2015-2016 UCC Report

Meeting Dates: September 18, October 2, October 16, November 13, December 4, February 5, March 11, April 1, April 21

Members of the Committee:  Susan Birren, Elena Babineau, Margaret Clendenen, Timothy Hickey, Susan Lichtman, Kristen Mascall, Nidhiya Menon, Ari Ofengenden, Javier Urcid, Sabine von Mering, Niranjana Warrier (Spring 2016), Zimo Yang, Prakhar Sahay (Fall 2015)

Ex Officio: Lisa Boes, Mark Hewitt, Elaine Wong

Possible 2015-2016 Agenda Items

At its first meeting of the year, the UCC reviewed possible agenda topics for 2015-2016, which included reviews of American Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and South Asian Studies; approval of new Study Abroad Programs; reports on approved Independent Interdisciplinary Majors; discussion of the Brandeis “Incomplete” policy; continued discussion of transcript notation for tracks in majors; and the possibility of a new “Environmental” general education requirement. 

Procedures for Conduct of UCC Meetings

Committee members reviewed procedures for the conduct of UCC meetings.

Review of Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) Proposals

Phil Dolan, Associate Director of Summer School and JBS, presented proposals for three summer 2016 Justice Brandeis Semesters (integrated, 12-credit, experiential learning programs offered for eight to ten weeks in the summer).  The UCC approved Art Today: History, Theory and Practice, proposed by Peter Kalb of the Fine Arts department.  This eight-week program provides an in depth examination of the contemporary art world through three separate courses focusing on the history of artistic production, theory that informs the creation and reception of today’s art, and the nuts and bolts of careers in the art world.

Two other JBS proposals were revised and considered at subsequent UCC meetings.  A Sports Writing Summer in Boston proposed by Peter May, a former Boston Globe reporter now teaching in the Journalism program, would enable students to experience sports journalism by covering the New England Patriots of the National Football League and other Boston sports teams/events, as well as writing about the sports world in general. Its three courses in eight-weeks focus on beat reporting, sports writing, and magazine writing.   The committee asked for more detail on the readings, class lectures, activities, and assignments of each course so that course differentiation could be clarified.  Committee members asked about the theoretical/historical background that would be provided, and if students with a lower level of interest or familiarity with American sports would be encouraged to enroll in this JBS. Although JBS programs need not focus on social justice, would this JBS be strengthened if it addressed such topics as homophobia, discrimination and racism in sports; head-injuries, steroids and player safety; gender and other issues of equality in sports; domestic violence/bullying issues from recent headlines; the economics of rising ticket prices and stadium construction, etc.?

 

Emerging Powers and the New World Order: The Politics and Culture of Globalization 2.0 is an eight-week program proposed by Chandler Rosenberger, Pu Wang, and Harleen Singh; it consists of one eight-week course, SOC 172a, and two four-week long courses, SAS 100a, and CHIN 136b, which focus on the history and culture of South Asia and China.  Committee members asked for more information about how the three courses would be integrated/connected and about the experiential learning components, including the culminating trip and capstone project of the program.  Could the program also address the economics of these emerging powers and the new world order?

 

Peter May and Maura Farrelly from the Journalism program and Phil Dolan, Associate Director of Summer School and JBS, attended a later UCC meeting to  discuss questions about  the JBS proposal for A Sports Writing Summer in Boston.  The UCC approved the revised proposal which addressed issues raised by the committee in its previous discussion by clearly outlining the topics and assignments for each course. 

The UCC also approved a revised proposal for Emerging Powers and the New World Order: The Politics and Culture of Globalization 2.0, which provided additional information about the economic and experiential aspects of the program and ways in which the three courses would be integrated.

Appointment of Subcommittee for Independent Interdisciplinary Majors

Tim Hickey and Kristen Mascall were appointed to the joint UCC/COAS Subcommittee for Independent Interdisciplinary Majors.

Report on Brandeis in Siena

Professors Joe Wardwell and Jonathan Unglaub from the Fine Arts department and Candace Matta and J. Scott Van Der Meid from the Office of Study Abroad reported on the first offering of the Brandeis in Siena summer program, scheduled in 2015 from July 11 to August 13, and taught in partnership with the Siena Art Institute, which provided excellent facilities, orientation assistance, coordination of field trips, and instruction for the art history course.  The 13 Brandeis enrollees (five art history and eight studio art majors) praised the location and organization of the program, its experiential learning opportunities, and the commitment and excellence of the instructors. In the future, small changes will be made to revise Italian language instruction, the design of field trips, and the length of the program (adding a half week).  Students will also be better prepared for the intensity of the program, and an introduction to basic Christian iconography may also be added.

