A Plan for Implementing the New General Education Requirements and the Semester Plus Calendar as Adopted by the Furman University Faculty, November 28, 2005

 

The task of implementing the newly adopted general education requirements and academic calendar is one that will require careful planning and inclusive decision-making.  This task should be guided by the following principles:

  • The structure and membership of this task force should be seen as representative of all programs affected by these changes. 
  • The process by which decisions will be made should be viewed as legitimate and unbiased. 
  • The work of the implementation task force must be transparent and open for comment from parties outside the implementation membership. 
  • Finally, the work of the task force must be focused and purposeful with definable objectives and a commitment to a firm timetable.

All committees participating or created for the purpose of implementing the new general education requirements and academic calendar will be known collectively as the Implementation Task Force (ITF).  The ITF will be headed by a steering committee composed of representatives from across the university.  This steering committee will be the central administrative body for considering all issues related to the implementation of the new curriculum and calendar.  The steering committee will make recommendations to appropriate administrative and academic departments as well as faculty standing committees.  In particular, questions concerning the allocation of resources and calendar issues will be of concern to this committee.
Four subcommittees support the steering committee.  These subcommittees are required to be both reactive and proactive.  The subcommittees are reactive in the sense that they receive, review, and make recommendations on proposals sent to them.  They also need to be proactive in articulating needs for their program areas and making specific recommendations to departments and the Steering Committee. To be clear, the ITF will not approve or reject any matters of academic policy. The ITF makes recommendations on matters that require faculty or administrative approval.  (See Appendix 1) 
The following plan focuses primarily on the academic structure of the ITF.  If necessary, the Steering Committee will be permitted to create administrative subcommittees to support its work and/or the work of the ITF.

  • This plan was submitted to the Policies and Procedures Committee for their review and suggestions.  Their comment on the constitutionality of the plan is in Appendix 2.

                                                            John S. Beckford
Chair of the Faculty
December 29, 2005 (Rev. 1/23/06)

Implementation Task Force

Steering Committee

  • Membership
    • University-wide
    • Chaired by a member of the faculty
    • The Vice-Chair is the Dean
    • The chair and the faculty members are recommended by the Faculty Chair to the Nominating Committee
    • Members and chair are nominated by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full faculty
    • These faculty members cannot be members of the Curriculum Committee or Academic Policies Committee
    • Non-faculty members are selected by the Dean through recommendations from administrative heads
    • Student members are selected by AFS

 

      • Steering Committee Membership (Total – 28)

Faculty (15)
3 – Natural Science
3 – Social Science
3 – Humanities
3 – Fine Arts
1 – Chair of the Faculty (Ex-officio)
1 – Member of the Former CRC (Ex-officio)
1 – Chair of the Steering Committee

Administrative (10)

3 – Academic Affairs (Dean, registrar, advising)
2 – Business Affairs (budget/accounting, facilities)
1 – Student Affairs
2 – Enrollment (admissions, financial aid)
1 – Athletics
1 – C&IS

Students (3)
3 – As appointed by AFS

  • Responsibilities
    • Identify activities and policies that will be affected by changes to the curriculum and academic calendar
    • Organize this information and develop strategies for addressing all implementation issues
    • Set an implementation target date (academic year)
    • Develop a timetable for implementation of various related activities
    • Recommend to APC policies pertaining to the transition issues facing students who must meet requirements under the old and new programs
    • Function as a central clearing house for questions and concerns of the implementation process, assignments, and responsibilities.
    • Receive and review all recommendations from the subcommittees and forward these to the appropriate academic or administrative area
    • Address all issues that do not fall within the responsibilities of the subcommittees, such as general questions regarding the calendar or the use of faculty resources
    • Will divide in two, when and/if necessary, as an Academic (faculty, students, chair) and Administrative (administrative, vice-chair) subgroup to facilitate discussions of separate issues; policy recommendations, however, will require the vote of the full committee
    • Report regularly to the faculty, administration and students

 

  • Committee Schedule
    • Meet as soon as membership is appointed and the charge is accepted by Policies and Procedures (Ideally this will be as soon as possible after the full faculty approve faculty nominees at its Jan. 9, 2006 faculty meeting.)
    • Meet frequently until the subcommittee membership is in place, the timetable for implementation is set, and transition policies approved
    • Following completion of these tasks, meetings would be less frequent
    • Committee dissolves once calendar and programs are successfully implemented

 

