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March 21, 2014

Board rejects UCC findings on credit conversion

By Samah Assad

While the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) had with an overwhelming vote of 34-4 recommended that Cleveland State University not proceed with the broad 4-to-3 undergraduate curriculum conversion in haste, however, after acknowledging the contribution of the faculty, in its March 18 meeting, The Board of Trustees rejected the recommendation and has directed President Berkman to proceed in implementing the dominant three-credit hour model, preferably by September 2014.

The UCC has emphasized that students would face drastic negative ramifications with such swift change in curriculum. The committee was also concerned with the timetable of the model’s implementation, considering it to be too quick to completely restructure curriculum without severe impacts on its students — the opposite of the university’s goal to help students graduate at a faster rate.

Although the UCC proposed that the Board extend the deadline, Joe Mosbrook, director of strategic communication, said that the target date remains September 2014, but may be revisited if outstanding logistic problems arise.

After conducting a survey sent to all undergraduate students, the UCC cited the majority of students’ responses as disapproval of the potential curriculum changes.
However, the administration was “not persuaded” that the UCC’s requests would outweigh the supposed benefits that the university believes streamlining the undergraduate curriculum would bring.

The administration questioned the methodology of the survey, concluding that the results were inconclusive and “do not represent the opinions of the entire student population.” According to the document, 982 out of a total 12,200 undergraduate students responded to the survey.

The documents also pointed out that the Cleveland State Student Government Association voted unanimously in favor of the conversion. Because SGA consists of elected members from the student population, administration believes SGA “serves the same representative function for students as the Faculty Senate does for the faculty.”

Berkman will provide quarterly progress reports at regularly scheduled Board meetings.