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October 26, 2001 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-26

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 26, 2001

FRIDAY Focus

4

i

The undergraduate experience goes under the

i

RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE PRESIDENT

S COMMISSION ON THE UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE

Make the campus more interconnected,
GOAL integrated and permeable GA
"The geography of the campus should express, make available
and encourage students to take advantage of the intellectual
reach, social diversity and expansive activity that define the
University at its best."

I

Connect students to the community and Treat the undergraduate career as a life-
the worldGOA course journey, both intellectually and
"Students come from the outside world, yet they socially

overwhelmingly express the desire to reconnect teir
education with it through community service and international
travel and study."

Build and adapt residence halls to
function more like residential colleges
Build and retrofit non-residential
buildings for multipurpose,
intergenerational, all-day use
Improve both the physical and
intellectual connections between North
Campus and Central Campus
Remove barriers to interdisciplinary
and inter-college study and collaboration
Create a Dewey Center for
Undergraduate Life and Learning

Expand student access to, and improve
the quality of, study-abroad programs
Expand the study of globalism and
transnational phenomena
Make transnational themes and the
social integration of international
students a principle of programming
Establish a Community Education
Council or Office
Expand the capacity of the University's
public-goods and cultural-resource units
to offer programs for undergraduates

"Curricula too often subordinate social and ethical goals to
intellectual skill-building and knowledge acquisition,
reinforcing the divide between "academics" and "student life."
Create a Sophomore Year Initiative j
with improved housing, advising,'and
intellectual programs for second-year
students
Create a Sophomore Community
Gateway program
* Create "pathway" minors or certificates
Convene a provost's task force to
explore a more flexible calendar, including
courses of variable length, summer or
winter intersessions, and the use of Spring/
Summer Terms for alternative programs

F

A

By Rachel Green
Daily Staff Reporter
Architecture Prof. David Scobey, a
member of the President's Commission
on the Undergraduate Experience, said
he hopes to make University's campus
more interconnected by opening the
lines of communication between- stu-
dents and faculty inside and outside the
classroom.
The Residential College is the best
example of this type of interaction,
Scobey said. The commission proposed
that residence halls should adopt a simi-
lar type of living and learning commu-
nity.
"It's important for students, especially
incoming students, not to underestimate
the connection between their living situ-
ation and their education," Scobey said.
Commission member Stephen Dar-
wall said he wants to see faculty in the
residence halls and in the cafeterias.
"You don't hear stimulating conversa-
tion now," Darwall said. "Instead people
just eat and run. Students and faculty
should be able to carry on intellectual
conversations over lunch."
Darwall, a philosophy professor, said
the commission recommended that fac-
ulty offices and special classes should
be brought into the residence halls.
The commission took into considera-
.tion survey responses from students
who chose not to attend the University

to find ways to improve the undergradu-
ate experience, Darwall said.
Darwall also said the commission
looked for ways to connect North and
Central campuses and to ease the com-
mute between the two.
The commission focused on ways to
make students more aware of opportuni-
ties they have on campus that they
might not know even exist, Scobey said.
"We want students to take advantages
of the opportunities that the complexi-
ties of this institution provide," he said.
Darwall said displaying student pro-
jects on Central Campus from the
schools on North Campus would be an
example of promoting cultural aware-
ness.
"We're trying to create more cultural
interest -in some of the public spaces on
campus," he said.
Darwall said the commission's pro-
posal to build a Dewey Center for
Undergraduate Life and Learning would
mirror the Rackham building for gradu-
ate students, providing "a space that is
more about intellectual culture than the
Union, for undergraduate students." The
commission suggests naming the center
after educator and philosopher John
Dewey, who taught at the University in
the 1880s.
He said the building would have
meeting and seminar rooms as well as
spaces available for student groups to
meet.

