While the Faculty Senate declined after contentious debate to begin requiring introductory seminars (IntroSems) for freshmen, as recommended by the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES) report, both University administrators and SUES members have welcomed this revision to the report’s recommendations.
The Faculty Senate closed the book on the Introduction to the Humanities (IHUM) program by voting on March 8 in favor of replacing the program with a one-quarter “Thinking Matters” course, scheduled to launch this coming fall. Although IHUM was a quintessential fixture of the Stanford experience for recent students, it was only the latest edition in Stanford’s history of freshman liberal arts programs, an undergraduate tradition that is nearly 90 years old.
Concluding a multi-year review of the methods and goals of a Stanford education, the Faculty Senate voted Thursday in favor of replacing the current Introduction to Humanities (IHUM) program. Freshmen will instead be required to take a one-quarter “Thinking Matters” course starting this upcoming academic year.
Harvard English professor Louis Menand declared the era of Great Books curriculum “over” at a talk Thursday evening at the Stanford Humanities Center. He added, however, that vestiges of the curriculum still linger, and the effect it has had on the structure of American universities has been profound.
Requiring IntroSems will enhance the overall quality of undergraduate education at Stanford.
The ASSU Community Action Board (CAB) released a letter Feb. 20 in response to the recent Study of Undergraduate Education (SUES) report, which examines the goals of a Stanford undergraduate education and, in over 100-pages, makes 55 recommendations for improvement. The ASSU Undergraduate Senate passed a resolution to support CAB’s letter at its Tuesday night meeting.
Faculty have largely extended a warm welcome to Thinking Matters, the freshman requirement proposed as a replacement to the Introduction to the Humanities (IHUM) program by the recent Study on Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES) report. The shift may occur as early as fall 2012.