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Review of New Summer Study Abroad Program: Brandeis in Copenhagen

Professors Kathryn Graddy and George Hall from the Economics department and Matta and Van Der Meid from Study Abroad presented their proposal for a new summer program in Copenhagen, endorsed by the Brandeis-Led Study Abroad Committee. This program, designed for 15-20 students, would consist of two economics courses, one a core intermediate level requirement and the other an elective, which would be taught over five weeks in partnership with DIS (formerly named the Danish Institute of Study Abroad).  One course would be taught by a Brandeis professor and the other by a DIS instructor. In summer 2016, these courses would be Microeconomic Theory (taught by Graddy) and Behavioral Economics: European Case Studies. Orientation, including basic Danish language lessons and health/safety/cultural adjustment matters, would occur over two to three days in Copenhagen. Students would also participate in field trips in Copenhagen and Sweden.  The program aims to provide economics and business majors with opportunities for exposure to foreign environments, engagement in cross-cultural exchanges, and direct contact with case studies and current economic issues in Scandinavian Europe. 

 

The UCC approved the Brandeis in Copenhagen program, but asked the Office of Study Abroad to consider adding a subtitle indicating that economics is the focus of this program.  Program planners were encouraged to integrate the course subject matter with the locale to the greatest extent possible, to help students understand what is academically special about studying economics in Copenhagen.        

Incomplete and Excused Absence Policies

Lisa Boes and Katie McFaddin from Academic Services reviewed current Brandeis undergraduate policies and deadlines for Excused Incompletes (EI), which state: "The work must be completed by a date stipulated by the instructor and in no case later than two weeks after the beginning of the next semester."  The deadline for completing papers and other written assignments for fall 2015 courses will be January 27, 2016 (about five weeks after the end of fall finals), but the deadline for completing work for spring 2015 courses was September 10, 2015, almost four months after the end of spring classes.  Excused Absences (EA) from final exams follow roughly the same timeline. Students who have more than one incomplete often struggle to complete their work, especially with long deadlines.  Some universities do not allow incompletes. 

After considering alternative changes, the UCC approved a motion to require incomplete work to be completed no later than four weeks after the end of a term’s final exam period.  This new deadline would also be established for summer school sessions, counting four weeks from the end of the second session of Brandeis summer school for both summer school sessions. Lisa Boes and Mark Hewitt were asked to prepare a formal motion for Faculty Meeting.

The UCC next discussed if and how records of students with incomplete grades (EA, EI, blank) should be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing (COAS).  Even if a student repeatedly has incompletes or has two or more incompletes in a single term, his/her record is not reviewed by COAS, because Brandeis academic standing policies only discuss unsatisfactory grades (D’s, E’s, F’s and NC’s) and not EIs or EAs.  Academic Services advisors are concerned that the experiences of some students in academic difficulty are masked by their Excused Incompletes, and that these students sometimes continue to struggle in the subsequent term because of their incompletes.  Should the records of students who have more than one incomplete be reviewed by COAS?  In the fall of 2014, 42 students had more than one incomplete, although this number was lower (24) in the spring of 2014 when seniors completed their courses in order to graduate.  Additional students each term had one or more unsatisfactory grade as well as an EI.  Juniors and seniors are more likely to request incompletes than first or second year students.  If students do not turn in incomplete work by the deadline, EI’s are changed to E’s (failing grades).

After discussing possible alternatives, the UCC suggested that students with two or more EIs, or one unsatisfactory grade and an EI, might be required to petition the COAS Executive Committee (EXCO), which would then review stated plans to complete work and continue academic progress. Because EXCO consists primarily of staff from Academic Services and the Registrar’s office, the review would facilitate outreach and advising.  Possible outcomes might include referral to COAS for consideration of academic discipline, or taking no further action.  Parents might also be consulted if a student were at risk of withdrawal.

Academic Services will consult with COAS, and perhaps with department chairs, before deciding whether or not to draft a formal motion changing the criteria for academic discipline, which would also have to be approved at Faculty Meeting.

