Georgia Institute of Technology

Report on the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee


25 September 2006


Members: Lloyd Byars (Chair), Paul Benkeser (Vice Chair), Larry Bottomley, Al Ferri, Christopher Jarrett, Charles Parsons, John Stasko, Mark Guzdial, Michael Schatz, Terry Snell, John Tone, Don Webster, Doug Williams, Gordon Kingsley, Paul Kohl, Christopher Lynch, Charles Rudolph, Reta Pikowsky, Gail Di Sabitino, John Stein


Meetings: The IUCC held 27 meetings during the 2005-2006 plus additional meetings on focused topics (General Education, Study Abroad, and Program Review). The work of the committee falls into four main categories (Curriculum Items, Student Petitions, General Education, Study Abroad, and Program Review). Activities in each of these areas are outlined below.


Curriculum Items: Over the 2005-2006 year, the IUCC approved several modifications and additions to Georgia Tech’s degrees.


New courses were approved in:

  1. Human Anatomy
  2. Psychology
  3. History, Technology, & Society
  4. Biology
  5. Civil & Environmental Engineering
  6. Biomedical Engineering
  7. Arabic, Korean, Spanish
  8. Mechanical Engineering
  9. Materials Science & Engineering
  10. Computer Science
  11. Aerospace Engineering
  12. College of Architecture
  13. Earth & Atmospheric Sciences


Changes were approved in the following degree programs:

  1. Several programs added International Plan and Research Options
  2. Nuclear and Radiological Engineering
  3. Guidelines for Minors and Certificates
  4. Psychology, added minor in Psychology
  5. College of Computing redesign of undergraduate curriculum
  6. Changes to Minor in Computer Science
  7. Public Policy
  8. Biology
  9. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


New degree programs were approved in:

  1. BS in Biochemistry
  2. BS in Environmental Engineering





Student Petitions and Appeals: The IUCC heard 579 petitions, 21 in-person appeals, and 22 written appeals (43 total appeals). Approved by the Registrar under the authority of the Committee were 140 petitions for readmission, and 63 requests to return after withdrawing.  In 2004-2005, the IUCC heard 738 petitions and 27 appeals. Classifying some of the petitions under the “administrative action” category has helped off-load some of the work, but the increase in appeals that are very time consuming is cause for continued concern about the workload of this Committee.


General Education: In 2005-2006 the General Education Subcommittee continued addressing the evaluation of the general education curriculum across the Institute.  This year the focus was upon introducing and developing evaluation procedures within the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.  Working with the Institute’s Office of Assessment, evaluations of the general education curriculum were introduced in courses in the School of Public Policy and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.  These evaluations address the general education objectives for assessing student learning with regards to individuals and society as well as global awareness, human values, and culture.  Evaluation of the general education objectives for student learning with regards to communication were further developed in School of Literature, Communications and Culture.  This work builds upon evaluations of general education introduced in previous years in the College of Science, the College of Computing, and the College of Architecture.


Program Review: Reports from AY 2004-2005 were acknowledged by the Committee and more discussion took place with the Assessment Office to determine a workable strategy for reviewing the reports during the spring and early summer. The Chair and the Registrar met with the Director of the Assessment to discuss the timeline and how the IUCC might better integrate the Institute program review timeline into the work of its subcommittee.


Study Abroad: The Study Abroad Subcommittee met three times during Fall Semester 2006 and reviewed 21 proposals for faculty-led study abroad programs. One program for Spring 2006 and 18 programs for Summer 2006 were approved at those meetings.  Two additional programs for Summer 2006 were approved by e-mail after the Program Directors provided additional information and documentation to the committee members.  The committee reviewed an appeal from one student denied admission to a spring study abroad program and voted not to allow the student to study abroad.  


Summary: The 2005-2006 school year has been a very busy one for the IUCC. The time spent on petitions and academic matters continues to increase. The sheer volume of work that this committee does remains both impressive and worrisome. In addition, many of the issues related to both petitions and curricular matters are complex, requiring thorough discussion and thoughtful sorting out of details before decisions are made. Concerns remain, as reflected in the annual report for 2004-2005, that student petitions and appeals will consume so much of the Committee’s time that it will become more and more difficult to manage the other critical work such as changes to the curriculum. The Committee recommends that the discussion group appointed by the Executive Board last year continue work in the 2006-2007 academic year to determine what changes in process or in rules and regulations might be pursued to alleviate some of this Committee’s workload, or at least to maintain it at manageable levels.