The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday October 23rd

Letter: New curriculum will be a train wreck


I was happy to read that faculty are voicing concerns with the draft of the New Curriculum (DTH 10/27/17). 

Your story covered several problems, but there are so many more that no one story could cover them. Here are four: 

1) The curriculum *requires* frosh to take an FYS (perhaps not even be one of their first two choices), then assigns them to a linked 200-person lecture courses on “Ideas, Information, and Inquiry.” 

Who comes to Carolina to have their classes chosen for them? 

2) College oversight of faculty teaching would become much more intrusive: a “Curriculum Oversight Committee” of 12, including only three College tenure-track faculty, “will oversee assessment, examine results, and propose curricular change.” 

3) Consultation of College faculty on the essential aspects of this curriculum has been spotty and inadequate: it is true that a great many faculty have, in small groups, discussed small aspects of the plan, but wide consultation on central questions has been extremely skimpy. 

4) Despite all the problems, there is the alarming possibility that this plan will be adopted in early 2018 and implemented in 2019-2020. 

This seems like a fiasco or train wreck waiting to happen—a wreck caused, like most train wrecks, by carelessness and above all by excessive speed. 

Given a myriad of faculty concerns, there is no reason not to slow down and aim for a 2020 start date that would allow full consultation of faculty, and the crafting of careful solutions to the many problems in the current draft.

George L. Paddison Prof. James O’Hara


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