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Faculty Senate » Annual Report 2002-2003

Curriculum Council

Annual Report 2002-2003  
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June 14, 2003

Bruce Sorte, Faculty Senate President

Charles Boyer and Leonard H. Friedman, Curriculum Council Co-Chairs
(Nan Scott Chaired the Council until her retirement in February 2003)

Report of the Curriculum Council for 2002-2003
  The Curriculum Council has three main charges:
  1. To facilitate and review course and program requests (both graduate and undergraduate). These are divided into Category II proposals that are minor, such as a proposal for a new course or changes in existing courses, and Category I proposals that are major and require Faculty Senate approval. A typical example of a Category I proposal is a proposal for a new degree program.
  2. To conduct undergraduate program reviews
  3. To formulate and implement new curricular policy
The Curriculum Council reviewed 355 Category II proposals during the 2002 -2003 academic year. This was the first year in which the on-line system for Category II proposal was in affect for the entire year. This system has greatly facilitated the Council's ability to process these proposals in a timely manner. A few unusual Category II proposals continue to be processed with hard copies. However, we anticipate that all Category II proposals will be on-line next year. In addition, the Council reviewed 10 Category I proposals. These included:
  • Establishing a new School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (and terminating the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering),

  • Renaming the M.S., Ph.D. in Human Performance to the M.S., Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science,

  • Renaming the M.S. in Environmental Health Management to the M.S. in Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Management,

  • Terminating the M.S. in Health and Safety Administration,

  • Establishing an M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology,

  • Establishing a B.A./B.S. in Education,

  • Establishing a Ph.D. in Community Impact Anthropology,

  • Establishing a Masters of Business and Engineering in Construction Engineering Management,

  • Establishing a B.S. in Earth Science, and

  • Establishing an Undergraduate Certificate in Language in Culture.

The Council also approved the administrative move of the College Student Services Administration (CSSA) program from the Graduate School to the new School of Education. A small group of Council members, along with Jon Dorbolo, will be evaluating the formation of a Curriculum Council community within the OSU Blackboard Portal. This will be an on-line system that can be used to improve our handling of Category I proposals, along with an exploration of other ways to improve the efficiency of the Council's curriculum and programmatic responsibilities.

During 2002-2003 academic year, one joint undergraduate and graduate review was completed for the Mathematics Department. The undergraduate program review was lead by Dr. Michael Quinn. The final report was accepted by the Council. Next year, scheduled undergraduate program reviews include the University Honors College, Art and Applied Visual Arts, Natural Resources, and Academic Learning Services programs. Chairs for these reviews have been tentatively identified. Joint graduate and undergraduate reviews include Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Wood Science and Engineering, and Human Development and Family Sciences. As per the guidelines for Undergraduate Academic Program Reviews, accredited undergraduate programs will substitute their professional accreditation self-study and site-visit for the undergraduate program review process. The guidelines for Undergraduate Academic Program Reviews are being revised and the Council discussed revisions. As part of this process, the Office of Academic Programs and the Graduate School have established a tentative ten-year calendar for program reviews for all academic units.

Throughout the year, the Council has discussed, debated and provided comment on a number of curricular issues. The Council met with both the OSU 2007 Enrollment Management and Curricular Issues Planning Teams to discuss their proposals and the impacts of these proposals on undergraduate education. Access to classes and enforcement of prerequisites in Banner were discussed. A recommendation to have departments review prerequisites and indicate the courses for which they want prerequisites enforced in Banner was made to Bob Burton. The process for the review of non-credit professional certificate programs was reviewed. The Council is seeking to resolve our responsibilities and authority over non-credit certificates. The Council discussed how to better address the use of inclusive language in course titles and the catalogue. Bob Bontrager presented and discussed proposed changes in the OSU admissions policies. Michelle Sandlin clarified articulation issues in Banner related to Community College credits.

One issue that appears to be consistently of concern with regard to Category I proposals, is the fiscal implications for these proposals. During the review of Category I proposals, both the Curriculum Council and Budgets and Fiscal Planning Committee review the proposals, provide commentary, and request clarification and modification. This process works well for improving the proposals and ensuring that budgets are complete and accurate. The big issue that is usually raised when these proposals are presented to the Faculty Senate, is the concern about the large fiscal implication of adding a new program to the university. These proposals include supporting documentation from the appropriate dean(s). The Council does not feel it is our prerogative to question this support. In these times of tight budgets, it might be prudent for the Faculty Senate to debate the continuous expansion of programs in a larger context without referring to a specific proposal.

The Council has received excellent support during the past year. We wish to thank Bob Burton, Gary Beach, Michelle Rosowsky, Madge Patterson and Alice Tucker for their assistance and support of Council activities. In addition, we wish to thank the Budgets and Fiscal Planning Committee, chaired by Walt Loveland, as well as Bonnie Allen and the Library staff for their excellent review of Category I proposals.

We thank you for the opportunity to serve as co-chairs of the Council. Given the tremendous amount of activity for the Council, we recommend that co-chairs be considered in the future. If terms are staggered, this could provide a strong continuity for the Council leadership. On a personal note, it provides the co-chairs the opportunity to develop friendships across the university.