College of Arts & Sciences Academic Affairs Committee
The committee is charged with issues of curriculum (mostly) and academic
standards (occasionally) arising in the College of Arts & Sciences.
It generally meets
on alternate Wednesdays (whichever Wednesday the Chairs of Arts &
Sciences are not meeting) from 1:00-2:15 PM.
The current Committee Chair is Brian
Rose, a professor in the Department of Performing Arts.
(This Web page is maintained by the previous Chair, Stephen Bloch.)
Meetings for Fall, 2006 will be 9/6, 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15,
11/29, and 12/13 at 9:00 AM in Post Hall, room 100.
- Minor Course Changes.pdf
- The form to request streamline processing of "minor" course changes:
This form has been provided as a PDF, which you can fill in and print
using Adobe Reader. Unfortunately, in the current version you can't
save or e-mail it with your answers filled in; you
have to kill trees. We're working on this....
- Change course number
- Change course title
- Change course description
- Change course sponsorship (i.e. which department is "belongs" to)
- Change number of credits
- Change course pre-requisites
- Change grade type (i.e. letter-grade-only, P/F-only, both)
- Change course cap (max number of students allowed in course)
- the checklist and form
to fill out when proposing a new course (other than Special Topics
courses; see below) or changing an existing
Note that one of the requirements on the checklist is a CIF; see
- the "Course Inventory Form" used to create a new course
or change an existing course.
If you're creating a new course, fill in all the relevant fields.
If you're changing an existing course, fill in the course number, the
code "C" for "change", and only the fields that
A CIF is not required if you're changing an existing course in ways that
don't affect the CIF, e.g. only the course description.
incomplete instructions for filling out the form.
checklist and form to fill out when proposing a curriculum change: a new
program or a change to the requirements of an existing program. Note
that any new courses involved in the curriculum change must have their
own copies of Newcourse.doc and their own
CIF forms. For that matter, any courses whose course number, name,
number of credits, or even enrollment cap is changing must have their
own CIF forms. And now that the CIF form includes a field for whether
the course is required, variable-required, or elective, any course which
is moving from one of these categories to another must have its own CIF
- NYSED program
- the forms required by the State of New York in order
to register a new or significantly modified degree program.
Policies and Procedures
Note: The following is my understanding
of the bureaucratic steps and rules. At the higher levels, farther
removed from ASAAC, I may well be utterly wrong.
The normal procedure for any course or curriculum proposal is
- A proposal is developed, generally by one or more faculty within
an academic department, discussed within that department (each
department has different procedures), and approved by the department chair.
Special Topics courses (see below) go directly from
here to the Registrar's Office.
- A proposing faculty member gives the proposal to the
Chair of the Committee, with all the required paperwork.
- If the Chair considers it "trivial", such as changes in course caps
and corrections of typographical errors in titles or free-form notes,
the Chair will sign it and send it to the Dean's Office.
- Otherwise, the Chair will schedule it to be discussed at a
regular meeting of the Committee or its Curriculum Subcommittee.
Typically, the proposer or someone from his/her department is
invited to that meeting to answer questions and clarify the proposal.
If the proposer informs the Chair that (s)he cannot attend the meeting,
the proposal can still be discussed and voted upon, but things tend to
go more slowly.
- The Committee takes a vote. Technically, a simple majority is
required, but we usually try for unanimity; if anybody has serious
objections to a proposal, we try to address those objections before
bringing it to a vote.
- The Chair forwards the Committee's recommendation and paperwork
to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
- The Dean's office, if satisfied, signs off and sends the
thing either to the appropriate office (e.g. the Registrar)
for implementation or to the
Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee.
- The Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee, if satisfied,
signs off and sends the thing either to the appropriate office
for implementation or to the full Faculty Senate.
- The Faculty Senate debates and votes on big changes. For
especially sweeping changes,
it may refer the proposal to the full faculty.
- The full faculty debates and votes on really big changes,
such as revising the General Education curriculum or creating a new
- New major programs and the like need to be approved by the Provost,
the President, the Board of Trustees, and the State Department of
- Special Topics courses
Special Topics courses do not need to go through Committee
approval, but they do need a CIF form with a catalog-type course
description. More precisely,
whenever you create a Special Topics course with a new title, not
previously used for Special Topics in your department, it must have a
CIF form and a course description.
However, this CIF form can go directly from your department
to the Registrar's office, without going through the Committee, the
Dean's Office, the Provost's Office, etc. Don't worry about the spaces for
signatures from the Committee Chair and the Dean.
- Do I need a CIF?
There's a lot of information on the current CIF form, and the rule of
thumb is that if you're changing any of the information that appears on
that form, you need to fill out a new CIF form. This includes
Note that it does not include the course description, so if the
only thing you're changing is the course description, you don't
need a CIF form.
- course number
- course title
- instructor consent required?
- repeatable for credit?
- primary activity code (e.g. lecture, lab, seminar, etc.)
- contact hours
- student credit hours
- faculty workload hours
- course enrollment cap
- grade type
- is the course specificaly required for a major, a variable
requirement for a major, or an elective?
The CIF form is officially a multi-colored, multi-part document, but a
photocopy of the front page will do for most purposes.
Stephen Bloch /
A PGP key is available by finger.