University Curriculum Committee
Because the charge of the University Curriculum Committee is to examine all curricular changes to ensure that they will improve the academic offerings of the university as a whole, the Committee often has to make decisions about the soundness of proposed changes.
At various times, faculty from other departments will disagree with a proposal submitted by a department, and it is the responsibility of the Committee to handle differences in points of view in a professional, collegial, fair manner in order ultimately to determine the validity, worth, and soundness of the curricular proposal.
The following procedure specifies how such interdepartmental disagreements will be handled.
1. In the case of a disagreement between faculty from two (or more) departments, the proposal will be immediately tabled, and the parties involved will enter into negotiations mediated by the Chair of the University Curriculum Committee.
2. During this time no other member of the University Curriculum Committee will be contacted by members of the departments involved.
3. If after a period of about one month an agreement has not been reached, the Committee will invite from each disputing party the department head and no more than one faculty representative to the next scheduled meeting.
4. The Chair will establish a time limit for each presenter.
5. Faculty participating in open sessions of the Committee are expected to engage in reasoned discussion and debate in which each participant respects those with differing opinions. Behavior in violation of these standards may be considered to be in contempt of the Committee and will be reported as such to the Provost and will be noted accordingly in the official minutes which are submitted to the Provost for approval and posted on the UCC website.
6. Following presentations from the departments involved, the Committee will deliberate in closed session and submit its majority decision as a recommendation to the Provost.
As always, the University Curriculum Committee will evaluate the proposal on both academic considerations (for example, does the content of a proposed new course duplicate that of an already existing course, and if so, can the students take the already existing course instead of creating a new course?, etc.) and curricular considerations (for example, is a proposed new course required by an accrediting agency, or is it designed to be just a simple elective?, etc.). The University Curriculum Committee has the right to apply the criteria it deems appropriate to determine whether the curricular proposal is sound.
The adoption of this policy illustrates that it is the intention of the University Curriculum Committee to encourage both cooperation across the university and fairness and impartiality in reaching decisions about academic changes.