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Committee continues review of liberal arts curriculum

November 12, 2001

What is the role of liberal arts in the 21st century, and how should it be translated into the curriculum? That question, with all its complexities, is being tackled by an eight-member committee appointed by President Sherry Hoppe and chaired by Dr. Jim Diehr, professor of art.

"We're exploring ways to make Austin Peay's curriculum more definable as a liberal arts curriculum for a liberal arts mission," says Diehr.

The committee also is examining the number of hours the University should require for a degree. "We currently require 123 to 130 hours," Diehr says. "But the Board of Regents is discussing a mandate that requires universities to reduce their bachelors degrees to 120 hours."

Diehr says the committee, which has met bi-weekly throughout the year, is actively seeking input from faculty. "We recently sent out a survey and encourage faculty to fill it out. Their input is very important to the formulation of the structure of the curriculum," he adds.

The ultimate goal of the committee, Diehr says, is to create a document that refines how we formulate our liberal arts mission and identifies ways to integrate liberal arts and professional disciplines into a dual-track curriculum.

Other members of the committee are Dr. Bruce Speck, Dr. Richard Gildrie, Dr. Tim Winters, Dr. Allene Phy-Olsen, Dr. John Volker, Dr. Willodean Burton and Dr. Donald Luck.