The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 5th

Letter: Public comment is at the forefront of curriculum changes


We have a historic opportunity to reinvent general education at Carolina. 

I believe a thoughtful, intentional liberal arts education, combined with our extraordinary research and global resources, can provide Carolina graduates with the capacities they need to be great citizens, leaders, entrepreneurs, workers, critical thinkers and lifelong learners. 

That’s the goal of the general education curriculum revision: an inclusive, challenging and innovative global curriculum rooted firmly in the liberal arts.

The proposal the Curriculum Revision Coordinating Committee put out in September is, and remains, a draft for public comment. 

It’s certainly not perfect; first drafts rarely are! But it is the result of study, input, experience, and design by many faculty members, students, and staff.

The most important question is not “for it or against it?” but rather “what parts help improve general education and what parts should be changed?” In today’s “with-us-or-against-us” world, the idea of a true dialogue may seem strange, but in this case it’s true. 

I’m thrilled that so many faculty, students and community members have weighed in on the ideas in that draft, and I am sure the final proposal will be better because of their input. 

It’s also important to note that many faculty love much of the proposal, though their voices may not have come to the DTH’s attention.

Some of the specific issues raised in the editorial are likely to be addressed as the dialogue continues. For example, the arguments against combining US and Global Diversity into a single requirement are persuasive. 

And it probably makes sense to make the distinctions among areas more fine-grained than simply Math & Science, Social Science and Fine Arts & Humanities. (The editorial is mistaken, though—the draft does not recommend combining social and natural sciences.) 

There will be more public meetings, more dialogue, and more design work—and, at the end, I’m confident that we will end up with a curriculum that serves our students well.

Prof. Andrew J. Perrin


Chair of the Curriculum Revision Coordinating Committee

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