FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM REVIEW REPORT

 

A non degree-granting program not reviewed by external accrediting agency.

 

COVER SHEET

 

1. Name of Program under Review:  Western Cultural Heritage Program (WCH)

 

2. Location of Program

           College of Liberal Arts: Liberal Arts Building, Room 233

 

            a. Program Director: Dr. Ronald J. Weber

 

3. Date of Report and Period of time in review period: February 15, 2002

           Reporting from Fall 1997 to Fall 2001

 

4. Program Review committee:

 

            Dr. Ronald J. Weber                      Dr. Robert Wren

            Dr. Julius Simon                             Dr. David Ruiter

            Ms. Cynthia Garcia

 

5.  Person to contact for more information:

            Dr. Ronald J. Weber, Director Western Cultural Heritage, College of Liberal

            Arts, LART #233, (915) 747-6512

 

6. Review Completed:

 

 

7. Signatures of Committee/Campus Officials/etc.:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW REPORTS

 

I.          PROGRAM MISSION

 

A.        What is the Mission of the program under review and how does it complement the University's stated mission and goals?

 

(The University of Texas at El Paso is dedicated to the creation interpretation application, and dissemination of knowledge, particularly within its unique geographic, social and cultural setting. Through quality educational programs, excellence in research and in scholarly and artistic production, innovative student services, and efficient administration, the University prepares its student in the binational region of El Paso/West Texas to meet lifelong intellectual, ethical, and career challenges.  UTEP emphasizes its unique role as a model of educational leadership in a changing economic, technological, social, and political setting.)

 

II.        DEGREE PROGRAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

 

            A.        Description of the program under review.

 

1.      Description of how WCH responds to the learning needs of UTEP students with regard to our geographic, social, and cultural setting on the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

Western Cultural Heritage is especially pertinent to the educational goals of a major university situated on the U.S.-Mexico border because WCH fosters an examination of diversity as a cultural phenomenon and as a value. WCH is therefore an essential part of the liberal education offered to the majority of UTEP students, who are drawn primarily from the El Paso area.

 

UTEP students have access to a wide variety of other programming and research initiatives that focus specifically on border issues understood on various levels. The WCH program, because of its emphasis on the diversity of the Western experience, is dedicated to presenting and exploring the intellectual, scientific, and cultural heritage that has played and continues to play a formative role in U.S. and global affairs. Students who pass through WCH courses are provided with an experience that enriches their development as human beings—either as American, Mexican, or international citizens.

 

WCH classes emphasize engagement with the ideas and values of the past and the present. This emphasis is evident in the deployment of effective teaching techniques, which capitalize on the development and use of pedagogically sound innovations in technology and instructional methods.

 

Addresses reading and writing deficiencies in the localized student body.

 

2.      Description of the educational objectives of WCH, i.e., student outcomes, of the program.  Includes reference to how graduates will compare nationally, to what students will know, think and be able to do (i.e., specific skills and abilities) as a result of the program.

 

WCH seeks to provide what can best be described as a democratic, liberal education, that is, an education that is “designed” to provide students with the resources to make more informed social and personal choices based on a better awareness of their role in society and of their place in history.

 

A liberal education is based upon the ability to read, digest, and evaluate complex textual material. WCH promotes proficient textual understanding by fostering greater familiarity with and the use of core western texts. Students must research and discuss the relevance of these texts to their own lives and cultures. This develops in students an advanced ability to use world classics and/or culturally influential texts and to integrate such knowledge throughout their undergraduate curricula.

 

It is central to the program that students acquire adequate written and verbal communication skills and the ability to capably analyze and re-present conceptually difficult material. These skills are enhanced by instructors in the program through various kinds of expository and creative writing, class presentations, and problem-solving activities.

 

Additionally, the ability to effectively work within small groups and in pairs helps students prepare for a competitive work world by

 

1.      Promoting active learning.

2.      Creating greater student to teacher interaction.

3.      Creating greater cooperation among students.

4.      Giving prompt feedback to students.

5.      Promoting time on task.

6.      Making better use of diverse talents and ways of learning

 

In addition, through a sophisticated system of electronic conferencing and a series of computerized, continuous running art lessons in Humanities 3301 students become aware of technological teaching advances that are designed to

 

1.   Increase contact time between professors and students.

1.      Promote autonomous learning and decision-making.

2.      Provide a writing component.

3.      Breed collegial relationships.

4.      Reduce student-waiting time.

5.      Augment one on one group interaction.

6.      Promote computer literacy.

7.      Improve retention of material.

8.   Promote creativity.   

 

3.      Admission to the program.

 

All Liberal Arts Majors who have completed English 3112 with a grade of C or better and have completed at least 60 credit hours are admitted to the Program.

 

5.   Completing the program.

 

a.      The curriculum needed for completion of the Program, including the number of semester credit hours (SCH)

      required. 

 

      Students must complete the three sequence courses of Humanities

      3301: Ancient Roots of Western Culture; Humanities 3302:

      Medieval and Renaissance Culture; Humanities 3303: Modern

      Western Culture

 

WCH also supports a Minor in Humanities. This minor consists of

18 credit hours from at least three different disciplines chosen

 from among Art, Communications, History, Languages and

 Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies,

 Theater Arts, or Humanities 3490

 

b.      How the program contributes to general education  requirements, the university core curriculum, elective coursework, and/or required courses which create the desired student competencies for graduation.

 

WCH courses are a required part of the general education requirements of most graduates of UTEP’s College of Liberal Arts. As such, students in the program benefit from the diverse knowledge of a broad range of majors from both the College of Liberal Arts and the University in general. Generally taken in the last semesters of a student’s career, the three WCH courses provide a general “capstone” experience that allows students, who are typically near graduation, an opportunity to synthesize the ideas and concepts that were the essence of their college experience.

