The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations


Cover story    

Aug. 20, 2004
Vol. 29, No. 1

Roadshow rocks across Kansas
• Med Center exec Hagen to retire; Atkinson to succeed
Biology Center attracts magnet
General education subject of CTE summit
Surprise patrol!
Faculty-staff basketball ticket info forthcoming
Edwards expansion
Student center gets new name, director
HDFL now Applied Behavioral Sciences department

Record grant boosts biomedical research
KU, Fort Leavenworth establish faculty, student exchange program
KU ‘New Literacies’ conference goes global
Alumni center creates campus TGIF events

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Uniform brings Civil War to life for history buffs
Multicultural scholars find success after KU
System to increase parking lot security
TV time
Medical school marks 100th class
Former dean pledges $500K for professorship
Allison named policy advisor
Mini mechanics

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In the news
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General education subject of CTE summit

Kim Wilcox, vice provost for general education coordination and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Susan Twombly, professor of teaching and leadership and chair of a committee on curricular coordination; Helen Connors, associate professor of Health and Technology Outreach; and Mike Vitevitch, assistant professor of psychology, discuss general education requirements during Tuesday’s annual Teaching Summit, presented by the Center for Teaching Excellence. Aaron Paden/University Relations

A group of faculty, staff and students who have been studying the feasibility and advantages of a universitywide general education requirement began sharing their findings and seeking information during the Center for Teaching Excellence annual Teaching Summit Aug. 17 in Budig and Wescoe halls.

Tuesday’s summit included a panel discussion of KU’s current policy and the potential advantages and disadvantages of changing the policy.

Kim Wilcox, vice provost for general education coordination and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been leading a comprehensive 18-month review of the university’s general education program since November 2003.

Wilcox said KU is unique among universities because it employs six goals of general education rather than a strict core curriculum requirement for all students. At KU, he said, individual schools and departments use the six goals to determine basic general education requirements.

“We are looking at the desirability of universitywide requirements, what those requirements would be and how the university would coordinate that program through each school and their departments,” he said.

Five committees composed of seven members—four faculty members, two students and one staff member—met this spring to discuss core skills; academic knowledge base; ability to acquire and use information and to think critically; civic and cultural knowledge and valuing diversity; and curricular coordination.

Susan Twombly, professor of teaching and leadership and chair of the committee looking at curricular coordination, said her group was in preliminary discussion of what coordinating challenges such a change would entail. She said the group also is discussing how such change could be implemented at a comprehensive research university such as KU, specifically what kind of governance organization would be needed to oversee a universitywide requirement.

Twombly said that while she personally believes a universitywide general education requirement is a worthy goal, it is important to present it to faculty and students in a way that underscores the importance of liberal arts and explains the pertinence of core requirements.

“This has to be a campuswide discussion about general education,” she said.

Wilcox said discussions about a universitywide program would continue throughout the school year. Speakers and lectures about this issue are in planning stages. Wilcox said he hoped to make recommendations to the provost in May 2005.

“The centrality of this goal underscores the need to ensure that we have broad participation,” he said. “This is an excellent opportunity to consider a universitywide core curriculum for the first time.”

Goals of General Education
Approved May 23, 2001
Goal 1:
Enhance the skills and knowledge needed to research, organize, evaluate and apply new information, and develop a spirit of critical inquiry and intellectual integrity.
Goal 2:
Acquire knowledge in the fine arts, the humanities, and the social, natural and mathematical sciences, and be able to integrate that knowledge across disciplines.
Goal 3:
Improve the core skills of reading, writing and numeracy, and enhance communication by clear, effective use of language.
Goal 4:
Understand and appreciate the development, culture and diversity of the United States and of other societies and nations.
Goal 5:
Become aware of contemporary issues in society, technology and the natural world and appreciate their complexity of cause and consequences.
Goal 6:
Practice an ethic of self-discipline, social responsibility and citizenship on a local, national and international level.


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