REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ACADEMIC POLICIES ON A PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE CORE CURRICULUM IN THE LIBERAL ARTS
The current University Core document states: “A minimum of four book-length texts, or their equivalent, will comprise the common reading for all students in the seminar. Instructors for each section may supplement this list by not more than three additional texts.”
The purpose of this statement in the current core document was to insure common readings and yet give faculty freedom to add readings of their choice to the course. The result has been inequities in reading loads and requirements between sections of the first year seminar as some classes require four books and others as many as seven book.
Replace the current statement by the following: A minimum of three book-length texts, or their equivalent, will constitute the common reading for all students in the seminar. Instructors are to choose a fourth text, or its equivalent, reflecting the chosen theme to complete the required reading for the seminar. Instructors for each section may supplement the required four texts by not more than one additional text, or its equivalent.
The alternative would be to keep the current situation.
The change will improve the consistency in reading load requirements across the sections by keeping the required reading load to four book length books which could be supplemented by one additional book-length reading. The variation in reading requirements between sections would be at most one book. The change will also maintain common reading requirements by requiring three book-length common readings and still allow for faculty freedom by allowing faculty to add up to two book-length readings of their choice.