Friday, April 28, 2006

Faculty Committee expresses dismay at Growth Agenda

The Faculty committee has seconded my complaints about the content of the COLS meeting last week.

They politely point out that the administration seems to be changing the curriculum with no discussion from the faculty.

My feeling is that they think that if one or two faculty members sit on a committee, that is enough faculty involvement. They never bother to bring proposals to the faculty until they have been rubber-stamped in other venues. Why weren't we having this discussion when planning was underway for the growth agenda.

I am starting to feel like a broken record, but the theme is always the same. . .

At last week's All-COLS discussion, the Growth Agenda recently released by Chancellor Wells and the COLS Suggested Priorities for the Academic Plan (both attached) were discussed. It is clear to the Faculty Committee that the chief faculty concern expressed at the meeting is "process". Important curricular decisions have been publicly announced through the Growth Agenda that the faculty have not approved: (1) Vice Chancellor Roter announced that the new course listed in the Growth Agenda, which is an introduction to the University and a part of the First Year Experience, will be required of all students if funded by UW System; and (2) a new degree, the Bachelor of Applied Studies, will also be implemented if funded by UW System.

As identified in the attached Suggested Priorities for the Academic Plan (item 6), "It is extremely important that any academic action plan uphold the principles of faculty control over curriculum, shared governance, and a strong commitment to maintain a high standard of academic excellence in our programs." Thus this concern should be methodically and thoroughly addressed in upcoming forums and by the Faculty Senate. We encourage COLS faculty to attend Chancellor Wells' and Provost Earns' open forum on the growth initiative at noon on May 3 in Reeve 307.

1 comment:

babblemur said...

This might be a non sequitur, but one aspect of the 'growth plan' that is completely beneath the radar is the impact of student FTE rising above 10,000 (currently around 9,500) on Polk Library resources. A healthy number of databases that the library subscribes to (some, not all) are priced based on FTE 'tiers', i.e. they have one price for institutions between say 5,000 - 9,999 FTE, and increase significantly once FTE rises above 10,000. When this happens, you can look forward to journal cancellations to compensate for costs unless the library acquisitions and periodicals budget is increased (which is beyond unheard of).