University Senate                                                                      Proposed: April 30, 2004

                                                                                               

                                                                                                Adopted: As amended, by

                                                                                                 voice vote

 

 

 

Resolution ON redesigning the university diplomas

 

 

WHEREAS,     Columbia University celebrates its 250th anniversary, a unique and festive event that offers comprehensive reminiscence of the past, as well as opportunity for new traditions, and

WHEREAS,     the Student Affairs Committee established a Diploma Task Force to propose new designs for the University Diplomas, and

 

WHEREAS,     the Diploma Task Force, along with the representatives of the diploma vendor, Jostens, developed two proposals for new University diplomas, in keeping with the reputation of Columbia University, and

WHEREAS,     the Diploma Task Force engaged in a University-wide poll among all schools that share the standard design, to determine if a new design is desirable, and

 

WHEREAS,     the Student Affairs Committee retrieved a total of 6,045 votes, 5,450 of which supported a new design and, specifically, 3,824 votes were in favor of the “Old English” design with the etching of Alma Mater, and


WHEREAS,     3,552 students voted in favor of a separate design for the diplomas of doctoral students;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED       that the administration and the Trustees seriously

consider changes in Columbia diplomas, including the ones developed by the Diploma Task Force and presented to students in the University-wide poll;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED            that the Diploma Task Force continue to participate in deliberations on the new diplomas until the design is complete.

 

Proponents:

 

Student Affairs Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redesigning Columbia University’s Diploma

As presented to the Executive Committee of the

University Senate on April 23, 2004

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Under the leadership of Matan Ariel, the Student Affairs Committee directed Columbia’s first University-wide electronic polling of students.  Specifically, the question was whether or not there should be a new design of the standard University diplomas.  The results are as follows:

 

Number of votes counted:                              6,045

Percentage of population:                               30.8%

 

In favor of a new design:                                 5,450

Percentage of total voted:                               90%

 

In favor of “Old English” design:                     3824

Percentage favoring new design:                   70%

 

In favor of Alma Mater etching:                       4705

Percentage favoring new design:                   86%

 

In favor of separate doctoral design:              3548

Percentage favoring new design:                   65%

 

 

In summary, the majority of those who voted are in favor of using the “Old English” design with the Alma Mater etching.  In addition, the students are in favor of creating a separate design for doctoral degrees.

 

 

 

Diploma Leadership

 

·         Matan Ariel, director of the redesigning initiative and respondent to the diploma@columbia.edu inquiries. 

·         Jennifer Schnidman, diploma webmaster

·         In addition, the members of the Diploma Task Force included: Alida Bouris, Jennifer Caplan, Eduard Ghanem, Sean Kelly, and Nathan Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Number of Votes by School and by Enrollment Percentage

 

 


 

 

 

Notes (1) The Enrollment is based on Fall 2003 statistics: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/opir/2004EnrlHC.htm.  (2) Controlled enrollment was calculated by subtracting the exact number of students that will graduate from each school this May or June.  Please note, that we could not guarantee that some of these students may have voted even though their diplomas will not be changed.  With that said, the controlled enrollment represent a minor margin of error.  (3) The GSAS “controlled enrollment” figure is inaccurate because the PhD students are not coded for graduation until they defend and deposit, which goes until mid May.  (4) Law and Medicine were not polled because they have separate diplomas.  Only Dual Degree Union Students were polled because the M.Div. is not conferred by the Columbia Trustees, but the M.A. and Ph.D.s are Columbia degrees.  (5) An “eligible student” is defined as a student who will graduate after January of 2005.  (6) Table 1 only includes students that voted for one of the designs; the 111 students that left the design question unanswered are included in table 2.  Consequently, the actual number of voting students was 6,156 or 31.3% of eligible students who voted.


 

Table 2. Number of Votes by Question

 

 

Total

Current

Old English

Roman

No design[1]

Etching[2] Yes

Etching No

Doc Yes[3]

Doc No

Architecture

8

18

10

2

21

14

15

19

Barnard

49

314

125

4

383

103

296

181

Business

57

233

147

3

340

96

165

259

CC

160

509

203

5

645

239

565

303

Continuing Ed

6

26

7

1

34

4

16

22

Dental and Oral Surgery

6

146

29

3

162

10

162

17

GS

38

285

110

1

340

89

268

154

GSAS

72

342

229

6

472

176

468

182

Journalism

15

50

31

0

73

23

35

55

Nursing

8

82

33

2

104

18

53

66

Public Health

10

113

61

0

150

37

77

105

School of the Arts

5

52

31

1

62

26

34

51

SEAS (grad)

18

124

36

2

154

27

92

87

SEAS (undergrad)

45

391

159

3

507

95

412

177

SIPA

20

159

101

1

210

68

96

169

Social Work

5

84

27

0

97

17

47

65

Teachers College

73

896

287

6

951

298

747

496

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub Total

595

3,824

1626

40

4,705

1340

3,548

2408

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Identified Votes

6,045

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Some students did not vote for a design, but did vote for the other questions in the poll.

[2] The Etching is of the Alma Mater statue.

[3] The doctoral question was “Should the doctoral diplomas be a separate design from the Undergraduate and Master diplomas?”