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From: nfowler@uts.cc.utexas.edu
Subject: protest of D 5155-5163
Date: December 7, 2006 9:06:44 PM CST
To: fc@uts.cc.utexas.edu

To the Faculty Council

I protest. My concerns, which I expressed in an email much earlier in this process, remain. I am concerned

1. that the new signatures courses and flags will add courses to degree plans that are already packed full, requiring either an increase in total hours, or the dropping of essential courses.

Biology degree plans, which require 8 semesters of math/physical sciences in addition to a full set of biology courses, are very vulnerable in this regard.

2. that the resource needs of these new courses will further increase our already high student:teacher ratios in our other courses.

This will either reduce the quality of our other courses, and/or cause more upper division majors courses to be taught by non-tenure-tracked faculty, many of whom are excellent but some of whom are not well-trained and up-to-date in the areas they are teaching. (And as the teaching loads for lecturers have increased, it becomes harder to attract and retain the former.)

3. that these courses will be like many of our non-majors courses, less rigorous and less engaging than the majors courses.

If so, and if they are taken in a student's first or second year at UT, they will probably delay, rather accelerate, a student's intellectual engagement and involvement.

Thank you,

Yours,

Norma Fowler

Professor, Section of Integrative Biology, and Faculty Advisor, Biology B.S. - Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Option.

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