The Academic Senate held its first meeting of the school year Thursday night with an agenda including concerns about funding and changes to the General Education requirements for UC Santa Barbara students.
Chancellor Henry Yang spoke briefly about the importance of the upcoming November election, specifically Proposition 47, which would provide $408.2 million in bonds toward UC schools, he said.
“Every dollar of bond funds invested will produce $3 to $5 from the economy,” Yang said.
The pending reforms of the G.E. requirements were also discussed. The Academic Senate is considering changing the requirements for students and plans to vote on the changes Dec. 13. The proposed G.E. changes would eliminate one required course from Area C – math, science and technology -, Area D – social sciences -, Area E – civilization and thought, and the non-western culture requirement. The writing requirement of six writing-intensive courses would be replaced with two required writing courses.
The Academic Senate also discussed the review process in place for approving campus projects, which include the funds allocated for the building of new campus dormitories and non-academic buildings. The review process currently in place allows student-funded buildings and privately funded capital projects to be placed on the student ballot without previous consultation through committee review.
The resolution presented by the Graduate Council would require that the Council on Planning and Budget first review projects not funded by the state. Projects that would allocate student fees would also be reviewed more extensively than before by directing them to the graduate and undergraduate councils in addition to the Council on Planning and Budget before allowing UCSB students to vote on their approval.
The Academic Senate itself might experience significant bureaucratic change with the proposed new voting method for the senate members. The Committee on Rules, Jurisdiction and Elections drafted a resolution to change the bylaws to allow senators to vote online. While voting by online methods was supported, the meeting concluded with concerns raised by faculty members who said they prefer the mail ballot and have concerns about voting security.