This document was included as Appendix 1b of the General
Education Task Force's June 2001 (first) final report (link).
It responds to the May 14, 2001 "minority
report" regarding a Western Civilization requirement, which was included
as appendix 1a of the June 2001 report.
Scanned and converted to html by H. Marcuse, 11/15/03
June 11, 2001
To: Richard Watts, Chair
UCSB Academic Senate
From: GE Task Force Majority
RE: Majority Response: Western-Civilization Requirement
The Taskforce majority chose not to include an additional specified area for either "western civilization" or for the frequently confusing "non-western" requirement. It was the judgment of the Task Force majority that the categories of "western" and "non-western" ought not to be embedded in the General Education curriculum as continuing mandated oppositions. Instead, the GE program should encourage less exclusive and oppositional approaches, while also recognizing that such broad approaches are not always appropriate. We have recommended that "where appropriate, core courses will consider ... a comparative global perspective" (Task Force Report 4.2 link).
Because of the impossibility of covering all eras and areas, we chose to structure the GE requirements through disciplines and skills. Thus, rather than specifying courses in the history of the "west," the Task Force chose to recommend a "Historical Studies" requirement. In this recommendation and in a number of other recommended requirements, the Task Force presumes that numerous available courses will include materials conventionally taught in "western civilization" courses.
The recommended elimination of these categories was obviously not expected to result in the exclusion of non-westem and western civilization from the General Education curriculum. Existing departments and faculty of the university ensure that what has been conventionally designated as "western civilization" will remain well represented in the curriculum. Similarly, a growing number of faculty and courses will devote at least a portion of their efforts to topics outside of conventional definitions of western civilization.