Educational Policies and Planning Committee

Educational Policies and Planning Committee (EPPC)

a. Purpose:

i. to assume responsibility for long-range planning, formulation, and oversight of educational policy

ii. to assume responsibility for ensuring that appropriate academic standards are maintained in all academic programs at the university, college, school, program, and departmental levels, including general education requirements and non-degree credit-bearing education programs

iii. to formulate, subject to Faculty Senate approval, policies regarding the following undergraduate matters pursuant to sections d and e below; and to formulate policies regarding the following graduate matters pursuant to section f below: organization of the curriculum; academic calendars; course credits; student course load; classification of students; grades; procedures and criteria for admissions to undergraduate majors; academic probation and suspension; grade reports; transfer of credit; residence requirements; non degree credit-bearing programs; and requirements for graduation, degrees, and honors.

iv. to assume special responsibility for interdisciplinary (IDSC) courses, and for interdisciplinary programs and academic initiatives that involve more than one school or college (e.g., the Aquinas Scholars Program, community-based learning).

v. as described in sections d and e below, to review undergraduate curricular proposals sent to it by college/school curriculum committees and the Core Curriculum Committee and to recommend to the Faculty Senate substantive revisions to the undergraduate core curriculum.

vi. as described in section f below, to review major graduate curricular proposals sent to it by college/school curriculum committees.

b. Scope and expectations:

i. The committee and its sub-committees should focus on those matters that are likely to impact the university at large or other colleges/schools in the university and should not duplicate the curriculum review process conducted at the college/school level. As general guidelines, the committee and its sub-committees should consider whether a curricular proposal would have a significant effect on the nature of the undergraduate curriculum, have a significant impact on resources outside of the originating school/college, result in significant and inappropriate duplication of the education or responsibilities of another school/college, significantly undermine the quality of a University of St. Thomas degree, or be inconsistent with the university’s mission.

ii. The committee and its sub-committees should concentrate on university-wide aspects of a curricular proposal, and the department or school/college level review of specific details of a proposal should be respected unless the committee or sub-committee concludes that a lower level curricular review failed to consider important factors that may significantly affect academic quality.

iii. The committee and its sub-committees should give full consideration to accreditation requirements of a program, department, school/college, or the university.

c. Membership:

For purposes of reviewing curriculum proposals, the committee is divided into two sub-committees: the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Curriculum Committee. The primary responsibility of these sub-committees is their respective curricula. However, because of the sub-committees’ greater familiarity with curricular issues, they may also bring to the EPPC proposals for creating or reviewing academic policies. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will have eleven members, consisting of ten (10) full-time faculty members and the executive vice president and provost or his/her designee as a non-voting member. Faculty members who teach regularly in the undergraduate curriculum will be elected according to procedures found in Chapter I, Article IV.B.2.c.i. Faculty members of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will be drawn from schools and colleges of the university as follows: five (5) representing the College of Arts and Sciences, with at least one (1) elected from each of the four divisions of the college and one (1) representing the college at-large; two (2) representing the Opus College of Business; one (1) representing the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling; one (1) representing the School of Engineering; and one (1) representing the School of Social Work. The Graduate Curriculum Committee will have eight members, consisting of seven (7) full-time faculty members and the executive vice president and provost or his/her designee as a non-voting member. A faculty member who (1) is teaching regularly in a graduate program, (2) has served as a member of a college/school or department curriculum committee, and (3) preferably is serving simultaneously as a member of a college/school or department curriculum committee will be elected for membership on the Graduate Curriculum Committee by the pertinent school/college curriculum committee. Faculty members of the Graduate Curriculum Committee will be drawn from the schools and colleges of the university as follows: one (1) each representing the College of Arts and Sciences; the Opus College of Business; the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling; the School of Law; the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity; the School of Engineering; and the School of Social Work.

d. Procedures for the undergraduate curriculuar proposals:

i. The EPPC will receive undergraduate curricular proposals from the curriculum committees of the various schools and colleges. Curricular proposals include proposals for new courses or substantial changes to existing courses, proposals for changes to existing degrees, majors or minors, and proposals for new degrees or programs, majors, or minors. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will review the proposals to ensure their maintenance of appropriate academic standards, to assess their impact on other schools and colleges, and to confirm their consistency with the mission of the university.