 

Because of its diverse and versatile curriculum WCH is a useful and practical enhancement to the education of transferring students and students with a large number of credit hours.

 

Teaching in the WCH Program provides faculty from several diverse fields the opportunity to share in the expertise of others. WCH faculty are well situated to share in the community of knowledge and thereby foster greater community in the UTEP family through cooperative projects, the sharing of students, and greater course alignment across disciplines.

 

c.       How this program promotes collaboration with other academic programs on or off campus.

 

Sponsorship of in-service training for local teachers. (“Latin in Public Schools” April 2001) 

 

Feria Latina: a day for the exhibition, demonstration, and competition of Latin skills between the middle and high school students in the public schools of El Paso. (April 2001)

 

Monetary and physical support for program faculty to conduct individual research and to present their work at national and international conferences.

 

Program symposia conducted by program faculty from various disciplines. Different kinds of symposia explore different approaches to the texts that make-up the program curriculum, or present new and innovative methods for teaching various texts. (see appendix) 

 

Sponsorship of public lecture programs by national and international scholars who explore the texts that are the core of the program or who investigate the possibilities for adding other texts to the program core. (see sppendix)

 

The program has sponsored a Bloomsday celebration of the life and works of James Joyce.  The celebration brings together musicians, poets, and the general public and is scheduled for its third iteration in June, 2002.

 

A flexible Special Topics Course, Humanities 4390, that provides a different topic in the Western Humanities each semester. Courses are typically cross-listed with other departments to take advantage of the diversity of other UTEP programs, departments, and faculty.

 

d.      A typical profile of a student from the program. What

that student has accomplished and what the program expects a graduate to be able to do next?

 

WCH has contributed in the education of several extraordinary UTEP graduates who exemplify the goals of the program. For example, Graciela Rivas, a 1997 Graduate of UTEP, completed the program and served as a WCH teaching assistant. Ms. Rivas went on to achieve a M.A. in International Studies at Georgetown University and currently works in the U.S. State Department.

 

Estella Casas, current news anchor at KVIA, Channel 7, attests to how the experience and increased awareness fostered in WCH classes benefits her work as a television news reporter.

 

Ransom Pat Cross and Nancy Nemeth-Jesurun, two of the first PhD. Candidates in UTEP’s History Department, both started in Western Cultural Heritage, did outstanding work as Teaching Assistants, moved on to become adjunct faculty, and now are completing their doctoral degrees in Border History, the first ever at UTEP.

 

Current students such as Lindsay Hunter and Georgiana Saldana are taking their experiences into careers in public relations

 

 Karla Hernandez, an English major in a Fall 2000 section of 3303.  Ms. Hernandez was a top-quality student in the English Dept, who was also enrolled in UTEP's Pre-Law seminars run by Drs. Weaver and Webking.  The semester of 2000 posed some special challenges for Karla, because she was taking a full load, preparing for the LSAT, working for the pre-law institute, and preparing her law school applications. She completed her major presentation and essay for 3303 on a topic that would advance her preparation for law school.  She performed very well, engaging her classmates in a thorough discussion about how postmodern philosophy has impacted the practice of law.  Karla is now enrolled at Indiana University's School of Law and is doing well.

 

In the same section of 3303, a biology major, Bea Guzman, presented and wrote on the Theory of Relativity and its impact on Modern and Postmodern thought. A film studies minor, R. Mata, presented and wrote on the Postmodernism and the films of Bergman; a history and political science student, Karim Ley-Alarcon, presented and wrote on the insights provided by Neil Postman and Naom Chomsky concerning the distribution of information and education; and Education major, Vonetta Walton presented on the impact of Howard Gardner's thoughts on theories of learning in a Postmodern world.  These are just a few examples, gleaned from work done by students in the last third of the 3303 semester. They serve to emphasize the capstone experience.

 

The point here is that the students in WCH classes are given the opportunity not only to make use of their areas of specialization, but also to have that expertise valued by both themselves and their classmates.   

 

            B.        Assessment of Program goals and effectiveness

 

1.                  How are students recruited to this program? 

 

WCH courses are a general requirement of most Liberal Arts Graduates, so there is no active recruiting to the program.

 

2.         Answer the following questions for the five-year period under review, indicating the source of information:

 

a.      The accompanying tables, provide data for the five-year period under review. (see appendices)

 

 

b.      The trends demonstrated about the WCH program by the figures in the accompanying tables

 

Evaluating the attached data tables, it is clear that there were significant enrollment declines in the period from 1997 to 1999. A major cause of this was that the College of Education dropped the WCH requirement for Education Majors. It is ironic, that the areas where current teachers are often the weakest are the areas of learning concentration in WCH classes.

 

Credit hour production in 2000/ 01 models the general decline in overall UTEP enrollments.

 

Tables demonstrate that the WCH program has been able to

maintain a consistently a high ratio of tenure track faculty to

part-time and non-tenure track faculty. This speaks for the

continuity of teaching faculty and the quality of their teaching

performance within the program. WCH has been a desirable

program for UTEP Liberal Arts faculty, and it has been able to

attract and retain the best faculty in the College of Liberal Arts. 

 

It is also noteworthy that the faculty employed in WCH

represent a great diversity of subject areas. This diversity is one

of the great accomplishments of WCH both in faculty

recruitment and for its benefits to student learning.

 

Tables also indicate that there has been a steady growth in the

numbers and diversity of students completing a Humanities

Minor. In 1997, when the minor was newly established, there

were only two completed minors. By 2001 there were 10 with

more applying for the coming year. In addition, the ethnic and

gender break down of those students completing a Humanities

Minor reflect the overall racial and gender composition of

UTEP. At the same time the students completing minors have

represented an increasingly diverse group of academic areas.

 

3        Routine advising of  students in the WCH program. Comment

      on the effectiveness of advising for (both undergraduate and/or

      graduate) students in the program. 

