General Education Development

The General Education Development Committee (GEDC) will facilitate a conversation about changes to the Foundation and Distribution Requirements (FDR) that ensures maximum faculty input. In its work, GEDC will follow the process outlined by the General Education Review Committee (GERC). GEDC is empowered to make a motion to the faculty to adopt a new general education curriculum.

Additional resources from the committee, including materials from events and GERC's final report, are available here.



  • Andrea Lepage, co-Chair
  • Katharine Shester, co-Chair

Ex Officio Members

  • Timothy Diette, Senior Adviser to the President for Strategic Analysis (non-voting, data and analysis support)
  • Paul Hanstedt, Director of The Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (non-voting, general education support)


Twelve faculty members: six elected by the Undergraduate Faculty, six appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee.

  • Nadia Ayoub, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Alexandra Brown, Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion
  • Emily Cook, Assistant Professor and Research and Outreach Librarian
  • Jon Erickson, Associate Professor of Engineering
  • Carrie Finch-Smith, Professor of Mathematics
  • Paul Gregory, Professor of Philosophy
  • Michael Hill, Professor of Africana Studies
  • Andrea Lepage, Professor of Art
  • Michael Laughy, Jr. Boetsch Term Associate Professor of Classics
  • Holly Pickett, Associate Professor of English
  • Katharine Shester, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Lloyd Tanlu, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Schedule of Full GEDC Committee Meetings

  • March 27, 2020
  • June 2-5, 2020 (half the committee attended AAC&U's General Education and Assessment Institute; the other half of the committee attended AAC&U's High-Impact Practices Institute)
  • June 12, 2020
  • August 7, 2020
  • September 22, 2020
  • October 5, 2020
  • October 8, 2020
  • October 21, 2020
  • October 23, 2020
  • November 19, 2020
  • January 8, 2021
  • January 21, 2021
  • February 15, 2021
  • February 26, 2021

Upcoming Events

  • GEDC's Winter 2021 Lecture Series (recordings available on Canvas)
  • March 31, 2021 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm | How to Approach Comprehensive Student Experience with Intentionality and Partnership, Dr. John Gardner
  • April 2, 2021 at 11:00 am | Follow up discussion on First Year Experience & Comprehensive Student Experience
    Collectively brainstorm ideas for developing a comprehensive student experience grounded in intentionality and partnership! Our discussion builds upon ideas presented by John Gardner, professor and non-profit CEO. If you were not able to attend Gardner's talk, you can watch a recording of it on our Canvas site. If you don't have time to watch the recording, don't worry! You can still participate in the discussion

Past Events

2020-21 General Education Development Events

  • September 7, 2020 | Video sent to W&L community providing an overview of work conducted by W&L's General Education Review Committee (GERC) in 2019-20 and outlining the next steps in the general education revision process. [Click here to watch the video.]
  • September 7, 2020 | Survey sent to faculty, students, and staff seeking input to develop the mission statement for our new General Education curriculum
  • September 14, 16, 20, and 21, 2020 | Mission Statement Focus Groups with Students
  • October 13 & 15, 2020 | Faculty and Staff Q&A Sessions: GEDC invited faculty and staff to ask questions and share their thoughts about the two proposed mission statements
  • October 23, 28, 30, 2020 | Mission Statement Open Office Hours for faculty and staff
  • January 11, 2021 | The undergraduate faculty approved the following mission statement for a revised general education curriculum: General Education at W&L: Empowering students to live fully, grow personally, and work justly. Through interconnected experiences across disciplines, in the classroom and beyond, students cultivate the skills and dispositions needed to participate critically, creatively, and ethically in diverse and dynamic global communities. By developing passion for discovery, flexibility of thought, self-reflection, and deep regard for equity and inclusion, students gain perspectives on the past, engage the present, and forge visions for better futures
  • February 17, 2021 | Starting the Gen Ed Model Building Process: A Reminder of Current Trends in General Education. In the first seminar of the term, Paul Hanstedt reminds us of current trends in general education, the rationales for those trends, and some examples of thoughtful curricular models (GED's Winter 2021 Lecture Series)
  • March 3, 2021 | High Impact Practices: What They Are & Why They Matter, Dr. George D. Kuh (GED's Winter 2021 Lecture Series)
  • March 17, 2021 | Distinctive and Authentic Learning Through a Place-Based Curriculum, Dr. Ashley Finley (GED's Winter 2021 Lecture Series)

2019-20 General Education Review Events

  • August 27, 2019 | Fall Academy: Gen Ed @ W&L from the Voices of the Faculty and Students
  • August 27, 2019 | Fall Academy: Imagining a Reinvigorated Gen Ed Curriculum @ W&L: A Brainstorming Session
  • September 20, 2019 | Gen Ed at W&L: Taking a Deep Dive into General Education Models
  • October 17 & 23, 2019 | General Education Process: Maximizing Faculty Input. (Two identical sessions will be offered at different times to accommodate faculty and staff schedules)
  • November 20, 2019 | GERC Final Report Q&A

Additional Reading about General Education

Continue the Conversation about General Education at W&L

Input on previous surveys has been invaluable. The General Education Development Committee (GEDC) offers you additional opportunities to comment anonymously by filling out the Faculty Feedback Form. We welcome all commentary concerning the general education curriculum at W&L, including proposals/ideas for a General Education curriculum at W&L. You may submit comments more than once. Authentication is required, but GEDC will not collect information about the responder's identity.