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College of Arts and Sciences

Curriculum Timeline & Milestones

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Building Foundation (January 2016 – July 2016)

January 2016: Dean Gretchen Ritter establishes the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC). Laura Brown assumes position as CRC chair.

January-April 2016: CRC members meet by sub-committee to work in three areas:

  • gathering data: information sharing & exchange 
  • drafting requirement ideas and scenarios
  • exploring connections to pedagogy

March-April 2016: Group discussions with students, advising staff, directors of undergraduate study, and university associate deans group

May 2016: Committee report to Dean Ritter.

July 2016: Launch of to serve as public hub for the curriculum discussion.

Activating Discussions College-wide (August 2016 – January 2017)

August 2016: CRC representatives meet with department chairs and program directors at the Dean’s retreat; the CRC also convenes with department directors of undergraduate study in two meetings.

August 30, 2016: The College announces publicly (via the Cornell Chronicle and Arts & Sciences website) that it is considering curriculum changes and offers three scenarios to kick off public discussions and exploration.

September 2016: Department and program Liaison Group forms as a sounding board for the CRC. This group begins participating in monthly meetings to create in-time exchange between CRC work topics and college faculty.

September 12, 2016: College-wide faculty meeting convenes to discuss the curriculum review process and solicit feedback.

September-October 2016: CRC representatives meet with the A&S Advisory Council, humanities collective, the chemistry and astronomy departments, two faculty focus groups, one student focus group, the CALS curriculum committee, CHE representatives, and biology curriculum committee.

October 28, 2016: President Rawlings’ State of the University address calls on colleges to examine their core curriculums and highlights perspectives on curriculum, pedagogy, and value of Cornell education. After Rawlings’ address, a panel convenes to discuss core curriculum concerns and liberal education.

November 3, 2016: CRC continues to review feedback across the college and holds evolving scenario workshop to start a redraft of the initial scenarios.

November 10, 2016: The Liaison Group submits draft of "Principles of a Liberal Education" for review.

November 21, 2016: The College releases a news update on progress to date with the curriculum discussion and publicly releases the “Principles of a Liberal Education” document for feedback.

November 30, 2016: Early Career Faculty Forum convened by CRC to solicit feedback. CRC synthesizes college feedback to date into new structures for core requirements, now labeled “evolving frameworks.”

November-December 2016: CRC representatives meet with the Engineering curriculum committee, FGSS, the university associate deans group, two faculty focus groups, one student focus group, and the humanities collective. The A&S Student Advisory Group organizes a series of student-faculty meetings. Various faculty lead five informal focus groups.

December 13, 2016: Humanities chairs submit a curriculum proposal during the college chairs meeting. CRC presents update to department chairs on progress to date and emerging areas of agreement.

December 19, 2016: Provost’s humanities task force (CIVIC) issues report  that addresses curriculum innovation and teaching.

December 29, 2016: CRC submits progress report to Dean Ritter.

January 23, 2017: College-wide faculty forum with Interim President Hunter Rawlings. Tom Pepinsky assumes position as CRC chair for the next phase of the curriculum process.

First Draft of Proposal (January 2017 – March 2017)

January 24, 2017: Dean Ritter meets with the CRC and department Liaison Group to initiate the next phase of proposal drafting with a due date by end of February.

January 27, 2017: CRC initiates weekly meetings.

February 2017: Proposal drafting in process.

March 3, 2017: CRC finalizes proposal draft and presents to the Liaison Group.

Introducing the Proposal & Gathering Feedback (March 2017 – May 2017)

March 7, 2017: CRC publishes draft proposal. Curriculum website solicits feedback from the Cornell community of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

March 9, 2017: CRC holds town hall meeting to discuss the draft proposal.

March-early May 2017: CRC holds more than 30 meetings with departments, programs, faculty groups, trustees and students to discuss feedback on the draft proposal.

  • March 8: Sociology Department
  • March 13: Department Liaison Group 
  • March 20: History of Art Department
  • March 21: English Department
  • March 22: Government Department
  • March 24: Africana Studies & Research Center
  • March 24: Board of Trustees
  • Week of March 27: History Department
  • March 27: Classics Department
  • March 27: Linguistics Department
  • March 27: Physics Department
  • March 28: Music Department
  • March 28: Chairs meeting
  • March 29: Anthropology Department
  • March 29: Performing & Media Arts Department
  • March 31: CRC convenes to discussion initial feedback
  • April 11: Chairs curriculum discussion
  • April 13: Romance Studies Department
  • April 14: Astronomy Department
  • April 14: College Associate Deans
  • April 14: College of Human Ecology (EPC/DUS group)
  • April 17: Near Eastern Studies Department
  • April 18: Knight Writing Institute
  • April 19: Psychology Department
  • April 19: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department
  • April 20: Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • April 25: Neurobiology & Behaviour Department
  • April 26: Mathematics Department
  • April 27: FGSS
  • May 1: Center for Teaching Excellence

April 19, 2017: Dean's Student Advisory Committee holds forum for students on the curriculum proposal.

May 9, 2017: CRC presents feedback from initial proposal to faculty in live faculty meeting, held in Rockefeller Hall.

CRC Report & Second Proposal Draft (August 2017 – April 2018)

September 6, 2017: Dean holds State of the College meeting with college faculty and staff, and outlines goals for curriculum review.

September-November 2017: CRC holds small group meetings with faculty across the college addressing feedback from first draft of proposal.

December-March 2018: CRC drafts final report with recommendations for a draft proposal.

March 20, 3018: The CRC issues its final report. Dean Ritter asks faculty to confer with their departments and programs to gather ideas around the report, and to submit endorsements or alternate proposals by April 18. 

April 18, 2018: A group of departmental chairs in the foreign languages, as well as the director of the Society for the Humanities submit a counterproposal concerning the foreign language requirement proposed in the CRC's final report.

April 18, 2018: The Dean’s Student Advisory Committee issues a student survey to obtain feedback on the final report.

April 19, 2018: The Curriculum Committee introduces a proposal via the faculty site for distribution requirements based on the final report. 

May 1, 2018: The College holds an all faculty meeting to discuss the CRC proposal based on the final report, as well as the counterproposal concerning the foreign language requirement.

Final Draft & Proposal Passage (May 2018 - October 2018)

May 2018: The CRC regroups to determine next steps and draft a third proposal based on feedback from faculty and elements of the counterproposal that would retain the language requirement.

June 2018: CRC leadership reaches out to lead authors of counterproposal to review and sign off on third draft of proposal.

August 2018: The College posts a story on the revised proposal to the A&S website and begins to solicit comments from voting eligible faculty via the online faculty site.

October 3, 2018: Proposal is amended via a live faculty meeting.

October 15-29, 2018: Faculty vote on the amended proposal via the faculty website.

October 30, 2018: Proposal overwhelmingly passes by a 2 to 1 margin. 

October 31, 2018: Dean Jayawardhana announces passage to faculty and staff. College publishes story on the A&S website on the vote passage.