This update on the relationship between the Liberal Studies Committee, the University-Wide Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the University Senate was e-mailed to the IUP faculty from Provost Intemann on January 26, 2011.

I want to let you know that the University Senate, University-Wide Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UWUCC), University Senate Rules Committee, and Liberal Studies Committee (LSC) have been reviewing the relationship between the UWUCC, University Senate, and LSC as it pertains to the Liberal Studies curriculum.

In order to appreciate the current situation, it is important to review briefly the original mandate of the Senate approved LSC. As the attachment indicates, the LSC was tasked, approximately twenty years ago, with overseeing the content and process associated with the Liberal Studies curriculum. During the past number of years, there has been a great deal of change with respect to Liberal Studies requirements, course offerings, undergraduate credits required for graduation, etc. As these changes took place, there appears to have been some drift in expectations of the LSC since it was formed originally.

In order to re-align various constituents' expectations of the LSC, the UWUCC and LSC met as a group in November 2010 to discuss the original Senate-approved description (1989 and 1990) of the LSC. In addition, the director of Liberal Studies met with the Rules Committee in December 2010 to further discuss this issue. Also, the cochair of the UWUCC and the director of Liberal Studies met in January 2011 to explore how the two committees can work together as was originally proposed.

Based upon the information gathered at these meetings, the UWUCC and LSC have what they consider to be reasonable solutions for LSC procedures and would like to form an ad-hoc group to discuss these issues. The formation of this ad-hoc group was discussed in the UWUCC and Senate last fall (2010). It was agreed the ad-hoc committee include the cochair of the UWUCC (G. Sechrist), director of Liberal Studies (D. Pistole), Senate chair (P. Broad), APSCUF president (S. Drummond), and two Senate Rules Committee members (M. Korns, chair, and D. LaPorte).

An example of the way some things have changed since the original proposal is the process by which faculty members are appointed to the LSC. The original Senate language states “The Liberal Studies Committee will consist of twelve persons—the Director of Liberal Studies, who will chair the Committee; six faculty members; two academic administrators; and three students. Membership on the Liberal Studies Committee will be determined by appointment by the Provost of individuals interested in and committed to Liberal Studies, after consultation with the Senate Chairperson, the APSCUF President, the SGA President, and other appropriate university groups.”

The current way faculty members are appointed is that each of the six academic colleges has one representative that is recommended by their dean, with subsequent approval by the Senate chair and APSCUF president. If all approve, the provost can then make the appointment if he/she so chooses. All parties involved feel this is a good change (drift) from the original language, and this issue, along with others, will be discussed by the ad-hoc committee.

The original Senate-approved report on Liberal Studies can be found at the IUP Liberal Studies website. The main procedural page from the original report is attached. I look forward to the results of these meetings, and hope that we can continue to work together on all levels to help our faculty continue to deliver an excellent education to our students.