Faculty Senate amends portion of gen ed proposal


Danielle Wagner

Ikram Ahmed, mechanical engineering senator, tells fellow senators his views on the proposed gen ed changes.

Wichita State’s Faculty Senate continued debates on the new “System Wide General Education” program that would affect the state’s six regent universities.

The Kansas Board of Regents’ have said the intent with the plan is to make transferring from one Kansas school to another easier — a universal struggle for transfer students. But senators raised concerns about multiple points in the plan, some of which they said they thinked diminished fields outside of STEM.

On Monday, Feb. 13, the Senate proposed and passed its first amendment, which they will provide to KBOR. 

The KBOR proposal would require students to take a First Year Seminar (FYS) as a gen ed course. In addition, students could then use their FYS course to fulfill the requirement for a social and behavioral science course or an arts and humanities course. 

Fine Arts Senator Jeb Wallace teaches a FYS and said that only a portion of the course actually deals with fine arts. He said that a FYS is not equal to a regular fine arts gen ed.

Both Wallace and Faculty Senate President Susan Castro said that they would no longer teach their FYS if it counted as a humanities gen ed.

Math senator John Hammond proposed an amendment that would not let a FYS course count for courses in other areas, which was passed. 

Mathew Muether, general education committee chair, said that the gen ed committee was unanimously against the removal of the stipulation that FYS could count towards another discipline.

“We think it restricts the flexibility of this program and is going to restrict access to a significant portion of the general education set of courses that we have on campus,” Muether said.

When voted on, 29 members voted in favor while 11 voted against the amendment. Under the proposed general education program, FYS will no longer substitute for a different discipline. 

The Senate will meet again on Feb. 27 to discuss the new general education program more.

*This story originally stated that Muether deemed the amendment “unfriendly” in a negative sense instead of “unfriendly” as formal language in Faculty Senate meetings. This story has been updated to reflect the change.