GenEd Sustainability Learning Outcomes (SLO) Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Jeffords 234, 4:00-5:00pm

  1. Faculty Senate meeting update and motion votes (attached below) - FS voted in favor of each
  2. Next steps related to motion #2: review of courses, curricula, and co-curricula
  3. Strategies for a university-­wide sustainability curricular requirement in Fall 2015


In attendance: Deane Wang (co-chair), Laura Hill Bermingham (co-chair), Tarah Rowse, Sam Ghazey, Lisa Watts Natkin, Marilyn Lucas, Rycki Maltby, Stephanie Kaza

Not in attendance: Christine Vatovec, Wendy Verrei-Berenback, Brian Lee, Leon Walls, Allan Strong

Update on the meeting and motion votes
Laura HB: They both passed. Not unanimous, but a clear pass. There were a couple of nays on the learning outcomes. There were more nay votes on the second motion (about the implementation plan to create the SCRC).

Rycki: I feel that some of them just didn't have enough information.

Laura HB: The end goal is moving toward another motion for actual implementation for fall 2015. I think we need to advocate for sustainability and make it more of an issue.

Deane: It's typical that there isn't much noise until you start doing something. They voted to accept the learning outcomes and to set a process in motion, but they need to vote to actually implement the requirement university-wide. The review will need to come and say we have these courses who have gone through the filter and they meet the requirements...and the number of seats that are available is this and so here's where we are at.

Laura HB: To be clear, there is no requirement.

Laura Webb: It will be interesting to see how this could dovetail/connect with the ECOR (sp?) project.

Laura HB: The difference is ECOR is just targeting first years and our SLO requirement is for all students. There is also the Institute for the Environment (which is the committee that was formed) - campus-wide.

Stephanie: All these things are kind of moving forward at once.

Laura Webb: We will need to make sure there is dialogue between these efforts.

Deane: Our next step is to find out what folks are interested in working on. The resolution gave us support to continue working on the next two pieces: looking at a set of courses and forming the SCRC. We just need to go tap on doors and twist Dean's arms to find people to staff. It happens at the level of the academic unit typically. In the next month we would help to connect the dots.

Rycki: The sustainability faculty fellows should definitely be tapped.

Stephanie: I think we should do as much work as we can now and shoot for the vote in the fall.

Deane: Personal thoughts? I think we could make good progress on these two major tasks.

Stephanie: In parallel the President will be forming a task force post the STARS submission. The idea was to sort of identify top goals for the campus. The SLO will just be curricular focused.

Laura: Marilyn did bring up a concern the last time at making sure professors know we are looking at their syllabi.

Marilyn: Yeah, I think it should come from them. More bottom-up rather than top-down. Give them an opportunity to be part of the process.

Stephanie: It could be as simple as writing them a note that we are interested in looking at their courses and give them a chance to respond.

Rycki: Are we expecting the SLOs to be listed on all the syllabi?

Deane: I don't necessarily think we are expecting the SLOs to be listed in the syllabus as actual learning outcomes. We are looking for them to be embedded really.

Stephanie: I think this process will help us figure out what the actual submission for approval will be like. What the form (matrix) might look like.

Laura HB: Do these faculty even know their courses are sustainability-focused?

Stephanie: No. We never contacted them.

Laura HB: Maybe we could let these professors know their courses contributed to our STARS gold and that now we are taking it to a next level and interested in looking at them in terms of the SLOs. I also think we need to keep in mind the SGA resolution and the curricular side of all this. I think we can easily embed learning outcomes within existing courses in some of the programs I work with (BCOR, Plant Biology, Integrated Biological Sciences).

Sam: Who ultimately decides whether a department will take a curricular approach?

The department faculty as a whole really. Leadership is definitely needed.

Deane: So what do people want to do?

Courses: Marilyn, Lisa, Stephanie, Christine (signed up over email), Laura Webb, Sam

Curricular mapping: Laura HB (for her departmental connections)

SCRC: ??

Stephanie: We're going to need Brian Reed's and others input as well regarding final appointments etc. Who "authorizes" the committee?

Stephanie: We loosely talked about having a special get-together (advanced training) for Sustainability Faculty Fellows. We might want to think about this a little more. A workshop with a couple people from each of the volunteer curricular departments.

Deane: If there were four groups that wanted to do it, it could be a great process to match it with the SFF program.

Lisa: I can help with it this summer. I would love for it to be this workshop approach.

Marilyn: We are doing some things in business too. We're still figuring things out. Sustinability, entrepreneurship, and international concepts/themes embedded in different courses. We haven't started looking at curriculum yet.

Deane: So you think that business undergraduate might take the curriculum route?

Marilyn: I don't know. If it is a student in the sustainability theme then it might work. Not sure about the others.

Stephanie: I think business could be involved at this point.

Lisa: I'm putting you down!

Laura Webb: We are on the cusp of reviewing our curriculum, so I will bring this up.

Stephanie: Seems like Lisa, Wendy, and I can sit down in May and start thinking about how and when a workshop could work. I think we could get the money to pay for faculty if they are not on contract. Maybe an all day Friday in September? Or Thursday or Friday right before classes start?

Deane: A workshop would have exposure to tools for organizing your curriculum, some examples of embedding the SLOs, discussion time... maybe we need to figure out who this small group of people will be and put that as an option for the actual people who would show up. If it's 6 or 8 people from 3 or 4 departments let's target them and see what would work?

Stephanie: Information, theory, techniques in the morning, and then working in the afternoon to make a plan.

Laura Webb: Seems like the co-curricular folks could be at this same workshop.

Yes. That would work. Getting the leaders for the Davis leadership group, the perennial internship program through RSENR, and EcoReps there is a good idea.

SCRC: Rycki, Deane, Laura

We have two meetings left, so the plan would to be to have these sub-teams to meet whenever works for them.

The "course" sub team will meet on April 24 (Thursday) from 4 to 6pm to try and roll through the courses.

Sounds like there may be a part in order for our last whole committee meeting on May 8.