The April Academic Senate meeting started with a smile and a sigh, as the faculty's governing body passed a motion approving graduating students in the class of 2011. A required part of its work, the serious business none-the-less passed with a few chuckles. (But don't stop typing those term papers yet, seniors, you still have to earn those credits!)
The major news of the meeting, though, came in minor form. Beginning in the fall, students will have a chance to earn minors in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Beloit College. Academic Senate unanimously approved the change, which will allow students to earn Modern Languages minors in French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Japanese or Russian. To earn the minor, students beginning with the class of 2012 must accumulate six (6) units in their language, two of which can be earned while studying abroad.
The department offered a detailed analysis in support of the minor, citing data compiled and crunched by the Institutional Research and Planning Office that showed high demand for the minor. As just one example, their analysis revealed that since 2005, a total of 32 graduating non-modern language majors had accumulated enough credits to earn a six-unit minor. And another 31 were within a unit of that standard. The rationale also showed that the minor requirement will make the college's international acumen all the more apparent, and "should also assist in recruiting students to Beloit" as most of the college's peer institutions offer language minors.
In addition to passing curricular revisions in Geology, and a battery of new course offerings, other news out of the meeting included:
- · Warren Palmer, associate professor of Economics and Management, will be the next Coleman Chair in Entrepreneurship within the department. He follows in the footsteps of the inaugural chair, Jerry Gustafson, who has held the position since 1987
- Peter Fronk, manager of Turtle Creek Bookstore, announced that the college bookstore would begin offering textbook rentals for some courses this fall (2011)
- Nancy Benedict, vice president for enrollment management, shared admissions and enrollment data and deadlines with the faculty, and announced that campus visits by prospective students and their families were up 40 percent this year over last
Also discussed at the meeting was a proposal to reconfigure the majors offered in the Campbell Department of Economics. While the proposal was sent back to committee for further discussion around FYI teaching loads, it will likely be brought back to senate at a future meeting.