Campus Curriculum Committee

Committee Overview

The Campus Curriculum Committee (CCC):

  1. Is appointed by, and advisory to, the Provost in order to assist with Twin Cities all-campus curricular matters.
  2. Reviews newly-established courses, keeping in mind issues of overlap, possible duplication, and the appropriate disciplinary connections. The CCC provides final approval of these classes after approval by collegiate curriculum committees. The CCC also makes certain that the proposing college has fully consulted with other units.
  3. Works with colleges in mediating conflicts that arise over curriculum issues.
  4. Maintains strong communication with the Council for Liberal Education and Campus Writing Board.
  5. Helps to determine the impact of eliminating courses (on other degree programs).
  6. Discusses other issues as identified by SCEP, the Vice Provosts, and/or the Provost.
  7. Has broad representation from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities community. Representatives are selected by the College Deans.
  8. Does not take on curricular conflicts that arise within colleges (between departments with the college). It is expected that these will be handled by the college administration.

Committee Charge

--from Provost Karen Hanson, October 18, 2012

The idea of a Campus Curriculum Committee was proposed nearly a decade ago and, for various reasons, did not move forward. Due to many fiscal (RCM) and curricular (the new liberal education and writing requirements) changes we are convinced such a committee is now urgently needed. The college deans also strongly support the creation of this committee.

Since the Graduate School has just established a committee to oversee parts of the graduate curriculum, the Campus Curriculum Committee would focus mostly on undergraduate issues. However, the committee also would be able to deal with graduate curriculum issues as needed. Our sense is that, at least initially, most of the energy would be spent dealing with undergraduate issues.

Many of our peer institutions have such curriculum committees. In a survey of the activities of peer-institution Campus Curriculum Committees, some of the roles included:

  • Coordinates and supervises content and teaching of the Core Curriculum.
  • Exercises general supervision over the undergraduate curriculum.
  • Reviews proposals for new concentrations and revisions to existing ones.
  • Considers all matters related to academic policy, makes recommendations regarding curricula and programs and other educational matters, including general campus requirements and grading systems.
  • The formal approval of new courses of instruction, desirable modifications in courses already approved, and approval of specific prerequisites for major subjects.
  • Recommends and develops policies and procedures for university-wide curricular standards, reviews catalog offerings and degree requirements, and initiates discussions on future curricular matters. The committee reviews college proposals and makes recommendations for curricular changes to the faculty Senate.

Roles and Responsibilities

The exact roles and responsibilities on the scale and scope of the committee are being finalized, but the committee will:

  1. Be appointed by, and advisory to, the Provost in order to assist with all-campus curricular matters.
  2. Work with colleges in mediating conflicts that arise over curriculum issues. Conflicts might arise over course duplication (perceived or real), expansion of liberal education courses, or the creation of new degree programs.
  3. Maintain strong communication with the Council for Liberal Education. The Council and Campus Writing Board would continue to evaluate and approve new courses, but should make certain that the curriculum committee is apprised of all decisions and course approvals.
  4. Review newly-established courses, keeping in mind issues of overlap, possible duplication, and the appropriate disciplinary connections. The curriculum committee will provide final approval of these classes after approval by collegiate curriculum committees. The curriculum committee will make certain that the proposing college has fully consulted with other units.
  5. Help to determine the impact of eliminating courses (on other degree programs).
  6. Other issues as identified by SCEP, the Vice Provosts, and/or the Provost.

The committee will not take on curricular conflicts that arise within colleges (between departments within the college). It is expected that these will be handled by the college administration.

Committee Membership

The Campus Curriculum Committee, appointed by the Provost, will have between 12-15 members representing the university community. As with the Council for Liberal Education, this committee will be comprised mostly of faculty with a few senior P/A instructional staff. Members will serve three-year terms. The initial focus will be on undergraduate issues. The Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education, and a member of Academic Support Resources (either the Director or a staff member selected by the Director) will sit ex-officio on the committee. A Chair of the committee will be appointed by the Provost.

Process

For specific curricular conflicts and concerns with mission creep, colleges may directly ask the committee to provide an analysis and recommendation on the appropriateness of offering certain classes or degree programs. In these cases, both collegiate units will be asked to provide the necessary data and background material, including information on what groups of students the course is intended to serve. The Senate Committee on Educational Policy, Office of Undergraduate Education, or Graduate School may also ask the committee to look into curricular issues.

In order to determine potential curricular redundancy, each collegiate curriculum committee will forward newly-established courses to the Campus Curriculum Committee. The Committee will consider possible duplication with other units and request additional materials as needed. It is anticipated that very few newly-established courses will pose a problem for the committee. Approval by the Campus Curriculum Committee will be the final step in ECAS. The ECAS approver will be either the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education or Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.

For either specific course duplication, or broader issues of curricular conflict and mission creep, the Committee will make a recommendation (on approval, disapproval, or limitations on what groups of students may enroll) to the appropriate Vice Provost and Provost. The final decision by the Provost is binding.