First Year Seminars Subcommittee

  • Membership
    • Faculty (8), librarian (1), Administration (1), and students (2)
    • The chair and its members are recommended by the Faculty Chair to the Nominating Committee
    • Members and chair are nominated by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full faculty
    • The librarian should specialize in information fluency
    • The administrator will be the Director of CTEL and appointed by the Dean
    • AFS appoints student membership
  • Responsibilities
    • Coordinate development of First Year Seminars including plans for faculty writing instruction and recruitment strategies for teachers and topics
    • Receive, review, and make recommendations to the APC and/or the Curriculum Committee via the Steering Committee regarding the criteria for course proposals for the First Year Seminars
    • Offer recommendations only (i.e. the subcommittee will not be able to approve or reject courses)  (See p.6 for further details of this approval process)
    • Develop a strategy for implementing the information fluency component

 

  • Committee Schedule
    • Begin meeting in spring of 2006
    • Gradually relinquish functions to APC and/or the Curriculum Committee, unless it is converted into a standing faculty committee (for which there are precedents at other institutions with First Year Seminars)

 

Core Requirements and Global Awareness Subcommittee

  • Membership
    • Faculty (8) and students (2)
    • The chair and its members are recommended by the Faculty Chair to the Nominating Committee
    • Members and chair are nominated by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full faculty
    • AFS appoints student membership
  • Responsibilities
    • Review all new and existing courses initially proposed for the Core GER and Global Awareness categories courses proposed for the Core categories
    • Receive, review, and make recommendations to the APC and/or the Curriculum Committee via the Steering Committee regarding the criteria for course proposals for the Core and Global Awareness categories
    • Offer recommendations only (i.e. the subcommittee will not be able to approve or reject courses)  (See p.6 for further details of approval process)

 

  • Committee Schedule
    • Begin meeting in spring of 2006
    • This subcommittee dissolves once the APC and Curriculum committees agree to receive all course applications without this subcommittee’s recommendations

 

Study Away Subcommittee

  • Membership
    • Faculty (8), students (2), and administration (2)
    • The chair and its members are recommended by the Faculty Chair to the Nominating Committee
    • Members and chair are nominated by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full faculty
    • One of the faculty positions should be held by the Center for International Education director
    • Administration membership is appointed by the Dean
    • AFS appoints student membership
  • Responsibilities
    • Develop strategies for existing study away programs to interface with the new calendar and curriculum
    • Consider new study away programs (in-house and partnered programs) and foster their development
    • Collaborate with all university programs, housing, financial aid, financial services, etc., that are affected by the study away programs
    • Develop strategies for promoting study away programs

 

  • Committee Schedule
    • Begin meeting in spring of 2006
    • Once the study away programs are implemented under the new calendar, committee dissolves
    • Review of the oversight structure of the study away programs may conclude that a Study Away standing committee may be advantageous

 

May Experience Subcommittee

  • Membership
    • Faculty (8), students (2), and administration (1)
    • The chair and its members are recommended by the Faculty Chair to the Nominating Committee
    • Members and chair are nominated by the Nominating Committee and approved by the full faculty
    • Administration membership is appointed by the Dean
    • AFS appoints student membership
  • Responsibilities
    • Encourage and assist faculty and departments in developing innovative May Experience programs
    • Collaborate with all university activities and departments that will be affected by the May Experience calendar
    • Receive, review, and make recommendations to the APC and/or the Curriculum Committee via the Steering Committee regarding the criteria for course proposals for the May Experience
    • Offer recommendations only (i.e. the subcommittee will not be able to approve or reject courses)  (See p.6 for further details of this approval process.)

 

  • Committee Schedule
    • Begin meeting in spring of 2006
    • Committee dissolves once courses and programs are in place after the second May Experience

 

Rationale for GER Subcommittees (First Year Seminars and Core Requirements/Global Awareness)

The responsibility to consider a large collection of new course applications as well as determining if existing courses meet the qualifications under the new GER guidelines is a daunting task.  It would be unreasonable to expect the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee to take the full responsibility of reviewing these applications in addition to their normal workload.  Therefore, the establishment of subcommittees that can specialize in the unique, but sometimes ambiguous guidelines for major GER categories, will be advantageous to the course approval process. Working exclusively with course applications in a specific category will allow the subcommittees to become fluent and consistent in interpreting these guidelines.  Over a period of time, course criteria will become more obvious and the recommendations from the subcommittees will provide helpful models for the Curriculum and Academic Policies Committees.  Also, it affords a much broader participation in the course review process without taking away the constitutional authority of the Curriculum and Academic Polices Committees.  In time, most likely after the establishment of the new curriculum, these subcommittees will be weaned of their involvement and the initial review of new course applications will return to Curriculum and APC, unless the faculty decides otherwise.