 

All advising of students is handled directly through the WCH office and the program director.

 

Since the WCH Program is an upper division requirement and since its prerequisites and course sequence are fixed, student advising concerning the timing and concentration of course-taking is at a minimum. Most advising for undergraduates is of a clerical nature—clearing prerequisites, closed class waivers, accepting equivalent transfer credits.

 

The fixed sequence of courses and a consistent curriculum have proven effective in promoting good student progression from class to class and level to level. Instructors in the 3303 sections, such as Dr. David Ruiter, attest to student readiness for taking on the class workloads and achieving course and program standards. This is especially evident in students who have taken the 3301 and 3302 classes before proceeding with 3303.

 

Advising is more necessary for students interested in a minor in Humanities. This minor allows students to construct a more customized course of study that concentrates on areas of humanistic study best suited to student interests and future plans. Minors are planned under the guidance of the program director based on student interests and course availability using Liberal Arts College courses from three different areas.

 

The Minor in Humanities has grown in popularity in the last two years and has proven useful to students requiring a diversity and flexibility not possible with traditional minors or their own majors.

 

4.      How WCH provides a Liberal Arts capstone experience? The

      goals and objectives accomplished through this capstone

      experience?

 

The WCH Program serves as an effective capstone experience for Liberal Arts Graduates for several reasons. First, the courses in the program integrate a large variety of disciplines and perspectives so that nearly all students, as they approach the end of  their student experience, develop significant degrees of familiarity with concepts, texts, and individuals significant to their own and the larger Western Cultural experience.

 

Typically students from different majors bring different perspectives to the classes and find different areas of familiarity and recognition. As a result, each student provides something of an expert opinion in a given field, and when asked is able to make that material more relevant to the broad body of students and share in their knowledge and experience. In this way a good integration of the whole student experience is accomplished on a broader basis.

 

For example, in one of the 3303 classes a student recently gave a presentation on the legal issues surrounding the idea of racial reparations. This particular student was an English major hoping to pursue a career in law (she is now in law school). She related this issue to the concept of Postmodernism that the class was studying at the time, but she also compared the issue to similar issues of “post modernity” that she had studied and seen presented by her classmates from areas like physics, literature, art, philosophy, music, media, and education. Thus, this young woman’s training in reading texts and in law studies both presented her perspective on Postmodernism and complimented the presentations and ideas of classmates in different academic fields. In WCH classes students are forced both to make use of their specializations and to make them understandable and relevant to a wider audience.

 

See also Section II.A.5.d above.

 

5.      How WCH tracks student placement into jobs or into graduate school.

 

        Because the WCH Program has no majors, the Program would need

        to track almost all graduates of the College of Liberal Arts. This has

        seemed  to be an unproductive venture

 

6.      What arrangements are there for serving non-traditional

       students?

 

All course scheduling in WCH is done with the special needs of UTEP and the needs of its students in mind. Each section of the Humanities sequence is made up of classes during every major part of the day. There are early morning classes, mid-morning classes, early afternoon classes, late afternoon classes, and evening classes.

 

During peak enrollment periods and during add/drop periods office staff and the Director put in extra office hours to advise students and to assist them in adjusting their schedules to class offerings in a way that is most beneficial to them in terms of best using their time, effort, and money.

 

Innovative uses of technology in the classroom have been developed and employed to increase student/teacher contacts and to make program information and resources more easily and quickly available to students. (See section III.F below)

 

            C.        Student and Alumni Feedback

 

1.      Do you solicit feedback from students about the program?

 

All classes in the program administer Student Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ) at the end of every semester. Appended to the general university SAQ is a separate set of questions that solicit student opinions about specific aspects of WCH. Responses indicate that approximately 80% of students take WCH classes to fulfill a requirement. And yet, between 60% and 80% of students taking WCH courses rate their professors as effective instructors, adding that they have benefited by learning relevant and stimulating material.

 

Individual professors also include more detailed surveys of their students: Dr. David Ruiter solicits written evaluations from his students at the end of each semester.  Dr. Ruiter administers these in conjunction with the SAQ's and thereby allow the students privacy and the security of knowing that the evaluations will not be read until grades are submitted.

 

Dr. Ruiter’s surveys have discovered some important points:

 

While students do not enjoy daily quizzes or other assignments to check on their progress, the reading load for Dr. Ruiter’s class makes them necessary.  Many students write comments such as  "Although I did not like the quizzes, they did help [us] to keep up with the readings."  Also, the positive feedback tends to emphasize that the students enjoy the interdisciplinary approach, because it does in fact give them the opportunity to feel like a field "expert" from time to time.  As a result, Dr. Ruiter continues to look for ways to make the connections between the humanities and sciences, between period philosophies and their impact beyond those periods.  When these courses go well, they promote the kind of discussions that the students seem to desire but often cannot find in their other course-work because of the need for such specific, subject orientation in those courses.

 

    Dr. Ronald Weber is engaged in an extensive and regular classroom

    assessment program that uses newly developed formative assessment

    techniques to measure the day to day and week to week progress of

    student learning in his class. As a result, he focuses a significant effort

    on improving the low meta-cognative skills that are widespread in

    UTEP students. This work has also allowed Dr. Weber to develop more

    effective cooperative learning techniques for the college classroom.

    Data suggests that student learning has increased as well. 

    

2.      Do you seek information from alumni?

 

With no majors, the WCH Program has few direct alumni to canvas.

 

III.       PROGRAM RESOURCES

 

            A.        Faculty

 

1.      How many full-time tenure track faculty, full-time non-tenured track, and part-time faculty support the program? 

See attached appendices and section II.B.2.b above.

 

            B.        Administration

 

1.      Describe how time is spent in managing the program on a regular basis.

 

On a daily basis work is sporadic. Day to day and week to week there is a steady but not over whelming flow of standard paperwork in the form of wage accounts, operating expenses, budget management, and instructional management. This includes yearly and other assessment reports.

