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Approval of New Courses and Credit Changes - SL

School of Law

The following Procedures were adopted by the faculty in academic year 1978-79; and amended by the Faculty Council on February 25, 1999. The document was further amended on October 20, 2005.

Curriculum Committee Procedures

Section A: New Courses and Non-Classroom Credit Activities

  1. Who May Initiate Proposals for New Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities. The following categories of individuals may propose new courses or credit activities:
    1. Any member of the Curriculum Committee.
    2. Any member of the full-time or part-time faculty.
    3. Any student by either:
      1. Obtaining a faculty sponsor for a new course or credit activity, or
      2. Obtaining the signatures of at least 25 students interested in such a new course or credit activity.
  2. Submissions for Consideration of New Courses.
    1. Required Submissions
      The following is a list of information that is required to be submitted in proposing a new course.
      1. Course Title
      2. Credit Hours
      3. Course Prerequisites, including why required
      4. Catalog Description (Paragraph should reflect general aims and nature of the course)
      5. Type of Course (seminar, workshop, advocacy, scholarly upper-level writing requirement, clinic, perspective course)
      6. Whether Open or Limited Enrollment
      7. Suggested approximate class size
      8. Content outline
      9. Learning Goals
      10. Assessment Strategies (examination, paper, simulations, documents/complex instruments, short assignments, other)
      11. Text(s) (include author, title, publisher, date of publication, and an indication of whether or not the text is required)
      12. Suggested Concentration(s)
      13. A full rationale for the proposed course (include how the proposed course will benefit the students, the Law School, and the University).
    2. Suggested Submissions
      While not mandatory, the following is a list of the type of information that may be helpful to the Curriculum Committee in its evaluation.
      1. General course syllabus
      2. What topics in course overlap with other courses in curriculum and justification for such overlap.
      3. If course continues in-depth treatment of a subject area, why is this justified.
      4. What student needs does course fulfill, looking at curriculum as whole (rather than at sponsor's interest).
      5. Statement of existing interest or expertise on the faculty in the subject area of proposed course.
      6. Statement of marketability of the course.
  3. Submissions for Non-Classroom Credit Activities (currently includes Advocacy Activities, Internships, Publications, Student Fellows, Teaching Assistants and Moot Court Board)
    1. Required Submissions
      The following is a list of information that is required to be submitted in proposing a new non-classroom credit activity.
      1. Description of Activity
      2. Credit Hours
      3. Prerequisites, if any
      4. Estimate of number of students to be involved in activity
      5. Content Outline
      6. Learning Goals
      7. Assessment Strategies
      8. Text(s), if any (include author, title, publisher, date of publication, and an indication of whether or not the text is required)
      9. Suggested Concentration(s), if any
      10. A full rationale for the proposed non-classroom credit activity (include how the proposed non-classroom credit activity will benefit students, the Law School, and the University).
    2. Suggested Submissions
      While not mandatory, the following is a list of the type of information that may be helpful to the Curriculum Committee in its evaluation.
      1. Who will be conducting the evaluation for credit determination and what quality control will be employed.
      2. What similar activities are currently receiving credit and how the activity in question will use similar or different format for evaluation.
      3. School goals achieved by the activity.
      4. Justification for need for credit rather than resume recognition.
      5. Specification of faculty member willing to supervise activity.
  4. Criteria for Approval of New Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities. The criteria for approval of new courses and non-classroom credit activities are guidelines.
    1. New Course
      1. Adds depth to the curriculum as a whole.
      2. Avoids excessive overlap with other courses in the curriculum.
      3. Fulfills student needs in terms of number of students with an interest in the subject area or in terms of increased student employment opportunities.
      4. Fits into the balance of other courses in the curriculum in terms of type of course (see II.A.4.) and type of evaluation (see II.A.10.).
      5. Represents an area of law that the law school wishes to develop in greater depth.
      6. Brings recognition to the law school.
      7. Is a subject area for which the law library has a collection of materials that is adequate to support faculty members teaching the course and students taking the course.
    2. Non-Classroom Credit Activities
      1. There exists a presumption against new non-classroom credit activities in order to avoid a proliferation of unsupervised activities and activities that are largely clerical.
      2. Must be a learning situation that deals with substantive law and includes some legal writing.
      3. Brings recognition to the law school or is considered necessary for the law school.
      4. Must be supervised by a faculty member in a manner appropriate to the activity in question.
      5. Availability of a faculty member to supervise activity.
  5. Procedures for Approval of New Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities.
    1. Prerequisites to review.
      1. If a new course or non-classroom credit activity is proposed by other than a faculty member, the Curriculum Committee will appoint a sponsor to complete the submission requirements under Part II or Part III, as the case may be, within three weeks from the date of the submission of the proposal.
      2. Sponsors must complete the submission requirements under Part II or Part III, as the case may be, before the Curriculum Committee will review the proposed new course or non-classroom credit activity.
      3. Completed submissions must be received by the Curriculum Committee in accordance with the following schedule:
        1. For a course or non-classroom credit activity to commence with the spring semester the deadline is September 15.
        2. For the course or non-classroom credit activity to commence with the summer or fall semester the deadline is February 15.
    2. Review
      1. The Curriculum Committee will review the submission and discuss it at a meeting of the entire committee.
      2. The Curriculum Committee will then conduct an open meeting for the faculty sponsor, any faculty member, or any student to address the desirability of adding the proposed new course or non-classroom credit activity to the curriculum.
      3. The entire Curriculum Committee, including the Chair, will then vote on whether to add the proposed new course or non-classroom credit activity to the curriculum. The decision will be based on a majority of the members of the committee.
      4. Upon approval by the majority of the Committee, the Chair shall submit the proposal for review by the full faculty at the next regular faculty meeting. The full faculty will vote on the recommendation at that meeting.
      5. Upon approval of the faculty, the Dean will submit the proposal to the Provost.

