Core Review Starts

Students Not Yet Picked for Committee

The Core Review Committee [CRC] has begun reassessing every aspect of the Core program, but without the student members of the CRC--who have yet to be chosen, officials said yesterday.

"We have met [and] talked among ourselves, and met with a few faculty members and the Standing Committee [on the Core]," said Pforzheimer University Professor Sidney Verba '53, the chair of the review committee.

"My impression is [the students should be chosen] very soon because the committee is getting rolling," Verba said.

"[Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles] is selecting them, and he is using the same procedure he used for the faculty," Verba said. "He is looking for students interested in working on the topic."

But Verba said the students will not miss much if they do not yet start discussing the topic along with the rest of the committee.


"Basically, we have just exchanged our impressions of the Core and have set up some schedules to meet with various groups, such as the subcommittees [on the Core] and other interested parties, including the student committee from the Undergraduate Council," Verba said.

Knowles said the CRC would meet with the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) and the Faculty Council, among other groups.

There are five subcommittees on the Core which oversee of its ten subject areas, Verba said.

"The purpose of the review group will be to advise the Faculty on the character and degree of any changes that may seem desirable [in the Core program]," Knowles wrote in a letter sent to every faculty member on a Core subcommittee.

The CRC will "reexamine the basic premises, eight area requirements, balance among curricular areas, relationship between the Core and the concentrations and other relevant matters," Knowles wrote in the letter.

The review committee will have jurisdiction over every aspect of the ECore, Verba said.

"I think we think of our mandate as very broad," Verba said. "We will be looking at the language requirement and the Core and how they relate to each other. We have no idea yet of what we might recommend in those areas."

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Another academic issue on the table this year is grade inflation.

"This question [grade inflation] will come back from the CUE [Committee on Undergraduate Education] to the EPC for more discussion," Knowles said.

He said there were discussions last year about adding the class size and the average final grade among students in a class to students' transcripts.

"I believe [these proposals] will be discussed further this year," Knowles said.

Knowles also said he is working with Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 to make the position of house senior tutor more attractive to junior faculty members.

"I do recognize that the pressures on our junior faculty have not decreased over the last decade," Knowles said. "I do recognize that the expectation of departments and disciplines have risen."

"What I have agreed is that the clock shall slow down while a junior faculty member is a senior tutor," he said. "That seems an action I can take--and I have taken it--to try to remove a hurdle. It does not solve all problems.