Prospective Long Beach State students may face a new set of graduation requirements due to ongoing revisions of the current general education policy.
Members of the Academic Senate voted to create a third committee Thursday to revise the General Education and Campus-Specific Graduation Requirements policy after some members voiced concerns of inequity in the initial committees.
The Curriculum and Educational Policies Council and an ad hoc committee are currently revising the GEGR policy. The university has had 18 months to rewrite this policy, but because of some objections from the different colleges on campus, they’re now working on a time constraint.
To help streamline this process, Brian Jersky, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who is also a voting senator, proposed the creation of an additional ad hoc committee.
The committee will be tasked with reading over and proposing revisions to the GEGR document created by the CEPC and initial ad hoc committee.
“As we’ve talked about, time is really of the essence in this process,” Jersky said. “I certainly realize that this will require a quick and concentrated work, but I think it’s feasible in order to expedite the process.”
The ad hoc committee was passed, without a first or second reading, by a vote of 35 to 20.
The new committee will include one faculty member from each of the colleges, and an additional member who has knowledge of executive orders. This additional member will sit in on readings and make sure that members without a comprehensive knowledge of state legislature will not begin to make demands that cannot be fulfilled.
Despite the fact that the two committees were created by elected officials, some college representatives said they feel that their interests were not upheld by their representatives on the initial committees.
“The [body of the committee] doesn’t represent all colleges, so it kind of sways the process or does not take into consideration some of the very unique qualities of different colleges,” Nancy Matthews, health and human services senator, said. “Those colleges that have degree programs, that have their own accreditation, is one of the very glaring examples [of what isn’t represented in the new policy].”
A formal notice was sent out from five different faculty councils, each representing five different colleges, stating that the committee drafting the policy did not have not equal representation.
The College of Health and Human Services, the College of Engineering, the College of Business, the College of the Arts and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics issued the notice.
“You’re starting off at a point which is swayed toward, or not really inclusive, of the complexity of colleges,” Matthews said.
Policies like this usually go through the General Education and Governing Committee. However, according to liberal arts senator and academic senate chair Norbert Schürer, GEGC was not involved in the creation of this policy due to time constraints.
The Academic Senate’s focus last year was on collecting information regarding policy change, where over 250 tenure-line faculty and 1,150 total faculty members responded to the survey.
The analysis of this survey was used as a basis for the initial ad hoc committee. Due to the time it took to gather this information, Schürer said it was too late for GEGC to be involved in the creation of the policy.
The initial ad hoc committee was comprised of incoming, outgoing and former chair members of GEPC, as well as the dean of graduate studies, the vice provost and the associate vice president for undergraduate studies.
“Yes, that turned out to have a sort of skewing in terms of colleges,” Schürer said. “But people were chosen for their expertise in GE and in writing policy.”
Initially, 15 minutes were allotted for the discussion of the committee, but that time was extended several times as debate continued on the senate floor.
“No matter what happens in the new group, the same robust discussions and modifications and amendments are going to happen in [the Academic Senate] once it comes back to the floor,” Alexandra “Misty” Jaffe, liberal arts senator, said. “I’m not sure that putting in that extra step will contribute a lot.”
The new committee has a deadline of Oct. 4, two weeks from its creation, to revise or recreate the proposed policy.
“It boils down to trust, because once this policy is finally voted on and put into place, we want to make sure that everyone at least had a seat at the table, not just through reporting to their representatives on CEPC and GEGC,” Ryan Fischer, senator from the College of Health and Human Services, said. “That everyone will say, ‘Okay, from a trust point of view, we don’t feel like anything was steamrolled through or pushed through too quickly. Everyone had a seat on the table.’”
The revisions will be proposed at the next Academic Senate meeting, which will take place on Thursday, Oct. 4 in the Towner Auditorium from 2 to 4 p.m.