Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee - 9/9/2014


Attending Voting Members: J. Budiman (CAEE), M. Bauer (CS), G. Pulliam (HUM/CAC), J. Cesarone (MMAE), M. Shapiro (SSCI), R. Trygstad (ITM), J. Twombly (SSB), G. Popovic (MSED), N. Menhart (BIOL), R. Ellis (AMAT), J. Miller (PSYC), L. Coffey (PHYS), S. Lindmark (ROTC), N. Karuri (CHBE), A. Schachman (ARCH),  A.Unni (CHEM), R. Wadhwani (SGA).


Also attending: G. Welter (UGAA), J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), C. White (Vice-Provost), U. Segerstrale (SSCI), D. Bliss (SSCI), L. Kang (AMAT), P. Zachocki (SRR/OII), V. Foster (Compliance), J. Snapper (Fac. Council), K. Stetz (Dean of Students) C. Torres (ARCH).


Absent departments: BME, ECE, INTM.


Quorum: 12:50


Documents pertaining to this meeting are at:



Meeting is chaired by Kathryn Spink.

Adjourn: 1:45 p.m. Minutes recorded by Pulliam.


Old business

1) Minutes of 4/22 meeting approved unanimously, with one change: A. Unni (CHEM) was present.

2) C. White/K. Spink on new policy WRT the grade of Incomplete: no longer will be a final grade option; new process forthcoming.  Also, a new, 72-hour rolling deadline for turning in grades after final exams are completed will replace the old single deadline.

3) Pulliam on general education subcommittee proposal:  Students who take the standard core curriculums distribution of courses may apply them toward the requirements of any standing minor.  Passes unanimously.

4) Pulliam on general education subcommittee proposal:

Proposal: Themes

In order to give students more options within the core curriculum (general education), including the option of satisfying the goals/objectives for general education in a more cohesive manner, we propose allowing themed sets of courses to replace either the STEM or the Human Sciences module within the core curriculum.  Such themes will only be possible for students whose major curricula allow it.

      Themes are to be at students discretion; an AU may not require that its majors take a theme.

      Three-year trial period, after which the program ends unless renewed by the UGSC.

      If revised or ended after 3 years, students already pursuing an existing theme may complete it.

      Students who begin but cannot complete a theme, may count theme courses already taken toward the previously replaced module, but must choose remaining courses according to core curriculum guidelines.


Approval process for standing themes (available to any student whose curriculum allows)

      Themes may be proposed by colleges or AUs.

      Majority of courses/hours in themes must come from courses within the replaced module; otherwise, approving colleges may set their own standards.

      If a theme is less than 18 hours, any and all remaining courses/hours must be taken in disciplines within the replaced module.

      Lewis College (with SSB input) will approve themes that replace HS module.

      College of Science (with ACE input) will approve themes that replace STEM module.

      Review committee for HS themes will be made up of a representative from two AUs in Lewis College and one from the Stuart School.

      Review committee for STEM themes will be made up of a representative from two AUs in the College of Science and one from Armour College.

      Themes approved by Lewis/SSB or Science/ACE go to UGSC for final approval.

      Approval should be based on the proposed themes coherence and on its adherence to general education goals/objectives established by the UGSC.

      Theme application for approval to include:

o   Rationale for the theme

o   List of required/elective courses

o   Curriculum map to general education objectives

o   Rationale and syllabus for any external course


Approved 8-5. Previous to approval, amendments were approved to disallow UGAA to propose themes (11-0) or to approve student-generated theme proposals (12-0); the latter was rendered irrelevant when the committee voted (6-4) not to move forward with student-generated theme proposals at this point.


Both 3) and 4) will be taken to the Faculty Council.


New business

5) L. Kang on new Co-terminal degree:  B.S. in Applied Math/Master of Data Science. One fix is needed—Kang will make it before taking the degree to the FC.