August 26, 2005



TO:                  Emily Johnson, Director

                        Director of General Education and Chair of General Education Committee


FROM:            Carmen Wilson, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


RE:                   Committee Charge for 2005-2006 Academic Year


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the General Education Committee for the 2004-05 academic year.  As the chair and convener of the General Education Committee it is your responsibility to arrange as soon as feasible an organizational meeting, the primary purpose of which is to elect a secretary.  Please share this memo with the committee members either at the organizational meeting or, if you prefer, prior to that meeting.


Primary responsibilities of the chairperson include:

o       promptly informing the Senate office (5-8018) the results of the election of officers and any changes in committee membership.*

o       organizing and conducting meetings.

o       completing a year end report on the General Education Committee activities to be submitted to the Senate Office no later than May 31, 2006.


*The committee chairperson should carefully review the policies on committee attendance and the role of alternates on pgs. 10-11, of the 8-27-01 Articles & By-laws materials distributed by Jennifer Wilson's office. 


Primary responsibilities of the secretary include:

o       recording minutes of each meeting.

o       sending meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers ( so that the minutes can be posted on the faculty senate website. 


In the event the committee chooses to rotate secretarial duties, please designate one person to be responsible for e-mailing the meeting minutes to Sibbie Weathers.  Sibbie has already created an e-mail distribution list of committee members which includes Sibbie to facilitate communication with faculty senate.


Duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

  1. Coordinating general education curricula.
  2. Conducting a systematic review of the General Education Program by examining existing courses on a regular, rotating basis, and recommending curricular changes.
  3. Reviewing and approving proposals for curricular changes in general education, including changes resulting from revisions of existing courses and proposals for admitting additional courses into the program after these courses have been approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
  4. Evaluating general education proposals within the established program structure, taking into consideration the needs of students and of society, the mission of the University, the necessity for quality general education, and the goals of the program.
  5. Consulting formally with the academic departments about coordination of the General Education Program by informing chairpersons in writing of proposals being considered that relate to their programs and by providing adequate opportunity for departments to be heard prior to committee and senate action on such proposals.
  6. Approving existing specific foreign languages offered as appropriate to the General Education Program.
  7. Studying different models of interdisciplinary courses, determining their appropriateness for general education, and encouraging faculty to develop such courses.
  8. Monitoring the development and application of methods for assessing the proficiency of students' skills to ensure that waivers of required skills courses, with or without retroactive Encouraging the development of additional writing emphasis courses, monitoring their availability and systematically reviewing them according to established guidelines.
  9. Studying the relationship between the General Education Program and the University Honors Program.


Membership of the committee shall consist of nine faculty, none of whom shall have any designated administrative responsibility, and one student appointed annually by the Student Association. Consecutive appointments may be allowed for up to five years.  The faculty membership shall include at least one representative from each of the following academic units:  the College of Liberal Studies, the College of Science and Allied Health, the College of Business Administration, and the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health and Recreation.  One alternate shall be provided for each appointed member, and so far as possible, representation of appointed members and alternates shall be rotated with respect to departments and schools.  In addition, the Director of the General Education Program shall be a member of the committee and shall serve as the chair and convener of the committee.  The provost/vice chancellor, the registrar, and the academic deans shall serve as administrative consultants to the committee.

In addition to the committee’s normal duties, I ask that the committee consider and report on the following special charges:

·        Provide a report of assessment of student learning with implications for further assessment and programming needs to Senate no later than September 29, 2005

·        Submit final draft of learning outcomes to Senate no later than September 29, 2005

·        Submit to Senate proposed revisions to the Gen Ed program designed to improve the quality of student learning to Senate no later than September 29, 2005


If you have questions or concerns regarding these charges, please contact me at any time during the year.  Finally, if the Senate Executive Committee or I can assist your committee in any way during the year, please do not hesitate to ask.