Introduction and Context
In Fall 2011, a streamlined undergraduate curricular approval process for the College of Arts and Sciences was adopted that preserves accountability while exhibiting greater trust in the faculty proposers. The emphasis in the process is on developing and forwarding proposals that are conceptually and technically sound in a timely and efficient manner. The curricular review process is viewed as assisting the units in producing the best curriculum possible, rather than imposing impediments to change.
Organizational Structure and Roles
Associate Executive Dean for Curriculum and Student Engagement
The Associate Executive Dean for Curriculum and Student Engagement assists the Chair of ASCC, serves as the liaison to OAA and other campus offices, and provides a single contact person in ASC for all undergraduate and graduate curricular matters.
Divisional Curriculum Liaisons
Each divisional dean appoints a divisional curriculum liaison to organize the curricular approval process for programs within his or her division. The curriculum liaison is usually an associate or assistant dean. The curriculum liaison works with the program’s faculty to bring forward the best possible proposals and coordinates the activities of the divisional curricular panels (see below). The curriculum liaison conducts expeditious reviews of proposals and moves them on to the next approval level in a timely fashion. The divisional dean, working through the divisional curriculum liaison, has primary approval authority after proposals leave their originating units. The Associate Executive Dean for Curriculum and Student Engagement regularly convenes the divisional curriculum liaisons to discuss curricular developments.
Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee (ASCC)
The Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee has responsibility for approving undergraduate and graduate ASC courses and programs, and changes to the General Education program. ASCC also has authority over all other curricular issues referred to it by its panels (see below). The curriculum committee is made up of 16 voting members: 9 ASC faculty who are representative of the divisional disciplines and drawn from the Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate; 5 faculty members appointed by the Executive Dean; and 2 ASC students (preferably 1 undergraduate and 1 graduate student). In addition, the Associate Executive Dean for Curriculum and Student Engagement serves as a non-voting, ex officio member of the committee. The Executive Dean appoints one of the committee members as chair of ASCC.
Responsibilities for approving courses, General Education courses, and assessing General Education courses are delegated to 5 small panels: 2 Arts and Humanities Panels, 1 Natural and Mathematical Sciences Panel, 1 Social and Behavioral Sciences Panel, and 1 Assessment Panel. Both Arts and Humanities Panels consist of 2 faculty members of the full ASCC (1 drawn from the ASC Faculty Senate and 1 appointed by the Executive Dean in consultation with the divisional dean), 1 appointed ASC faculty member who is not a member of the full ASCC, 1 faculty member from a professional school, and the divisional curriculum liaison (who serves as a non-voting, ex officio member of the panel). The Natural and Mathematical Sciences Panel and the Social and Behavioral Sciences Panel each consist of 3 faculty members of the full ASCC (2 drawn from the ASC Faculty Senate and 1 appointed by the Executive Dean in consultation with the divisional deans), 1 appointed ASC faculty member who is not a member of the full ASCC, 1 faculty member from a professional school, and the divisional curriculum liaison (who serves as a non-voting, ex officio member of the panel). The Assessment Panel consists of 4 faculty members of the full ASCC (3 drawn from the ASC Faculty Senate, one per division, and 1 appointed by the Executive Dean), 1 appointed ASC faculty member who is not a member of the full ASCC, 1 faculty member from a professional school, and the Assistant Executive Dean of Advising and Academic Services (who serves as a non-voting, ex officio member of the panel). If additional ad hoc committees are needed to address special curricular matters, they are appointed by the Executive Dean and will be formed using ASCC members and/or other members of the faculty.
It is the responsibility of the curriculum liaisons, along with their counterparts outside Arts and Sciences, to ensure that issues of concurrence are resolved as early as possible. Proposals for Courses (see below) are shared with the full Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee (ASCC) as informational items.
The Arts and Sciences Curriculum and Assessment Services provide staff support for the curricular process. They assist in organizing and maintaining records of all meetings and transactions, upload proposals to a curriculum archive within Arts and Sciences, and work with the Associate Executive Dean for Curriculum and Student Engagement to handle final technical checking of proposals prior to their leaving Arts and Sciences. They also assist the divisional curriculum liaisons as needed in program and GE course assessment reporting. Although not a member of the ASCC, the Assistant Executive Dean for Advising and Academic Services or his/her designee will attend ASCC meetings to assist the committee.
The Approval Process by Type of Proposal at the Arts and Sciences Level
Undergraduate and Graduate Program Proposals
Proposals are reviewed by the appropriate curriculum liaisons and panels who then make recommendations to the ASCC, which meets to review proposals, and thus serves as the final approval step for the College of Arts and Sciences. Approved proposals are then submitted to the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) or the Graduate School.
Undergraduate Courses (including GE) and Graduate Courses
These proposals go from programs (through the divisional liaisons) to the divisional panels for discussion and then to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA)—preceded by the Graduate School if applicable. The ASCC receives regular updates of courses approved by the divisional panels. Some courses may also need to be routed to ASC Honors, University Honors and Scholars, or the Office of Service-Learning.