A Solid Core Curriculum for Georgia's Students
This web site has been created by a group of University System of Georgia (USG) faculty who have concerns about the process and results of the Strong Foundations project initiated to design and put in place a new core curriculum for the USG. We urge all faculty to read the petition below and the information that can be found in the links on this page. After considering this information, if you agree that a new process is necessary, please sign the petition. In the spirit of open dialogue we urge all faculty, whatever their views about the core curriculum, to send us comments by posting to our blog and/or sending us an email.
More than 400 faculty (from 26 of the 35 USG institutions) have signed the petition.
* Dr. Susan Herbst has sent this email to the Strong Foundations committees. It indicates that they will meet again this summer.
* An article about Dr. Herbst's letter has been printed in Insider Higher Ed. A copy is posted to our blog.
* The Strong Foundations web site has been taken down.
* Dr. Susan Herbst has sent out a letter indicating that there will be a "time out" in the core curriculum review process.
May 15, 2008
We applaud the Chancellor's and Vice Chancellor’s decision, as announced in the letter of May 12, 2008, to temporarily halt the USG core revision process in order to reflect and consult with the presidents, provosts, the new USG faculty governing committee, and other faculty groups. Successful organizations thrive on communication. It is heartening to know that in a system as large, complex, and disparate as the USG, busy leaders facing an immensely challenging problem, still attended to and responded to information, opinions, and ideas generated by the faculty. It is especially encouraging to serve under administrators who acknowledge that “within the context of Board-led strategy, learning and curricular changes are and always will be the domain of our faculty.”
Those faculty and administrators across the system who signed our petition, who contributed to the blog, who voiced their opinions though formal committee statements, who counseled and advised colleagues serving on the core curriculum revision committees and other groups*all who communicated their perspectives, have played a vital role.
The web site georgiacorecurriculum.org will also take a "time out". We will not be updating it as frequently. However, we will leave it up in the hope that it will be useful when the USG core revision process restarts.
As we all pause as this stage of the journey, we can look forward with confidence in the system*s leadership and in the capacity we all will have to contribute to the process.
A Petition to Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, Jr. and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
We, faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the University System of Georgia,
For these reasons, we believe that adoption of either of the proposed conceptual models would degrade undergraduate education and the value of undergraduate degrees at public colleges and universities in Georgia.
We call on Chancellor Davis and the Board of Regents to end the current Strong Foundations process and to engage in a genuine critical review of the current core curriculum in which faculty carefully review relevant data and are allowed to freely examine, challenge, and defend all possibilities (including keeping the current core, modifying the current core, and replacing the current core).
Intelligent, well-intentioned people sometimes disagree. The democratic process assumes that people best sort out their disagreements in the marketplace of ideas where advocates fully, frankly, openly represent their opinions, and where an interested audience applies critical reasoning to determine which evidence deserves respect and which arguments should prevail.
The USG's central administrative office supports a Strong Foundations web site designed to further its core curriculum design initiative. In a similar spirit, aiming to represent the USG faculty in their determination to offer Georgia students and taxpayers the best possible public education, this Georgia Core Curriculum web site seeks to critically analyze that initiative, to explore the motivations for the initiative, examine the data and reasoning which inspired the initiative, review the process designed to further the initiative, weigh the products of that initiative, and anticipate likely effects of that initiative.