Faculty Senate approves gen ed cut; general faculty to vote next month

After two months of discussion and debate, the Wichita State Faculty Senate voted Monday to reduce the number of required general education credit hours from 42 to 36. The proposal will now be taken up at the Nov. 11 general faculty meeting.

Before approving the proposal by a wide margin, the senate narrowly passed an amendment raising the proposed minimum from 33 to 36 credit hours.

If the proposal is approved by the general faculty, students will only be required to take one fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and math/natural science class, respectively, on top of 12 credit hours of basic skills and 12 credit hours of gen ed electives. The senate also passed an amendment Monday that those elective credits must come from at least two different divisions within gen ed.

Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, director of the WSU School of Music, speaks at the first Faculty Senate meeting of the fall semester. He said the school could use more flexibility in designing degree programs.

Matthew Kelly
Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, director of the WSU School of Music, speaks at the first Faculty Senate meeting of the fall semester. He said the school could use more flexibility in designing degree programs.

“All the amendments even today just signifies the importance of getting that policy right, which is what the senate did,” Faculty Senate President Jeff Jarman said after the meeting.

“I’m pleased with the depth and quality of the discussion in the senate over the last two months.”

Reducing gen ed credit hour requirements would help certain degree programs in the College of Engineering and the School of Music that have had to cut back programming to meet the Kansas Board of Regents’ tightened requirements aimed at improving degree completion. All WSU students must take at least 120 credit hours to graduate.