Faculty Senate approves 3 new majors, removes 1

Faculty Senate members unanimously voted to approve three new majors and eliminate another at their meeting on Tuesday.

Students can now major in risk management and insurance, peace and conflict studies and organizational communication and leadership. RMI and PCS will also offer minors.

The master’s degree of music in music theory was removed.

The RMI major and minor were created to comply with the intention of donors William and Bernice Davey, who endowed the program.

Bill Templeton, a professor of finance, said there are only 54 other programs in other universities similar to the one approved and that the interest in the professional community for this type of graduate is high.

“We’ve had intense interest from employers already to fund scholarships and hire graduates,” he said.

While peace and conflict studies has been offered as a minor since 2005, the major would offer the 25 students currently in the minor the opportunity to deepen their study.

Junior Emily VanTyle, a political science and Spanish major, who attended the meeting along with a few other students to support the major, served on the advisory committee. She said she will be adding the new major, which will help to pull in all the aspects of peace and prepare her for a career.

“It’s not just political science,” she said. “It’s more about understanding the whole picture and learning how to solve things efficiently.”

Senior political science major Megan Engbring also served on the advisory committee. She said the major’s interdisciplinary focus brings in different aspects of everything from communication and history to religion and culture.

“It’s a growing area of interest that can be used in many areas of study,” she said.

The organizational communication and leadership major grew out of a concentration in the communication studies program. The curriculum will draw from courses in media, rhetoric and culture and strategic communication, as well major courses such as communication theory and interpersonal communication.

Communication professor David Waite said the program was added because of student interest and its existence at other universities.

“We’re doing this to serve our students and to follow the trend,” he said.
The master’s of music in music theory degree was eliminated with the recommendation of the two music theory faculty members due to a lack of interest, a low retention rate and the inability of the program to equip graduates for doctoral programs, according to a memo from Daniel Bolin, chair of the school of music, to JCFA Associate Dean Michelle Jarvis.

In other business:

—A proposal to end the cross-listing of 200-level core courses with 300-level major courses passed unanimously. A 300-level major class could still be cross listed with a 300-level core class.

—The senators unanimously passed a proposal to lighten the course load of students who enter as science majors and then change their majors. The measure allows students who take an introductory lab science class in biological sciences, chemistry or physics to petition for that course to count toward their natural world core requirement. The petition process is only available to science majors who switch to another program.


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