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Proposed Revisions to Theater Arts (THA) Major Requirements

Adrianne Krstansky, Cameron Anderson, Jennifer Cleary, and Alicia Hyland from Theater Arts presented a proposed revision to requirements for the THA major and minor. This proposal was first drafted by the THA curriculum committee, which researched other top-rated liberal arts BA programs.  The revision aims to provide a more rigorous, structured liberal arts curriculum that serves all majors by preparing more well-rounded theater artists, ready for either graduate study or to enter the profession as it is today, and by facilitating undergraduate connections with all core faculty in acting/performance, design, and dramatic literature.  The total number of requirements would change from the equivalent of 12 to 14 four-credit courses and still require courses grouped under Foundational, Exploration, Immersion and Practicum categories.  Foundational courses would ideally be completed in the first two years of study at Brandeis, as they would then serve as prerequisites to Exploration courses, which would become prerequisites to Immersion courses. The following would continue to be required: THA 10a, THA 11a, THA 11b, THA 30a and one additional THA practicum course.   However, THA 190a, “Ensemble Production,” would no longer be required, and THA 10b, “Theater as Design,” would be replaced by THA 125b, “Art of Scenography I,” now moved to the Exploration category.   Specific courses would be required in acting (THA 21b, “Acting: Language and Action” under Immersion) and dramatic literature (THA 66a, “American Drama since 1945” under Exploration), and a more limited set of other Exploration courses would be designated (either THA 23a, “Movement for the Stage” or THA 115a, “The Human Voice for Life and Art,” and either THA 70a, “Directing” or THA 71a, “Playwriting”) as well as a more limited set of Immersion courses in advanced performance/design and literature.   Majors would also complete three other electives, only one of which could be a cross-listed course.

Non-majors could enroll in courses with the permission of the instructor, and courses for non-majors (e.g., THA 15a, “Public Speaking”) would continue to be offered, but prerequisites would help to eliminate the enrollment of untrained students in upper level courses.   Almost all THA majors are double majors in such fields as Psychology, Education, Sociology, and English.

UCC members suggested the creation of alternative “road maps” to the THA major requirements, because good advising and encouraging early declaration of the major will become key components to the success of the new curriculum.  The UCC approved the proposed revisions to the Theater Arts curriculum, including elimination of THA 10b as an optional requirement for the THA minor.

Proposal for a Community Engagement Practicum

Lucas Malo and Brian Quigley from the department of Community Service and Daniel Langenthal and Alyssa Canelli from the office of Experiential Learning and Teaching presented a proposal for a new two-credit, stand-alone practicum course focusing on Community Engagement.  Initially designed for up to 20 of the 75 coordinators of the Waltham Group, later iterations of the course would be open to Waltham Group and other volunteers.  The Waltham Group, founded in 1986, is a student-run community service organization consisting of 20 programs (focused on youth, elderly, homeless, English language learners and other populations) supported by approximately 1500 annual volunteers and led by two to five coordinators for each program.  Coordinators, once selected, usually remain in their roles until graduation and typically spend 6-8 hours per week managing their programs; responsibilities include building community partnerships, conducting volunteer recruitment and training, facilitating volunteer reflections, coordinating transportation, addressing risk management concerns, maintaining budgets, offering educational programming, and attending weekly meetings which offer ongoing training and leadership development.

The practicum is designed to complement this program work and support the development of leadership skills through critical thinking and the study and application of practical and theoretical concepts related to best practices in college level community-engaged learning.  Each of four modules (Foundations of Service, Responsible Leadership, Theory and Policy, and Development) will include both in- and out-of-class writing and reflections as well as a guest speaker (faculty, staff member, community partner, or specialized expert) with expertise in the class topics.  The hands-on volunteer work students perform each week will serve as shared collective experience and the foundation for a project and presentation (e.g., deeper analysis of an underlying issue) open to faculty, staff and students at the end of the semester. The course would meet weekly for 1.5 hours with an additional 1.5 more hours of homework/readings and at least four hours of community engagement work per week. Students would learn how to work effectively with community partners, assess and implement changes to their programs, evaluate leadership styles, and also develop other useful assessment, fundraising, grant writing, advocacy and marketing skills.

