty will be asked to identify the course as a Baccalaureate Core class on the course syllabus.

    Example: This course satisfies the Baccalaureate Core for Social Processes & Institutions.

  • The Baccalaureate Core category will be described on the syllabus.

    Faculty will be asked to include reference to the appropriate Baccalaureate Core category criteria on the course syllabus in a way that briefly describes how the criteria will be integrated in the particular course.

    Example: Human beings are inevitably social, influencing and being influenced by social groups. The social sciences study social institutions and processes and deal with the human behaviors and values that form and change them, and are essential for an understanding of contemporary society. This course aims to improve your critical thinking skills related to the subject matter [xyz] by considering the subject(s) in historical context and demonstrating interrelationships or connections with other subject areas such as [abc]. In addition, we will focus on methods, concepts, and theories for understanding the structure and change of major social institutions, and for understanding individual behavior as part of a social dynamic. We will also examine the nature, value, and limitations of the basic methods of the social sciences, and discuss the interaction of the social sciences and society. Finally we will explore perspectives on the evolution of the theories and ideas that are emphasized in this course. To learn more about this category of the OSU Baccalaureate Core see:

  • All courses carrying Baccalaureate Core status shall integrate the appropriate and relevant Baccalaureate category criteria as part of the student learning objectives.

    Faculty will be asked to include specific Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes related to the Baccalaureate Core criteria on the courses syllabus, and use these to assess student achievement related to the Baccalaureate Core.

    Example: Mid-term Paper: You will be asked to explore the evolution of theories related to our topic [123] and describe the interrelationships of factors that have influenced change in thinking since the eighteenth century.

Baccalaureate Core Operating Procedure for the Writing Intensive Course in Double Degrees and Dual Majors

Approved by action of the Baccalaureate Core Committee, May 2, 2005

The purpose of the Writing Intensive requirement is to insure that each graduate is prepared to write in the discourse, conventions, and genres of his or her major field.

A student completing requirements for two majors including Double Degrees as well as dual majors (one degree with two majors) may request that one WIC course satisfy the WIC requirement for graduation in both majors.

This opportunity is available if and only if:

  • The discourse, written conventions, and genres of the two majors are closely related,


  • The substitution of a WIC course from one major for that in another major is approved in writing by the Chairs or Heads of both departments involved and the approval is placed in the student's academic file.

    Students and advisors should be aware that in some cases, the WIC course in a major is an integral part of the degree and substitution may not be appropriate. The final decision rests with the Department Chair or Head.

Operating Procedure for the Periodic Review of Baccalaureate Core Categories (sometimes called the Categorical Review).

Approved by action of the Baccalaureate Core Committee, April 28, 2005

Purpose: the Baccalaureate Core Committee periodically reviews courses to assure their continued appropriateness for their assigned Baccalaureate Core Category.

Previous review protocol has allowed that any course reviewed within the last five years would be exempt from the Categorical Review. This practice became problematic when it was discovered that courses were being missed for full review because of Category II change proposals that brought such classes before the Bacc Core for minor course changes (e.g. Course Description). Because the Category II proposals are not reviewed with the depth of a full review, courses had the potential to be taught for many years without sufficient review to assure that they continued to meet the criteria for listing in the Baccalaureate Core.

The Baccalaureate Core Committee approves the following operating procedure:

All courses older than five years will be reviewed in the Periodic Review of Baccalaureate Core Categories - the Categorical Review. This effectively puts all courses into a cycle of a full review at least every five years -- depending on when the particular category is reviewed.