A subcommittee of the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) is seeking ways to increase the academic function of the Houses, in an effort to increase contact between students and Faculty, committee members said yesterday.
The educational policy subcommittee has recommended to CHUL that the University increase funding for House seminars and ask professors to offer more House sections than are currently taught.
Committee members are now investigating the possibility of increasing House library resources to include reserved readings for popular courses, in order to decrease student dependency on Lamont and Hilles libraries.
The committee will deliver its recommendations to a full CHUL meeting this spring, after the Faculty votes on the Core Curriculum.
"Making Houses stronger academically is the most important issue we're concerned with," William G. Mayer '79, a member of the committee, said yesterday. "It creates a better intellectual climate to have courses and sections with those you eat with and see every day."
Paul J. Wang '79, chairman of the committee, said although committee members agree on the need to improve the academic life of the Houses, implementation of the group's proposals will be difficult because of the decentralized nature of the University.
"No one seems to have the authority to bring about the strengthening of House life academically," Wang said. "The interest is there, but it's hard to get people to act on our recommendations."
Earlier this year, CHUL passed several resolutions, drawn up by the educational policy subcommittee, but no one has acted on these resolutions, committee members said.
The resolutions call for courses designed for the proposed Core Curriculum to be "taught, insofar as possible, in the Houses."
"Ideally, faculty members would teach non-departmental courses in the House with which they are affiliated," the resolutions state.
Sections and tutorials should also be organized around the Houses, and House educational budgets should be "increased substantially," CHUL recommended.
The lack of enthusiasm on the part of Faculty members and student ambivalence on the idea of increasing the academic role of the Houses has inhibited the educational policy subcommittee, Wang said.