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Provost appoints committee to examine, revise General Education Program across NIU campus

January 28, 2013
NIU Department of Technology professor David Schroeder works with students.

NIU Department of Technology professor David Schroeder works with students.

To meet the needs of a 21st century university education, Provost Raymond Alden has established a committee to begin the process of revising NIU’s General Education Program.

Named the General Education Visioning Task Force, the group is comprised of faculty, staff and students who will provide the leadership necessary to critically re-evaluate current general education learning goals, their related outcomes and how such outcomes can be most appropriately taught, learned and assessed.

The task force will work in close consultation with the General Education Committee, a standing university committee responsible for the oversight of the General Education Program.

Ultimately, the process will involve a broad university-wide discussion of this program that will be collaborative and transparent. The work of the task force began this month and will continue through the fall of 2014.

NIU art students paint outside the Music Building during class.

NIU art students paint outside the Music Building during class.

Chairing the task force is Michael Kolb, a professor in the NIU Department of Anthropology, who is the new general education coordinator.

The position of general education coordinator was created to provide dynamic leadership to help develop an innovative general education that achieves its mission and goals per current university Strategic Planning initiatives and Vision 2020 goals. Kolb, who has been at NIU since 1995, regularly teaches general education classes.

Members of the task force will gather, review and analyze information about general education at NIU and use these data to restructure the program within the context of the current state of national trends in general education.

They then will prepare and develop a strategy for the creation and implementation of a revised NIU general education program that is integrally tied to the newly designed baccalaureate goals and mission statement.

The Visioning Task Force has set as its first goal the development of a general education mission statement.

Members of the Visioning Task Force are:

  • Anne L. Birberick, vice provost
  • Patrick Birk, business administration major
  • Terry Bishop, associate professor of management
  • Brianno Coller, associate professor of engineering
  • David Gorman, associate professor of English and chair of the General Education Committee
  • Bernard Harris, chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • Antoinette Jones, certification assessment assistant
  • Edward Klonoski, associate professor of music
  • Michael Kolb, professor of anthropology and general education coordinator
  • Jeff Kowalski, professor of art history and Presidential Research Professor
  • Sherrill Morris, acting associate vice provost for assessment
  • Brandon Phillips, history major
  • Jeanette Rossetti, associate professor of nursing
  • Gretchen Schlabach, associate professor of kinesiology and physical education
  • Donna Smith, catalog editor and curriculum coordinator
  • Julia Spears, director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
  • Joel Stafstrom, associate professor of biology
  • Amanda Thrun, family and child studies major
  • Beth Towell, associate dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Business
  • Josephine Umoren, associate professor and coordinator for nutrition and dietetics
  • Teresa Wasonga, associate professor of educational administration

For more information, contact Kolb at [email protected] or (815) 753-7037 or Gorman at [email protected] or (815) 753-6635.