From the Deans
As issues and events unfold that are critical to the university's future, the deans of the College will use this site to contact you and seek your guidance. If you would like to reach us directly and confidentially, please do so at email@example.com.
February 25, 2010
To Faculty of the College:
Last summer Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh asked all deans to work with the faculty to begin restructuring academic programs. As we begin undertaking this challenge, we must take into account the potential impact on the excellence of our academic programs. We know this is a big concern of faculty and students, and we care deeply about sustaining a high quality of education and research in the face of declining support from the state.
Since the number of upper-division units required for majors varies widely within the College of Letters and Science (from 36 to 75 units), we thought this would be one area to introduce change, with an eye toward making requirements more uniform and reducing costs. Many departments have now voted to reduce the required number of upper-division units, creating greater flexibility for undergraduate students while maintaining the academic rigor and excellence of their programs. In fact, several departments have taken this opportunity to introduce innovations that enhance undergraduate education.
At this time, we also thought it appropriate to review college-wide, lower-division requirements. For most undergraduate students, these include 48 units of General Education (GE), 15 units of Foreign Language, and 10 units of writing. We have compared our requirements with those of other UC campuses and leading universities comparable to UCLA. In many cases, we found that our requirements were substantially more restrictive than those of other universities.
These findings led to our request that the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) consider changing how the language requirement can be satisfied (click here for the report) and reducing course requirements in the GE Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (click here). We anticipate that FEC discussions of these two proposals will commence at the April 9th meeting.
Because changes in college-wide requirements are the purview of the faculty, any changes proposed by the FEC would be sent to you for review and comment. Eventually a vote of the entire ladder faculty would be required, if the FEC were to recommend changes. This deliberative process will take time.
Setting priorities is tough, particularly when traditional educational programs are at stake. We believe, however, that external circumstances often motivate changes that in the long run bring new opportunities. We encourage you to reflect on this as you review our reports to the FEC.
Thank you for attention to these important issues. As always, we welcome your comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
From the Deans,
Dean of Social Sciences
Dean of Physical Sciences
Dean/Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Dean of Life Sciences