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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY



2014 RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CONSISTENT ENFORCEMENT OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE PRE-REQUISITE REQUIREMENT

On April 24, 2014, and on behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Professor Mary Rose (committee chair, sociology) submitted the following resolution in support of consistent enforcement of the foreign language pre-requisite requirement. On May 5, 2014, Professor Rose will present the resolution to the Faculty Council asking for their endorsement.

Final approval resides with the Faculty Council.
dean neikirk signature
Dean Neikirk, Secretary
General Faculty and Faculty Council



Posted on the Faculty Council website on April 24, 2014.  



2014 RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CONSISTENT ENFORCEMENT OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE PRE-REQUISITE REQUIREMENT

Passed by the Educational Policy Committee, September 20, 2013
Presented to Faculty Council by Mary Rose, Ph.D., Chair

Background and Rationale:
At our September 20 meeting, Professor Larry Abraham of the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) briefed the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) on an issue to which his office had been attending. The University of Texas at Austin requires that incoming students show that they have taken foreign language or, if they have not, that they take foreign language here at UT Austin; units taken at the University to make up for the absence of the pre-requisite may not count toward the degree (that is, these are extra courses that students admitted without the pre-requisite must attend to). The admissions office reports that very few students are admitted without the pre-requisite, and admissions attempts to set a “flag” to indicate the pre-requisite is absent. It appears they cannot always do so successfully and that there is inconsistent auditing of compliance. Research done by UGS finds that only a few colleges formally audit a student’s high school and college record to make sure that they either have the pre-requisite or have met the requirement at UT Austin, and, further, ensure that these units do not count toward graduation. Quite plausibly, some people are not following the requirement that the units taken to make-up for the absence of the pre-requisite not be counted toward the degree. For example, Liberal Arts continues to have a language requirement; without a way to audit compliance with the pre-requisite, some students may have entered the University without the necessary pre-requisite, taken language courses as part of their major, and then have been cleared to graduate. Other students may have been more aware of or more diligent about sticking to the policy (and therefore take “extra” foreign language at UT that does not count toward the degree). This creates the possibility that we are treating some students (again, a small number in the student body) differently.

Professor Abraham had no specific legislation for the committee to consider. However, he asked for EPC’s sense of the issue, and our body encouraged UGS to continue its work on this issue, in conjunction with Vice Provost Neal Armstrong (who manages accreditation issues), and, if necessary, to develop a policy solution that we would entertain in the future. In the interim, we unanimously passed a resolution that encourages adherence to existing policies.

Resolution:
“It is the sense of the Educational Policy Committee that there should be consistent enforcement of the University foreign language prerequisite across colleges and schools.”