MINUTES SPECIAL ACADEMIC BOARD MEETING ON THE CORE CURRICULUM
MARCH 2, 1999

BGEN R. C. POOLE, COL J. A. FOLLEY, COL H. W. ASKINS, JR., LTC A. W. LECLERCQ, COL R. E. BALDWIN, LTC J. S. LEONARD, COL M. A. BEBENSEE, COL R. A. MALONEY, COL J. R. BLANTON, COL I. S. METTS, JR., CAPT M. L. BOYKIN, COL W. B. MOORE, JR., COL C. E. CLEAVER, COL S. OZMENT, COL M. H. EZELL, JR., LTC. P. J. REMBIESA, COL A. J. FINCH and COL G. B. STALEY

BGEN Poole called the meeting to order at 1525.

BGEN Poole called for consideration of the minutes of the two earlier special meetings on the core curriculum. COL Folley moved, COL Bebensee seconded, and the Board unanimously approved acceptance of the minutes of the January 26, 1999 meeting as written. COL Bebensee moved, COL Finch seconded, and the Board unanimously approved acceptance of the minutes of the February 9, 1999 meeting as written.

BGEN Poole expressed his appreciation to the Board for its serious and judicious approach to discussion of the core curriculum. He indicated that each recommendation from the core curriculum committee would be voted on in turn. The Board agreed that COL Askins could also vote by proxy for COL Fallon who was unable to attend.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

EVALUATION

COL Metts moved, COL Baldwin seconded, and the Board voted unanimous approval of the recommendation for comprehensive and uniform evaluation of the core curriculum.

GRADING

CAPT Boykin moved and COL Finch seconded the motion to approve the committee’s recommendation on the "forgivable F."

COL Finch reminded the Board that the committee’s intention was to address academic issues arising from problems with the fourth class system. COL Metts pointed out that they may have been the intention but it is not reflected in the way the committee wrote its recommendation. As written, any student in any course would be permitted to take advantage of the "forgivable F."

The motion was defeated with 15 against, 2 for, and 1 abstention.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPECIFIC COURSE REQUIREMENTS ENGLISH

COL Finch moved and CAPT Boykin seconded the motion that the Board approve the committee’s recommendation to retain four semesters of English with some flexibility in the fourth course.

COL Metts clarified that if the motion passes, the English Department would be expected to present to the Curriculum Committee for official approval descriptions of any new courses that would meet core curriculum goals for ENGL 202.

COL Bebensee asked if the English Department had considered a non literature course for the fourth course in the series. LTC Leonard responded that the department certainly could discuss such an option.

The motion passed with 16 for and 2 against.

MATHEMATICS

LTC Leonard moved and COL Baldwin seconded the motion that the Board accept the committee’s recommendation to retain two semesters of mathematics and, under certain circumstances, to allow MATH 119 to substitute for MATH 105.

COL Cleaver spoke in opposition to the course substitution possibility. He explained that MATH 119 does not met the criteria for core courses in mathematics as they are currently written. COL Rembiesa voiced the opinion that a department should not have to accept course substitutions it does not consider valid.

The motion was defeated with 16 against, 1 for, and 1 abstaining.

HISTORY

COL Askins moved and COL Folley seconded the motion that the Board accept the committee’s recommendation to retain two semesters of history with the possibility of a choice between Western Civilization and World History.

COL Metts again reminded the group that if the motion passes the History Department would be expected to present for approval to the Curriculum Committee any new courses added to the core.

The motion passed unanimously.

SCIENCE

COL Blanton moved and COL Baldwin seconded the motion that the Board accept the committee’s recommendation to retain the present requirement of two semesters each of two lab sciences (biology, chemistry, or physics).

COL Folley asked about the possibility of adding computer science as an option since computer skills are so essential for today’s graduates. COL Rembiesa explained that the present requirement addresses the need for the students to be educated about the physical world. He repeated the point he had made at earlier meetings that the three sciences from which students can choose are very distinctive disciplines. In response to a question from COL Bebensee about the possibility of allowing students to take geology to meet the requirement, COL Finch explained that the committee had discussed this option but rejected it because the College does not have the staff or resources to support it.

