Undergraduate Studies Council

Role statement

The Undergraduate Studies Council is a policy-recommending and review body with oversight of any matter related to the undergraduate curriculum at the University. Thus, for example, it will be concerned with the establishment of new departmental programs, new interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, apparent duplication between existing programs or courses, and needs for additional or specialized instruction.

Functions

  1. To develop policy concerning undergraduate programs and curricula.
  2. To elect faculty members of the Committee to Oversee General Education; Conceptual Framework, Knowledge Base and Certification Committee; and Intellectual Skills Program Advisory Committee.
  3. To observe and assess all recommendations of the COGE, including recommended revisions to the University’s General Education Policy, and to select other general education matters that USC believes require review.
  4. To consider questions of duplication of current course or program content, possibly delegating to an appropriate ad hoc subcommittee the consideration of specific areas, after which the USC can initiate remedial action.
  5. To consider possible deficiencies in programs or course offerings needed by students in other programs and, if necessary, to initiate remedial steps.
  6. To consider whether or not the undergraduate curriculum is meeting student needs, and make recommendations as appropriate.
  7. To consider any other matters that it believes directly affect the undergraduate curricula and programs of the University.

Council standing committees

  1. Committee to Oversee General Education—reviews and approves courses for general education credit received from college curriculum committees and deans and forwards its recommendations to the administration; reviews all general education courses at least once within a seven-year cycle as determined by the Committee; and recommends revisions in the University's General Education Policy to the USC. Composition: One faculty member from the Colleges of Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Fine Arts, Health and Human Services and three faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences (one from each of its three divisions). The Office of Academic Affairs may appoint an additional member.
  2. Intellectual Skills Program Advisory Subcommittee—assists the Intellectual Skills Development Program in ensuring that all Western Michigan University undergraduate students are able to demonstrate competencies in reading, writing, and quantitative skills.
  3. Transfer of Credit Subcommittee—reviews transfer policies and procedures.

Faculty members of USC committees are nominated by deans, directors or chairs and elected by the council to serve three-year terms.

Charges 2017-18

In addition to its specific responsibilities listed in the Undergraduate Studies Council’s role statement and the work of subcommittees if such exist, the Faculty Senate Executive Board charges the USC to consider, as a committee of the whole or through the appropriate subcommittee or task force, the following issues:

  1. Review the scope and description of the council's role statement and assess the effectiveness of the council's practices. Address any continuing or outstanding issues or initiatives as directed by the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
  2. In collaboration with the Office for Enrollment Management, develop a plan based on the WestCom Report to engage faculty in recruitment and retention of undergraduate students, with intentional focus on under-represented groups.
  3. In consultation with the Office of Service Learning, develop a cyclical review process to ensure courses meet this designation.
  4. Coordinate planning for the dissolution of the Committee to Oversee General Education (COGE) and the implementation of the Committee to Oversee WMU Essential Studies with the Ad Hoc General Education Logistics Committee.
  5. Be available as a resource for the Ad Hoc General Education Logistics Committee.

Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Board on Aug. 25, 2017

NOTE: The USC will seek information from the office of the Associate Provost for Assessment and Undergraduate Studies and related administrative offices to maintain communications with those offices on issues directly related to them. Council recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Board in the form of a report (see template). After review, the Executive Board may invite the council to initiate a memorandum of action (MOA) on which the recommendation(s) is/are stated. Any draft MOAs requested by the Executive Board should be submitted using the DRAFT MOA template.

The USC chairperson shall provide a written summary of the council’s progress for the year; list the above charges noting each items progress and current status; any other activities undertaken; and draft charges for the 2018-19 academic year, no later than June 30, 2018.

Click here for a printable version of the USC 2017-18 Charges