Task Force on General Education
Notes on Meeting of May 9, 2001

unofficial staff notes describing the deliberations of UCSB's 2000-2001 task force on General Education
NOTE: these are NOT minutes, and have never even been seen by most of those present.
The publication of these notes is intended solely to help understand the problems the task force attempted to address, and how its solutions developed.
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Present: Ann Bermingham, Muriel Zimmerman (Chair), Walter Yuen, Dale Kunkel, Tom Carlson, Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Harold Marcuse, Richard Blair, Roger Wood, Ashley Thornton and Debra Blake (staff support).

The committee’s discussion focused on the rough draft of their proposal that was recently prepared by Chair Zimmerman.

  1. Mistakes in the report were addressed, including an omitted paragraph that will be reinserted. Statistics in the draft were corrected to read:

Just 31% of GE courses are taught by ladder-rank faculty, but the committee agrees that this percentage can’t change unless the overall student-faculty ratio changes. Additionally, the committee would like to eventually cease accepting AP credits in place of GE coursework as Berkeley does, but currently thinks that it would hinder students from graduating in four years. With more faculty, the committee would recommend this step.

  1. The committee discussed a memo from Richard Watts dated October 4, 2000 regarding funding for undergraduate education. The committee would like to see any extra funding in undergraduate education go toward the support of a GE government structure.
  2. The committee discussed the impact of the elimination of the Western Civilization requirement. It took a confidential vote as to whether this issue had been thoroughly discussed, with the majority feeling that it had been. The minority has decided to write a section of the final paper and the references to unanimity will be eliminated. The concern of the majority is that students not be funneled into a particular class, but the minority counters with the concern that students need to be directed into certain subjects to appreciate them better. The minority report will address these issues.
  3. The main thrust of the report is to articulate that the committee feels the current system is too complex and is marred by poor administration and governance. Therefore, the key suggestions are the new system of governance and allowing all students to register for any GE course in the first RBT pass. The committee sees one of its biggest successes as the approval and implementation of GE seminars for freshmen and hopes that as the student-faculty ratio improves, the university will be able to offer these seminars to more freshmen.
  4. The meeting ended with thanks to Chair Zimmerman for her leadership and hard work.

prepared for web by H. Marcuse, 10/26/03
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