Annual Report 1996-97

During 1996-97 the University Committee on Curricula and Courses held regular meetings monthly, including one on June 7, 1996, and on June 13, 1997. The committee also met on other occasions when regular business could not be covered in one meeting. Meeting schedules were made available to all interested parties.

Although most of the meeting time was devoted to specific courses and curriculum proposals, several other more general issues were also discussed and in some cases action taken. These are discussed in more detail below.

The monthly reports to the Senate included recommendations for 71 new courses, 26 course deletions, 125 course changes of various kinds, 9 experimental courses, and 54 May Session courses. Also, 15 curriculum proposals were presented. One new minor, in Medical Humanities, was presented and approved by the Faculty Senate.

A great deal of the committee's time and effort was taken with discussing, revising, and adopting internal guidelines for undergraduate May Session courses. These guidelines, formulated in cooperation with the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee, are now available from the Faculty Senate Office. The Chair of the committee participated in a panel which discussed the issues of May Session courses at the April 15, 1997 Teaching Seminar.

The committee also acted on a suggestion by the Provost that written changes, which should be read to the Senate, should accompany any major changes in curricula (see Addendum to Faculty Senate Agenda for the April 30, 1997 Meeting).

The committee furnished two members (Carolina Eastman, Computer Science and former Chair of the University Curricula and Courses Committee, and Robert Castleberry, Sumter) of an ad hoc committee which was appointed by the Provost's office to identify and promulgate suggested solutions to the problems inherent in adopting courses which utilize the Internet.

The Chair of the committee participated with the rest of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee in interviewing several of the candidates for Provost.

The new committee Guidelines and Instructions and accompanying forms which were adopted in the Fall of 1995, and approved in May 1996, are now available from the Faculty Senate Office.

The committee discussed some problems which were brought up concerning the relationship between the Columbia campus and the two-year campuses. At least three problems, dealing with courses deleted from the curriculum of the Columbia campus, but still required on some of the two-year campuses, are still to be resolved: (1) what are the responsibilities of the branch campuses to respond to course change requests from units on the Columbia campus; (2) how can the impact of course changes and the interests of various units affected be balanced; (3) what mechanism can be implemented to teach courses on two-year campuses which have been deleted from the Columbia campus curriculum?

Kent Sidel, College of Journalism, was charged by the committee to explore the possibility of listing individual department minors in the university bulletin. His findings are summarized as follows: (1) In a discussion with the Legal Department of the University the point was raised that including minors in the bulletin would raise a jurisdictional issue of requiring Faculty Senate approval for each minor listed. This would remove control of minors from departments because the Faculty Senate may not approve a minor requested by a department; (2) the easiest compromise would be for each department or college to copy a list of minor requirements on demand, or self-publish its own minor requirements.

John Winberry, Geography, provided replacement and updated language for Special Topics courses, which was adopted by the committee and is now included in the Guidelines and Instructions, page four.

Because the July meeting of the Faculty Senate was cancelled, consideration of the proposal from the College of Liberal Arts which deals with its Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning section of the university bulletin [UG 134] will have to be postponed until the Fall semester, 1997.

The Chair wishes to thank the hard-working members of the committee, listed below, for their willingness to stay long hours to debate in a collegial manner, and occasionally resolve in a thoughtful way, curricular issues which are central to the mission of the University of South Carolina:

Ward Briggs, Classics, Interim Associate Provost*
Robert Castleberry, Psychology, USC Sumter*
Donald Greiner, Interim (now Associate) Provost
Karlene Kosanovich, Chemical Engineering
Janet Nussbaum, Nursing
M. Kent Sidel, Journalism and Mass Communications*
John Scott Wilson, History
John J. Winberry, Geography
[* - rotating off committee]

The committee wishes that it be noted that no student members were assigned because none could be found who were willing to serve. This committee makes some of the most important decisions which impact the life of each student. It is hoped that in the future at least two students may be persuaded to meet with the committee to provide valuable input in curricular matters.

The Faculty Senate staff, Peggy Pickels and Jeanna Luker, provided invaluable assistance in keeping records of the committe's procedings and providing their expertise based on many years' experience.

David Claybrook, Interim Associate Dean of the Graduate School, provided helpful advice and cooperation in dealing with 500-600-level courses which are considered by both the Graduate Council and the Curricula and Courses Committee.

Though the experiences of the faculty with the committee were not always congenial and without controversy, the cooperation of the faculty and the positive input from many quarters helped make the work of the committe easier than it might have been. The committee particularly appreciates the hard work of the various unit curricular representatives and committees for their willingness to edit and revise their proposals (sometimes more than a few times) so that they could be considered by the Faculty Senate with a minimum of debate.

John Winberry, Geography, will be Chair for 1997-98. G.B. Lane, Chair for 1996-97 is rotating off the committee. New members are Don Edwards, Statistics, and William Jacoby, Government and International Studies.

Respectfully submitted,
G.B. Lane, Chair

This page updated 21 September 1997 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1997, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.