Arts and Sciences Committee eyes core alteration guidelines

Following a Dec. 2 faculty meeting, the College of Arts & Sciences elected a committee to create guidelines that will review the existing core curriculum as well as the process of new courses, according to Dr. Mary Balkun.

According to Thomas Rondinella, chair of the department of communication and the arts, at the last faculty meeting the College of Arts & Sciences voted to add five classes in the aesthetics and eight in the humanities from the department.

“All classes proposed by the department of communication and the arts were voted in except three,” Rondinella said. “We respected their decision.”

All classes were reviewed by the Educational Policy Committee for Arts & Sciences prior to being brought to the faculty, according to Jon Radwan, chair of the EPC and communication professor.

According to Balkun, a member of the committee, the problem she had seen with adding classes to the core was that sections such as humanities and aesthetics were already large.

“They aren’t trying to change the core,” Balkun said. “They are just trying to do what everyone is doing.”

The department of communication and the arts is about as large as the entire College of Nursing, according to Radwan.

“When we (the department) decide to add things, it looks gigantic,” Radwan said.

According to Radwan, some faculty saw the addition of classes as an issue because of class enrollment.

“As you add more classes in, you suck enrollment out of the existing classes,” Radwan said.

According to Radwan, some faculty opposition was something he expected.

“Overall the faculty cares about education,” Radwan said. “When there’s controversy that’s a good thing. We want you to have the best education.”

Balkun said decisions will have to be made in the future when adding classes to the core.

“We have to make tough decisions about what classes go into the college core and how we improve them,” Balkun said. “We must control this monster that has appeared.”

The committee has a Feb. 24 deadline and will create guidelines to propose at the next faculty meeting, according to Balkun.

“We are really just trying to figure out what the core should be and how many classes should be in it,” Balkun said. “The guidelines will be recommendations for how we might deal with course approval and review for the college core.”

According to Rondinella, the classes that were added to the core will allow students in the department of communication and the arts to “double-dip.” This will allow classes to count for both university core and major requirements.

“Many of our classes belong in aesthetics and humanities,” Rondinella said.

According to Rondinella, the core needs to be an ongoing discussion that is constantly had.

“We didn’t do this to shake everything up, but if it did, we welcome it,” Rondinella said.

Ashley Duvall can be reached at ashley.duvall@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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