In order for the EPPC to receive any curricular proposal, it must have undergone the following process:

a) A department submits a proposal to the curriculum committee of its school or college.

b) If the school/college curriculum committee approves the proposal, it then subjects the proposal to the consent procedure within the school or college. If it does not approve the proposal, it notifies the originating department of the reasons for its decision.

c) If the proposal fails consent, it is sent back to the originating department for reconsideration.

d) If the proposal passes consent, the school/college curriculum committee informs all other school/college curriculum committees of the proposal. It is the responsibility of each of these curriculum committees to identify any objections and register them with the EPPC within twenty (20) class days.

e) When the proposal is sent to the other school/college curriculum committees, the dean of the school or college from which the proposal is initiated forwards the proposal to the EPPC, along with a letter of transmittal certifying that the school/college approval process has been followed, indicating the date on which the proposal was distributed to the other school/college curriculum committees, and indicating the dean’s approval or non-approval with explanatory comments as appropriate. In addition, any proposal for a new degree or program, major, or minor, will be accompanied by a letter from the executive vice president and provost commenting upon the proposal’s relevance to the mission of the university, and availability of university resources to support the proposal.

ii. Then, upon receipt of the proposal and after the twenty class day period for review by other school/college curriculum committees has passed, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will follow one of three review processes, depending on the type of curricular change involved.

a) In the case of proposals for new courses or substantial changes to existing courses, except those courses that meet an allied requirement in another school or college or that fulfill an undergraduate core or core area requirement, 

1) if none of the school/college curriculum committees raises objections, the proposal is simply received by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee as an informational item for the purpose of university-wide notification.

2) if any of the school/college curriculum committees raises an objection, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee reviews the proposal and the objection(s), consults with all interested units, and either approves the proposal or remands it to the originating department. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s approval of such course proposal is then subject to university- wide consent.

b) In the case of proposals for changes to existing degrees, majors or minors, as well as proposals for new courses or substantial changes to existing courses that meet an allied requirement in another school or college, or that fulfill an undergraduate core or core area requirement,

1) if none of the school/college curriculum committees raises objections, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee receives the proposal as an informational item which it may choose to review. If the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee chooses not to review the proposal, the proposal is simply subject to university-wide consent. If the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee chooses to review the proposal and approves it, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s approval of the proposal is then subject to university-wide consent.

2) if any of the school/college curriculum committees raises an objection, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee reviews the proposal and the objection(s), consults with all interested units, and either approves the proposal or remands it to the originating department. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s approval of such course proposal is then subject to university- wide consent.

c) In the case of proposals for new degrees or programs, majors or minors, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will consider the proposal along with any comments it receives from the school/college curriculum committees. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s approval of any proposal for new degrees or programs, majors or minors is subject to university-wide consent.

iii. If the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee rejects any proposal, it will remand the proposal to the originating department with a written explanation of the reasons for that decision, and initiate conversations with that department. The department may then submit a revised proposal, which follows the above procedures. If the originating department and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are not able to come to a resolution, the originating department may take the proposal directly to the Faculty Senate.

iv. University-wide consent means that notice of the proposal or the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s approval of a proposal will be circulated by e-mail to all full-time faculty. If 10% of full-time faculty file a request for reconsideration within 10 class days of the publication of a proposal, that proposal will be subject to reconsideration by the Faculty Senate. Requests for reconsideration are submitted to the secretary of the Faculty Senate

v. To facilitate review of proposals pending before or decided by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will maintain a website on which all proposals relating to curricula, degrees and programs, majors and minors will be available, together with supporting documentation.

vi. Any proposal for a new degree or program, major or minor that passes Undergraduate Curriculum Committee review and university-wide consent becomes a recommendation to the administration.

