Spring update on 2011-12 curriculum planning

To: UCSC Community

From: Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Herbert Lee

It has been a busy year in academic planning, and I write to update the campus on several significant changes to the graduate and undergraduate curriculum.

It is a pleasure to announce the approval of new doctoral programs in Feminist Studies and Latin American & Latino Studies (LALS), as well as a Master's degree in Theater Arts. Each of these programs reflects the excellence and distinctiveness of scholarship and creative activity at UC Santa Cruz.

In approving the Ph.D. in Feminist Studies, the UC Coordinating Council on Graduate Affairs cited the uniqueness among UC programs of the interdisciplinary and transnational scope of the program, its collaborative approach, and the inclusion of science studies. Reviewers of the interdisciplinary LALS Ph.D. program noted that it will be the first doctorate program in the country to combine analysis of micro- and transnational transformations within the Americas. In Theater Arts, the new one-year Master's program will capitalize on departmental ties with Shakespeare Santa Cruz and other professional venues to prepare students to shape the future of performance. Congratulations to all who contributed to the approval of these outstanding proposals. Faculty are currently collaborating with the Graduate Division to finalize admissions planning; interested students are encouraged to contact departments directly.

The undergraduate curriculum has undergone changes this year as well. The campus has discontinued the Economics dual degree pathway program, which enrolled students from other UC campuses and had not been utilized for many years.

We have also formally suspended admissions for two years to the American Studies major. Students in the major were notified of the proposed suspension in January 2011, and the department is accommodating all declared majors who wish to complete their degrees. In the meantime, American Studies professors – who initiated the suspension – are affiliating with other departments, which has created an exciting opportunity for the campus.

With the support of Chancellor Blumenthal and Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway, faculty and students have developed plans for new programs in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES), including a B.A., a minor, and a graduate "designated emphasis." The next step will be to develop formal proposals for review by the Academic Senate, anticipated in the 2012-13 academic year. Many thanks to Humanities Dean Bill Ladusaw for his leadership on the CRES initiative—and to everyone who participated in academic planning this year.