Section B: Re-Evaluation of Existing Courses and Non-Classroom Credit Activities

  1. Jurisdiction for Re-evaluation of Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities. Jurisdiction exists if the issue(s) is (are):
    1. The continued presence in the curriculum.
    2. The status as required or elective.
    3. The number of credits assigned.
    4. The frequency with which offered and the semester(s) designated for such offering(s).
    5. The prerequisites.
  2. II. Who May Initiate Proposals for Re-evaluation of Existing Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities.
    1. Any member of the Curriculum Committee, including any student member.
    2. Any member of the full-time or part-time faculty.
    3. Any student by either
      1. Obtaining a faculty sponsor to seek re-evaluation, or
      2. Obtaining the signatures of at least 25 students interested in having the course or credit activity re-evaluated.
  3. Submission Requirements for Re-evaluation of Existing Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities. The submission requirements are the same as those contained in Section A, Part II and III of these procedures. The Curriculum Committee will determine who must make the required submissions, as well as which, if any, of the enumerated submission will not be required in a given case.
  4. Criteria for Approval of Continuation of Existing Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities. The criteria for approval of continuation upon re-evaluation are the same as those contained in Section A, Part IV of these procedures.
  5. Procedures for Re-evaluation of Existing Courses or Non-Classroom Credit Activities.
    1. The Curriculum Committee will send a letter to the faculty member(s) who will then be required to comply with the submission requirements.
    2. If after three weeks, the Curriculum Committee has not received the required submissions, the Chairperson will appoint a subcommittee to compile the information required for a re-evaluation of the course or non-classroom credit activity.
    3. The Curriculum Committee will review the submission and discuss it at a meeting of the entire committee.
    4. The Curriculum Committee will then conduct an open meeting for the faculty sponsor, any faculty member, or any student to address the desirability of continuation of the course or non-classroom credit activity.
    5. The entire Curriculum Committee, including the Chair, will then vote on whether to continue the course or non-classroom credit activity in the curriculum. The decision will be based on a majority of the members of the committee.
    6. The Curriculum Committee Chair will then appoint a committee member to draft a report on the decision whether to continue the course or non-classroom credit activity in the curriculum, including the reasons for the decision, for submission to the Dean and the entire faculty.
    7. Faculty members will then be given two weeks to submit their comments concerning the report to the Dean.
    8. If, in light of his own position or in response to faculty comment(s), the Dean does not support the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee, the Dean will then send his comments to the faculty, and the faculty will vote on the recommendation at the next faculty meeting.
    9. If, after the two week period, and in light of faculty comments, the Dean supports the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee, he will take no action. No action by the Dean by the next regular faculty meeting after the two week period will automatically adopt for implementation the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee.