Frequently Asked Questions

What follows responses are responses to commonly asked questions. If you have suggestions for other FAQ items, please submit them on the comment form.


Q: What are the duties of the University Curriculum Committee (UCC)? 

A. Duties are described in the Faculty Handbook in section 2.6.2.  In general, the UCC oversees curriculum development and implementation.  The Committee reviews, approves, or rejects curricular proposals and initiatives (including proposals for new degree programs and proposals to eliminate degree programs) from college governing bodies and from special committees constituted to work on specific curricular issues.  While the UCC is responsible for acting on many different kinds of curricular proposals, there are some curricular actions that are handled by other committees and are thus outside the scope of the UCC’s authority.  (See below.)

Q: Who are the members of the UCC?
A. The Chairs of the CAS, COB and COE Curriculum Committees or their designees and one member of the University Faculty Council are the faculty members on the Committee. The committee also includes the Provost and the Registrar (or their designees) as nonvoting ex officio administrative members

For 2017-18 academic year, the members of the Committee are:

* Dianne Baker (Department of Biological Sciences, CAS Curriculum Committee Chair)

* Lance Gentry (COB Curriculum Committee Chair)

* Patricia Reynolds (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations, COE Curriculum Committee Chair)

* Jacqueline Gallagher (Department of Geography, UFC representative)

* Rita Dunston (Registrar)

* John Morello (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs)

Committee Chair: Lance Gentry

Secretary: Patricia Reynolds

Q: When does the UCC meet? 

A: The UCC has announced a preliminary schedule of meeting dates for 2017-18.  Those dates are posted here.  When the remaining meeting dates are determined, they added to the schedule.  It is strongly recommended that major program revision proposals and related sets of proposals reach the UCC for its consideration no later than their January meeting in order for those changes to take effect with the subsequent academic catalog.

Q: Which curriculum proposals does the UCC review? 

A: The Committee acts on four types of proposals:

  • Expedited course change proposals — these are proposals to (1) change the number, title, credits, description, or prerequisites of an existing course; or (2) delete an existing course.
  • Course credit change proposals — all proposals seeking to alter the number of credit hours for an existing course in the curriculum.
  • New course proposals — all proposals seeking to add a new course to the curriculum.
  • Program changes — proposals to alter existing educational programs by (1) changing the requirements of an existing major, minor, certificate, concentration, or degree program; or (2) adding a new major, minor, or concentration within an existing degree program.
  • Educational program actions requiring state review – proposals involving any of the following actions: (1) add a new degree program; (2) add a new certificate program; (3) change a degree program title; (4) merge programs; or (5) delete certificate or major.

 Q: Which curriculum proposals does the UCC not review? 

A: The Committee does not act on proposals do designate a course as writing intensive, speaking intensive, as a general education course, as a FSEM 100 course, as a honor’s course, or as a distance or blended learning course.  Separate university-level faculty committee manage those curriculum approvals.  Someone wishing the create a new and also secure an additional designation for the new course needs to first secure approval by the UCC for the new course.  Once the UCC approval is achieved, the proposal would then go separately to the relevant designation committee (WI or general education committee, for example) .

Q: How can I facilitate a smooth and timely review process?
A: To facilitate your proposal through the UCC review process, it is first strongly recommended that you:

  • understand exactly what type of proposal you have, use the appropriate cover sheet, and follow all instructions for that kind of curriculum action;
  • meet with the College Dean as advised or required in order to answer questions or resolve potential complications before advancing a proposal;
  • anticipate impacts of your proposal beyond your department or college prior to its being formally submitted (meet with those potentially impacted and work to address their concerns);
  • provide clear, accurate, and complete information with your submitted proposal;
  • gain departmental and/or college review, approval, endorsement, and sponsorship of your proposal;
  • be mindful of the UCC’s deadlines for receiving proposals in advance of a scheduled UCC meeting; and
  • be available (if requested) to appear at meetings where questions concerning your proposal may arise.

Q: Why are proposals to the UCC submitted electronically?
A: Electronic submission of proposals to the UCC provides an efficient way to make information about proposed curriculum changes available to all faculty across the university.  It also facilitates UCC member access to the proposals when time comes to act on them.  Electronic submission enables the creation of an archive of approved proposals that is searchable and available for future reference.  Finally, electronic submission enables certain proposals to be handled in an “expedited” fashion thereby saving time for those involved in the process and providing departments and colleges with a faster response on routine curriculum changes.

Q: How can I find out what happened at a particular UCC meeting? 

A: Minutes from UCC meetings will be posted at this web site.  You can also review all approved proposals as well view the status of proposals under review.

Q: When do curriculum changes approved by the UCC take effect? 

A: In all cases, curriculum changes take effect at the start of the next fall semester after the UCC has acted.  The one exception is that any action requiring state approval will take effect at the start of the fall semester following the date on which final approval was received from the state.  While approved UCC curriculum actions will always take effect only in a fall semester, please note that course designation changes (e.g. a new WI or SI course designation) may still be implemented to start in a fall, spring, or summer term so long as those designations are fully approved by the relevant deadlines established by the respective committees.

Q: Which proposals require approval by the Board of Visitors? 

A: Any proposal that is to be submitted for review and action by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will need to be first approved by the Board of Visitors.  The Board of Visitors receives proposals after they have been approved by both the University faculty Council and the Provost.