Faculty to Vote on Music, Gen Ed Programs

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will vote on a dual degree music program and on new legislation for the College’s program in General Education at Tuesday’s Faculty meeting, according to the meeting agenda obtained by The Crimson.

The proposed dual degree program between Harvard’s Music Department and the Berklee College of Music would mirror the partnership already in place between the University and the New England Conservatory.

Over the course of five years, students enrolled in the Harvard-Berklee program would receive a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard and a Master of Music from Berklee in fields including music technology, digital production, global music, and jazz performance, Music professor Ingrid Monson said in an interview last month. If approved, the Faculty Council—FAS’s highest elected body—would review the program five years after its inception.

At January's faculty meeting, some professors raised questions about the proposal, citing the costs of niche academic programs that may prevent underprivileged students from enrolling.

On Tuesday, members of FAS also will vote on the legislation of the revamped Gen Ed program, a discussion that has been prolonged since a committee reviewing the current requirements deemed the program “failing on a variety of fronts” in May 2015.

If approved, the new system—which Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris presented at January’s faculty meeting—would require students to take courses in four new Gen Ed categories, fulfill a distribution requirement, and complete one numerical reasoning-based course.

A standing committee will review courses that count for the Gen Ed, distribution, and the mathematical requirements. Additionally, the standing committee will determine “the scope and parameters” of the math requirement, according to the proposed legislation outlined in Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

Visual and Environmental Studies professor Robb Moss will also introduce a proposal to transfer a current doctoral program in Film and Visual Studies from the purview of a standing committee to the VES department.

“The interdisciplinary and formally experimental aspects of the program have not only put the [Film and Visual Studies] program on the cutting edge of film and media scholarship, but woven it more tightly into the VES department over time,” the proposal reads. “The current Standing Committee arrangement does not reflect this reality on the ground, causing confusion both within Harvard and beyond it.”

Faculty will not vote on this proposed change until next month’s faculty meeting, at the earliest.

At the Faculty Council’s bi-weekly meeting last week, members voted on the VES proposal and also heard presentations on “diversity in the College and on graduate student unionization,” according to a Harvard press release.

—Staff writer Melissa C. Rodman can be reached at melissa.rodman@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissa_rodman.

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