Professors talk majors at faculty meeting

Posted by Alex Brehm

Professors convened the second college faculty meeting for this academic year Oct. 1, during which an amended faculty handbook was adopted, grouping departments by academic discipline was debated and the recently released sexual misconduct policy was discussed.

There was a brief report on the Biology-Philosophy interdepartmental major, which is being dissolved. Almost all interdepartmental majors are ending, or have ended within the last four years, because faculty have come to believe such programs lack rigorous grounding in either participating department.

The Biology-Philosophy major currently has one student enrolled and will end once the student graduates or leaves the major.

Next, faculty debated categorization of majors by academic discipline. Two lists produced by administration categorized majors by discipline — Art, Humanities, Social Science and Natural Science. However, there were major discrepancies between the lists, inspiring a long analysis of the differences.

The disciplines listed as Arts on the first list, such as Music, Dance, Studio Art and Theater, were listed as Pre-Professional programs on the second list.

In addition to showing some disorganization, the list also represented miscommunications between the department faculty and the administration: for instance, music does not offer a Bachelor of Science degree, which it must offer to be a true Pre-Professional program.

The discussion among the faculty concluded with indications that there would be better structuring of department-discipline categories in the future.

Finally, there was discussion of the new, and soon to be enforced, Sexual Misconduct Policy. Dean of Student Affairs Rochelle Calhoun and other members of the Sexual Assault Task Force outlined the training that will be offered to faculty and staff in the next few weeks.

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