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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSAL FOR A NEW COMMITTEE TO REVIEW PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG

 

Michael Starbird (mathematics), on behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, has filed the proposal below regarding review of degrees.

The secretary has classified this proposal as general legislation. The proposal will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on March 19, 2001.

 

<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

 

PROPOSAL FOR A NEW COMMITTEE TO REVIEW PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG

Proposal

The chair of the Faculty Council, in consultation with the Faculty Council Executive Committee,1 shall appoint a committee to review proposals from colleges and schools for changes to undergraduate degree programs and recommend action to the Faculty Council. The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review would include faculty representatives from each of the categories of basic education requirements, namely, English and writing, foreign language, social science, natural science and mathematics, and fine arts/humanities. The committee would also include a representative from the College of Communication, a representative from one of the professional schools, an academic advisor, an undergraduate student recommended by the Cabinet of College Councils1, a member of the Educational Policy Committee, and two members of the University administration appointed by the provost.

Amplification

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review would receive all proposed degree plan changes at an early stage. Changes that the committee deems routine would be approved perfunctorily. For other proposals, the committee could request that the relevant department and/or college make a presentation of the proposed changes and then work with the department or college to make adjustments, if appropriate. The committee would consider issues of the educational quality of degrees and would also look at possible implications of degree changes on course demand and graduation rates, impact on other programs (e.g., service courses), and other such issues.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review would present proposals for changes to undergraduate degree plans to the Faculty Council with recommendations for approval or disapproval. Proposed changes to degree plans would continue to be posted on the web in accordance with current practice.

Rationale

Currently, most proposed degree changes actually receive little or no scrutiny after they leave a college or school, since further approvals are conducted through the mechanism of a no-protest process that is rarely noticed by the faculty or advisors. When changes do come before the whole Faculty Council, the Faculty Council members may not have the necessary background to conduct a meaningful discussion of details. The proposed committee structure would result in degree plans being systematically considered by representatives of the whole University community.

 

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on March 7, 2001. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


1 Amended by the Faculty Council on April 16, 2001.