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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CREATION OF THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GEOGRAPHY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE DEPARTMENTAL HONORS PROGRAM IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


Dean Randy Diehl of the College of Liberal Arts has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the creation of a Bachelor of Science in Geography and the Environment in the College of Liberal Arts chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2010. The faculty of the college approved the changes on July 19, 2007, and the dean approved the changes on September 19, 2007. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on January 9, 2008, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by noon on January 24, 2008.


Greninger Signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council Web site on January 10, 2008. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


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CREATION OF THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GEOGRAPHY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE DEPARTMENTAL HONORS PROGRAM IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GEOGRAPHY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
Add the new degree, Bachelor of Science in Geography and the Environment, and a departmental honors program for the new degree in the College of Liberal Arts.

Indicate pages in the Undergraduate Catalog where changes will be made. Pages 288 and 312

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR THE CHANGE(S):
According to the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, the US faces a serious and quickly accelerating need for personnel trained in environmental science. In 2002, there were over 1.69 million environmental careers in the US, with a projected increase in environmental science jobs from 2000 to 2010 is over 22.3% (not including related jobs such as conservation management). These estimates do not include professions that strongly prefer environmental science experience and education for some specializations, such as policy, law, health, and education.
There were 1,061 environmental programs in higher education in 2003, yet there is no such program in the state’s capitol or at The University of Texas at Austin. Currently, the Department of Geography and the Environment field roughly 80 unsolicited inquiries per year regarding an undergraduate degree in environmental science. The department’s B.A. in Geography does offer concentrations (“tracks”) in Earth Science, Environmental Resource Management, Geographic Information Science, and Landscape Ecology and Biogeography. However, the department’s internship coordinators and undergraduate advisor report that while surveys of hiring rates and employer satisfaction are good, employers prefer students with the experiences associated with both a liberal arts education and a B.S. in environmental science specifically. Further, reports to the department’s undergraduate advisor and related faculty from students in other colleges suggest that there exists a strong and growing demand for an interdisciplinary environmental science degree (such as suggested by the success of the Bridging Discipline Program’s Environment program).
If approved, this degree would benefit multiple communities throughout the university as well as the state of Texas. The degree would address critical and as yet unmet needs in terms of employment markets, social needs, and regional priorities, thus improving the lives and livelihoods of students and parents as well as public and private sectors. With over fifty years of proven departmental experience in providing undergraduate education of the first class, the Department of Geography and the Environment can now synergistically and efficiently broaden the University’s curricular offerings as per the vision outlined in the Commission of 125. Our students, our state, and our society need a citizenry educated in environmental science, analysis, and management in order to address the most pressing local and global issues of environmental resources, improve the human condition, and build paths meeting social, governmental and business needs for the present and the future.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how? Yes, it will require cooperation with the Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Natural Sciences.

Has the other college(s)/school(s) been informed of the proposed change? If so, please indicate their response. The proposed new B.S. in Geography and the Environment is a degree that has been discussed, reviewed, and agreed to by Deans Eric Baron, Mary Ann Rankin, and Randy Diehl, as well Professor Jay Banner, director of the Institute for Environmental Science. Each has agreed that the major should proceed and, in addition, have committed to working to create, for 2010, a three-pronged approach to the teaching of environmental science. For 2010, each of these colleges will work on three separate degrees in Environmental Science that will share a common curriculum for the first three or four semesters. At this stage,

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however, all three deans have agreed that this proposed B.S. in Geography and the Environment is the first step towards this larger effort.
Approved by:
ANT, Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts (Sam Wilson, Chair)
ARC, Architecture, School of Architecture (Jeanne Crawford, Assistant Dean)
CE, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering (Gerald Spietel, Chair)
GEO, Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences (Clark Wilson, Chair)
MNS, Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences (Lee Fuiman, Chair)
LAW, School of Law (A. Mechele Dickerson, Associate Dean)
BIO, Section of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Sciences (Hank Bose, Director)

Will this proposal change the number of required hours for degree completion? If yes, please explain. No.

Does this proposal involve changes to the core curriculum (42-hour core, signature courses, flags)? If yes, please explain.
No.

COLLEGE/SCHOOL APPROVAL PROCESS:

Department: yes Date: April 13, 2007
College: yes Date: July 19, 2007
Dean: yes Date: September 19, 2007


To view the edited version of the catalog changes click the PDF link at the beginning of this document.