Theme 1

Advancing Liberal Education in the 21st Century

Act of Determination 5 -- Assessing the Structure and Function of the Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum

The first four Acts of Determination of Theme 1 are immediate steps that will improve the delivery of a liberal education and the impact that our graduates have on the world. Faculty agree that these initial steps are desirable and achievable and may be attained through interdisciplinary collaboration. This AOD entails an assessment of the core curriculum, which requires a considerable commitment of time and resources. Following this assessment, the faculty may recommend whether restructuring is needed.

Action Steps:
  • The Dean and Council of Chairs will hold colloquia during the 2014-2015 academic year with a broadly representative group of faculty who teach in the core curriculum to advance the idea that courses serve a larger purpose of general importance to the University and that the subject matter of these courses be introduced to the students as such, rather than in a narrow disciplinary fashion.
  • Following these colloquia and following the assessment of the core curriculum from the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee (refer to AOD 1), the Dean’s Office, in consultation with the Council of Chairs, will determine if further assessment of the core is needed. The Dean’s Office will make this determination by Summer 2015.
  • Should it be determined that further changes to the core curriculum are desirable, the Dean will appoint a taskforce to assess the state of liberal education in Arts & Sciences as made manifest through the core curriculum. The taskforce will report those findings to the Dean and the Council of Chairs by Fall 2015. Appendix 1C provides the details of the charges to this taskforce.