Propose that a new or existing undergraduate course fulfill one of the Diversity requirements (International Diversity, US Diversity); please refer to linked guidelines.
Proposals are reviewed to ensure coherence in the course offerings at three levels: the department, the college, and the university. The process, the key contact person(s), and the time required for each stage are described below.
Faculty members sometimes design a new course to fulfill one of the diversity requirements. Due to the long delay if one submits the proposal of a new course and awaits full approval before sending through a proposal that the now approved course should fulfill the one of the Diversity requirements, faculty are encouraged to submit the request for new course approval and the request for Diversity requirement fulfillment approval simultaneously, using the same One Form. In this case, the faculty member who originates the proposal should alert the committees involved by specifying the simultaneous submission on the One Form. Check the “Diversity/Int’l Mgmt” box in Section A and write “This is a new course being simultaneously submitted for Diversity approval” in the “Other Information” box. Both the proposal for the new course and the proposal for its fulfillment of diversity requirements must pass through the entire process of approvals. As described below, the proposal for a new course should be submitted for review by the AAC at the same time as that the proposal is submitted for review by the Diversity Committee. Both approval requests (new course/diversity) follow a similar pathway thereafter, although the new course must be approved as a course before it can enter the records as fulfilling the diversity requirement.
The process begins when a faculty member completes the one form, gathers the necessary additional materials, and submits the proposal for review. (For assistance, see the directions on the form, the line by line directions, the General Education overview, and the diversity overview, in the menu to the left.) The faculty member should be sure to check the “Diversity/Int’l Mgmt” box in Section A on the One Form and, in Section B, to check “Yes” for the first question, select “Diversity” from the pull down menu of the second question, and select either “US Focus” or “International Focus” from the pull down menu of the fifth question. The faculty member should also indicate the diversity focus and objectives on the appended syllabus. This last step is important to ensure the rationale and features of the requirement are made clear to students and are consistent across all the diversity courses. The review stages vary by department; some may require submission to a departmental curriculum committee or to the entire department before the proposal can be approved by the chair.
The Contact Person(s)
Ultimately, the department chair’s signature indicates department approval, so the department chair is the key contact person for questions about this stage. Note: Cross-listing a course requires the approval of each listed department.
This stage of approval requires different amounts of time in different departments, because the approval process varies. Most departments hold faculty meetings, with an agenda set by the chair or an executive committee at a prior meeting, on a monthly basis during the Fall and Spring terms, so if approval of the entire department is needed, a review can take 1-2 months.
Two bodies are involved in the review of course offerings fulfilling the diversity requirement in the College of Liberal Arts: the CLA Senate, which ensures consistency in the College, and the Diversity Committee, a subcommittee of the Faculty Council, which ensures consistency across all colleges. The process begins when an editable electronic word file (in Word) of the proposal and materials such as a syllabus and/or rational are emailed by the department chair to CLA.Senate@umb.edu; which are then emailed to the Chair of the AAC and the Diversity Committee chair.
The department Chair must submit all One Forms. The Diversity Committee Chair communicates with the faculty originator (named in the first box on the form) concerning any necessary changes spotted during the Diversity Committee’s review. If the proposal secures Diversity Committee approval, the proposal is sent to the AAC Chair, for confirmation of the approval. The AAC Chair notifies the faculty originator when the approval is confirmed and gives the proposal to the Dean’s Office for review by the Senate. The Senate Moderator and the Senate Executive Committee (hereafter, SEC) review all submissions. The SEC may communicate with the AAC and the faculty originator about any necessary changes before adding the proposal to the agenda for consideration by the entire Senate, including members from every CLA department. Senators typically receive the agenda and materials for review one week prior to the meeting, and each department’s senator notifies the faculty of their department when their proposals will be reviewed. The Senate meetings are open, and the faculty members whose proposals are under review may attend, but typically questions about the proposal are addressed by the relevant department’s senator. Each senator notifies the faculty originator(s) of his/her department of any needed changes and/or the proposal's approval. The CLA Dean attends Senate meetings, so the Dean’s approval is typically given very shortly after Senate approval, although the Dean may contact the faculty originator about changes before confirming collegiate approval.
The Contact Person(s)
The Diversity Committee chair and the Senate moderator are the key contact persons for questions about this stage. The CLA Dean's Office, circulates Senate materials and is therefore also an important contact.
Both the Diversity Committee and the CLA Senate meet on a monthly basis during the Fall and Spring terms, so a review can take 2-4 months, depending on the timing of meetings. Typically, a proposal reaches the Senate agenda in the month following submission to the Diversity Committee, although the process may take longer if the Diversity Committee, SEC, or Senate needs to recommend significant changes before approval, or if an unusual amount of proposals are received in any given month.
To ensure that the course offerings fulfilling the diversity requirement are consistent across the university, proposals approved by the CLA are reviewed by the Associate VP for Undergraduate Studies and confirmed by the Provost. The process begins when the CLA’s Assistant Dean of Personnel sends the approved proposal, as an editable word file and in paper form with signatures, to the Associate VP for Undergraduate Studies. The Associate VP for Undergraduate Studies contacts the faculty originator about any necessary changes, and sends the proposal to the Provost after approval. If the Provost confirms the approval, the fully approved course/course change is sent to the Registrar to be entered into the WISER system, so it can be scheduled. The Provost’s Office simultaneously sends the fully approved proposal to the Division of Marketing and Engagement to be added to the next iteration of the printed course catalogue (released on 3-year cycles). The CLA Dean’s Office receives notice of the full approval and notifies the faculty originator.
The Contact Person(s)
The Associate VP for Undergraduate Studies is the key contact person for questions about this stage. Since the CLA Dean's Office passes on Senate materials to the Associate VP and receives notice of final approvals, s/he is also an important contact.
Typically, university review is completed within three weeks of CLA Senate approval, although the process may take longer if the Associate VP for Undergraduate Studies needs to recommend significant changes before approval, or if an unusual amount of proposals are received in any given month.