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March 12, 2003

ISUComm gets senate OK to proceed

by Linda Charles
ISUComm received a thumbs-up from the Faculty Senate March 11 to proceed with efforts to develop a new approach to teaching students communication skills.

ISUComm is a response to faculty and employer concerns about the communication skills of Iowa State students, Michael Mendelson told the senate. Mendelson, English, is chair of the ISUComm steering committee, which is an ad hoc extension of the senate.

Under the proposed plan, the basic writing courses English 104 and 105 gradually would be replaced by courses that integrate written, oral, visual and electronic learning activities. The courses also would focus on civic and cultural themes.

Eventually, ISUComm principles would be integrated into upper-level courses, although each department would determine how that would be done, Mendelson said.

Under the senate-approved plans, pilot sections of the new foundation courses will be held next year and ISUComm consultants will work with departments that wish to integrate more communication experiences into curricula.

ISUComm will report to the senate in fall 2004 on the results of both efforts.

In other business, the senate approved requiring students who wish to reschedule a final because they have three on the same day to notify the instructor on the last day of class before the beginning of dead week. The intent of the change is to provide the instructor time to make arrangements.

At the senate's next meeting (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at The Hotel at Gateway Center), it will continue discussion on a resolution that takes issue with United Way's support of the Boy Scouts organization. The resolution claims the Boy Scouts have a discriminatory policy. The resolution asks ISU administrators to stop allowing United Way to use the campus mail system. The resolution also would discourage faculty from collecting campaign envelopes.

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