 

Every semester there is the process of class schedule planning. For a small program such as WCH the planning process is relatively simple but still time consuming. Most time is spent in canvassing faculty and eliciting their compliance with the time and space requirements necessary to deliver a quality educational program within the larger UTEP community. Recently, the conversion to an automated scheduling system has created some monumental confusion and added significantly to daily administration.

 

It is also the task of the Director and Program Secretary to plan and carry out the special programs and lectures that are a part of WCH activities.

 

Other administration comes in the form of student advising. While the major portion of this is done by the Program Director, a significant portion of the “customer service” and informational aspect of this is done by the program secretary and the program work-study student. Students come to the office seeking information about classes, access to closed classes, approval of transfer credit, and advising on how and when to take program classes.

 

Since the addition of a Minor in Humanities, advising has increased in the sense that the Program Director plays a significant part in assisting students to establish an effective and acceptable program of study to complete the Minor. This is done to allow students to follow their personal interests and talents to a greater degree than are normally allowed in a traditional department major.

 

            C.        Other personnel

 

1.      Data regarding support staff, teaching assistants, and other student help (excluding work-study students) who support the program.

 

WCH shares one Administrative Secretary with the Women’s Studies Program. This secretary is charged with managing one work-study student for WCH and maintaining the clerical functions necessary to the smooth functioning of the Program.

 

Comment: In 1997 a shared secretary was adequate for the needs of the WCH Program. However, with the growing visibility of WCH and the Women’s Studies Program and the increased demands placed upon both programs for greater university and state accountability, it is more and more difficult for a single person to serve the needs of both WCH and Women’s Studies. However, budget constraints have made hiring another individual impossible.

 

Over the past five years a limited budget has confined the program to the use of 4 student teaching assistants each semester. Typically one TA each has been assigned to Dr. Ronald Weber, Dr. Lawrence Johnson, Dr. Robert Wren, and Dr. Bruce Louden, who teach the larger sections in the program. Each professor employs his TA in singularly different ways, but all have similar goals in mind.

 

Dr. Weber considers his TA to be his co-teacher, assisting in the organizing and implementation of the course. In the process the TA develops his/her skills as a college teacher. This partnership arrangement is useful in reducing the teacher to student ratio and thereby improving student learning.

 

Dr. Louden employs his TA as a grader, student adviser, and student mentor who works to assist students to better understand course material. A significant duty for Dr. Louden’s TA is to work closely with students to improve their analytical skills and writing abilities.

 

Dr. Robert Wren and Dr. Lawrence Johnson employ their TA’s in a close partnership to facilitate the intricate computer conferencing system that is central to their teaching. TA’s in Dr. Wren and Dr. Johnson’s classes monitor the conference to better engage students in a more active way in their classes.

 

Committee Comment: Four TA’s have proven to be a minimum staff. The high writing content of WCH courses and teacher’s needs for constant interaction with students drain a great deal of the instructor’s time. To increase the research time for faculty, to improve teaching, and to heighten learning several more TA’s are needed.

 

            D.        Library

 

1.      Describe the library resources that support the program.  Do the current holdings meet or exceed the programs needs?

 

The material that WCH courses cover is the focus of a great deal of research, stretching the Library’s resources. For example, under Freud in the subject category of the Library search engine there are over 175 references, on the Crusades, more than 49, and hundreds on Christianity. There are also more than 20 references on Herodotus. One could go on and on with many more examples of the central figures upon whose works WCH students can focus. So it appears that the current holdings meet our current needs in some areas well but not in others. Current students, however, often lack skills to use these resources well.

 

Has the Library collection been increased or decreased over this five-year review period?  Describe the impact the library has had on the program.

 

     Library resources have increased but not significantly enough. While

     the Freud material is relatively updated, material on the Crusades is

very dated, most of it from the 1970s or earlier. A program such as WCH is library dependent and can not operate effectively without a good library.

 

3. Describe any additional library resources available to students.

 

    Additional resources include adequate Periodical and Resource sections,

    computer access, and fairly decent data base access. For example, there

    is a Past Masters Philosophy Database and "Religion and Philosophy

    Collection" that provide adequate coverage of major figures suitable for

    an undergraduate audience. Increased electronic reference tools have

    increased the information available to students.

 

            E.         Equipment

 

1.      Describe the equipment, laboratories, and other equipment that are required and available to deliver the program.

 

Equipment needs for the program are relatively simple. For clerical support the Director’s computer, with one computer for the Program Secretary, and one computer for a work-study student are sufficient. The Program shares a copying machine and a fax machine with the Women’s Studies Program.

 

WCH instructors must depend upon other departments and the University computer labs for most of their classroom equipment.

 

            F.         Technology

 

1.      Describe how technology is incorporated into the program, and has influenced the program.

 

Technology is incorporated in some classes through the preparation and presentation of Power Point lecture slides. Program faculty have been involved in producing their own presentation material since 1995. In late 1995 Dr. Weber began the production of video lesson presentations and web-based teaching. In 1997, when the Undergraduate Learning Center opened, two faculty members were a part of committees that were intimately involved in designing the high tech features of this new campus facility (Dr’s Wren and Johnson).

 

Since 1998, the program has run its own web pages from a server run by Instructional Technology.  Other pages were created and maintained by Western Cultural heritage faculty to present students with an interactive environment for study in all three of the Western Cultural  Heritage class offerings.

 

The pedagogical argument for this technology can be gleaned from the original proposal:

 

1.      The creation, maintenance, and security for eight to ten discrete interactive discussion groups, addressing issues raised in the three humanities courses as well as undergraduate and graduate level course in English Literature.

2.      Creation, maintenance, and security for course information including course texts, syllabi, study questions, and supplementary materials.