Community Service staff, who would teach the course, have researched other comparable courses and consulted with Heller School Professor Larry Bailis, who is recognized as a regional leader in the field of service learning and is a supporter of this course.  Waltham Group coordinators believe the practicum would be a valuable academic enhancement to their service experience.

The UCC approved the concept of the Community Engagement Practicum, but recommended that the academic rigor and depth of the course content and assignments be strengthened before the Social Science School Council reviews the syllabus for final course approval.  Because the syllabus and practicum are expected to evolve after students other than Waltham Group coordinators are allowed to enroll in the course, the UCC also asked the course instructors to return to the committee in two years time, after the course has been offered several times, to report on the development and evolution of the course. 

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Responses from Departments/Programs with Tracks in Undergraduate Majors

 Mark Hewitt, University Registrar, reported that he has reached out to departments offering majors with tracks, and that all support listing the tracks on undergraduate transcripts, as requested by Architectural Studies and Fine Arts last spring.  He will soon discuss this option at a department chairs meeting and then report back to the UCC.

Report on Approved Independent Interdisciplinary Majors (IIMs)

In December, Julia Moffit Mani, Senior Academic Advisor and Coordinator of the Independent Interdisciplinary Majors program, discussed the procedures for IIM approval and reported on proposals from three undergraduates who were approved for majors by the joint UCC/COAS Subcommittee on Independent Interdisciplinary Majors.  The approved IIM proposals were: Justin Cates ‘17, “Critical Theory and Media Studies;” Kate Farrell ‘17, “Human Development, Creativity and Media;” and Shiguang Zheng ‘17, “Politics, Philosophy and Economics.”  In the late spring of 2015, the Subcommittee approved fast-track "Architectural Studies" IIM proposals for Eric Lin '16, Anna Rothstein '16 and Fei Xu '16.  In March, Mani reported on proposals from four other undergraduates approved for majors by the joint UCC/COAS Subcommittee.  The approved IIM proposals were: Junru Dong ’17, “Religious Studies;” Julia Schianatarelli  ’17, “Italian Studies;” Alba Zacaj ’17, “Italian Studies;” and Jordan Miller ’17, “International Relations.”

Approval of New Study Abroad Proposals 

In December, J. Scott Van Der Meid, Assistant Dean of Study Abroad, presented four proposals for new semester-long study abroad programs.  All proposals meet most or all of the established criteria for approval (duration of program/credit hours, language requirements, student services, course offerings, faculty and area institutional support). The UCC granted provisional approval to the following programs: DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia in Stockholm, Sweden; MSID/International Development in Thailand in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Singapore Management University (SMU) in Singapore; and SIT – Switzerland: Banking, Finance, and Social Responsibility in Geneva, Switzerland.

In February, Van Der Meid presented two additional proposals for new semester-long study abroad programs, which also met the established criteria for approval. The UCC granted provisional approval to: 1) SIT Study Abroad – “Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and the Arctic” in Ísafjörður, Iceland; and 2) School for Field Studies-- “Bhutan: Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition” in Bumthang, Bhutan.

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Report from the Standing Committee on Interdepartmental Programs: East Asian Studies 

UCC members discussed the review report and self-study of the East Asian Studies (EAS) program, before continuing the program for a period of five years to coincide with the next review of South Asian Studies.   The review committee noted strong enrollments in the program but commented on the imbalance of course offerings, which primarily focus on China and Japan in language, literature and history disciplines. The UCC recommended that the program:  1. consider implementation of “starred course” electives that would count toward the major/minor if students write substantial papers on topics related to East Asian Studies; 2. review the curriculum for course sequencing and possible distribution requirements; and 3. better coordinate the colloquia series with curricular programming. The committee also urged the dean to strongly consider a joint EAS/Social Science appointment focusing on regions other than China.

Report from the Standing Committee on Interdepartmental Programs: South Asian Studies

Committee members next discussed the review report and self-study of South Asian Studies (SAS).  The review report praised the commitment and leadership of past and current program chairs, but noted the need for consistent offering of history and religion courses, and more regular opportunities for students to meet in smaller groups emphasizing community with faculty and other minors. Although the review committee suggested a review in three years, primarily to ensure that the dean's office address issues related to staffing, the UCC approved a five year renewal period.   UCC members recommended that Hinduism be offered at least every year, and that the university begin offering more courses on countries other than India. It would also be ideal to identify more funding to support SAS programming and initiatives.

