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From: vadim@physics.utexas.edu
Subject: Motion to Change the Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Date: November 27, 2006 6:24:15 PM CST
To: fc@uts.cc.utexas.edu

Gentlemen:

I protest against the motion and demand that it be put to actual vote by the entire faculty.

The current requirements are bad enough, but the proposed change would make it worse by wasting even more of students' time on buzzword-compliance courses they don't want and don't need. In my experience, mandatory classes that neither interest the students on their own nor required by students' majors fly into one ear and out the other; they leave no lasting knowledge, only disgust at the system. To widen students' education, we should simply mandate that all students take NN courses outside their major programs. But we should let the students choose what non-major courses interest them most, instead of forcing them to take 6 hours of this boring stuff, 3 hours of that political BS, ad nauseam.

If we can, we should ask the legislature to reduce the specific requirements they mandate. If this is a non-starter, we should keep the present system. Better the devil we know than the extra load of "signature courses" which look good on paper but would rarely work in practice.

Yours Sincerely,
Vadim Kaplunovsky,
Professor of Physics.

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