After a year of planning, the faculty approved changes to the Knox curriculum.
The changes made at the April 2 meeting include instituting “Elements” as general education requirements, meant to ensure students receive a full breadth of a liberal arts education. Students will also need to continue to have a second major or one or two minors.
The actions for those who fail Freshman Preceptorial have also been changed. Rather than re-taking the course the next year, students will meet with the Associate Dean of the College to discuss substitutions.
The largest discussion focused on the wording of two additions to the regulations: a ‘civic engagement’ section and an ‘immersion/active learning experience’ section. The faculty worried about whether the wording made the sections into suggestions or requirements and which one they should be.
Professor of Psychology Tim Kasser proposed an amendment changing the wording of “students will” to “students are offered the opportunity to.” The amendment was passed and then the motion as a whole was passed with 82 percent of the votes.
After passing the regulations motion, the faculty then also approved a motion clarifying how replacements are made on the Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) when members recuse themselves, so that the rules on the divisions that members come from are followed, along with being in the order of most recently retired.
The FPC change was passed with 97 percent in favor.
Faculty also unanimously approved the 20 Winter Term graduates proposed by Registrar Tim Gray.
Another discussion focused on giving the FPC access to the comments that students leave on teaching evaluations. Currently, FPC cannot access these and does not read them if they are included in the materials professors submit, as they believe this is not fair since they cannot see everyone’s.
Some faculty supported the idea, while others worried it would bring further bias against female faculty and faculty of color. There were also some worries about how this would affect tenured vs. non-tenured professors.
C.H. Dudley Professor of Psychology Frank McAndrew led the discussion. He decided to send out a survey by email that would allow for separation of responses between tenured and untenured professors and more in-depth consideration.