University Senate April 25, 2003
OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
The Education Committee looks back on an active year. The committee has met eight times and, in addition, eight subcommittees have worked intensively on items of business that were brought before the committee.
Reviews of proposals for new educational programs
Among the regular duties of the committee is the review of proposals for new programs, which are received from the Provost’s office. The following proposals were approved by the Education Committee and resolutions were forwarded for their approval by the Senate:
MS degree in Computer Engineering (FFSEAS) approved 1/31/2003
MS degree Adv. Education in Orthodontics (SDOS) pending 4/25/2003
MIA/ Diplôme joint/dual degree program
(SIPA/ Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris) pending 4/25/2003
MPA/MPA joint/dual degree program
(SIPA/London School of Economics) pending 4/25/2003
(SSW/SIPA) pending 4/25/2003
DPT (P&S) conditionally approved 1/31/2003
DrNP (SON) pending
Two proposals for new clinical doctorates, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DrNP) and the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), were received and reviewed by the committee. The committee spent a considerable amount of time and effort, especially on the DrNP proposal. If approved, this degree would be a new degree in New York State. The DPT proposal was seen as less controversial. The degree is already registered in New York State. Furthermore, the program in physical therapy had prepared its proposal according to the standards of its accrediting agency, with an accreditation site visit scheduled for later in 2003.
Dean Mary Mundinger, with Professors Judy Hill and Jan Smolowitz (SON)
Executive Vice President Gerald Fischbach (Health and Biomedical Sciences)
In addition, four members of the committee met with Vice President Thomas Q. Morris (Health and Biomedical Sciences).
Associate Dean Donald Kornfeld (P&S) and Professor Risa Granick
The committee expressed its discomfort with the absence of clear guidelines for the establishment of clinical doctorates. The two extant clinical doctorates (MD and DDS) were established more than eighty-five years ago.
Despite some reservations, which were expressed by members of the subcommittee that had studied the DrNP proposal, the committee prepared resolutions for the two programs so that the proposals could be discussed in the broader forum of the Senate. After extensive discussions in the Senate, action was deferred until guidelines for clinical doctorates could be agreed upon.
A first draft of such guidelines, based on accreditation standards for the MD and DDS programs, was transmitted to the committee by the Office of the Executive Vice President of Health and Biomedical Sciences. This allowed the committee to prepare an amended resolution for conditional approval of the DPT program, as the proposal for this program appeared to meet the standards set forth in the guidelines.
Further reviews and modifications of this first draft by a special committee of the Health Sciences led to a new version of the guidelines. Both versions were reviewed and compared by a subcommittee of the Education Committee. A report prepared by this subcommittee concluded that the present set of standards needed some further clarification. If the standards are to be used by the committee to appraise doctoral degree proposals, they must show robustness and clarity in delineating what makes a doctoral degree special. The report, along with some questions on matters that continued to trouble the members of the committee, was submitted to Dr. Fischbach.
The committee received two requests for departmental name changes:
1. From P&S:
From Department of Medical Informatics
To Department of Biomedical Informatics Approved 12/13/2002
2. From FFSEAS:
From Department of Mining, Mineral and Metallurgical Engineering
To Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering Approved 3/28/2003
The following individuals met with the committee in order to assist it in its review of the FFSEAS departmental name change:
Vice Dean Morton Friedman and Professors Ponisseril Somasundaran and Nickolas Themelis
Review of programs approved by the Senate
Each resolution to establish a new program carries the provision that the program will be reviewed in five years. In previous years the Education Committee has searched for a more efficient way to conduct such reviews. A survey, which was developed and approved by the committee, was sent by Provost Rittenberg’s office to those units who are responsible for the programs that were currently due and those which came due during the development of the survey. During this year data were collected for a total of sixteen programs. During the summer of 2003 a subcommittee will review the responses that were received.
Three members of the committee met with Vice President of Arts and Sciences David Cohen to gain some additional insight into this matter and to express their concern.
It is clear that under current conditions bioanthropology as a topic of graduate study at Columbia is no longer viable. The continued availability of bioanthropology courses to undergraduates will be ensured by the recent authorization of a line for a full-time lecturer. The question of the fate of the anthropology major was raised. At present, the major does not provide for instruction in the subject of bioanthropology. Interested students may take a concentration in bioanthropology through E3B. However, there is no way to articulate this concentration within the anthropology department major. Possible solutions discussed with Vice President Cohen were a bioanthropology concentration substituting for part of the anthropology program, or the possibility of a bioanthropology minor to be offered by E3B. Either solution will require the willingness of one or both departments to make certain changes.
The committee wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Trustee emerita Anna Longobardo, Trustee observer, and Paul Thompson, Alumni representative, for their continued interest, efforts on behalf of the committee, and participation in the committee meetings. Their advice and perspectives have greatly assisted the committee in its activities during this year.
Letty Moss-Salentijn, chair