August 25, 2006




TO:                  Emily Johnson, Director of General Education

                        Chair of General Education Committee


FROM:            Carmen Wilson, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


RE:                   Committee Charge for 2006-2007 Academic Year


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the General Education Committee for the 2006-07 academic year.  Please share this memo with the committee members.


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. 


 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, 2007.


*The committee chairperson should carefully review Faculty Senate Bylaw II, “Faculty Standing Committees” for information on committee attendance and the role of alternates.


Primary responsibilities of the secretary include:

o       recording minutes of each meeting.

o       promptly 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.


According to Faculty Senate Bylaw II. H. The General Education  Committee, the 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 credit, are appropriately granted.
  9. Encouraging the development of additional writing emphasis courses, monitoring their availability and systematically reviewing them according to established guidelines.
  10. Studying the relationship between the General Education Program and the University Honors Program.


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

  • Submit a proposal on revisions/changes to the general education program by the end of the fall 2006 semester.  The proposal should include:

1.      a literature review about the rational for the proposed revisions/changes, with examples of other institutions that have similar programs.

2.      an explanation of how current general education courses, or examples courses, will integrate into the revisions/changes.

3.      an explanation of how the student learning outcomes will be met by the revisions/changes.

·         Discuss the possibility of changing the General Education bylaws such that the committee elects its chair. 


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.