General Education Review

The charge of the General Education Review Committee (GERC) will not be to propose a new general education curriculum; rather, by year's end they will deliver to the faculty a series of recommendations on how we might proceed with any possible revisions. This will include the process by which such revisions might be proposed, studied, discussed, and evaluated; how such a process will best proceed; who will lead the actions of such a process; how the process can ensure maximum faculty participation and autonomy; and how any eventual revisions to the general education curriculum will be enacted. They will also recommend a general time-line for this work. In addition, the GERC will share with the faculty as a whole their recommendations for the sorts of revisions, if any, they think the faculty should consider.

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


Sarah Horowitz, co-Chair
Andrea Lepage, 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

Twelve faculty members, six elected by the Undergraduate Faculty, six appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee
Carrie Finch-Smith, Professor of Mathematics for Aaron Abrams, Associate Professor of Mathematics (on leave in 2019-2020)
Alecia Swasy, Professor of Journalism for Mark Coddington, Assistant Professor of Journalism (on leave in 2019-2020)
Owen Collins, Professor of Theater
Sarah Horowitz, Associate Professor of History
Dan Johnson, Associate Professor of Psychology
Mohamed Kamara, Associate Professor of Romance Languages
Joel Kuehner, Professor of Physics and Engineering
Andrea Lepage, Associate Professor of Art
Holly Pickett, Associate Professor of English
Chris Dobbins, Assistant Professor of Music for Haley Sigler, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education (on leave in Fall 2019)
Shikha Silwal, Associate Professor of Economics
Lloyd Tanlu, Assistant Professor of Accounting

GERC Sub-Committees
The mission group considers our institutional mission statement in relation to current general education requirements. They also examine general education mission statements at approximately 20 peer institutions.

The survey group administers surveys and analyzes data related to faculty and student perceptions of general education at Washington and Lee University.

The peer review subgroup examines general education programs at 20 peer institutions.

The rationale group researches and writes aspects of the GERC report related to the committee's rationale for recommendations to the faculty.

The process group researches a variety of processes by which other institutions have undertaken General Education revisions and suggests a process by which the general education curriculum at W&L might be revised, if the faculty decide that they would like to do so.

Schedule of full GERC committee meetings
January 11, 2019
January 18, 2019
February 1, 2019
February 5, 2019
February 15, 2019
March 1, 2019
March 15, 2019
March 29, 2019
May 7, 2019
August 22, 2019
September 13, 2019
October 4, 2019
October 16, 2019
November 1, 2019
November 8, 2019

General Education Events:
August 27, 2019 - Fall Academy: Gen Ed @ W&L from the Voices of the Faculty and Students, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Hillel House 101)

August 27, 2019 - Fall Academy: Imagining a Reinvigorated Gen Ed Curriculum @ W&L: A Brainstorming Session (12:00-1:30 PM, Hillel House 101)

September 20, 2019: Gen Ed at W&L: Taking a Deep Dive into General Education Models (1:30-2:30 PM, Hillel House 101)

General Education Process: Maximizing Faculty Input. Two identical sessions will be offered at different times to accommodate faculty and staff schedules. Lunch will be served at both sessions. (click here to RSVP)

  • Thursday, October 17 12:15-1:15 pm Northern Auditorium
  • Wednesday, October 23 12:15-1:15 pm Northern Auditorium

November 20, 2019: GERC Final Report Q&A (Hillel 101 from 12:15-1:15)

Additional Reading about General Education:

Gaston, Paul L., and Elizabeth J. Clark. General Education & Liberal Learning: Principles of Effective Practice. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2010.

Hanstedt, Paul. General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Peden, Wilson, Sally Reed, and Kathy Wolfe. Rising to the LEAP Challenge: Case Studies of Integrative Pathways to Student Signature Work. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2017.

Wells, Cynthia A. Realizing General Education: Reconsidering Conceptions and Renewing Practice: AEHE Volume 42, Number 2. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

Continue the Conversation about General Education at W&L:
Faculty input on previous faculty surveys has been invaluable. The General Education Review Committee (GERC) offers you additional opportunities to comment anonymously. 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 GERC will not collect information about the responder's identity. Click here to fill out the form.