Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 83

Recommendation 83
Department Social Sciences Program
Consensus Opinion 13 out of 13 faculty/staff : NA
Consensus Explanation
The Social Sciences Major

The faculty associated with the Social Sciences program feel that the P & R process is fatally flawed due to a grossly inadequate process of consultation and almost non-existent information sharing, which resulted in a set of recommendations for sweeping changes based on unspecified, poorly defined and often contradictory criteria. In addition, despite PRPC’s claimed “desire to use mission-driven criteria for budget allocation rather than historical FTE targets”, the recommendations return again and again to numerical performance as measures of educational value. Moreover, there is no consistency regarding the desired balance between building majors and GE/service teaching. Consequently, the P&R process as imposed would not result in a strong, new identity, merely in a mistaken identity. Finally, we have consulted with colleagues in other programs and it is clear that our strenuous objections to the P& R process reflect the majority opinion among University faculty.

The Phase 2 Prioritization and Recovery report recommends discontinuation of the Social Sciences major and degree program administered by the Department of Geography and Anthropology. The report cites as reasons the small and declining number of majors as the primary reason for this recommendation, due to the presumed resulting difficulty of offering upper division social science designated (SSC) courses.

If the Department were having difficulty offering such courses we would readily concede that the small and declining number of majors was rendering the program impracticable and perhaps undesirable. In point of fact, however, there are no required SSC-numbered upper division courses in the Social Sciences curriculum, with the exception of 461 which is cross-listed in anthropology and geography and which is required of majors in all the department’s degree programs. The only required stand-alone course is SSC 101.

On the contrary, far from spreading our faculty and course offerings more thinly, the presence of SSC majors helps fill out enrollment in anthropology and geography upper division courses, as these constitute the great majority of upper division course requirements in the Social Sciences curriculum. Discontinuing the Social Sciences degree program would therefore hurt the anthropology and geography programs without achieving meaningful cost savings.

The faculty of the department is willing to consider streamlining the listed catalog offerings of SSC-numbered courses that are no longer regularly offered. It should be remembered that the presence of these courses in the catalog does not imply that they are required of students in the degree program.

Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.