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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GOVERNMENT AND
THE GOVERNMENT 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 following changes to the Bachelor of Arts in government and the government honors program 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 exclusive interest to a single college or school.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on November 7, 2007, 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 December 11, 2007.


Greninger Signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council Web site on December 3, 2007. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


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CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GOVERNMENT AND
THE GOVERNMENT HONORS PROGRAM
IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): 1) GOVERNMENT HONORS PROGRAM 2) BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GOVERNMENT
EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
Proposal 1 Require a grade of C in all courses in order to count toward the Government major.
Proposal 2 Increase minimum hours for major from 27 to 30 hours (33 hours for special honors in Government), 18 upper-division.
Proposal 3 Add a 3-hour tools requirement as a degree requirement.
The list of courses that will fulfill this requirement include:
Option 1: Statistics. Any one of the following:
  • SSC 305 or 306
  • Math 316
  • GOV 350K
OR
Option 2: Logic. Any one of the following:
  • PHL 313
  • PHL 313Q, TC 310, or CS 313K
OR
Option 3: Methodology (taken in Government). Any one of the following:
  • GOV 339L
  • GOV 341M
  • GOV 342N
OR
Option 4: Foreign language: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in any one foreign language. Courses taught in English may not count toward this option.

Indicate pages in the Undergraduate Catalog where changes will be made. Pages 288 and 304.

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR THE CHANGE(S):
Proposal 1: Require a grade of C in all courses in order to count toward the Government major.
This proposal is designed to strengthen the academic rigor of the Government major by weeding out low-performing students who fail Government courses. Moreover, it could serve as a deterrent to these students and could provide an additional incentive to achieve minimal standards in GOV courses. If the proposed +/- system currently under consideration goes into effect this requirement will allow a C- to count toward the major but a D will not.

Proposal 2: Increase minimum hours for major from 27 to 30 hours (33 hours for special honors), 18 upper-division.
This proposal is designed to increase the rigor of the Government major by raising the minimum credit hour requirement to a level more on par with other majors in the College. Because GOV 310L and GOV 312L count toward the GOV major and are required for all UT students, this change is particularly important. Raising the credit hour requirement provides students with more courses and thus a broader and more in-depth survey of the field.

Proposal 3: Add a 3-hour tools requirement as a degree requirement.
This proposal is designed to increase the rigor of the major and improve the academic training of Government undergraduates by requiring them to take a specific course that provides a skill or set of knowledge that is useful for the study of political science.
Political science is the most diverse field in the social sciences. For centuries political science has been studied as a branch of moral philosophy and has also been conducted in a more concrete and empirical spirit by historians studying the rise and fall of republics and empires and by jurists collecting and analyzing laws and

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constitutions. In the last century political science has become a quantitative science and its explanatory and predictive power over such matters as voting behavior and public opinion has reached unprecedented precision through the use of sophisticated mathematical modeling and analysis. In recognition of this diversity and finding that our students at UT are frequently lacking in the intellectual tools needed to succeed in all aspects of our discipline, the UT Government Department has unanimously recommended a tools requirement that we consider fully equal to the diversity of both our field and our graduates’ career paths.
Each of the options within the tools requirement offers a concrete skill applicable to one or more of the five major subfields taught within UT’s Government undergraduate degree (see below). However, there is no simple correlation between the five major subfields in our department (American government, comparative government, international relations, public law, and political theory) and our students’ need for one or another of these tools. Thus, it is vital that students be allowed to choose the option that best fits their interests and skills as they see them.

Specific applications of tools requirements for Government:
Statistics: We consider statistics to be a likely choice for the largest number of students. It is useful for many of our courses in American, comparative, and international relations, and will normally be taken at the lower-division level.
Logic: Logic is a tool that is useful in every science and every endeavor that requires rigorous thinking and careful writing. It will be an especially attractive option for the large number of pre-law students that we serve.
Research Methods: Finally, a variety of specialized methods courses at the upper-division level, taught by our own faculty, and encompassing both quantitative and qualitative approaches, will especially serve students interested in continuing the study of political science at a higher level.
Foreign language: Language skills are indispensable for serious study of comparative politics and political theory and useful for studying international relations, comparative public law, and United States ethnic politics.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how?
No.

Has the other college(s)/school(s) been informed of the proposed change? If so, please indicate their response. N/A

Person Communicated With: N/A
Date of communication: N/A

Will this proposal change the number of required hours for degree completion? If yes, please explain.
No, the additional major hours will be required in place of some of the optional electives.

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: May 16, 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.