FAQs for GEOC Members

Q: I cannot make any of the scheduled GEOC meetings this semester.  Will I be penalized for not attending?

A: No. GEOC meeting dates and times are determined by the results of an online survey near the beginning of each semester. The GEOC Program Assistant attempts to accommodate as many people and disciplines as possible within the schedule, but we understand that we will not be able to accommodate all members.

If issues with committee attendance persist more than two semesters, however, the GEOC member should consider resigning and asking to be replaced by someone whose schedule will allow them to participate more fully on the committee.

Q: The course proposal my subcommittee reviewed is full of typos and grammatical errors. What should I do about it?

A: Well, we can’t all be English majors. The form can be long, so we often give proposers the benefit of the doubt to a point. Co-chairs can make note of any obvious or egregious typos and grammar issues in their report to GEOC.

If there are any significant issues that you feel cannot easily be corrected or that may affect the overall understandability of the proposal, you should email the proposer to request corrections (CC the GEOC Program Assistant).  The Senate Courses and Curricula Committee takes ultimate responsibility for editing catalog copy and can address some concerns when the proposal gets to them, but they do appreciate it when GEOC can head off as many issues as possible.

For more information about subcommittee workflow, please see the Subcommittee Workflow Org Chart.

Q:  The syllabus and/or CAR form provided by the instructor is incomplete or has some glaring flaws.  Should I email the instructor and ask him/her to revise it?

A:  It depends.  The university has instituted guidelines about what should be included in a syllabus, and some information is more strenuously recommended.  Your subcommittee’s primary responsibility is to evaluate the course to determine whether or not it adequately addresses your content area or competency criteria.  If the inadequacy of the syllabus prevents you from making this determination, then you should contact the proposer directly to request revisions.

If the problems with the syllabus do not affect your determination of the content area criteria, make a note of the issues in your subcommittee report, and they can be discussed at the next GEOC meeting.  If you feel it is appropriate, you can send an email to the instructor as courtesy to let them know that the syllabus appears to be missing some items and that the Senate C&C will likely ask them to revise it eventually. Ultimately the syllabus must reflect what is stated in the CAR form.

Currently the GEOC policy is that the CAR form itself must be fully completed by all course proposers, even for so-called “minor” edits to a course, such as a title change.  The CAR is the permanent record of changes made to General Education courses, so it must be filled out completely and accurately.  Moreover, courses that have been reviewed by GEOC within the last five years are normally exempted from the Course Alignment Process, so GEOC must be careful to actually review all courses comprehensively when they are submitted for revision, since this may be grounds for later exemption.  This is an opportunity to “spot check” General Education courses to be sure that they still adhere to guidelines and that Gen Ed instructors are aware of these guidelines.

Q: I’m completely lost and have no idea what I’m doing.  I want to be a model GEOC member, but I don’t know where to start.  Who can I ask for help?

A: The current GEOC Chair is certainly a resource. Please also feel free to contact the GEOC administrative Program Assistant as well. Your current GEOC administrator is Karen McDermott (formerly Piantek), and she can be emailed directly at karen.mcdermott@uconn.edu or at geoc@uconn.edu. Phone: 860-486-1195 (leave a message). The current GEOC Chair is Manuela Wagner.

See also the Contact GEOC page.

Q: As a new GEOC member, should I expect to be hazed?

A: The University of Connecticut is an institute of higher learning and does not condone hazing in any form.  Unofficially, though, watch out for whoopee cushions on your chair at your first meeting.  And welcome to GEOC!