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Council Coverage

At the March 16 meeting, after the Budget presentation (Almanac March 22, 2005), Council members discussed the United States Cultural Analysis Requirement (USCAR) Proposal that is supported by some 66 campus groups. The Council Committee on Pluralism, through its Subcommittee on USCAR, also supports the “spirit and intent of the proposal” as does the Steering Committee. Discussion focused on the value of diversity in the curriculum and the possible mechanisms to encourage without requiring such courses. Suggestions included having an incentive to take a diversity class—perhaps a notation on a transcript or diploma, or making it a requirement to graduate with honors.  Another approach would be to offer preceptorials, which are non-credit sessions, funded by the UA and the Provost’s Office. Dr. Peter Conn, interim provost, reiterated some of the points he made in December and noted that the curricular decisions reside with the deans of the four undergraduate schools and they do not favor another requirement.

The report of the Committee on Community Relations (Almanac March 15, 2005) was also discussed at the meeting, sparking reactions to the recommendation to explore “mandatory community/public service for all students graduating from the University.” President Amy Gutmann said that while community service is a goal near to her heart and central to the goal of university as an educational institution, “requirements give no clue as to whether an individual wants to serve.” She said the challenge is how to educate students so that they want to help. For those who want to get involved there are already many opportunities, such as Civic House and PAL as well as the School of Nursing’s LIFE program for the elderly, and the Center for Community Partnerships’ Academically-Based Community courses.

There was also a presentation on the College House System, by Dr. Philip Nichols, faculty director of the College Houses (click here for his report).

 

 



 
  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 26, March 29, 2005

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:

Tuesday,
March 29, 2005
Volume 51 Number 26
www.upenn.edu/almanac

 

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