Departmental Responsibility

The responsibility of course approval must begin at the department level.  Each department must inventory their courses, evaluate their faculty resources, and determine which courses would qualify for inclusion in the GER. Additionally, departments should consider creating new courses or modifying old ones in ways that will invigorate and stimulate the educational experience of students.  These departments should take full advantage of CTEL, GER subcommittees, and their own creativity to fully participate in the newly defined categories of the GER.  Also, knowing that new faculty positions will become available, departments should begin to make their case for requesting these positions.  The Dean’s office will provide information regarding this process.  All business pertaining to the implementation of the new calendar and GERs should be directed to the appropriate subcommittees or the Steering Committee of the ITF.

 

Typical Procedures for Making Proposals to the Implementation Task Force

All proposals must be submitted to (a) the appropriate subcommittee or (b) the Steering Committee for initial review.  Proposals that have positive recommendations from this review will be automatically forwarded to the next level. If a proposal receives a negative recommendation, the originator has two weeks to compose an official response or reply to accompany the forwarding of the proposal to the next level. Otherwise, the originator may choose to withdraw the proposal and possibly resubmit a revised version at a later time.

  •            

 

Transition Issues

It is critical that the transition to the new calendar and curriculum be implemented with a minimum of confusion for students and faculty, and that students who will be in one of the classes affected by the changes not be disadvantaged.  Defining transition policies will be a key objective of the Steering Committee, though several of the subcommittees (e.g. Core/G.A. and Study Away) may make recommendations to the Steering Committee about these rules.  All recommendations from the Steering Committee would be submitted to the Academic Policies Committee for its consideration.

 

Communications
To achieve openness in communication and to facilitate access and accountability, the ITF will construct a website modeled after the Curriculum Review Committee’s website.  Minutes from all meetings and important policies will be published on this site for the university community to read.  The site will accommodate comments and suggestions from anyone outside membership of the ITF.  Within each committee, an electronic discussion group will be maintained for committee correspondence. 

 

Proposed Implementation Task Force Start-up Schedule

Dec. 9              Faculty Chair submits implementation plan to the Policies and Procedures Committee

Dec. 15            Policies and Procedures Committee returns implementation plan to Faculty Chair with recommendations

Dec. 30            Faculty Chair submits Steering Committee nominees to Nominating Committee for consideration; administrative members are appointed

Jan. 4               Nominating Committee posts Steering Committee nominees on Faculty Notices; implementation plan is posted on Faculty Notices as well

Jan. 9               Faculty Meeting:  Implementation plan is discussed and faculty approves nominees for Steering Committee

Jan.                  Steering Committee begins work on prioritized tasks; Faculty Chair recommends members of subcommittees to the Nominating Committee

Feb. 13            Faculty Meeting:  APC submits implementation date to faculty for approval; faculty approves nominees for subcommittees

March              Entire ITF is operational

APENDIX 1:  Organization Chart of Implementation Task Force (Academic Issues)

APENDIX 2:  Statement of Constitutionality from the Policies and Procedures Committee

 

DATE:             December 13, 2005

TO:                  John Beckford, Faculty Chair
FROM:           Tom Allen, Chair
Policies and Procedures Committee
SUBJECT:      Proposal for Implementing the New General Education Requirements and the Semester Plus Calendar

      Policies and Procedures Committee met on December 12, 2005 to review the proposal for the implementation phase of the newly adopted curriculum and calendar. Our chief task, of course, was to offer recommendations on the constitutionality of the prescribed plan.
The organization calls for the institution of several ad hoc or special committees that report to the faculty standing committees of Academic Planning and Curriculum. Article V, Section 3 of the Constitution clearly establishes the power of the Faculty Chair both to create and appoint ad hoc committees to conduct “faculty business.” There are likewise no conflicts between the jurisdiction of these and the aforementioned standing committees, because the special committees report directly to them.
The proposal also calls for the Faculty Chair to forward recommendations for committee membership to the Nominating Committee. The latter will, in turn, present them to the faculty for approval. Article V, Section 3 prescribes that the Faculty Chair may request the assistance of the Nominating Committee in completing the process of appointments. But, this is discretionary.

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