SSE Undergraduate Committee

September 21, 2009

Attending: B.Wee (SSE Deanʼs), D. Rice (BME), M. Sulkes (CHEM), N. Hopkins (CMB), S. Darwin (EEB), G. Flowers (EENS), G.Didier (MATH), Z. Mao (PHYS), T.Herbert (PSYC), M. Ryan (SSE Deanʼs)

Absent: J. Prindle (CENG)

Guests: D. Gessler (AAC), C. Pizer (AAC & Newcomb Tulane).

Approval of Minutes:

The meeting opened with a review from B. Wee regarding the meeting minutes approval process with understanding and agreement from the committee. There was a vote to approve the minutes from 4/21/2099.

Election of New Committee Chair:

Newly appointed Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs B.Wee needed to be replaced as SSE Undergraduate Committee Chair. John Prindle was nominated for the position however due to his absence from the meeting due to illness, M.Sulkes volunteered to substitute as SSE Undergraduate Committee Chair for this meeting. The committee also approved the nomination of John Prindle for committee chair.

N. B.After the meeting, J. Prindle accepted the nomination.

Old Business:

G. Flowersʼ approved the changes made to Environmental Science Major.

B. Wee passed around a list of previously approved capstone courses. N. Hopkins added that this list has been read out to the faculty at the faculty meeting in May and that the changes were approved by Newcomb Tulane College. N.B.B. Wee e-mail the committee a full list of SSE capstone approved courses from Newcomb Tulane.

Course Change and Approvals:

B. Wee began by informing the committee that previously, courses needing a course number change or course title change have been pre-approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and the SSE Undergraduate Committee Chair to keep the length of the meeting appropriate for committee membersʼ schedules. There were no objections to this procedure.

EBIO 425/475 has course title change from “Biology of the Invertebrates” to “Biology of Marine Invertebrates” without objection.

EBIO 500- Students substituting EBIO 500 for EBIO 498 are required to attend all meetings for EBIO 498 and to present the Honors Thesis in EBIO 498. The course description change was approved.

CHEM 385- change from one credit to two credits. Following the discussion lead by N. Hopkins on the increased course and lab prep work the increased course credit hours were approved.

EBIO 308 Process of Evolution – Change from three credit hours to four credit hours to include recitation. Following the discussion lead by M. Sulkes regarding the recitation, the increased course credit hours were approved provided it be clear the addition of 1 credit hour is not due to the proposed recitation but because there will be new and extended course work introduced.

CENG 499 (Fall Semester 3 credit hours) and CENG 500 (Spring Semester 4 Credit Hours) Chemical Engineering Honors Thesis – With the edits made to reflect common practice, both CENG 499 and CENG 500 were approved provided the course credit hours for CENG 500 are changed from the proposed 3 credit hours to 4 credit hours. N.B. John Prindle later agreed that CENG should be worth 4 credits to follow the honorʼs program rule.

EBIO 234 – Natural History of Louisiana Laboratory – A new lab created to compliment an existing course. -The course was approved.

EBIO 308-41, 42 Process of Evolution (to Accompany EBIO 308) – This course has been disregarded due to the changes in EBIO 308 from above.

EBIO 350 Biology of the Sharks and Their Relatives – This course was approved.

EBIO 615 Behavioral Ecology – Following a discussion regarding the prerequisites required to enroll in this course, this course was approved with the provisions that enrollment is restricted to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

EBIO 640/COSC 640 Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution – This course is a joint appointment with EBIO and Computational Science. This course was approved providing the prerequisites include MATH 224 and MATH 424 or equivalent.

N. B. Later another EBIO 640 was found (as a cross-list with EENS) so this course will be EBIO 670/COSC 670

MATH 328/628 Introduction to Theory of Information –The course was approved.

New Business:

All courses that require field trips or extra effort outside of the classroom should have those details in the course description to prevent future problems or complaints.

Banner, the student records system, has not been able to fix the existing problems faculty and staff have faced with the current student records system. It does not automatically check that students have successfully completed prerequisite courses. Course numbers will go from three numbers long (###) to four numbers long (####). All existing courses will now end in zero (i.e. MATH 123 will now be MATH 1230).

Dr. Mislove and the Math department are in the process of creating a Computer Science coordinated major. Any students who are interested in this major should contact Dr. Mislove. The approval sequence will be; Math Department., Undergraduate Committee, Full SSE Faculty then to Newcomb Tulane College.

Graduate and Undergraduate classes: it is through the discretion of the department whether or not to allow undergraduate students to take 600 level courses. All 700 level courses are reserved only for graduate students.

Dual Degree Programs:“3+2 Program” students complete three years at Xavier University and finish with two years at Tulane and receive a degree from both Xavier and Tulane. The participating departments are Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Engineering Physics. Tulane also has a program titled “Dual Degree Program” where students can spend the first three years at Tulane and then the next two years at either The Johns Hopkins University or Vanderbilt to earn degrees from both universities.

Discussion of Writing Intensive Courses by Carol Pizer: students can meet these requirements one of three ways; by taking courses labeled “writing intensive,” by taking the writing practicum or by petitioning a professor to verify that with additional writing a course can become writing intensive. The petition method is not ideal, in part because most faculty members do not remember to verify that students have completed the writing intensive portion of the course. S. Darwin added that his writing intensive course fills up with non-SSE students due to the Tulane requirement and that it is a class filled with students who do not care about the subject matter, just the completion of the requirement.

D. Gessler suggested making all SSE courses that are listed as writing intensive as “for SSE Majors only” therefore eliminating the problem of non majors in a course to fulfill a writing intensive requirement. B. Wee notes that all Honors Theses are writing intensive. The committee decided to take up the issue at its next meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: September 21, 2009 12:45pm

Minutes respectfully submitted by Maura Ryan

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