This document was created in Dec. 1993 or Jan. 1994, probably by the UCSB L&S Executive Committee (The Dec. 11, 1993 History Dept. original memo [link] was addressed to it.)

Summary of Departmental and Program Responses to the Proposal of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Academic Senate to Revise the General Education Program

Following is a very condensed summary of departmental and program responses to a series of questions proposed by the College of Letters and Science Executive Committee in relation to the proposals of the Academic Senate ad hoc Committee to Revise the General Education Program. The Executive Committee asked departments to respond to any issues of particular concern in the ad hoc committee proposal and in particular to respond to three questions:

  1. Is there agreement that the subdivisions in the present requirements should be eliminated;
  2. Is there support for substantially increasing the number of general education courses;
  3. Is there departmental interest in proposing a minor. In the short time allotted, some departments were not able to provide full responses; on the other hand some of the responses are detailed in ways that this summary does not represent. The actual responses in the Senate office should be consulted by those interested in particular issues, as they sometimes provide considerably more detailed and nuanced commentary than the summary indicates.

The Executive Committee's second question about whether there is support for increasing the number of general education courses arose from our fear that the expected benefits of the increased flexibility in the general education requirements might not be achieved unless the number of approved courses regularly given is increased. It was assumed by some that the proposal will lead to greater student choice in planning their general education programs, but that outcome depends on a sufficient variety of courses actually being given. While there was general support from departments for increasing the number of general education courses, the responses to this question had a variety of reservations. Some departments expressed willingness to propose new courses; some departments hoped other departments might propose new courses; some departments believed that an interest in expanding the general education list derived from a desire to institute "inappropriate" courses; several departments opposed adding any courses. As a matter of clarification, the Executive Committee wishes to state that it is aware of no other way for courses to be selected for the general education list than for course proposals to be approved by the Academic Senate General Education Committee.

Questions: 1.= Eliminate subdivisions 2.= Increase 3.= institute a minor

Art Studio
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

Asian American Studies
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

Biological Sciences
1. Yes (in principle) 2. Yes (in principle) 3. Yes (in principle)
As an over-enrolled program in science the department cannot at this time participate in any course or student load increases. Decreases in general education requirements are desirable for science majors. The suggestion that students ought to be graded separately for writing and for mastery of content are unacceptable because of time constraints.

1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

1.No (especially opposes the elimination of requirement of one course in non-English literature). 2.Yes (they oppose including inappropriate courses). 3.Yes. The dept. also urges that foreign language requirements be raised and oppose any lowering.

1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

Dramatic Arts
1. Need time to study 2. Need time to study 3. Yes

East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies Program
1.Yes. 2.Yes. 3.Yes

1.Yes. 2.Yes 3. Yes (in principle, but with concern for resource issues).

1. Yes 2.Yes (in principle, but with limited possibilities for any departmental increase). 3.Yes (in principle, but with concern for resource issues).

Environmental Studies Program
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

French and Italian
1. No (eliminating subdivisions will mean that most students will take only literature in English). 2. Yes 3. Yes

1. Yes 2. Yes (provided there are no changes in criteria for approval of general education courses from what the department now understands the criteria to be). 3.Yes (but only if certain questions about quality and resources are answered to the department's satisfaction). (link to full History Dept. response)

History of Art and Architecture
1.Yes 2.No 3.Yes Reluctant to support the separate grading for the writing component of a course and the independent majors.

Latin American and Iberian Studies
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes Report of departmental confusion over current policy about what constitutes a course fulfilling the writing requirement.

1. and 2: the department prefers more dramatic change with nearly all courses satisfying some distribution requirement 3.Yes

Medieval Studies
1.No 2.No 3.No

1.Yes (the department urges removing provision in E-1 that requires including materials from a number of academic disciplines). 2. Yes (especially supports removing the no prerequisite provision) 3.Yes.

1.Yes (why not every subdivision) 2. Yes (especially support removing prerequisites). 3. Not yet certain

Political Science
States that no educational rationale for the changes has been given, nor is it clear to the department that students have any difficulty graduating; it will not therefore support any of the changes. It might be interested in a minor at such a time as the resource implications are clear. It opposes any lowering of the standards for the foreign language requirement.

Religious Studies
1.Yes 2. Yes 3.Yes

1.No 2.Yes 3.No

Spanish and Portuguese
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes
Conflicting responses to the change in language requirement; wants to keep a higher standard but also recognizes the enrollment problem in lower division courses.

Women's Studies
1.Yes 2.No (the program believes an increase must mean the use of inappropriate courses). 3.No

Writing Program
1.Yes 2.Yes 3.Yes

The General Education Committee has endorsed the Special Committee's proposal.

The Committee on Educational Policy and Academic Planning believes the proposed changes would strengthen the General Education Program. Does not support the continuation of the division in Area E. Recommends that the number of courses meeting the requirements be expanded greatly and recommends the elimination of the policy that excludes courses with prerequisites. Supports the development of academic minors and recommends that provisions be made to reduce general education requirements for those who have a minor in a division other than the division of the major.

document scanned & OCR by H. Marcuse, 11/15/03
note: although I've read through this, OCR errors may be present.
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