3.      Logging capability enabling objective measures of student involvement in the interactive discussion groups.

 

In addition, the web-based facility takes advantage of the capabilities inherent in the web as a medium for the distribution and display of information, both text-based and audiovisual.

 

All of the above is accomplished without increasing course costs for students, and without requiring students to purchase either computer equipment or software. 

 

The Program’s commitment to experimental use of high technology in the classroom and as an aid to student study have been long term and consistent. Besides Dr’s Wren and Johnson, Dr. Weber and Mr. Pat Cross use websites and computer lesson plans and messaging as significant parts of their classes.

 

            G.        Facilities

 

1.      Describe the adequacy of facilities available for the delivery of the program.

 

WCH shares a suite of offices with the Women’s Studies Program. This includes an office for the Director, a work area for the Program Secretary and workstudy students. There is also a small conference area. This is adequate office space.

 

            H.        Budget

 

1.      Under current conditions, how adequate are your resources for the areas described above?  If your budget were to decrease, where would you streamline the delivery of the program?  If your budget were to increase, what would be an ideal budget and how would you expand the program?

 

The current budget for WCH has two basic parts: Maintenance and Operation (M&O) and wages. The M&O allocation is $1500/year. This covers merely the costs of paper, copier supplies and maintenance, and basic supplies such as pens, stationary, and labels: we have been able to meet these needs recently only because increased use of websites and other computer technology have cut down paper expenses.

 

WCH has no allocation of funds adequate to replace even its barely essential equipment needs. The replacement of the Program Secretary’s computer two years ago was only possible through special support from the Dean of Liberal Arts. The same was true for the replacement one year ago of a worn out copier, and the recent replacement of the work-study student’s computer.

 

The WCH wage account covers the Directors salary, 50% of the salary of the Program Secretary, a stipend for one work-study student, the salaries of 4 teaching assistants (one during the summer), and the salaries of one part-time lecturer and one fulltime, non-tenure track lecturer.

 

This is a no-frills budget, and while most allocations are small, and cutting it would seriously hinder the program’s ability to function as it should.

 

If funding were to be increased, it is the plan of the Program Advisory Committee to act first to diminish class size by hiring one new fulltime lecturer. Because of the program’s heavy emphasis upon improving the writing skills of students, Director and Advisory Committee would like to increase the number of teaching assistants available to assist program faculty. Lastly, an increased M&O budget would allow the program to maintain and update its equipment in a more timely and efficient manner.

 

Because WCH has only one fulltime faculty member, it has used its allocation of travel money from the College of Liberal Arts as an incentive to faculty to give of their time to teach in the program. Two years ago the program had a modest travel allocation of $1500 per year. That sum has declined each year until in 2001/02 WCH has only $765 available. Such a small allocation is barely enough to weakly assist three faculty members. In addition, what amounts to an almost 50% decline is damaging the ability of faculty to attend meetings and conferences out of town. It harms faculty as they try to advance their research agendas. As a result, the willingness of faculty to give of their time to promote WCH and teach in its classes is declining.

 

IV.       FACULTY PROFILE

 

A.        Research, Publication, and Creative Activities:  summary of the nature and level of these activities over the five-year review period.  Copies of faculty vitae are included in an appendix.

 

1.      Scholarly Production:  summarized are the quantity, type, and quality of scholarly publication of the faculty who are involved in the delivery of this program.  Included is information regarding refereed publications and presentations, as well as invited and non-refereed publications and presentations.

 

The number and quality of scholarly products created by the faculty of the WCH Program over the past five years is outstanding. They include at least five books, more than twenty-eight articles, over fifty scholarly papers, and at least as many public presentations and workshops. This work continues with exciting and innovative programs and research planned for the future. WCH faculty won recognition for their work in both national and international venues. All are devoted to the creation of knowledge and its dissemination to students.

 

The citations in the following pages are merely a sampling of the quality and variety of work completed and planned by WCH faculty. Samples include most of the faculty who have taught in the program over the past five years.

 

For more complete information see the faculty vitae included in the appendix to this report.

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Henry Fothergil Chorley: Victorian Journalist (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998

 

“Dickens”and “Chorley” New Grove Dictrionary of Opera (Macmillan, 1998)

 

“Dickens and Music 3: Musical Adaptations of Dickens 4 Hullah” Oxford Reader’s Guide to Dickens (Oxford: 1999)

 

“Mendelssohn’s Canonical Status in England, The Revolutions of 1848, and H. F. Chorley’s Retrogressive Ideology of Artistic Genius.” In Nineteenth-Century British Music Studies, vol II, ed. Bennett Zon and Jeremy Dibble (Aldershop: Ashgate 2001) pages 148-162.

 

“Chorley” Nineteenth-Century British Music Conference, July 1999, Durham, England.

 

                        Dr. John Haddox:

“Personal values in the thought of Gabriel Marcel and Jose Vasconcelos” in Issues in Contemporary Personalism ed. Thomas Buford (Oxford: Rodop; Press), 1998

 

“Maritain e idiritti degli immigrati” in Prospecttiva Persona, Milan, v.5, no. 24, June, 1998.

 

“Jose Vasconcelos,” “Alfonso Reyes,” and “George Santaynan” (12 pages) in Encyclopedia of the Essay, ed. Tracey Chevalier (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publisher), 1997

 

“The Give-Away of Native American Life”, 22nd American Culture Association Conference, April 12-14, 2001.

 

“Nutrition: Breastfeeding—The Informed Choice, Ethical Issues in Infant Feeding for Pediatricians”, Annual Meeting of the Texas Pediatrics Society, 2001.

 

“Pueblo Cultures: Some Special Features”, 21st American Culture Assoc. Conf. March, 1999.

 

 “Borders and a Border”, Third Congress of the Americas, March, 1998, Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico.