By Elizabeth Kassab
Daily Staff Reporter

The world is getting smaller, and the
University's role is to teach students
how to interact with others in that
world, according to the President's
Commission on the Undergraduate
Experience.
"There is no way to be an educated
American without understanding a lot
more about the world than we thought
we could get away with before," said
philosophy Prof. Stephen Darwall, a
commission member.
The commission suggests the Uni-
versity emphasize international educa-
tion through study abroad programs
and community service. It also states
that American students and interna-
tional students should be encouraged
to interact with each other at the Uni-
versity.
Cirol Dickerman, director of the
Office of International Programs, said
the report is encouraging for study
abroad programs at the University.
"I'm delighted that the commis-
sion's recommendation is to do more
of it and to get more students to go
abroad," Dickerman said.
Dickerman said the University
could implement "innovative types of
programs that will mesh with under-
graduate programs."
"I would like to see study abroad

students working closely with partner
universities abroad," Dickerman said.
"I've heard students say it's the best
year they've had."
Financial aid should be available for
students who need it so the cost of the
experience is not an issue, the report
suggests.
Dickerman estimated that 800 LSA
students study abroad each year
through programs at the University or
another institution.
"The committee report is fabulous,"
Dickerman said. "When deans them-
selves support students going abroad
- and actively support them - I
think the numbers are going to rise."
Supportive faculty also encourage
students to take advantage of study
abroad opportunities, Dickerman said.
The University already has pro-
grams that stress the importance of the
interconnectedness of the world. One
such program is the Global Change
Project, an interdisciplinary initiative
that strives to introduce students to
various issues in the natural and social
sciences.
"None of these issues are discon-
nected these days," said geology Prof.
Ben Van der Pluijm. For example,
earthquakes in one part of the world
send financial ripples through coun-
tries on the other side of the globe, he
said. "We can no longer resolve prob-
lems on a local level."

By Maria Sprow
Daily Staff Reporter

In the past, the attention of universi-
ties when creating a new curriculum
has fallen upon two groups of people
- the freshmen adjusting to life out-
side high school, and the juniors and
seniors getting ready to adjust to life
outside college.
"We often go to great lengths to
orient first-year students to the Uni-
versity - we provide housing, fresh-
men seminars, research opportunities
and the like," said Senior Vice
Provost for Academic Affairs Lester
Monts, a member of the President's
Commission on the Undergraduate
Experience.
Sophomores have not received as
much attention. According to the com-
mission's report, sophomores will usu-
ally experience a drop in grades and
have a tendency for "social drifting."
Commission members proposed
several ideas to make up for the unin-
tended negligence.
"I think (sophomore year has) been
neglected not only at Michigan but in
general," said assistant Architecture.
Prof. David Scobey. "I think it's
because more university curricula are
built around the two-stage model,
where the first two years are built
around a road curricula and then you
should pic a specialty."

Scobey said the commission
focused on ideas that would help cre-
ate a middle stage in which students
are able to "to explore, maybe make
some new choices that involve differ-
ent things simply from deciding what
you're going to major in."
The ideas include a more intensive
list of community outreach programs,
multi-disciplinary sophomore semi-
nars, artistic endeavors or other oppor-
tunities that would be available for
students in order to make their s*ho-
more years more fulfilling.
The commission hopes to imple-
ment these ideas through the Sopho-
more Year Initiative, which the report
describes as "a set of intellectual, co-
curricular, and support programs to
enrich the middle phase of the under-
graduate years."
Part of the motivation for the plan
was the Sophomore College at Stan-
ford University. The college selects
second-year students to return early
from summer break and study in small
groups with faculty in a residential set-
ting.
The initiative would operate under
the expectation that sophomores
would continue to live in the residence
halls. Under the initiative, sopho-
mores would also have the option of
taking a week from their regular
schedules to use for exploration
See SOPHOMORES, Page 7

GOA Equip undergraduates with good maps
and good guides for their journey
"The University needs to do a better job of making its
intellectual and social opportunities more transparent and
navigable to undergraduates."

GOAL

Create a student community that is diverse, Renew the facul commitment to
inclusive, adventurous, and self-reflective- G OA undergraduate eu ation and enhance
student-faculty interaction.
"The Commission believes that the University-faculty, staff,
administrators, and students-need to deliberately craft a "The vision of undergraduate education described here ... c
student community that reflects and reinforces the values only come to pass if the University similarly prepares and
that it sees as fundamental to the undergraduate exoerience." dewar,4c the fault "

.an

UtUi ti VVV ! UV lUIIUUlIIVfltU1 iV illV Nf1U VlblUU WUiV V/ rl Vtl VIIV4"

Improve the flow of information
about University resources to
undergraduates
Overhaul the advising system
Improve academic and social support
programs aimed at increasing the
retention of historically
underrepresentedstudents

