Faculty Opens CLGS Degree To All Thesis-Writing Seniors
All seniors, regardless of whether or not they plan to write a thesis and regardless of whether or not they ever finish it, are eligible for an Honors degree in General Studies as a result of Faculty action yesterday.
The Faculty decided that candidacy for Honors in a field should no longer exclude a student from candidacy for a cum laude degree in General Studies Under the new legislation, seniors who start theses but do not complete them, or whose theses are too poor to warrant an Honors degree in the field of concentration, will automatically be awarded a C.L.G.S. if their course grades are good enough.
The change is effective for this year's seniors and all succeeding classes.
In another part of yesterday's meeting, the Faculty firmly rejected a motion which would have allowed the departments to recommend that students who has performed poorly in departmental work be denied an Honors degree in General Studies. With this action, as with the other, the Faculty emphasized that it does not consider departmental work to be relevant to candidacy for the C.L.G.S.
Faculty Overrules CEP
On both counts, the Faculty overrode positions which had been endorsed by the Committee on Educational Policy. Commenting on this reversal, Dean Ford said last night that since C.L.G.S. regulations had been discussed frequently in the past two years, most members of the Faculty had reached definite conclusions about the degree well before yesterday's meeting. Therefore, he said, when the CEP prepared its C.L.G.S. motions, it was concerned less with forming opinion than with "getting careful wording before the Faculty."
The discussion on whether or not departments should be able to recommend against awarding Honors in General Studies fell entirely within the limits envisioned by the CEP.
But in deciding that students who had committed themselves to a thesis could at the same time be considered for a degree in General Studies, the Faculty took an extreme position that apparently came as a complete surprise. The CEP, though it felt that commitment to a thesis should exclude the possibility of a student's receiving a C.L.G.S., was willing to concede that a case could be made for allowing exceptions to the rule in special circumstances. Therefore, the CEP placed on the Faculty meeting's docket an unapproved motion suggesting that "upon specific recommendation of his department," a student could be allowed to drop a half-completed thesis and try for Honors in General Studies.
The policy adopted yesterday, however, allows a student to drop his thesis for any reason, at any time, and with no necessity of seeking his department's approval. Ford said that this policy was approved only after a "very close" vote.