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Educational Policy Committee

Archie Holmes served as chair of the committee during the fall 2006 semester, and David Hillis served as vice chair. During this semester, the primary attention of the committee was on modification and passage of curricular reform legislation from recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Curricular Reform. Three legislative items related to curricular reform (D 5155-5163, D 5097-5105, and D 5106-5114) were presented to and passed by the Faculty Council in fall 2006.

From the Faculty Council Web site:
  • “Final Version of the Amended Motion on Curricular Reform (D 5155-5163).

    Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on November 22, 2006. The Faculty Council approved related legislation D 5097-5105 and D 5106-5114 at its meeting on November 20, 2006. The legislation resulting from the approval of these items was presented to the General Faculty on a no-protest basis on November 27, 2006, and approved by the General Faculty on a no-protest basis on December 8. Transmitted to the president on December 12, 2006. See D 5154 for notice of no-protest procedure. Endorsed by the president and transmitted to the executive vice chancellor ad interim on February 19, 2007. Final approval received March 5, 2007, from the interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. The legislation was forwarded to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for their information.

    In a letter dated March 12, 2007, President Powers wished "to congratulate the Faculty Council on the thorough deliberative process it used to consider this substantial undergraduate curricular reform." He also directed the provost to work with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the other academic deans to implement the necessary degree changes.

    In a letter dated March 15, 2007, to Joseph Stafford, assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Pedro Reyes, associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment, requested ‘approval to modify the core curriculum,’ and later, ‘UT Austin has not yet developed specific University-wide lists of courses that will satisfy the new and modified core component areas, but we seek your approval to begin the process of amending degree plans to implement the new core, with the understanding that course lists will be developed and submitted for your approval as soon as possible.’”
In spring 2007, the attention of the committee shifted to a proposal on plus/minus grading for undergraduate courses. Hillis (committee chair, spring 2007) met with student leaders and in open meetings with undergraduates to discuss the details of the proposal and to seek student input into the legislation. After input from various groups of students, faculty, administrators, and the Office of the Registrar, legislation on plus/minus grading (D 5316-5318) was passed by the Educational Policy Committee and presented to and passed by the Faculty Council.

From the Faculty Council Web site:
  • “Educational Policy Committee Motion Regarding Plus/Minus Grading for Undergraduates (D 5316-5318).

    Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on April 10, 2007. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 16, 2007. Faculty Council action was postponed due to lack of a quorum at its meeting on May 7, 2007. Approved by the Council at its special meeting held May 16, 2007. Transmitted to the president on May 16, 2007. On June 13, 2007, President Powers requested that the provost review the legislation and provide comment and recommendation. In a letter to the president dated June 18, 2007, the provost recommended approval. Approved by the president in a letter dated June 20, 2007.”
David Hillis, chair