End housing policies that enable
incoming freshmen to select their
residence hall and roommates
Establish and enforce the expectation
that undergraduates will spend two years
in residence halls
Postpone fraternity and sorority rush
until at least the end of freshman year
Sharpen the admissions process to find
students eager to explore the diversity,
scale, and breadth of the University.
Improve recruitment and financial aid

V ,AVr.Th. XAXA' 1

-- wa 1dUs ec LI d y.
Increase faculty presence in undergraduate
residential and social settings
m Establish faculty programs to support
innovative undergraduate teaching
Enlarge instructional faculty and
replenish college budgets for new
commitments to undergraduate education
Institutionalize more flexible career
trajectories and faculty work expectations
Align rewards and incentives to
enhance faculty commitment and
interaction outside the classroom

6

i

By Elizabeth Kassab
Daily StaffReporter
In addition to campus maps that
clearly illustrate the location of the
Diag, students should be equipped
throughout their undergraduate career
with an equally clear map of what
opportunities the University has to offer,
the President's Commission on the
Undergraduate Experience suggests.
The commission's report found room
for improvement in the University's aca-
demic advising and recommends an
overhaul of the system.
"Despite recent, admirable efforts to
professionalize and interlink the advis-
ing staff, advising remains underre-
sourced and fragmented at the
University," the report states. Inadequate
communication between academic
advisers, peer advisers and resident

concentration field "from faculty who
often opt out of even the most rudimen-
tary counseling role," the commission
found. "The result - through no fault
of the advising staff itself- exemplifies
the inhospitality and routinization of
public higher education at its worst."
The committee calls for more inte-
grated and cooperative advising from all
sectors of the University.
"The University has an amazing col-
lection of intellectual and cultural
resources," Darwall said. Students
should be encouraged to take advantage
of the wide curricplum, and museums
and cultural events on campus.
Darwall said he recently attended a
concert at Hill Auditorium where there
were few students in attendance.
Darwall said part of the challenge
is to make organizations such as the
University Musical Society more
Z.1 . 1.. .{... . «4. .--- . _A

By Rachel Green
Daily Staff Reporter

Recommendations to restructure
housing requirements and policies for
undergraduate students are intended to
promote better interaction among stu-
dents following their freshman year in
the residence halls.
Architecture Prof. David Scobey, a
member of the President's Commis-
sion on the Undergraduate Experience,
said the key to promoting diversity
among student relationships is to alter
the current status of on-campus hous-
ing.
The report suggests that the Univer-
sity require freshmen and sophomores
to live in residence halls. It also rec-
ommends "in the strongest terms that
the University end its policy of allow-
ing incoming freshmen to select dorms

residential life and everyday learning."
The commission also recommends
that fraternity and sorority rush be
postponed until at least the end of the
freshman year.
While more stringent on-campus
living requirements would conflict
with living guidelines set forth by fra-
ternities and sororities, Scobey said
the commission worked with the
Greek system while writing the report.
"We are not against the Greek sys-
tem," said mathematics Prof. Philip
Hanlon, a commission member. "Hav-
ing to make that decision so early in
the year isn't good for the students and
it isn't good for the Greek system."
Scobey said he hopes postponing
the move-in date for sorority and fra-
ternity members would create diversity
within the these houses and give peo-
ple in the Greek system the opportuni-

By Maria Sprow
Daily Staff Reporter
Members of the President's Com-
mission on the Undergraduate Experi-
ence fear the University's reputation as
a research institution overshadows its
educational goals.
"I think a lot of what we did with
this commission is try to debunk that
idea that there is a conflict between
undergraduate education and
research," said committee member
Paul Resnick, an associate professor in
the School of Information.
Committee members proposed
rewarding professors with unusual and
creative teaching methods, much like
professors with research grants are
rewarded. The committee also recom-
mended students be rewarded for out-
standing work.

classes based out of the Dewey Center
and the encouragement of experimental
curricula, such as Prof. Ann Marie Sas-
try's Engineering 100 class. The class
introduces different aspects of engineer-
ing - for instance the chemistry of
baking and delivery problems -
through pizza making.
Resnick said the committee hoped to
prove that the University, though large,
could offer a better educational experi-
ence than a small liberal arts college
because of its size,not in spite of it.
"Overall, we think Michigan can be
better but only if we take advantage of
the research and the breath of what is
going on," Resnick said. "That's
research, that's the arts, that's the pro-
fessional schools, that's everything that
is happening here.
Resnick said the University would
like to be known both as a research

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