 

“Growing up Pawnee. Native Values Lived”, 19th American Culture Assoc. Conf. March, 1997.

 

 “Jacques Maritain: Person Centered Political Theory”, 4th International Conf. On Persons”, August, 1997. Prague, Czech Republic.

 

                        Dr. Bruce Louden:

 

The Odyssey: Structure, Narration, and Meaning, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

 

“Eurybates, Odysseus, and the Duals in Book 9 of the Iliad,” forthcoming in the Bucknell Review, 2002.

 

The Tempest, Plautus, and the Rudens,” Comparative Drama,m 33 (1999): 199-223.

 

“The Duals in Illiad Book 9: A New Proposal,” annual meeting of CAMWS, April 2001, Provo, Utah.

 

“Priam’s Narrative Pattern in the Illiad,” Annual meeting of CAMWS, April 2000, Knoxville, TN.

 

“Milton: Homer, Satan: Hera, “ annual meeting of CAMWS, April 1998, U. of Virginia.

 

Invited papers: “Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19), Theoxeny, and the Odyssey,” Texas Tech University, October 2001.

                                    And

“Theoxeny, the Odyssey, and the Lot Narrative (Genesis 18-19),” Texas A & M University, November 1998.

 

                        Dr. David Ruiter:

Shakespeare’s Festive History, under contract with Ashgate Publishing

 

 “Shakespeare and the Masses: Promoting Larger Intellectual Arenas.” Nova 37.2 (Winter 2000)

 

“Life on the Frontier: Frederick Jackson Turner and Rick Bass.” Journal of the American Studies Assoc. of Texas 26 (1995): 66-73.

 

“Political Festivity in 1 Henry IV: Hal’s Creation of the Feast of Falstaff.” 2001 Meeting of the Shakespeare Assoc. of America, April, 2001.

 

“Shakespearean Drama: Creating Ligitimacy from Diference.” 2000 Meeting of the 16th-Century Studies Assoc.

 

“To sport would be as tedious as to work’: Festivity and Politics in 2 Henry IV.” 2000 Meeting of the Shakespeare Assoc. of America.

 

Public lecture: “Guilty Parties: The Culture of Violence in Macbeth,” Shakespeare on the Rocks, September, 2001.

 

                        Dr. Julius Simon:

 

History, Religion and Meaning: American Reflections on the Holocaust and Israel, Greenwood Press, 2000

 

“Religious Hermeneutics in Husserl, Heidegger, Rosenqweig and Levinas” trans. of Bernhard Casper, 1999.

 

“The Life of Franz Rosenzweig,” “Rosenzweig’s ‘The Star of Redemption’” World Philosophy, Salem Press 2000

 

“German-Jewish Philosophers Facing the Shoah,” Conference on Remembering For the Future 2000, July, 2001.

 

“Philosophy, Genocide and, Nationalism” Conference on Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Future, October, 1998.

 

“Levinas on the Border(s),” The World Congress of Philosophy, August, 1998.

 

                        Dr. John Symons:

                                    On Dennett, Wadsworth: Belmont CA (2001)

 

Logic Epistemolgy and the Unity of Science (edited with S. Rahman, et al) under contrat to Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

 

“Explanation, Representation and the Dynamical Hypothesis” Minds and Machines 11: 521-541, 2001

 

“What Can Neuroscience Explain?” Brain and Mind 2: 243-248, 2001

 

“Getting to Know My Own Qualia” Tucson Consciousness Conf. April 2002.

 

“Marr and Computational Functionalism” Boston Colloquim for the Philosophy of Science, March 2002

 

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

“A Search for Order in the Cosmos: Using Plato’s Symposium to Examine Herodotus”  D. Thompson (ed.) Universality and History: Foundations of Core 2002.

 

“The Composition of Livy 45.25-34: Illyricum and the End of the Third Macedonian War” C. Deroux (ed.). Collection Latomus, vol. VIII: 1996.

 

“A Search for Order in the Cosmos: Using Plato’s Symposium to Examine Herodotus,” 6th Annual Conf. Of ACTC, 2000.

 

“Multiculturalism in Herodotus or What Happens to Thoughtful Men When They Encounter Others,” 5th Annual Conf. of ACTC, 1999.

 

“The Epic Hero: Introducing the Core with Pop Culture Paradigms,” 4th Annual Conf. of ACTC, 1998.

 

                        Dr. Robert Wren:

“Literary Effects of Virginia Woolf’s Marriage to Leonard Woolf”  MLA Twentieth Century Literature Group.

 

“See of Alexandria between 300-6000 CE” MLA Twentieth Century Literature Group

 

2.      On-going research activities of the faculty involved in the

      delivery of the program.

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Nineteenth-century Journalism (England and the US) and nineteenth-century cultural battles over the dis-establishment of “Grand Opera” (Meyerbeer archetype) and the introduction of the “music of the future.”

 

                        Dr. John Haddox:

Research on William Shakespeare for paper for 2002 Renaissance Assoc. Meeting in St. Louis, MO

 

                        Dr. Bruce Louden:

Two book-length works that study the subgenres of mythology that unite the Bible with Homeric epic: “The Iliad: Structure, Myth, and Meaning,” and “A typology of Greek and Biblical Myth.”

 

Dr. David Ruiter:

“Piety and Politics: Hrothgar’s Use of God-Terms in Beowulf.” Under review.

 

                        Dr. Julius Simon:

Art and Responsibility: Heidegger and Rosenzweig  working manuscript

 

“On and From Exile: Benjamin, Arendt, and Levinas” workshop at the Univ. of Aberystwyth, Wales,  2002.

 

                        Dr. John Symons:

“Structural Realist Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory,” Syntese (forthcoming)

 

“The ‘Two Pathways’ Theory of the Visual System and the Nature of Identification.” Philosophy of Science, under review.