The motion to retain the current science requirement passed with 14 for and 4 against.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

COL Cleaver moved and COL Baldwin seconded the motion that the Board approve the committee’s recommendation to eliminate the current social science sequence and replace it with a choice of one course from among ANTH 202, SOCI 201, PSCI 102, and PSYC 201, with the understanding that the requirement must be met by a course from outside the student’s major.

COL Metts expressed concern about this departure from the stated purpose of the social science requirement (i.e., its emphasis on the methodology of the social sciences). COL Finch disagreed and voiced his belief that the courses named above will still present methodology. CAPT Boykin pointed out that current social science courses can only be taken at The Citadel. The new requirement will enable students to take courses elsewhere and transfer them in. COL Askins stated that the inability of students to transfer has created problems, especially for students in the evening program.

The motion passed with 12 for, 3 against and 3 abstaining.

MODERN LANGUAGES

COL Moore moved and COL Baldwin seconded the motion that the Board approve the committee recommendation to retain the requirement that students successfully complete a modern language through the 202 level.

COL Metts noted that the committee’s recommendation includes an incorrect statement, namely that students may exempt a course if they pass the next higher level course. The actual policy at present is that students may exempt if they earn at least a "C" in the next higher level course.

The motion passed unanimously.

Next, BGEN Poole opened the floor for new motions and amendments to any of the motions previously approved.

LTC Leonard moved that the grading scale of "A, B, C, U" be extended to the introductory course in Spanish, German, French, and Mathematics. CAPT Boykin seconded the motion.

COL Cleaver objected, saying that students start their mathematics sequence in several different courses.

COL Moore proposed giving students the option of being graded on the "A, B, C, U" scale in a certain number of courses rather than identifying which courses should be so graded.

COL Folley expressed concern about a policy that could have the effect of extending the amount of time it takes students to earn their degrees (since they would have to repeat courses in which they earned "D’s").

COL Ezell stated his support for the military environment of the College but protested the tendency to adjust academic standards and regulations instead of changing features of the military system that interfere with the academic performance of students.

COL Metts spoke in opposition to the motion, reminding the Board that the alternative grading scale had been approved for one course, ENGL 101, that was judged to be a foundation for all other college work the student would undertake. The intent was the encourage students to remain in the course rather than to drop it.

COL Bebensee noted that the motive for considering an extension of the alternative grading system is unclear. Are we responding to problems with the military lifestyle, to the difficulty of particular courses, or to the challenges of making the transition from high school to college?

COL Staley said he believed the alternative scale would be helpful in language classes for dealing with students who arrive at The Citadel ill-prepared to undertake college level language study.

The motion failed with 11 against, 5 for, and 2 abstaining.

COL Cleaver moved and COL Bebensee seconded the motion that "The mathematics core requirement should remain as it is at present." The motion passed with 17 for and 1 abstaining.

COL Bebensee moved and COL Askins seconded the motion that BADM 201 and 202 be added to the list of courses that will satisfy the social science core requirement. The motion passed with 16 for and 2 abstaining.

CAPT Boykin moved and COL Finch seconded the motion that the social science core requirement be expanded to 6 hours with American National Government required of all students.

COL Askins argued against the motion, saying that there is no room in the engineering majors for an additional core class. The engineering majors would have to eliminate their single humanities elective if this motion were approved.

The motion failed with 12 against, 5 for, and 1 abstaining.

COL Staley moved and COL Finch seconded the motion to preserve the current policy that students can exempt a modern language course only by passing the next higher course with at least a "C." The motion passed unanimously.

CAPT Boykin moved and COL Folley seconded the motion that the Board approve the recommendations of the Core Curriculum Committee as amended. The motion passed with 17 for and 1 abstaining.

COL Bebensee moved and COL Ezell seconded the motion that the Core Curriculum Oversight Committee be reinstated. The motion passed unanimously. COL Metts will prepare a draft charge and composition for the committee and present it to the Board by the April meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 1700 hours.

Submitted by

Suzanne Ozment
Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Women