Core for Faculty and Staff

Amending the Core Curriculum

Procedures Governing Substantive Amendments to the Core Curriculum

CCC proposed the following procedure for substantive amendments to the Core Curriculum, including changes to core requirements or changes to the Core Curriculum SLOs has been approved by BUGS:

  1. A proposal for a change is brought before the CCC. Proposals will originate from the faculty, either from departments or from groups of at least four principal faculty. If other parties on campus-individual faculty, students, or staff-would like to encourage a change to the core, they must do so by working with a department or group. The CCC may itself articulate proposals for amendment, in particular as a result of the work of the Core Curriculum Assessment Committee. Proposals might include the adoption of specific courses, or it may simply raise a question for CCC to study and identify possible strategies for implementation.
  2. The CCC studies the proposal. In consultation with relevant and affected parties on campus, the CCC considers the justification and effects of adopting it, and examines possible alternatives. Such parties may include individual departments or colleges, administrative units including the Office of the Registrar, Offices of the Deans, the Provost and the President, and other University Committees including the Board of Undergraduate Studies and the curriculum committees of the various colleges. At this stage, CCC may solicit feedback from the rest of the faculty, for example through a Faculty Forum, or a survey coordinated through the faculty committee. If the CCC, either in consultation with the faculty as a whole or on its own, deems the proposal to be inappropriate, it will return to the petitioners to consider whether other proposals might be appropriate. If the CCC deems the proposal appropriate and can identify a specific amendment to introduce it, it will formulate an amendment to the Core Curriculum. Such amendments require approval by at least 2/3 of the CCC.
  3. The CCC brings the amendment to the Board of Undergraduate Studies. BUGS considers the justification for and implications of implementing the amendment. If BUGS deems the amendment inappropriate, CCC will consider possible changes to it, returning to step 2. If BUGS deems the amendment appropriate, they will alert the CCC.
  4. The CCC then brings the BUGS-approved amendment before a vote of the whole faculty. If the proposal receives 60% in a vote, the amendment will be approved. If the amendment fails to secure 60% in a vote, CCC will either consider possible alternative amendments, or pursue the amendment proposal no further.
  5. Once approved by faculty vote, the amendment proceeds to the Provost for approval. The Provost may request changes to the amendment. If the changes are minor, CCC may make them, and advance the amendment pending approval by the Provost. If the changes are significant, the amendment will revert to a proposal, and CCC will work to advance it through BUGS and return it to the faculty for a vote.
  6. Once approved by Provost, the amendment proceeds to the University Board of Trustees. The Board may request changes to the amendment. If the changes are minor, the CCC may make them, and advance the amendment, pending approval by the Board. If the changes are significant, the amendment reverts to a proposal, and CCC will work to advance it through BUGS and return it to the faculty for a vote.
  7. Once approved by the Board, CCC will notify the faculty of the formal adoption of the amendment, and begin the process of implementing it.

This policy aims to balance and include a range of different interests:

  • Since the curriculum, including the Core Curriculum, is determined by the will of the faculty, it requires the agency of departments and faculty groups to advance a proposal, and submits any proposed amendments to the judgment of the faculty as a whole.
  • It assigns a central role to the Core Curriculum Committee in shepherding possible proposals through the process.
  • It ensures that proposals are appropriately vetted and approved by relevant parties on campus, in particular BUGS, the ultimate authority on matters related to the undergraduate curriculum.

"Substantive" changes to the Core Curriculum require successful completion of this procedure. A substantive change in core requirements involves the addition, subtraction, or significant redefinition of a course requirement or flag. A substantive change to the Core SLOs is one that either alters the meaning of an existing SLO, or changes the number of SLOs.

By contrast "minor" changes to the Core Curriculum are not subject to this procedure.

A minor change to the core requirements is one that is based on existing course descriptions. Such changes may be made by the Core Curriculum Committee.

A minor change to an SLO is one that involves a change in wording, but that does not alter the meaning of the SLO. Such changes require approval of the Core Curriculum Committee, followed by BUGS approval.


With the adoption of the new Core Curriculum in Spring 2014, the Core Curriculum Committee was established as a standing committee for the purpose of implementing, assessing, and, when appropriate, revising the Core. While revisions to the Core have, in the past, only involved significant changes to the curriculum, the CCC was established in part to facilitate minor revisions of the Core when such revisions were deemed justified.

According to past formulations of the Core Curriculum Committee's official charge: "Changes to the core recommended by the CCC will be handled as other changes to the curriculum, being sent to the Board of Undergraduate Studies for approval or returned by BUGS to the committee for revisions. As with other changes to the curriculum, once approved by BUGS, the recommendations will be put before the Faculty for a vote of approval."

In some ways, this statement is consistent with the "Changing Core Requirements" document (June 6, 2014), which outlines some procedures for changing the core. That document distinguishes between "substantive" changes to the core, which require the approval of BUGS, and "minor" change to the core, which lie within the purview of the CCC. At the same time, that document suggests that substantive changes to the core need first to be approved by faculty vote before they are sent to BUGS for approval.

Core Curriculum Committee

February 20, 2024