 

“Emergence and Reflexive Downward Causation,” Principia (forthcoming)

 

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

“History Teaching and Learning” the processes and methods of increasing student learning in College level history and humanities classes. Working manuscript. 

 

                        Dr. Robert Wren:

Research and testing hardware and software configurations to meet classroom requirements for information technology and teaching.

 

3.       Exhibitions and performances, and with indications of  whether

       they are local, regional, national, and/or international in nature.

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Recitals as pianist with community and UTEP faculty musicians, and local performances of musical compositions.

 

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

“Measuring Student Learning to Evaluate Teaching Effectiveness,” CETaL Workshop, 1999

 

“Shaping an Institutional Definition of Good Teaching,” CETaL, 1999

 

“Why Scholarship is the Bedrock of Good Teaching,” CETaL workshop, 1999.

 

“Faculty Discussions on Cooperative Learning: Barbara Millis, Cooperative Learning for the College Classroom.”  CETaL workshop, 2001 (3 sessions)

.

“Linking Questions for Course Continuity” in CETaL News, Vol. I, Issue 2: March, 2001.

 

“Making Learning Teams Work: An Experiment with RATS” in CETaL News, Vol. I, Issue 4: April, 2001

 

“Technology for Cultural and Linguistic Instruction in Latin” for Latin in Public Schools, an in-service workshop for El Paso language teachers, April 20, 2001.

 

Evaluator of Student participants: CETaL TA Certification Program, Oct. 26, 2001.

 

Presenter at CETaL Faculty Discussion, Oct. 30, 2001: “Success and Failure in Student Groups”

 

4.      Internal and external awards that have been given to the faculty and/or the program.

 

Dr. Bruce Louden:

Summer 2000: Fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, D.C.

Summer 1999: Center for Hellenic Studies study grant to U. of Cal. At Berkeley.

Summer 1998: Faculty Development grant (UTEP)

 

                        Dr. Julius Simon:

Research grant by The Leo Baeck Institute of New York and the German Academy Exchange Service, 1999

 

UTEP Faculty Development Grant to travel to Jerusalem 12/97-1/98.

 

                        Dr. John Symons:

                                    1998-1999 Dibner Institute Predoctoral Fellow, at MIT

 

                                    1998 Humanities Foundation Award, Boston University

 

                                    1997 Peter Bertocci Scholarship, Boston University.

 

1997 Junior Fellowship, Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen

 

                        Dr. Robert Wren:

                                    Internal UTEP grants for support of technology in the classroom.

 

         Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

                                    NEH Summer Seminar Participant in Rome, Italy 2000

 

Elected Fellow of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: UTEP Model Institutions for Excellence, 1998-2002.

 

American Assoc. of Higher Education/UTEP Scholar Teacher, 1998 and 1999

 

Nominated for Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Achievement for Teaching Excellence, 1998.

 

5.      Student research, publications, presentations, and/or grants that are the result of faculty collaboration in this program.

 

Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

Kay Mooy, “The Rhetoric of Ammianus Marcellinus and the Aristocracy”MA thesis Completed, April, 2001

 

Joanne Kropp, “Taxation and Patronage in the Theodosian Code “  MA thesis Completed Nov. 2001

 

                        Dorinda Ramirez: Ronald McNair scholar.

 

Mark Gutzman: Ronald McNair scholar.

 

6.     Additional evidence of research productivity.

 

Dr. John Symons:

            “Art and the Brain” Artgbrain.org.http://www.artbrain.org/journal

 

            B.        External Support

 

1.         The main agencies or sources of funding for projects over  the past five years. 

 

                        Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Fall 2001 applied for UTEP faculty development grant (not funded)

Fall 2001 applied UTEP University Research Institute grant. (not funded)

Fall 2002 applying for UTEP faculty development grant (not funded)

 

2.      The nature and level of external funding generated by the

program under review.

 

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

Establishment of the Philip J. Gallagher Endowment for Faculty Development. $30,000 contributed by Mr. William Mimmack

 

3.      Describe any proposals presently being considered.

 

Dr. Bruce Louden:

            Fellowship application to the Stanford Humanities Center.

 

            C.        Teaching

 

1.      What instructional innovations have taken place during the five-year period?

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Established web pages for each class taught to provide both basic and supplemental class information.

Used student e-mail exchanges as part of graduate seminar.

Prepared for and taught in areas outside my area of specialization (e.g. courses in American Literature and Western Cultural Heritage)

 

                        Dr. Sandra Harding:

Increased use of current-events topic options (one or two each semester).

 

                        Dr. John Haddox:

                                    Prepared new course on Spanish Philosophy, fall 1999

Prepared collection of materials for Humanities 3301 and 3302 in Fall 2000, Spring 2000, and Fall 2001

 

                        Dr. Bruce Louden:

                                    Developed course on Greek myth

                                    Developed an accelerated Latin program.

                                    Oversaw creation of website for Latin drill proficiency.

 

                        Dr. David Ruiter:

Adapting and developing a Section of Humanities 3302 for presentation in the shortened four and one half week summer session.

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

Development of Graduate History Teaching and Learning Seminar for History Ph.D. program. Taught in Spring 2001

 

                        Dr. Robert Wren:

                                    Web-Based Conference for use in the college classroom.

 

Adapting and developing Sections of Humanities 3301 and 3303 for presentation in the shortened four and one half week summer session.

 

2.      Evidence of teaching effectiveness in this program.

 

See student evaluations in attached appendix.

 

                        Mr. Ransom Cross:

PhD. Student, teacher, and director of multiple sections in the WCH program

 

Dr. Sandra Harding:

Keeping up-to date with current scholarship, recently read Marcia Coli-h, Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 400-1400 (Yale Univ. Press, 1997). Continued use of advanced writing assignments in Western Cultural Heritage Classes.