e. Procedures for all other undergraduate matters:

i. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will receive proposals from the Core Curriculum Committee regarding changes to the undergraduate core curriculum.

a) In the case of less substantive changes, for example, the proposal to have a specific course count or no longer count as meeting a core requirement, or changes to a specific course description, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will consider the proposal. If it is approved, it is subject to university-wide consent.

b) In the case of more substantive changes to the undergraduate core curriculum requirements, for example, the elimination or addition of a core area requirement, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will consider the proposal. If the proposal is approved, it will be sent as a recommendation to the Faculty Senate for its consideration. In cases where there is a disagreement whether a particular change is more substantive or less substantive, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will render a final decision.

c) If the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee does not approve a proposal from the Core Curriculum Committee, it will return the proposal with a written explanation of the reasons for the decision and initiate conversations with the committee. The Core Curriculum Committee may then submit a revised proposal to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. If the Core Curriculum Committee and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are not able to come to a resolution, the Core Curriculum Committee may take the proposal directly to the Faculty Senate.

f. Procedures for graduate curricular proposals:

i. Course Proposals: In the case of proposals for new graduate courses, substantial changes to existing graduate courses, and designation of required courses in graduate programs, the originating department shall regularly submit an informational report on all such course proposals after final approval by the school/college. The informational report shall identify the name of the course, the course number, the CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs), the number of credits, whether the course is required or elective, and provide a brief description of the course. This informational report shall be sent to all chairs of curriculum committees (who will keep academic deans and department chairs appropriately informed) and to the Graduate Curriculum Committee. Within thirty (30) class days after receipt of the informational report, the Graduate Curriculum Committee by a two-thirds vote may re-designate the proposal as a major graduate curricular proposal if it concludes that the proposal falls within the description in section f.ii. Without re- designation as a major graduate curricular proposal, the Graduate Curriculum Committee may offer advisory suggestions on a course proposal to the originating department.

ii. Major Graduate Curricular Proposals: In the case of proposals for (1) new graduate degrees or programs, (2) new credit-bearing certificate programs, (3) increases or decreases in the total credit hours required to complete a degree, (4) significant restructuring of a graduate program, and (5) changes that require cooperation or will significantly draw on resources from other schools/colleges, the Graduate Curriculum Committee will review proposals to consider whether they will have a significant impact on resources outside of the originating school/college, result in significant and inappropriate duplication of the education or responsibilities of another school/college, significantly undermine the quality of a University of St. Thomas degree, or be inconsistent with the university’s mission. After completion of the appropriate curriculum process in the originating department’s school or college and at the time of its submission to the Graduate Curriculum Committee, any major graduate curricular proposal will be accompanied by a letter from the appropriate academic dean or dean’s designee, after consultation with the Executive Vice President and Provost, commenting on the proposal’s relevance to the mission of the university and availability of university resources to support the proposal. When the proposal is submitted to the Graduate Curriculum Committee, it shall also be sent to all academic deans, all department chairs, and all chairs of curriculum committees. Within thirty (3) class days after submission, and with full consideration of the distinctive nature of each graduate program, the Graduate Curriculum Committee shall vote to approve or reject a major graduate curricular proposal. If the Graduate Curriculum Committee rejects any major graduate curricular proposal, it will remand the proposal to the originating department with a written explanation of the reasons for that decision, and initiate conversations with that department. The department may then submit a revised proposal, which follows the curricular process in the school or college. If the originating department and the Graduate Curriculum Committee are not able to come to a resolution after remand, the originating department may take the proposal directly to the Faculty Senate. Any major curricular proposal that passes Graduate Curriculum Committee or Faculty Senate review becomes a recommendation to the administration.

iii. Other Graduate Curricular Matters: With the approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Graduate Curriculum Committee may establish default rules for graduate programs regarding, for example, classification of students, grades, academic probation and suspension, student course loads, grade reports, transfer of credit, residence requirements, requirements for honors, and academic calendar. An individual graduate program may adopt more specific rules on these matters.

(Faculty Handbook ch. 1, pg. 19-24)