General Education Review Committee

General Education Review Committee (2018-2019) will develop a process for reviewing W&L's current General Education (FDR) curriculum. The committee will pursue such questions as the following:

  • What are the goals and aspirations of a general education curriculum at W&L?
  • How does our current FDR curriculum function in achieving those goals and aspirations?
  • How does our FDR curriculum compare to the general education programs at other national liberal arts colleges?
  • What models for general education exist and how appealing might they be for the W&L experience?
  • What possibilities does our academic structure provide for a general education model?
  • What other strategic priorities-e.g., interdisciplinarity, diversity and inclusion, experiential learning-should inform a W&L general education program?

The committee will spend the 2018-19 academic year meeting and pursuing these and other related questions through focus groups, open forums, surveys, speakers, and other outreach and idea gathering meetings. They will draft recommendations and receive feedback and input, generating discussion, debate, and suggestions, and will meet monthly with the Provost who will provide a consultative and support role.

In the spring of 2019, this committee will present to the faculty their recommendations on any subsequent steps regarding our curriculum and how the faculty might proceed. Their charge 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.

All the work of this committee and subsequent general education committees will be wholly inclusive of and transparent to the full faculty; and that the approach to general education will be primarily guided by the desired outcomes in a manner that seeks to consider general education broadly, not from within narrow disciplines.

The committee will be comprise 12 faculty, chosen from among those not on leave during 2018-19. Six will be elected by the faculty who are nominated (self-nomination allowed), in an at-large election, with no categories or divisions, though no more than one member per department can be elected. Six will be appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee, which will consider the appropriate diversities of the committee (see below). One ex officio, non-voting member (Tim Diette as Senior Adviser to the President for Strategic Analysis) will provide data and analysis support.

When filling out the committee, the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) will consider, in no particular order:

  • diversity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, rank
  • representation of College and Williams School (as a comparison, FEC's distribution is 4 College, 2 Williams, 1 Law; Advisory Committee has no academic divisions)
  • representation from other areas, e.g., minors and interdisciplinary programs
  • results from the at-large election
  • preferably, not more than one person per department

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