 

3.      As you look to the future of the teaching effectiveness in this program, what kinds of innovations or changes do you foresee?  In an ideal situation, what would your teaching environment to like five years from now?

 

With the work of Dr. Weber students will improve in their ability to work with one another in effective group situations both in their future classes at UTEP and in their eventual work situations. Dr. Weber is also out in front in examining and developing better methods for measuring the learning of students in humanities classes. This will improve course planning and student learning.

 

WCH will continue to reach out to students in El Paso in a positive and constructive fashion.

 

Program faculty approach current “innovations” in higher education with a great deal of caution and concern. Poorly thought out emphasis upon the use of computers, the Internet, and electronic teaching aids have often caused damage to the process of education, increasing the incidences of plagiarism, and drawing students away from deep and analytical involvement with solid textual material. In turn, instructors have focused on the use of “electronics” to the detriment of thorough grounding in their disciplines and solid pedagogical technique. The use of the technology of teaching needs more well-designed and planned methods and uses. Faculty in WCH are committed to working toward these ends.

           

            D.        Service

 

1.      What offices or editorial positions in professional organizations do faculty hold?

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Editorial Board of Victorian Periodicals Review

 

2.      What professional consulting activities do faculty participate in?

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

Review of mss. for Victorian Periodicals Review

 

3.      What university service contributions have faculty made in the past five years?

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

English Dept. Personnel Committee, One Year as Dept. Chair, Dept. Library Liaison, Faculty Senate, College Tenure and Promotion Committee, College Merit Review Committee.

 

                        Dr. John Haddox:

                                    MECHA Alumni Assoc. Advising Committee 1999-2000

Center for Lifelong Learning Classes: England and Scotland, Spring 1997

Antonio Caso and Jose Vasconcelos, Fall 1998

Spanish Cultural Life, Spring 1999

G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis Fall 2000

The achievements of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, Fall 2001

 

4.      On what community boards and/or committees do faculty serve?

 

Dr. Robert Bledsoe:

El Paso Symphony Board

 

                        Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

Member of the Board of the Soccer Referee Association of El Paso

 

Secretary, Classical Association of the Southwestern United States

 

5.      Describe any other types of community service performed by faculty.

 

Dr. Ronald J. Weber:

“Latin in Public Schools: Perspectives on Teaching Latin to Public Schools,” In-service workshop for El Paso language teachers, April 20, 2001.

 

Dr. Edward George (Texas Tech Univ.) “A Bridge to Spanish in the Latin Class: Why and How.” For Latin in Public Schools, April 20, 2001

 

Feria Latina, a language fair for El Paso High School Students, April, 21, 2001

 

Invited member, School of Education task force for curriculum revision in teacher education. Designing to meet revised EXCET requirements in 2003.

 

 

V.        SUMMARY AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

 

A.            Summary of the program's strengths and major improvements in the

             previous five years.

 

The most significant effect of the WCH program over the past five years has been its evolution into a de facto capstone program in the College of Liberal Arts. Not officially recognized as the Liberal Arts capstone program, nevertheless WCH now serves to integrate and coordinate, in a very real way, the total learning experience of Liberal Arts graduates. One has only to look at the experiences of WCH students as they complete the third course in the program.

 

Members of the faculty such as Dr. Weber, Dr. Wren, and Dr. Johnson have done pioneering work in the design and implementation of effective teaching methods that employ significant technological innovations.

 

Dr. Weber and Dr. Roberson have made advances in the use of innovative cooperative teaching and learning techniques both inside and outside of the classroom.

 

Because of the work of  all WCH faculty, their had been a continued improvement in the reading, writing, and critical analysis skills of UTEP students.

 

B.        Summary of the program areas with the greatest need for improvement in the next five years.

 

            All program faculty must continue the recruitment of effective teachers from a wide variety of academic disciplines and departments across the UTEP campus. Such disparate individuals demand a special effort from the veteran WCH faculty and the Director to promote program cohesion and faculty collegiality, which has been lacking in some areas.

 

            WCH must focus on the acquisition of a more consistent source of funding to support faculty development in teaching and research. Efforts need to be made to acquire funds both through grants and through private donations.

 

            For WCH to remain viable and a factor in the education of UTEP students there must be a concerted effort to increase the visibility of the program within the University and the greater El Paso community. In general, program faculty have not had this as a priority. One way to achieve this would be to increase faculty involvement in the arts throughout the community. 

 

C.        Outline of steps that the program plans to take in the next five years with respect to both of the above topics.

 

For the promotion of faculty cohesion and continued course alignment, WCH will continue to sponsor regular faculty symposia and to cooperate with other UTEP departments and organizations to bring quality speakers and presenters to the UTEP campus. Such sponsorship and promotion has the dual effect of publicizing WCH in the community.

 

To improve teaching and learning the program will support and promote the faculty development work and offerings of the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning.

 

WCH will continue to support the work of program faculty who are working to improve teaching techniques such as improved group learning methods and improvements in the use of technology inside and outside the classroom. These faculty will be encouraged to seek outside funding for their work.

 

WCH will cooperate with the American Academy for Liberal Education for the purposes of a total program review in order to understand the place of WCH in comparison to similar programs in other U.S. colleges and Universities. A program review of this nature will enable WCH to team with like programs in projects and research to promote and improve humanities education in the U.S. and the world.

 

In 2001 WCH joined with seven other colleges and universities who are members of the Association for Core Texts and Classes in applying to the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education. The application  sought support for a grant to assess progress in liberal arts core curricula. WCH plans to cooperate in resubmitting the proposal in the next year.

 

The search for outside sources of funding is constant. As a result, the WCH Director will continue to work with the institutional development offices at UTEP to promote the program and attract financial assistance.

 

IV.       APPENDICES

 

Included are relevant additional documentation and information (e.g., faculty vitae, retention rates, enrollment data, minors completed, etc.)