The University Curriculum Committee voted on more than 20 different proposals on March 22, agreeing to change the names of several majors and terminate some majors altogether.
This committee at the University of Georgia is responsible for changes to the standing curriculum policies. Members of this committee consist of elected representatives from each college within the university, as well as a representative for the UGA Graduate School, undergraduate students and graduate students. The provost is also a member of the body.
In addition to these representatives, a number of guests attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the listed proposals.
Majors eliminated or restricted
In this meeting, the committee voted to add two new undergraduate certificates in financial technology and in nonprofit management and leadership. The committee voted to terminate the social foundations of education major and deactivate the master's program for financial planning, housing and consumer economics on the Griffin campus.
Three areas of emphasis under the comparative biomedical sciences major were terminated, including avian health and medicine, avian medicine, and food animal medicine. The sport management and policy area of emphasis under the kinesiology major was voted to be terminated on the Gwinnett campus.
Several majors renamed and restructured
The first action of the committee at the meeting was to offer the political science major under the Bachelor of Science degree, similar to how the economics major is offered under both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. Scott Ainsworth, a professor in the School of Public and International Affairs spoke in support of this proposal.
“There is more emphasis on theory and method, which would include both data analytics skills as well as what we would generally refer to as formal theoretical skills: game theory, some applied economics,” Ainsworth said.
The committee voted to change the physics and astronomy major and minor name to simply astrophysics. Phillip Stancil, a department head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was a guest who spoke on behalf of this proposal.
“Today, astronomy really implies observational astronomy … It’s more in line with other universities,” Stancil said.
Mihai I. Spariosu, the head of the comparative literature department, proposed a name change for the Department of Comparative Literature. He suggested the name be changed to “comparative literature and intercultural studies” to reflect the way the department has gone from more western-oriented to more global-oriented.
“We are by our nature an interdisciplinary department, so it’s like the United Nations really. We have people from all over the world there, both the faculty and graduate students,” Spariosu said.
Other proposed name changes included changing biostatistics into epidemiology and biostatistics, environmental engineering to civil and environmental engineering, world education to TESOL and world education and counseling and student personnel services into education. The committee voted to go forward with these proposals.
Baruch Halpern, a professor in the Department of Religion, proposed adding a new minor called Hebrew language and literature.
“Hebrew at this institution, until about five years ago, was almost exclusively ancient and this is also a bid to indicate to the world … that we do the modern languages [as] well,” Halpern said.
The Academic Affairs Policy Statements were voted to be revised. This was necessary because some of the statements required updating after staying the same for around 30 years, said John Maerz, the chair of the committee.
All the proposals in this meeting were voted in the affirmative by the committee. These proposals will be sent to the Executive Committee and the decisions there will be passed along to the full University Council. If the proposals decided on today make it past the University Council vote this April, they will take effect within the following academic year, beginning in fall 2019.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story misidentified a program which was being terminated. The story has since been corrected. The Red & Black regrets this error.