Two New Programs Approved By Faculty

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The faculty met on December 10th in order to finish its business for the semester. The only item on the agenda was to answer the question: will we create new programs at Goucher College?

As per Parliamentary procedure, this business item began with a Debate. The first program discussed was the Integrative Data Analytics major. Faculty members shared their opinions both in favor and in opposition to approving the program. A few main points were addressed:

  • What is the purpose of creating new programs for the College considering the motivation for undergoing program prioritization in the first place?
    • Multiple suggestions for how to answer this question arose. One argument is that the faculty must look at the curriculum holistically and fill in holes as needed. The professors arguing in favor of the program contend that data analytics, an emerging field of study, has the potential to fill some of these holes while still placing Goucher at the cutting edge of this program.
  • If this program is approved now, does that mean that new programs may not be implemented in the future?
    • Professor Scott Sibley, the Interim Provost, answered this question with a solid “no.” More programs, should they progress past their current initial stages, may be considered in the future.
  • Are there existing PhD and Masters programs for students who complete this major?
    • According to members of the Center for Data, Mathematical, and Computational Sciences, while all mathematics are related, because Data Analytics is an applied field that is just beginning to emerge, it is not currently well-defined. A few Master’s programs exist; there is an expectation that more Master’s and PhD programs will emerge within the next several years.

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 63-5.

The second program debated was that of the Professional and Creative Writing majors. Most of this discussion centered around the following subjects:

  • Tenured and non-tenure track positions, particularly in relation to advising
    • As answered by the professors proposing the program, they are already advising both first years and students in the Writing program.
  • Staying relevant as a liberal arts college
    • Members of faculty in favor of the major suggested that having a strong writing program is critical to the liberal arts
  • Promoting interdisciplinarity
    • If the college emphasizes writing as its own majors, then more students will be confident at writing, which will strengthen other programs with academic crossover
  • How to integrate the Race, Power, and Perspective aspect of the Goucher Commons into the courses offered

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 55-15.

“The next step is to submit new program proposals to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). If approved by the state, then they will become official Goucher programs. As for timeline, I hope as soon as possible…The MHEC process though can take months,” said Professor Micah Webster in an email exchange with The Quindecim.

Announcements:

  1. The faculty listening session conducted by the Presidential Search Committee will take place Friday, December 14th, at 2pm in the faculty lounge.
  2. The Applestein-Sweren Book Collecting Contest is still going on! An an email blast sent out Monday afternoon by the Library listed Jenny Sataloff, Research Librarian/Learning Commons Assistant as the contact person for the contest.
  3. Charm City Ballet is presenting “A Christmas Carol” for this upcoming weekend only! Fun fact: both directors and three members of the CCB faculty are Goucher graduates.

Neve Levinson is a sophomore Spanish major hailing from Seattle, Washington. She enjoys playing frisbee, reading the news, and learning about cephalopods. She spent this past summer as a nature specialist at an overnight camp, and as a result thoroughly enjoys never being inside. As the News Editor of The Quindecim for the year, she intends to document and address the many changes taking place on campus. What other pieces of news need to be covered? Want to write about it? (Or just tell her about it?) Email Neve at nelev001@mail.goucher.edu.

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