Proposal for an Environmental Literacy Requirement

The committee postponed consideration of the proposal for an Environmental Literacy requirement, as the university will establish a Task Force to undertake a complete review of general education requirements in the spring of 2016.  Proposed changes will be brought before the UCC and faculty meeting in 2016-2017. 

Discussion of Asian American Studies

At the end of the fall semester, the Dean reported that Asian American students have proposed the creation of an interdisciplinary program and minor/major in Asian American Studies. 

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Proposed Revisions to English Major Requirements

Caren Irr, Chair of the English Department, presented a proposal to revise the requirements for the undergraduate English major.   The revision, which draws on recommendations from the department’s March 2015 external review and from student and faculty feedback, would eliminate the core requirement, ENG 1a, ”Introduction to Literary Studies.”  Ten courses would still be required, but one course would now be required in each of three categories (Multicultural Literature/World Anglophone, Literary Theory, and Media/Film), while in the current structure, two courses from the three categories must be completed. Majors would also be required to write two papers of 12 or more pages in two 100-level classes, identified by an annually designated list, or approved by individual petitions to write longer papers in non-designated courses. The department aims to consistently offer more 100-level courses with longer paper assignments in order to strengthen undergraduate opportunities to do research and receive more writing instruction in courses in the major.   ENG 1a will eventually be eliminated from the curriculum. The proposed revisions will no longer require all majors to complete this single course, enabling many pathways through the requirements.  

The UCC approved all aspects of the proposal.  The department plans to next eliminate ENG 1a from the English minor and Creative Writing major and minor; Dean Birren will decide if these changes must also be reviewed by the UCC.

Task Force on General Education

In the spring of 2016, the university will initiate a review of the undergraduate general education requirements (e.g., nonwestern and comparative studies, foreign language, writing, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, school distribution, etc.) through a Task Force of faculty and student members.  Possible new considerations include environmental literacy, diversity and inclusion, social justice, and many others.  The Task Force’s recommendations will result in a proposal that will be brought to the UCC in 2016-2017.  A call for suggestions and comments will be issued to faculty and students, and student and/or alumni surveys, and open forums, town hall meetings and other gatherings are likely to be employed to engage the community.  UDRs and other peer mentors may also be consulted.  A proposal advanced by the UCC must also be approved at two faculty meetings.  The earliest date by which a new set of requirements could be implemented is academic year 2018-2019, as new sets of courses may need to be assembled, and the new curriculum must be announced in advance to prospective students who need to be informed about changes in graduation requirements before they matriculate.


UCC members suggested that the Task Force consist of no more than 12 members, and that the university reaffirm its commitment to the liberal arts.  The Task Force might begin by deciding on learning objectives for Brandeis graduates (What should be the characteristics of a Brandeis alum?) and then work backwards to design requirements. Faculty members of the Task Force would benefit from service as undergraduate advisors, and all members must be able to listen, collaborate and compromise, ideally without advocating for a single agenda or constituency.

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Consultation Regarding Proposed Curricular Changes

Dean Birren briefly consulted the UCC regarding possible changes to the curricula of the Studio Art and Latin American and Latino Studies majors, which will be implemented without further UCC review.

Report from the Standing Committee on Interdepartmental Programs: American Studies (AMST)

UCC members discussed the review report and self-study of the American Studies program. 

The self-study details the history of American Studies at Brandeis, highlights its contributions to the intellectual life of the university and the wider scholarly community, and requests new faculty appointments to the program.  The review report takes note of student praise for faculty accessibility and supportiveness, and comments on the sense of community and passion for American Studies shared by faculty and students. 

Because AMST faculty had not had time to respond to the report in writing, the UCC postponed action until after distribution of the program’s response to the Standing Committee’s review report.  Points discussed in the response include the disciplinary/interdisciplinary nature of the program, the number of faculty members contributing to American Studies in relation to staffing needs and joint appointments, the relationship of the program to the American Studies Association, and the historical sweep of the program.  UCC members discussed the disciplinary/interdisciplinary aspects of the program, possible future joint appointments, and core course offerings, and recommended that the program be strengthened by increasing its integration with the university, before continuing the program for a period of five years.

