Students and professors alike were beaming as they walked out of a closed-door meeting of the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) that had discussed the College's proposed Core Curriculum--indicating that things are not going well for those who disagree with Dean Rosovsky's conception of an educated man.
The next day, the Faculty Council put together two new amendments, after having won secret CUE approval at the CUE meeting the day before. Both dealt with the touchy issue of how students might be able to avoid taking Core courses in the future.
The amendments--although only minor concessions to those students and professors who want to see less severe restrictions on students' freedom--were apparently enough to assuage the student representatives on CUE and the Educational Resources Group (ERG).
The heavily pro-Core Faculty Council played its hand well. In return for CUE and ERG rejection of major amendments--such as the Abernathy amendment, which would provide for optional departmental by-passes for all core courses--the council conceded little to the students.
As the amendments now stand, the proposed Core committees would have a free hand to resolve the most controversial issues long after the Faculty votes this spring.
As they addressed the issue of student representation on the standing committees, CUE and the council both voted this week to approve a tepid amendment stating that students will "ordinarily" attend the meeting of the standing committees--but only when "confidential" matters are not being discussed. The Faculty members on the committees will decide what issues fall within the realm of confidentiality.
Because CUE and ERG have endorsed Faculty Council action on important amendments, pro-Core Faculty members will be able to state in the upcoming Faculty debate that the students support the Core Curriculum. The claim will have some justification, because students on CUE voted almost unanimously with the professors to endorse the Faculty Council measures.
Last week's action should boost the Core Curriculum's chances of passing almost completely intact. Although CUE's and Faculty Council's rejection of the major amendments is not binding, it will probably diminish greatly the odds that Faculty members will take those amendments seriously at next week's Faculty meeting.