Exit requirements’ fate uncertain

Awaiting approval from the Faculty Senate, proposed changes to the liberal arts exit requirements may not come as swiftly as originally anticipated.

In April, the Undergraduate Council recommended exempting students working on a second baccalaureate degree from the requirement and reducing the number of exit classes for graduates beginning fall 2002.

At this time, most students must complete two major works/major issues exit courses and one literature and writing course before graduating. In the Council’s proposal, only one major works/major issue class would be necessary to meet graduation requirements.

While the recommendations from the Undergraduate Council have not been adopted into the curriculum, academic advisers have been informed of the proposal to guide students in making scheduling decisions.

But in order for the proposed changes to become official policy, the Faculty Senate, must approve the requirements.

Anticipating the Faculty Senate will follow tradition and approve a recommend by the Council, Curtis Wienker, associate dean for Undergraduate Studies sent a memo to academic advisers outlining the proposed changes that may affect students planning on a December graduation.

Wienker wrote in the Aug. 6 memo, that while the policy would not be in effect until next year, current baccalaureate seekers would be grandfathered into the policy beginning Fall 2001. The memo also states that students may want to change their schedule to accommodate the changes.

Wienker said he expects the changes will be approved and students can adhere to the new policy when considering their fall schedule.

“I would wager that the Faculty Senate would approve it,” Wienker said. “I am so confident, that’s why we sent out the memo.”

But others, such as Faculty Senate President Gregory Paveza, are not as confident that the change will be approved.

“I know what the recommendation is and the given that it is unusual to grandfather people into a policy,” Paveza said. ” There is also the realities of the university and its add/drop date and we are not going to make the decision until well after that date.”Paveza said the faculty Senate Executive Committee will look at the proposal on their first meeting Sept. 5, but the full Faculty Senate will not discuss the changes until Sept. 28 – almost a month after the Aug. 31 drop/add date.

Paveza said students might delay registering for an exit requirement this semester if they anticipate the changes will take place. However, he does not personally recommend the upcoming fall 2001 graduates to depend on the changes taking place.

And while the Faculty Senate has traditionally approved recommendations by the Undergraduate Council, history may not repeat itself.

Paveza said that this issue has raised many concerns from faculty.

“Some faculty members see this as watering down of educational process,” Paveza said, “particularly the liberal arts programs available to students.”

With these concerns from faculty, Paveza said he expects the proposed changes to be carefully debated by the Senate.

“This proposal is open to amendments and full process and open until the final vote,” he said.

Contact Ann Norsworthyat oracleann@yahoo.com