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SSE Curriculum Committee Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Meeting began at 12:30 PM

In Attendance: Beth Wee, Carol Burdsal, Dayna Gessler, Donata Henry, Carol Pizer, Mark Sulkes, Kyriakos Papadapolous, Jeff Tasker, Jerry Shakov, Lars Gilbertson, George Flowers, Al Vitter, Nancy Hopkins, Stephanie Borrego, and Eleanor Berault taking minutes.

Carol Burdsal asked that the agenda be amended to reflect that under Changes to existing courses i) PSYC 7070 — name change from Cognition & Information Processing to Cognitive Psychology needs to be added and under New Courses i) NSCI 1000 should read NSCI 1005 instead.

This committee now considers both undergraduate and graduate curriculum issues.

Went around the room so that everyone could introduce themselves, stating name and department.

Election of Curriculum Committee Chair

The committee needs a chair who is not a dean. A call for volunteers was issued. Jerry Shakov had been approached prior to the meeting to see he was willing, he had agreed. As there were no other volunteers and there was no discussion, Jerry was nominated and seconded to be chair. Committee agreed by unanimous vote.

Confirmation of Approval Process

A proposal was made that for future meetings. Associate Deans Burdsal and Wee, along with the chair, would pre-approve items that don’t require detailed discussions. i.e., housekeeping changes that don’t affect program goals. Committee agreed by unanimous vote.

Courses

Changes to Existing Courses

All items below were pre-approved by Associate Deans Burdsal and Wee in preparation for this meeting. In future, the newly elected chair, Jerry Shakov of PEP will join in that process.


  1. CELL 3320 (Systems Neuroscience) drop pre-requisite of CELL 3310
  2. CELL 4010 addition of genetics, CELL 2050, as a pre-requisite
  3. CELL 6550 (Synaptic Organization of the Brain) cross list with NSCI 6550
  4. * CENG 6160 (Heterogeneous Catalysis) now cross-listed with 4160 (undergrad version of course) Carol Pizer pointed out that we would need to change the career pointer in banner so that it would be included in a degree audit. Also there was some question about whether there would be Banner issues and if students would have to be manually registered for class. It was pointed out that the syllabus does make a distinction between the work level of graduate students vs. undergraduate students.
  5. CENG 6870 (Biomolecular and Cellular Engineering) now cross-listed with 4870 (undergrad version of course)
  6. * EBIO 1230 (Diversity of Animal Behavior) discontinue course. It was noted that there is a time out rule when a course number is discontinued. 3 years have to pass before it can be used again so as not to confuse degree audit process.
  7. EENS 3550 (Shark Paleobiology) cross list with EENS 6550 (grad version), addition of writing intensive, addition of lab to change from 3 to 4 credits
  8. PHYS/ENGP 3800 Name Change: Physics Seminar change name to Physics Colloquium
  9. PSYC 7070 Name change from Cognition and Information Processing to Cognitive Psychology

A vote was called for above changes: Committee agreed by unanimous vote to approve all of changes listed above.

New Courses


  1. CELL 3400/6400 (The Biology of Regeneration) to be offered as an elective, once a year, does not affect major audit. Dr. Tasker wondered if we shouldn’t use a SACS requirements template (i.e.: objectives, etc.) for ease of future reviews. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  2. CELL/NSCI 6070 (Neurobiology of Aging) to be offered as a graduate elective. More information was needed on syllabus, which had been provided via email. There will be 4 exams as well as a presentation. (Note: Dr. Cronin later provided a complete syllabus with this information.) The course will not be cross-listed with an undergraduate course, nor are there pre-requisites since it is a graduate level course. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  3. CMPS 2200 (Introduction to Algorithms) Intended to be taught once a year. If the demand is big enough they will expand to 2 semesters. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  4. CMPS 2300 (Introduction to Computer Systems) same discussion as 2200 above. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  5. EBIO 2130 (Introduction to Animal Behavior) Introduced to replace discontinued course above (1230). Both majors and non-majors can take this course. It will be taught every summer fall but is non-sequential. There are no pre-requisites as it is an entry level course. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  6. ENGP 2420 (Engineering Dynamics) Course was offered in Fall 2011 as a Special Topics course. Now the PEP department wants to include it as a regular course for the record. It will only be offered once a year. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  7. MATH 6370/7370 (Time Series Analysis) The syllabus reflects different work load for graduate students vs. undergrads. The department will need to control the registration to make sure students enroll in appropriate level. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  8. Course SCEN 1005 (Laboratory Explorations in Neuroscience) is limited to high school students participating in TSSP program. Will only be offered in the summer, has a 20 student maximum, there is no text required as it is a lab but syllabus does include a topic schedule. Carol Pizer pointed out that TU does not accept such credits as transferable from another university. If the student comes to TU then it would be counted. There was question about whether it would be listed under Neuroscience in the catalog. Will need to be restricted from matriculating students. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.

Change to Minors/Majors


  1. Capstone for PYEC (Psychology Early Childhood Education) major — EDUC 3900 is now the only way to satisfy capstone requirement (elimination of EDUC 3910 as capstone). 3900 has expanded to absorb all of the content in 3910 to clean up registration and state certification process. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.

    Sidenote: it has been decided that each school will approve its own capstone courses, they no longer have to be approved by Newcomb-Tulane.


  2. BME Teacher Certification — Discussion about specifying which courses must be taken to achieve teacher certification and whether or not the courses met the cultural knowledge requirements ultimately came to end when the group was told that Newcomb-Tulane Associate Dean Mary Ann Maguire had reviewed the new information and ok’d it. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote.
  3. CMB AP/IB Credit — Carol Pizer noted that this should be discussed with the Newcomb-Tulane committee as the TU policy is that all AP credits go toward an existing course. A vote was called to approve this course: Committee agreed by unanimous vote. Associate Dean Wee will find out whether or not it needs to go to the Newcomb-Tulane Curriculum Committee for their approval.

Old Business


  1. SSE Capstones and SL Courses
    1. Annual Review — Eleanor will resend list of capstone and service learning courses for departmental review to make sure we have most up-to-date information listed on the website.
    2. New Rules about Capstone Approvals – As previously noted, capstones are now approved in schools rather than in Newcomb-Tulane.

New Business


  1. Brief discussion about capstones: current guidelines for SSE are that the course is 3 credits, that there is a project, and that it fulfilled in the second semester of Jr. year or during Sr. year. Committee agreed not to change this policy.
  2. Generic SCEN courses and how they fulfill N-T requirements (or not) — At the next committee meeting, we will discuss the proposal to have generic SCEN courses for transfer courses that do not fit into any one department.
  3. Guidelines for Curriculum Committee — Committee needs to evaluate the current guidelines for committee, which were distributed to the group (also attached) and to discuss any changes at the next meeting.
  4. Other — In addition to evaluating the committee guidelines at the next meeting, committee members were asked to look at the course proposal form and offer suggestions about how it can be better and more useful.

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