Faculty Senate Favors Liberal Arts and Sciences Split, Elects New Chair

Posted: May 5, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

At its final meeting of the academic year, the Faculty Senate voted in favor of restructuring the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Computational Sciences into a college of liberal arts and human sciences (including humanities, social sciences, and related interdisciplinary programs) and a college of sciences. The restructuring proposal goes before George Mason’s Board of Visitors at its meeting on Wednesday, May 11.

The senate also elected David Kuebrich, associate professor of English and current Faculty Senate secretary, as chair. Kuebrich, who takes office immediately, succeeds James Bennett, William P. Snavely Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, who served the maximum three terms as chair.

A motion to eliminate HIST 120 U.S. History as a stand-alone general education requirement, reducing general education requirements by three credits, was approved, as was a motion to expand the stand-alone general education requirement of HIST 100 History of Western Civilization by giving students the choice of taking either HIST 100 or HIST 125 Introduction to World History. Both changes will take effect in fall 2006.

The Academic Policies Committee, which proposed the motions, argued that reducing the general education requirements by three credits will provide students with more opportunities to complete minors, concentrations, and certificates, as well as to take electives. Further, the changes will allow students who have had previous course work in U.S. history or Western civilization to avoid redundancy.

The senate also passed a motion requesting, in the interests of transparency and accountability, that the Office of the Provost prepare and distribute at the December 2005 Faculty Senate meeting a report on “equity-based” faculty salary adjustments awarded during the fall 2005 salary adjustment period.

Finally, the senate recognized retiring Esther Elstun, professor of German, for her 31 years of service to the Faculty Senate as a founding member, former chair, and former chair of several committees. She is currently chair of the Academic Policies Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

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