MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
NOVEMBER 18, 2013
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||Update to the Core Curriculum Course Lists for the Undergraduate Catalog, 2014-2016 (D 10727-10732).
Chair Hillary Hart introduced Dean Brent Iverson (undergraduate studies) who was recently been appointed dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS), replacing Inaugural Dean Paul Woodruff. Dean Iverson gave a brief introduction of himself, saying that he had been the former chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and has been at UT Austin for the past twenty-two years. He took the opportunity to update the Faculty Council on the current state of undergraduate studies. He said that in the current academic year, UGS offered over 10,000 seats in over 250 signature courses, providing every first-year student, including transfers, a place in a signature course. Dean Iverson said that this fall, 15 percent of the entering class were in UGS and had received active career counseling combined with course advising to make sure the students chose a major that was best suited for them. He said that he anticipated that in the 2014-16 undergraduate catalog every student would be required to take at least five and up to eight flagged courses.
Dean Iverson thanked Inaugural Dean Woodruff for making the vision of the school a reality, and President Powers for his support. He also thanked the Faculty Council “because in every way, this is what you own.” He said the core curriculum comes from the Faculty Council and represents all undergraduates and faculty members. He said that the achievements of UGS would not have been possible without the Council’s support. He stressed that it was important for the Council to continue its support to ensure “these advances continue to move forward.”
Dean Iverson then turned the floor over to Associate Dean Lawrence D. Abraham, who was to discuss the proposed changes to the core curriculum course lists. Dr. Abraham proceeded by explaining that the state required a “forty-two semester credit hour common core curriculum transferable across all public institutions in the state,” and that in this current cycle the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) had new requirements. The board said that they wanted students to gain quantitative skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills from the core curriculum courses. To do this, THECB identified six core objectives and mapped them to the eight different component areas. So, rather than looking at just a few courses, UGS had to look at all of the courses in the core, which had been a monumental task. Professor Abraham thanked the thirty-eight faculty members who served on committees over the past nine months reviewing revised syllabi and course proposals for the core to ensure that they met the THECB requirements. Appendix C provides a list of these committee members.
Professor Abraham then proceeded to describe the proposed changes to the core curriculum course list by area, explaining the additions and deletions. See D 10727-10732 detailing the changes and Appendix D summarizing the additions and deletions.
Before submitting the proposed changes to a vote, Secretary Dean Neikirk pointed out that several changes had been made to the core curriculum course lists since having been circulated to the Faculty Council, and he and Professor Shapiro suggested that the changes be accepted as friendly amendments. The Council members agreed and voted to accept the amendments followed by a unanimous vote to accept the proposal as a whole.
Hillary Hart thanked the many faculty members “who worked so hard getting these courses in order, and renumbered.”