In a faculty senate meeting, a decision was made that may affect the classes students take in order to graduate.
An order passed by one vote, requiring students to take at least one diversity class in order to fulfill their general education requirements.
The senate then voted on a measure that would require students to take more diversity classes in order to fill their general education requirements.
Currently, students are required to take three diversity credit hours; under the new measure, students will be required to take one diversity class within the breadth requirements.
After some debate over when the new measures will be implemented, it passed by a vote of 14-13. The new requirements will see the number of diversity courses cut from 59 to 20.
“The diversity requirement will stay in place,” said Curriculum Chair Erika Daines, “but will be significantly changed in the administration. All 20 courses that we have right now in our Gen Ed program that are also diversity courses will keep that designation.”
Daines said that 59 courses, which are not also currently general education courses, would lose their designation as diversity courses.
With the passing of the measure, Daines said it would show the value that WSU places on diversity since all students will be taking at least one diversity class.
The Curriculum Committee also encouraged current faculty members who are experienced in diversity to become involved in the established area committees for each breadth area of General Education.
The changes will be implemented in the summer catalog and will then take effect. Faculty member Tom Mathews said the changes should be put into the catalog during the summer. School policy states that when a change to the curriculum is made, it should be listed in the next catalog.
“I think the easiest thing is to say,” Mathews said, “we’ll put it in the catalog for summer 2012, then it will become effective.”
Mathews also made a motion to allow transfer students who have completed an associate’s degree to forgo the new diversity requirement.
“I would like to be able to tell them (transfer students with an associate’s degree), your general education is done, including this additional diversity requirement.”
Also during the senate meeting, a measure was passed to help streamline credits for transfer students.
The change in policy regarding transfer credits will address courses from other institutions that are quarterly classes instead of semester based.
Kathy Herndon, the chair of Admissions, Standards and Student Affairs said, “This came about because there is a concern that, oftentimes, transfer credits come from an institution with a different number of hours.”
Now, department chairs will determine whether the transfer course may be substituted for a WSU course.
In other senate news, a budget increase was discussed, Gene Sessions was awarded the Faculty Governance Award for his dedication to the faculty senate and Brian Rague was elected as the new Faculty Senate Vice Chair for 2012-2013.