Faculty Senate Considers Adjustment to Minor Requirements

Posted: May 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

For the second time, the Faculty Senate has postponed a vote on a motion proposed by the Academic Policies Committee to revise the definition of a minor. The proposal would require at least 15 credits for a minor, of which at least 12 credits would have to be from fields other than the student’s major or field. The current definition says a minor is “a complement to a bachelor’s degree program/major normally requiring at least 15 credits in a field other than the student’s major.”

Committee member Patrick Wilkie explained the rationale for the motion was to clarify the existing policy, require students to select courses for the minor that are distinct from the major, and have the minor represent “a single academic accomplishment on the transcript.”

At its meeting last week, senators heard opposition to the motion that included concern about the effect on individual departments. Several faculty members pointed out that some departments are extremely diverse and limiting minor courses to those outside the major field would restrict students unnecessarily. Others expressed fears that the changes would have unintended consequences. Representatives of a recently formed Council on Minors, consisting of faculty members who oversee minor programs in their units, presented a petition urging disapproval of the motion.

As a result of the discussion, the Academic Policies Committee agreed to meet with the Council on Minors to try to resolve the issues raised.

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