The ever-growing offices for social engagement and for social inclusion—two missions that I personally feel are worthwhile—have mentioned to students that they will soon offer classes—to address the issues that each feels is important. They tell the students that these courses will be required of all students.
I sense a serious clash between the officers and the academics. For the earnest and sincere people in the two offices have not partnered with any academic departments—yet they assure the students that these courses will be available next fall.
For over eighty years, course proposals have come from academic departments, then gone through a rigorous (and at time ridiculously so) evaluation and assessment on both the college and university level, then on to final approval by the Trustees. (It once took three years for me to get an elective in my department through the process.)
Academics by disposition resist change—and I think I know how will they react when required classes come from offices instead of departments.
Are we here at good old Ambitious State merely once again behind the times? Are offices elsewhere proposing then offering classes—for college credit—in the general education banks? Who approves them? Who teaches them? Faculty? Officers with no training in teaching? Do they hire adjuncts? Who pays for them? Do the course replace other electives? Required courses? Or are additional credits students must earn? Does everyone take these courses? Will the admins who set up then hired the staff for these offices side with the academics or the officers? How do students react to being required to take these two courses—that do not appear to prepare them for careers (in their view)? How will the media respond—if at all? The two or three state representatives who have recently attacked Ambitious State? The Governor?
Am I overreacting (as usual)? (I am a teaching faculty member after all.) What am I overlooking?