The Office of Undergraduate Education will provide staff support for the Campus Curriculum Committee.

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Campus Curriculum Committee

What is the purpose of the Campus Curriculum Committee?

  • The Campus Curriculum Committee (CCC) is appointed by and advisory to the provost. The CCC was developed in 2012 to address curricular questions and issues that arise between/among colleges on the Twin Cities campus, and to provide central guidance for the undergraduate curriculum by reviewing new undergraduate course proposals.
  • The provost's charge to the CCC is available here.

What is the composition of the CCC?

  • The CCC is composed of 12-14 faculty members, and has broad representation from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities academic community. Representatives are selected by the college deans. Although CCC members are selected from colleges and departments across campus, they do not represent their individual units in this role. CCC members are charged to represent the best interests of students and the University of Minnesota as a whole, rather than their departmental or collegiate units.
  • The current committee membership is listed here.

What types of courses does the CCC review?

  • The CCC reviews all new Twin Cities campus undergraduate course proposals, with the exception of those listed in the next section.
  • "Undergraduate" is defined as any course marked "UGRD" in the "career" field in ECAS (Electronic Course Authorization System).

What types of new courses does the CCC not review?

  • New topic shells, except under unusual circumstances
  • Proposals for new topic titles within already-existing topic shells
  • Study abroad courses conducted completely off-campus
  • HECUA courses
  • Freshman seminars
  • Honors (H) versions of courses that meet the same requirements as the standard course
  • New course numbers that are cross-listings with current undergraduate courses
  • New courses that are solely changes to the designator of an existing course
  • Courses for graduate students only (i.e., courses marked "GRAD" in the "career" field in ECAS)
  • Courses for professional school students only (i.e., courses marked "MED, PHAR, LAW", etc. in the "career" field in ECAS)
  • Independent or Directed Study courses that do not meet LE or WI requirements
  • Non-credit courses (e.g., MOOCs, non-credit workshops)

How do I submit a new undergraduate course for review?

Instructors proposing a new undergraduate course should follow this procedure:

  • Develop a syllabus that includes prerequisites, course objectives, required and recommended materials, and a general description of assignments and assessments. The syllabus should be sufficiently detailed so that the committee and consulted units can judge whether there is content overlap and can discern differences in approach or disciplinary perspective. It is most helpful to provide the CCC with as complete a syllabus as possible.
  • Consult with appropriate units outside the home college regarding potential overlap with existing courses by sharing the proposed syllabus.  (See "What type of consultation is requested?" below).
  • Create a new course proposal in ECAS, and include the syllabus and the results of consultation with other units.
  • Submit the proposal to your departmental and collegiate level curriculum committees for review and approval.
  • Once the proposal has been approved at the departmental and collegiate levels, it will be sent to the Provost queue in ECAS, which will trigger the CCC review.
  • To facilitate the CCC review, send a Word or PDF copy of the syllabus to Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn at [email protected].

Do I need to include a syllabus for the CCC process?

Yes.  See "How do I submit a new undergraduate course for review?" above.

What type of consultation is required?

  • The Campus Curriculum Committee is charged with ensuring that the proposing unit consults with units in other colleges as appropriate. Consultation is advised even if units believe that the content of the proposed course falls squarely within their mission and expertise.
  • Units proposing new courses should verify through a course catalog search that another college does not already offer a substantially similar course at the undergraduate level. In addition, the course proposer should send the proposed syllabus to the department head(s) of any unit in other college(s) that may already offer courses with overlapping content, as well as the undergraduate associate dean(s) of those college(s). Request that the consulted parties identify any concerns regarding content overlap.
  • Documentation of the consultative process (for example, email correspondence with consulted units) should be submitted in the "Strategic Objectives and Consultation" section of the course proposal in ECAS. 
  • While consultation is not required before the course proposal is submitted in ECAS, doing so in advance can save time in the CCC course approval process, because if the CCC perceives there could be overlap with another unit, they will either request that the course proposer do the consultation, or the CCC may contact the other unit, which will add time to the review process.

What if there is overlap with another course?

Given the increasing interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum, the CCC expects there will be occasional overlap in content across the curriculum. For example, different units may see the same content through distinct lenses or may approach similar learning goals using different methods. For cases where these differences are distinct, the CCC will approve the new course even if overlap is found. For cases of overlap where there is no compelling argument that the new course is distinct, the CCC is likely to not recommend approval of the new course.  

How soon will I hear from the CCC regarding its decision?

Once the course proposal reaches the provost queue in ECAS, and the Word or PDF syllabus has been emailed to the CCC staff person, the proposal is distributed to one of several CCC review teams. Review teams confer weekly to consider the course proposals that came in that week. When the review team arrives at a decision (typically within one week), the proposer is notified that day. The CCC meets monthly to review any proposals that require full committee discussion.