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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES TO THE TEXAS INTERDISCIPLINARY PLAN IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS CHAPTER AND THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER IN THE
UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2010-2012


Deans Randy Diehl of the College of Liberal Arts and Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences have filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the proposed changes to the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan curriculum. In liberal arts, the faculty and the dean of the college approved the changes on September 30, 2009. In natural sciences, the faculty of the college approved the changes on September 11, 2009, and the dean approved them on October 5, 2009. 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 November 4, 2009, 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 for 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 November 20, 2009.



Greninger Signature

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty and the Faculty Council


Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on November 10, 2009.


CHANGES TO THE TEXAS INTERDISCIPLINARY PLAN IN THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS CHAPTER AND THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER IN THE
UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2010-2012


NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (Texas IP) Curriculum (Reflects changes adding the TIP program to the University transcript in D 6859-6862)

EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
Delete line from the undergraduate catalog–“Selected courses may be substituted on a petition basis”–and substitute the following in the critical thinking course requirement: "Eligible sections of NSC 301C and UGS 303 may be substituted with approval by faculty director.”

Indicate pages in the undergraduate catalog where changes will be made.
pages 318 (COLA) and 486 (CNS)

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR CHANGE(S):
After UGS 303 was first developed, a petition to count the course for the Texas IP critical thinking requirement was approved by Associate Dean Richard Flores in July 2008. The present proposed change is to indicate that the faculty director may substitute appropriate sections of UGS 303 and NSC 301C for this requirement.)

The courses to be substituted are specific sections of UGS 303 with title Thinking About Thinking Across the Disciplines, and NSC 301C title Research Methods. Created in 2008, UGS 303 Thinking About Thinking in the Disciplines addresses the same curricular goals as LA 302. UGS 303 assists students in becoming fair-minded, independent thinkers and introduces them to modes of thinking across disciplines. Students learn to conduct research and to examine and evaluate arguments from a framework of intellectual standards.

The main change is in the format of presentation. LA 302 consisted of 3 contact hours in small sections taught by PhD-level instructors with extensive experience teaching this course. UGS 303 has one contact hour in a large lecture presented by distinguished faculty from Chemistry, Psychology, Philosophy, Rhetoric, and American Studies, and 2 contact hours in small sections taught by the same PhD level instructors who taught LA 302.

NSC 301C / Research Methods, offered to Dean’s Scholars, Plan II students, and those participating in the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI), introduces students to “the traditions established in the arts and sciences for generating new knowledge from original ideas” (Laude - Scala syllabus). The course’s goals are very similar to those of UGS 303: students investigate how faculty in different disciplines conduct research and then are taught to conduct their own, utilizing skills introduced and developed in class.

Students participating in the Freshman Research Initiative will be invited to extend their laboratory research by connecting it to larger interdisciplinary contexts through the Texas IP. For example, a student in the Biobrick research stream who has worked on synthesizing genes from DNA fragments could propose an IP curriculum on Biotechnology, taking courses on biomedical engineering, genetically modified foods, and other applications of genetic engineering.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how? The Texas IP serves students in the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts.

Has the other college(s)/school(s) been informed of the proposed change? If so, please indicate their response. Yes.
Person Communicated with: Kim Williams. The College of Natural Sciences approved the UGS 303 addition last year; the NSC 301C was presented and approved at September 11 meeting of College of Natural Science’s Curriculum Committee.
Date of Communication: September 15, 2009

Person Communicated with: Cynthia Cervantes presented the proposal to Associate Dean Richard Flores.
Date of Communication: September 3, 2009

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:
COLA
Department Approval Date: July 2008
College Approval Date: September 30, 2009
Dean Approval Date: September 30, 2009

CNS
College Approval Date: September 11, 2009
Dean Approval Date: October 5, 2009

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