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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
IN BIOLOGY IN THE
COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the Bachelor of Science in Biology in the College of Natural Sciences chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2010. The faculty of the college approved the changes in May, September, and October 2007, and the dean approved the changes on October 3, 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 December 19, 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 January 17, 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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CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
IN BIOLOGY IN THE
COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF
THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2008-2010


NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BIOLOGY—OPTIONS I-V, VIII, and X
EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
Options I-V and VII Update and define the lists of courses used to satisfy areas of required course work.
Option X Option X—Add a new biology option.

Indicate pages in the Undergraduate Catalog where changes will be made. Pages 464-467

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR THE CHANGE(S):
For all options, we changed “C or better” statement to be consistent across the college.
Option I The required areas were reviewed and redefined. Courses used to satisfy the areas were narrowed to targeted courses, instead of a long list of courses, many of which are infrequently taught.
This option presently has many more elective hours than other biology options, and even with these changes it will still have more elective hours than others.
Options II, III, and VIII 226R and 226T are being removed from the course inventory, and 326R is being added in their place.
Option IV At the end of the spring 2006 semester, SBS asked that the sections responsible for each of the Biology B.S. degree options review their curricula and, if deemed necessary, offer changes to updated the degree plans. It was asked that particular emphasis be placed on trying to increase the number of elective hours available to students in order to create more flexibility in their undergraduate degree to pursue elective courses. Indeed, in the recent external review of SBS, it was noted that biology students in many of the degree options have little flexibility in pursuing non-science elective courses given the restrictions imposed upon them by these degree options and the need to complete their coursework in a minimum number of years.
The molecular genetics and microbiology section took ownership of this degree plan and has approved the following degree plan revisions for the microbiology degree. Requirement 14a; adds a new course 326R, which combines subject matter from 226R and 226T. This reduces the hours and number of courses that are required. Requirement 14b; moves courses that are infrequently taught from a required list to options list.
Option V At the end of the spring 2006 semester, SBS asked that the sections responsible for each of the Biology B.S. degree options review their curricula and if deemed necessary, offer changes to updated the degree plans. It was asked that particular emphasis be placed on trying to increase the number of elective hours available to students in order to create more flexibility in their undergraduate degree to pursue elective courses. Indeed, in the recent external review of SBS, it was noted that biology students in many of the degree options have little flexibility in pursuing non-science elective courses given the restrictions imposed upon them by these degree options and the need to complete their coursework in minimum number of years.
The MGM and MCDB sections have taken joint ownership of the Cell and Molecular Biology BS degree plan, and together, these sections have approved the following degree plan revisions for the CMB BS degree. The proposed revisions maintain the rigor of the degree plan while also increasing the number of elective hours available to CMB students to 20 (from 8).
Option X Mathematical biology, computational biology, and bioinformatics have exploded in recent years thanks to large and increasingly complex biological data sets, advances in nonlinear dynamics, and an increasing appreciation for the utility of models, and there is an urgent need for integrative education at an early stage. The increasing numbers of University of Texas undergraduates that are interested in this area either independently cobble together a mix of biology, computer science, and mathematics or wait until


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  graduate school for this education. This new degree plan in computational biology is designed to give these students both a comprehensive biology curriculum and an essential foundation in mathematics, computer science, and statistics. Graduates will be highly competitive for quantitative jobs in the biotechnology industry and top-tier medical and graduate schools.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how?
Option V—No, we are removing optional chemical engineering courses. These were added years ago as a courtesy to the engineering program as they were developing a biomedical engineering degree. There is now a program in place. These courses have many engineering prerequisites that a biology major would not have, so none of our students would take these courses.

Option X—Math, computer sciences, and statistics courses are included in the degree program. The school has consulted Bruce Porter and Cathy Stacey of these departments about the appropriate courses included.

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

Option I
Department yes Date: May 2006
College: yes Date: October 2006
Dean: yes Date: October 3, 2007


Option IV and V
Department yes Date: April 5, 2007
College: yes Date: May 2007
Dean: yes Date: October 3, 2007


Option X
Department yes Date: August 27, 2007
College: yes Date: September 26, 2007
Dean: yes Date: October 3, 2007


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