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Discussion of University Policy on Triple Majors and Triple Minors 

The UCC considered a revision of university policies that allow students to complete triple majors and triple minors, before deciding to take no action. Three to four percent, or 29 of 956 seniors in a recent graduating class completed three majors, most frequently in science majors which allow double counting of courses toward more than one major.  The possibility of completing multiple majors and minors attracts some students to Brandeis.  Certain faculty believe that double/triple majoring provides stronger academic preparation for graduate study or professional careers.  Peer pressure and student concerns about their post-graduate career plans also factor into decisions to double or triple major and/or minor.

Staff in the Office of Academic Services have offered regional and national conference presentations on the difference between collecting and curating courses, minors, and majors.  A presentation on “Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should,” which focused on how students could/should approach their educational choices, recently won a Best of Conference award.  What is the purpose of completing a third major?   Negative repercussions of “collecting” include sacrificing depth of study, as fewer students pursue senior honors research in favor of completing requirements for another major.  Students do not realize/believe that the ability to share a compelling narrative about one’s undergraduate education is more powerful than collecting a third major.

Committee members suggested that alumni might be surveyed about the results of their academic choices.  During and after orientation, students who complete only one major might share testimonials about their experiences.   Has the elimination of required first year seminars, in addition to flexibility and double counting in our general education requirements, contributed to the growth of multiple majors and minors?  Is it possible to change the academic culture through advising, or only through legislated changes in curricular options?

Review of Global Studies BA/MA Degree Proposal

Representing the Global Studies MA program, Chandler Rosenberger and Kristen Lucken offered a proposal for a BA/MA degree program in Global Studies, which would allow students accepted into the program to complete in their senior year two advanced courses counting toward the MA degree and begin preparing in advance for the required MA thesis project.   

This accelerated interdisciplinary program, which was approved by the UCC, is intended for juniors or seniors interested in developing their writing, research, and professional skills in preparation for careers in the NGO sector, government agencies, international institutions, and academia. Students must complete all requirements for the BA by the end of their fourth year of undergraduate study before officially beginning the Master’s program, which mandates a minimum of one academic year of full-time graduate work (30 academic credits) on the Brandeis campus, including two core courses, one graduate level course in methodology, four electives, which vary according to track or specialty, and a master’s thesis course.  Global Studies MA theses are expected to be 70-100 pages in length and formally defended.

The total number of students in the MA program is not expected to rise above 14 students, who may design their own curricula and theses to match their interests, though students are encouraged to consider following one of three tracks: Emerging Powers; Global Service: Preparing for Work with Non-profits; or Transnational Security and Migration. 

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Proposed Revisions to Sociology Major Requirements

Carmen Sirianni, Chair of Sociology, presented revisions to the requirements for the Sociology major, which would provide additional structure through new required courses in methods and theory.  These changes originate from a self-study and fall external review of the department, which recommended curricular adjustments now proposed by the sociology faculty.   SOC 1a, “Order and Change in Society,” though not a prerequisite for other sociology courses, would now be required of all majors and offered every semester, thereby eliminating the need for SOC 3b, “Social Theory and Contemporary Society,” which would no longer be offered as a second introductory option.   SOC 100b, “Introduction to Sociological Theory” and SOC 181a, “Methods of Social Inquiry” will both be required and offered on an annual basis.   “Theory and Methods” would be deleted as a fifth area-distribution option, leaving four others (Health, Illness and Life Course; Political and Social Change; Gender and Family; and Institutions, Communities and Culture) from which students must choose one course in three of four categories.  In addition, at least one upper-level course in a seminar format would be required.  The total number of courses required for the major will continue to be nine.

The UCC approved the proposed changes, but advised the department to list the courses counting toward the seminar requirement in the Bulletin and the schedule of classes as soon as possible.  The committee also noted that it would be helpful to students to list in the schedule of classes those courses that count toward the four areas of distribution. 

Report from the Standing Committee on Interdepartmental Programs: Religious Studies

UCC members discussed the self-study and review report for the Religious Studies program before continuing the program for a period of five years.  The review committee praised the energetic leadership of program chair Bernadette Brooten, who has greatly increased the number of minors and organized a series of well-attended public events.  Students laud the program for its interdisciplinary nature and support the chair’s goal of creating a stronger sense of student community by helping minors get to know one another.   The report also endorsed continuing the current level of administrative support and prioritizing the offering of more courses in eastern religion.

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