|From:||Department of Government and Political Affairs|
|Re:||Academic Policy Committee Recommendations Related to International Studies Program|
|Date:||5 May 2003|
Having reviewed Academic Policy Committee's International Studies report of 9 April 2003, we offer the following in response:
Recommendation 1: The Department of Government and Political Affairs concurs with APC's legal finding that the Governance Manual is contradictory related to MU's interdisciplinary/interdepartmental programs. It therefore welcomes APC's recommendation that MU's interdisciplinary and interdepartmental programs meet to explore the variety of administrative and committee support structures available to each program and to amend the Governance Manual accordingly.
In a department centered university governance structure, Government and Political Affairs believes that the model of a single department coordination/advisement structure paired with interdepartmental curricular control should be considered a strongly viable alternative. Single department housing of an interdepartmental program is not new to MU. Gerontology, with seven contributing departments, is administratively housed in Social Work, with the Social Work Chair also serving as the Gerontology program coordinator. During the 2002-2003 academic year, while International Studies was administratively housed within the GOVT department (a national model), the program grew from 59 INTL majors and minors to 76. The program collaborated with Women's Studies and French to organize major campus visits, worked with contributing INTL faculty to distribute special library funding and initiated a proposal that the INTL major's Required Related section be changed so that Foreign Language could grant minors to all INTL majors. The Government Department therefore believes that interdepartmental/interdisciplinary programs with single department administration cannot only exist but they can grow.
Recommendation 2: The Government Department also welcomes the immediate reconstitution of Faculty Senate's International Studies Curriculum Committee. In fact, in February 2003, the Department requested that such action be taken so that important program initiatives could be considered.
The Department asks that APC consider, as part of its broader review, that the committee structure be brought into line with the Governance Manual, which states "a committee composed of one representative elected by each of the participating departments shall develop and implement the major." (GM, Section 2 Undergraduate Academic Programs, Interdepartmental Majors). This membership formula was also a major recommendation of the last external program review for International Studies conducted in 1999.
Recommendation 3: Regarding the appointment of a new Coordinator for the International Studies Program, the Government Department urges that for the sake of program stability and continuity in student support for 76 INTL majors and minors, that the current International Studies Coordinator's term be renewed through the end of the Spring 2004 term. This term will cover the span of APC's consideration of Governance Manual issues related to interdepartmental/interdisciplinary programs as well as Faculty Senate's consideration of APC's recommendations.