Bylaws of the GEC

Rev: January 2015

A. Name

The name of this Faculty Senate Standing Committee is the General Education Committee.

B. Purpose

The purposes of the committee shall be

  1. to review, develop, and recommend policy and standards regarding general education to the Faculty Senate.
  2. to act on requests regarding the inclusion of courses in the list of general education courses.
  3. to participate constructively in assessment of education and advisement as they relate to general education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

C. Membership

  1. The General Education Committee shall consist of seventeen (17) voting members as follows:
  1. Faculty whose academic preparation includes the appropriate specialization for a general education course in the content areas listed below and who have taught in the content area within the last year. Representatives shall be elected by faculty of each content area. Faculty of general education courses who teach in more than one content area and have appropriate specializations or experience as indicated above shall designate the area they prefer to represent and they shall vote only in that area. Departments responsible for offering general education classes will be asked each year to provide the names of faculty of general education courses (who fulfill the requirements below) to the Senate Office, and -if appropriate- which content area the faculty teacher will represent.
  • Communication Skills - 2
  • Analytic Reasoning and Natural Sciences - 2
  • Arts and Humanities - 2
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences - 2
  • Contemporary Issues - 1
  • Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning - 1
  1. Additional representatives shall be elected by faculty and/or staff of each of the following areas, as indicated: 
  • One elected faculty member from each College - 4
  • Instructional academic staff member - currently teaching general education courses - 2 (elected by instructional academic staff)
  • Student - 1 (to be recommended by the SSA)
c. Ex-Officio members
  • Provost's Office – 1
  • Representative from the Advisement Center - 1 (elected by Advisement Center staff)
  • RES/GLP chair or designee - 1
  1. The General Education Committee will also have twelve alternate members to be selected as follows:
  • One runner-up from the faculty election in each content area in section 1.a. shall serve as alternate for that content area – 6
  • Alternate representatives in each content area in section 1.b. shall be appointed by faculty and staff of each area - 6
  • When the elected representative from a content area cannot attend, one alternate from that area will serve as a voting member.
  • Alternates are encouraged to attend meetings when they do not serve. Since alternates cannot be presumed to know when they are needed to serve, any member who must miss a meeting should contact the alternate from his or her content area.
  1. Each voting member, with alternate, (except for the student member, whose length of term is to be determined by the SSA) is to be elected to a three year term, with one-third of the committee being selected each year.

D. Officers

  1. Each year at its organizational meeting the committee shall elect a chair and a vice chair from the members on the committee.
  2. The terms of office shall be one year in length with the possibility of re-election.
  3. The general duties of the officers are outlined in Robert's Rules of Order.
  4. The chair shall develop a schedule of activities for the year subject to approval by a majority vote of the members present.
  5. The vice chair shall preside in the chair's absence and shall consult with the chair on scheduling activities and other committee issues.

E. Responsibilities of the Committee

  1. Development of General Education standards
  • The committee leads the university in developing and maintaining a common general education standard for undergraduate programs in the university.
  • The committee recommends to the Faculty Senate concerning standards for general education including but not limited to definitions, distribution requirements, and total credit hours.
  • The committee passes to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee for review any proposals for substantive changes in the General Education curriculum, including any changes in category definitions and credit distribution. That committee may, according to its bylaws and practice, also make recommendations to the Faculty Senate.
  • The committee monitors and responds to UW System-level developments related to general education.
  1. Assessment & Review of General Education
  • The committee periodically reviews the condition of general education in the university.
  • The committee participates in and takes a leadership role in assessment and review of general education.
  • The committee coordinates and assembles reports related to periodic review of general education by the Planning and Review Committee.
  1. Committee's Role in Education and Advisement
  • The committee advocates for general education as a vital component of education provided at UW-Stout.
  • The committee promotes campus-wide awareness regarding general education issues and requirements.
  • The committee serves as an advisory group to academic program committees regarding the general education component of degrees.
  • The committee works with the Provost's Office to maintain an official list of currently offered General Education Courses and Requirements.
  • The committee provides academic advisement information to faculty and students regarding general education.
  1. Meetings
  • Regular meetings of the General Education Committee shall be held monthly during the academic year and as needed during the summer sessions.
  • Special meetings may be called by the chair.
  • The quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members (i.e. eight members and alternates serving as voting members).
  • The meetings shall be open.