GE Work Group
Marcuse’s notes about 2nd Meeting,
January 31, 2003
page prepared for
web on Feb. 3, 2003 by H. Marcuse [additions 2/5]
to GE Work Group main page; Senate
GE document page
- Announcements, introductions.
Marcuse announced the creation
of the web sites and outlined his plan to keep the work group's deliberations
as open to the public as possible. There were no objections to his plan to
have press releases or paid advertisements in the Nexus and 93106 or some
other faculty news source.
GSA rep. Jennifer Heinen was able to attend this meeting, and undergrad. rep.
Michelle […] arrived later on as well.
- Approval of minutes: correction to number of incoming freshmen;
modification of sentence about new description for area D. Approved as amended.
- Amendments to today's agenda.
Discussion of voting rights of members and decision-making procedure.
Summary: There was discussion about only Senate members being enfranchised
for decisions affecting Senate business. However, this group is not solely
a Senate body. The Undergraduate Council, which has final authority to present
the GE proposal to the Faculty Legislature, will make the final decisions.
Thus we decided that for decisions within this body, every official member
and invited consultant present will have one vote. The affiliation of voters
on both sides of non-unanimous votes will be recorded, so that the UgC can
take the weight of opinion of only Senate members into consideration, if it
- Plan future meetings
and determine whom to invite to them.
Can we keep this tight a schedule? Probably not, but let’s try and
Will we need follow-up meetings? Probably. We’ll plan as needed.
Proposal modified as follows: abandon the dates, we cannot rush
the process too much.
meeting with invitees esp. from BS depts to discuss total number of units.
1) implications of leaving the Area C requirement at 3 vs. reducing it to
2 (esp. resources available for staffing GE courses);
2) uniformity of GE for BA and BS,
3) idea of writing requirement in science GE courses
As to the discussion of the total number of units, it would be necessary
to have the BA, BFA and BM granting departments present as well. Suggestion:
hold back-to-back meetings with dean+chairs+advisors from different divisions.
They would NOT sit in on each other’s meetings.
Since deans do not have authority to make curricular decisions and assign
courses, faculty representatives (chairs or designees) should be invited
as well, to report on considerations potentially unique to their departments.
Who to invite? The dean(s), who should be asked to bring several department
chairs and/or undergraduate advisors from their departments along. The work
group could invite all chairs from the division as well, but attendance
would probably be better if the dean also invited some. It was noted that
there are 46 departments in L&S, so that we should book a larger room,
perhaps in the UCEN.
Marcuse will contact the deans to assess their interest, availability, and
willingness to participate in such a discussion.
Departments that expressed special concern for these issues have been: Chemistry,
EEMB (info x3511) and Geology. Suggested invitees: Dean Martin Moskovits
(x5024, mmoskovits@ltsc); Paula Bruice, Chemistry (past chair of Senate
GE committee, pybruice@bioorganic), Stan Parsons (chair, Chemistry; parsons@chem)
discuss solutions for writing requirement
Susan, Harold and Claudine will meet on Feb. 10 to prepare paper on options
Feb. 20 (Thursday, 3:30pm,
if no Leg. mtg.): open forum on ethnicity & W. Civ. req.
After much discussion it was decided to split this into two public
meetings, one on ethnicity, and one on Western and non-Western requirements.
Marcuse noted that the two were linked by critics at one of the sparsely
attended GE taskforce open forums on this issue in 2001-02.
Ethnicity requirement forum. [see
also Oct. 24, 2003 QGE discussion document]
The wording of the chancellor’s Oct. 22, 1998 memo was discussed: "I,
Chancellor Yang, encourage that a proposal be submitted by faculty and students
to create an additional 4 units to the GE requirements which pertain to
ethnic, gender and queer studies at UCSB."
It was noted that "queer" might now be replaced by "sexuality."
The campus group representing this constituency has recently been renamed
"lesbian, bisexual and gay."
It was noted that the GE taskforce duly studied this proposal and rejected
it. How widely did it consult before making that decision?
Another problem was identified by the past GE committee. It had to reject
excellent, innovative courses that examined the nature of "ethnicity"
in internationally comparative contexts because they did not focus on groups
in the US context.
Other critics wondered why other ethnic groups were not included (for example
Irish, Jews, etc.).
It was noted that the vast majority of students would probably not endorse
an increase in the total number of GE requirements, even if they accepted
the need for such education.
Along the lines of whether majorities should decide such issues, at least
one faculty member felt strongly that faculty should determine the curriculum,
not students, because faculty have more experience in this area.
On the other hand, at least for some issues that have emerged more recently,
many students may have more experience and expertise than most faculty members.
1) leave at one course, keep present wording.
2) leave at one course, open wording to include international comparisons
3) increase to two courses, one as at present, the other also allowing comparisons.
4) increase to two courses, both with wider definitions.
5) in addition to the above, require that all core course in relevant areas
incorporate consideration of these issues in some way (also part of taskforce
Suggestion to focus the public discussion: find out the range of positions
on the most viable options and have 1-2 people present 3-5 minutes on each
Marcuse will e-mail this work group, spelling out some options, and asking
for feedback and names of people who could be invited to present.
- Added: separate forum on Western and non-Western civ. requirements.
It was noted that this was the minority position in the first taskforce
report, but was included in the second because of feedback from a sparsely
attended public forum.
Suggestion: split the area E requirement of 2 courses down the middle. One
would be Western, the other non-Western.
Objection: "Western" is neither a geographically nor culturally
appropriate term, and it would not be good to reify it in our requirements.
It is really an issue of hegemony.
Ethnicity and W. Civ.
This work group meeting following up on the forums might need additional
time. Perhaps an informational meeting with the presenters, prior to the
public forum, would be advisable, so that they can consider other constraints
in their remarks.
Implementation and management options
The executive committee rep. noted that the exec. com., in its previous
skepticism towards the position of faculty director of GE, was operating
under the misconception that this would not be a faculty member. He thinks
that the committee may now support this position.
Claudia Chapman should be invited to the discussion, as should Eric Smith
(Political Science and one of the Legislature’s Rules and Jurisdiction experts).
Smith submitted critical feedback to the taskforce.
Two issues should be separated: the transition from old to new, and the
ongoing oversight and management of the new GE curriculum.
Mar. 7: Final draft
of proposal for UgC
- Determine a "cookbook" list of criteria for GE core (and special req.) courses.
This item was postponed until the next meeting, which will also be devoted to continuing the planning process.
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