Renewing General Education

Chris Haufler, Special Advisor to the Provost
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:31 PM
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff

Please complete the survey on goals by September 27th:

Dear Colleagues:

On Monday you received a message from the provost about the development of a strategic action plan. Today I am inviting you individually to share what you think are the most important goals of General Education at KU.

The recent Provost eNews message announced that part of this year's Strategic Planning effort was to seek broad community input on the renewal of our university General Education requirements, a key recommendation of the task force report on Retention and Timely Graduation commissioned last year by Chancellor Gray-Little. These requirements have remained largely unchanged for the last 30 years, and current KU students pursuing a BA take 30% to 50% more hours in specific courses than those at comparable institutions.

The co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Provost Jeff Vitter and Merrill Distinguished Professor Mabel Rice have asked me, as chair of the task force on Retention and Graduation and as part of this year's strategic action planning effort, to coordinate the General Education renewal process. This process is starting by surveying the campus for opinions and perspectives on General Education goals. These may be broad and overarching (e.g., capacity for critical inquiry) or more specific (e.g., appreciation of the arts), but they should help position our graduates to succeed in the 21st century global society they will inherit. Our intent is to capture as many insights as possible as we craft a contemporary vision for the learning that forms the foundation for our undergraduate education.

Once we have an exhaustive list of potential goals that have been summarized to combine duplicates, we will work across the University community in every department and with student groups to share ideas and establish priorities.

Please be sure to fill out the survey at and that your responses are recorded by Monday, September 27.

Thank you for your guidance. I look forward to joining with you as we improve the ways that KU helps undergraduates achieve their ambitions for the future.


Chris Haufler
Special Advisor to the Provost
Professor and Chair of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

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