Writing Intensive (WI) and Cultural Diversity (CD) course
requirements were installed on the UNK campus in 1994. The General
Studies Council was originally charged with oversight of these requirements
including approval of WI courses and instructors based on the following
criteria; 1) length and type of writing assignments, 2) elements of editing and
revision and 3) qualifications of instructors based on professional record in
writing. Following the North Central Reaffirmation of 2004, the UNK
Faculty Senate formally separated the evaluation of WI and CD from the General
Studies Council with the formation of an ad hoc committee charged with
governance of both elements of this University-wide curriculum. The
committee was also explicitly charged at that time with submission of a report
with “…specific recommendations to the Faculty Senate concerning the structure
of WI and CD requirements and the governance of those courses by January
2007”. The Faculty Senate reevaluated the duties of the ad hoc WI/CD
Committee at its March 1, 2007 meeting. In addition to continued
governance as had occurred from 2004 to that point, the committee was also
charged to “Reevaluate the WI and CD programs for progress towards achieving
stated student outcomes and the need for their continuation every three (3)
years beginning in 2010”. The year 2010 was thus essentially the “sunset”
date established by Faculty Senate. Edited and revised writing has
continued to be integrated into the curriculum University-wide. Regularly
reviewed reporting confirms that evaluation of writing has transitioned from a
single committee to the many academic departments and programs across
campus. Writing has matured as an essential skill now embedded in all
departments and programs. This is consistent with the expectation in 1994
that WI/CD would not continue indefinitely.
Discussions have occurred across campus in the last year
regarding next steps in relation to the lapsed sunset date of 2010.
I concur with the leadership of the Faculty Senate,
including the Academic Affairs Committee and the ad hoc WI/CD Committee,
that substantive edited and revised writing has successfully transitioned to
academic departments and programs. In relation to the CD requirement, the
cultural environment has changed in ways that include several forms of
diversity in the curriculum and social programs across campus. Further,
the General Studies curriculum now includes a “Global Perspective” component in
portal courses. The oversight by a University-wide ad hoc WI/CD
committee is no longer necessary. Indeed, “ad hoc” presumes a
particular activity is temporary.
The WI/CD Committee is hereby officially dissolved.
Further, courses will no longer be shown with this designation in the class
schedule nor will instructors be identified as “WI or CD approved”.
Since the Spring 2013 class schedule is already complete,
courses will appear with the designation of WI and CD for that semester; both
in the printed copy and in the online class schedule. Effective
immediately, the Registrar’s Office will not check for WI/CD on Senior
Checks. The Degree Audit for all current catalogs will include a
statement indicating that the WI/CD designation is no longer in effect.
Currently, departments and programs assess writing within
the disciplinary curriculums. This assessment will continue and becomes
part of the formal report by each department or program 1) in annual reporting,
2) for Academic Program Reviews and 3) for North Central Accreditation reviews.
Charles J. Bicak
October 10, 2012
Nebraska at Kearney