Populating the Core

When the Core committees set out two years ago to look for new courses and professors to teach them, they didn't have much trouble. The Core racked up 85 courses in that first year.

But last year, the program added only 13 new offerings, prompting a report from Edward T. Wilcox, director of General Education, which predicted that "the rate at which the curriculum is being augmented with new courses will leave us considerably short of the 100 courses we hoped to be offering when the program is fully implemented in 1982-3."

Although the Core already lists 98 courses in the course catalogue, only 62--about 37 per cent--are offered this year. Assuming that percentage would remain steady, Wilcox calculated that the Core would have to list 160 courses in order to offer 100 in a given year.

Coming up with the new classes--62 over the next two years--will require renewed effort from the subcommittees, Wilcox said last week, and several subcommittee chairmen said they would try to recruit professors to teach new courses.

Many, including Dean Rosovsky, who chairs the Core standing committee, said they were not committed to the 100-course figure, suggested in the 1978 Faculty legislation on the Core.

"There's nothing magical about 100," Rosovsky said yesterday. "We want a good selection of courses--there's no doubt that we need more courses, but I don't anticipate any difficulty getting more courses," he added.

Wilcox's report also included a statement from Richard C. Marius, director of Expository Writing, explaining why he considered it "administratively impossible" to establish a link between the Core and Expos programs.

The 1978 Report on the Core Curriculum suggested such a connection--which would have freshmen sign up for Expos sections corresponding to Core courses they are in. But for a number of reasons--a major one was that Core courses do not assign enough written work to make such a link feasible--Marius rejected the idea, and the standing committee informally decided to drop it.