A&S Curriculum Committee Minutes, 11/30/05

College of Arts and Sciences

Curriculum Committee Minutes

November 30, 2005

Members present: A. Allen, B. Beattie (Chair), K. Chandler, P. Eason, M. Lorenz (A&S Student Council), S. Parkhurst, M. Rohmann, D. Swanson, R. Taylor

Guests: J. Grubola (FA), D. Imbroscio (POLS)

The committee discussed the request from Professor Griffin for an explanation of its reason for rejecting the English Department’s request to remove the Humanities capstone course from its degree program, and Professor Beattie will respond to her. [A statement outlining the reasons for the committee’s decision is appended to these minutes.]

Agenda items # 139-160 were approved. These were description/prerequisite/or number changes to courses in ASL and ITP to keep the UofL information current with the parent program at EKU.

Professor Grubola met with the committee to discuss the Fine Arts Department’s proposal for an MFA. While in general satisfied with the proposal, the committee asked for corrections on course information that was not current. Final approval was deferred until receipt of the revised proposal.

The following course actions were approved, effective summer 06 unless otherwise noted. [Graduate courses must also be approved in the Graduate School.]

SOC 209: Principles of Sociology (changed to SOC 201: Introduction to Sociology)

(SOC 201 will function as a repeat for SOC 209)


ART 552: Color Photography (title/description change)

ART 554: Digital Imaging (title/description change)

ART 507: Art Education (delete)

ART 512: Directed Study in Glass (new course)

ART 315: Drawing and Composition (number change to ART 305)

ART 515: Adv. Figure Drawing (number change to ART 505)

ART 516: Workshop in Drawing (number change to ART 605)

ART 569: AutoCAD (new course)

ART 596: Professional Development (prerequisite change)

ARTH 647: Teaching Internship (delete)

ARTH 574: History of Prints (title change)

ARTH 563: Medieval Figural Arts (delete)


Action was deferred on ART 311, 511, and 611 pending receipt of additional information.

Professor Imbroscio met with the committee to discuss proposed changes to the majors and the minor in political science. There were details of the proposal which required clarification and approval was deferred until a revised proposal could be examined.



Curriculum Committee Statement re Humanities 591-596 requirement

The Curriculum Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences is elected by the faculty of the College and charged with evaluating proposed curricular changes to A&S programs, with an aim to preserving a degree of curricular polity and maintaining high academic standards within the College. Its approval of any proposal is contingent upon the consensus of a majority of Committee members, following examination and discussion of all materials submitted with respect to that proposal, that the proposed change or changes would improve the curriculum. The Curriculum Committee rejected the English Department’s proposal to withdraw from further participation in the Humanities Divisional capstone courses (HUM 591-596), for the following reasons:

  1. The English Department argued that the Humanities capstone courses (HUM 591-596) require English majors to take an upper-level course outside of the Major department, which the Department no longer regards as necessary or advantageous to the academic formation of its majors. The Department did not, however, propose a course of comparable interdisciplinary value within the English Department, but offered instead that its students should henceforth be allowed to take any upper-level course within the Humanities Division in place of the capstone. The Curriculum Committee concluded that the proposed change did not constitute an improvement to the existing curriculum.
  2. The English Department argued that the Humanities capstone requirement places an excessive burden on its students because of an enrollment “bottleneck” for the courses in question. It did not provide the Committee with any compelling evidence that such a bottleneck existed; nor did it counter claims by the Humanities Division that graduating seniors are always allowed to over-enroll in these courses. The Curriculum Committee would remind the English Department that it does have the authority to exempt individual students from this and other Major requirements, should the need arise.
  3. The English Department argued that its curriculum was in no way subject to the oversight of the Humanities Division. The Curriculum Committee respectfully disagrees. The Humanities Division is the only division within the College of Arts and Sciences that retains a divisional chair; it is likewise the only division within the College that retains an operative constitution. According to this constitution,

    [The Divisional] Curriculum Committee shall review all matters affecting the curriculum. When a curriculum proposal has been approved by the Committee, the proposal shall be distributed to the members of the Division; if no objection is received, the Curriculum Committee shall consider them; if resolved, the proposal can then be submitted to the Curriculum Committee of the College. If objections to a curricular proposal cannot be resolved by the [Divisional] Curriculum Committee, the proposal will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the Division.

The College Curriculum Committee concluded, on the basis of this language, that the English Department’s proposal must obtain the support of the Humanities Division before it could be reviewed by the Committee. After a meeting of the Division (21 October 2005), the faculty of the Humanities Division voted (46 in favor, 28 opposed) to "reaffirm the division requirement of 3 credit hours of Humanities 591-596 (the interdisciplinary capstone seminar series)."

The constituent departments of the Humanities Division have for decades recognized and maintained the curricular value of the Division’s interdisciplinary capstone course (HUM 591-596); the recent divisional vote bespeaks continuing and broad support for the course. In light of these facts, and given its own reservations about the curricular merits of the English Department’s proposal, the College Curriculum Committee decided not to approve the proposed action.