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The Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the University, and receives its charge from language contained in Article VII, Appendix A, Sections D(1)a(i), D(1)b, and D(1)c(i) of the BHE/MSCA Agreement. The Curriculum Committee reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations on almost all college matters related to curriculum, including those involving courses, programs of study, and curriculum-related policy.
Typical Work of the Committee
The Curriculum Committee reviews and makes recommendations on proposals that new courses be placed in the WSU Bulletin or that courses no longer offered be removed from it, and on whether courses should be included in the University’s general education curriculum. It also considers requests to modify courses already in the Bulletin - e.g., by changing course titles or descriptions; increasing or decreasing the number of credit hours a course counts for; adding, changing or deleting prerequisites for taking the course; altering the level of the course or its number.
The Curriculum Committee also reviews and makes recommendations on proposals for new academic programs or for changes to existing ones. Included within this area are actions involving concentrations, minors, and majors, and the general education (i.e. core) component, as well as the general coordination of the college's academic programs. Also, with regard to program policy, the current BHE/MSCA Faculty Agreement specifies that the President shall inform the Curriculum Committee of such intended or pending decision, "prior to making any decision to establish or disestablish any academic or library department or academic or library program area at the College, and the Curriculum Committee may thereafter make any such recommendation in respect thereof as it may deem appropriate."
Additionally, the Committee is often called upon to develop or react to proposed policy that would affect curriculum. For example, in addition to evaluating courses for possible inclusion in the common core, both the structure of and the standards for the core were developed within the Curriculum Committee.
Recommendations of the Committee
All recommendations and reports of the Curriculum Committee are provided to the All-University Committee, which then transmits them to the University President, with or without AUC’s own recommendations as AUC sees fit. In addition, by May 15 of each year, the chair of Curriculum submits a final report on the year’s activities to not only AUC but also the President of the University, the MSUA Chapter President, and the President of the Student Government Association.
Composition of the Committee
The BHE/MSCA Agreement requires the Curriculum Committee to have 22 members - 16 faculty/librarians, 3 administrators, and 3 students. All members are appointed to serve for a full calendar year (September 1st through August 31st). Representatives of the faculty/librarian group are "selected under the auspices of the Association," the student representatives are "selected under the auspices of the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association," and the administrative representatives "are appointed by the President and serve at his/her discretion." In the case of the faculty/librarian members, this has traditionally meant all 16 members being voted onto the Committee via election conducted by the BHE/MSCA Chapter. In the case of the administrator members, this has traditionally meant two of the three administrator members being voted onto the Committee via an election conducted by the APA Chapter, and the third member being appointed discretionarily by the President.
The Committee is convened by a representative of the President, usually early in the fall semester, and serves to August 31st of the following year. However, since the conclusion of the faculty work year (again according to the BHE/MSCA Faculty Agreement) falls on May 31st, the Committee is typically discharged at the end of the academic year with no assumption of continuity over the summer time frame (unless an Executive Board has been established by the Committee for such purpose).
A Chair and Secretary are elected within the Committee and serve as the Committee's officers.