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Wallace T. Fowler (aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics), chair of the Educational Policy Committee, has filed with the Secretary of the Faculty Council the recommendation set forth below.

The Secretary has classified this recommendation as general legislation. Notice is hereby given that this report will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on March 20, 2000.


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

Posted on the Faculty Council web site ( on March 14, 2000. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.



The Educational Policy Committee recommends the following changes in the Basic Education Requirement in chapter 1 of The Undergraduate Catalog, 1998-2000.

(The catalog is on the web at


On page 11, in chapter 1, section "BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS," make the following changes:


The University strives to produce self-reliant graduates who are able to provide leadership and who do not simply react to events. It must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change that is occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today. Students must be exposed to a broad spectrum of arts and science, so that they may be educated beyond vocational requirements and thus be prepared for responsible citizenship in an increasingly complex world.

Every graduate of the University is expected to:

  • be able to express himself or herself clearly and correctly in writing
  • be capable of reasoning effectively from hypotheses to conclusions and of logically analyzing the arguments of others
  • have a critical appreciation for the social framework in which we live and the ways it has evolved through time
  • have experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems
  • have an understanding of some facets of science and the ways in which knowledge of the universe is gained and applied
  • have an understanding of some aspects of mathematics and the application of quantitative skills to problem solving
  • have gained familiarity with a second language
  • have an appreciation for literature and the arts
  • be competent in the basic use of computers.

The General Faculty of the University has established a basic education curriculum to assist undergraduates regardless of their major in acquiring the traits of an educated person. The University's basic education requirements comprise the following:

English and writing

  • English 306, Rhetoric and Composition, and 316K, Masterworks of Literature
  • The student must also complete two courses in writing, at least one of which must be upper-division. These courses must be certified in the Course Schedule for the semester in which the student takes them as having a substantial writing component.


Foreign language

  • Either two years in a single foreign language in high school or two semesters in a single foreign language in college

Social science

  • Six semester hours of American government, including Texas government
  • Six semester hours of American history
  • Three additional semester hours of social science

Natural science and mathematics

  • Three semester hours of mathematics
  • Six semester hours in one area of natural science
  • Three additional semester hours in natural science, mathematics, or computer science

Fine arts/humanities

  • Three semester hours of fine arts or humanities

The faculty of each college and school has incorporated these requirements into the division's degree plans. Within each discipline, the faculty defines and assesses student computer competency through learning activities that require the use of computers. Many degree plans require additional work in the areas above or require the student to take specific courses to fulfill the basic education requirements. For these reasons, the student must consult the description of his or her major in chapters 2 through 12 of this catalog for complete information on fulfillment of the basic education requirements. Music performance majors should see the basic education requirements for music performance programs, page 191.


To be provided by the committee at the Faculty Council meeting on March 20, 2000.