September 9, 2008



TO:                  Mao Zheng, Convener

                        Undergraduate Curriculum Committee


FROM:            Joe Heim, Chair

                        Faculty Senate


RE:                   Committee Charge for 2008-2009 Academic Year


This memo is intended to serve as the initial charge letter to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the 2008-09 academic year. 


In response to concerns that, frequently, committee member turnover each year tends to slow committee work, the senate executive committee is working to find better ways to orient new committee members.  Additionally, we would like to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of committee work.  To that end, we will be trying several new ideas. 

  1. The SEC will be holding a meeting of Chairs during the week before classes in January.  The purpose of this meeting will be for committee chairs to report on progress on charges to date and discuss any problems committees may be experiencing.
  2. I am including a copy of the 2007-08 Undergraduate Curriculum Committee end-of-year report with this charge letter. The SEC encourages you to carefully review their work.
  3. All members of your committee will receive an electronic copy of this letter.


Per Faculty Senate Bylaw II. (s):  “Each faculty committee shall hold an organizational meeting and report the name of the chairperson to the senate office by October 1. (Joint Chairpersons are not permitted.)” 


Therefore, as the convener of the UCC, please arrange, as soon as feasible, an organizational meeting.  In addition to a chairperson, please also 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 UCC activities to be submitted to the Senate Office no later than May 31, 2009.


*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. T. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

1. Determining curricula for students in the various academic programs.

2. Receiving proposals for all undergraduate curricular changes from the various academic departments.

3. Initiating, developing and recommending changes in the design of curriculum for experimental and research purposes.

4. Informing department chairpersons, in writing, of proposals being considered that relate to experimental curricula or their programs, thus providing adequate opportunity for departments to be heard prior to committee and senate action on such proposals.

5. Evaluating curriculum proposals by a hierarchical set of criteria, taking into consideration the needs of students and of society, the mission of the university, the necessity for quality programs, and the ability of the department and college to meet the resource needs of the proposal.

6. Coordinating the various curricula through formal consultation with the academic departments.

7. Publishing the agenda of regularly scheduled meetings in the university newsletter.

8. Authorizing substitutions or waivers for individual students in academic programs other than the General Education Program/University Core Curriculum.

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


  • Please communicate with departments and request they delay the effective dates of any curriculum changes until the fall of 2009, to coincide with the printing of the new undergraduate catalog and with the implementation date of the new Student Information System (SIS).
  • Please review the issue of “hidden” prerequisites (see UCC final report, 2007-2008, enclosed) with the Registrar to determine if any recommendation regarding this issue is appropriate.
  • Determine if a “common format” for each department be incorporated into the new catalog is desirable or necessary.
  • Determine whether the use of “hyperlinked” within the electronic on-line cataog be considered or a means of making cross-checks of listed requirements more simple.
  • Review the 40 credit limit for majors and recommend if this policy needs clarification.
  • Review data related to the ratio of students graduating with a BS vs a BA to determine if an “imbalance” exists and whether this needs to be addressed through curriculum changes.


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.




cc:        Members, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee