Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
English Language and Literatures
French Language and Literature
Germanic Language and Literature
Government and Foreign Affairs
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
Department of Anthropology
Total enrollment in departmental offerings has increased from 850 per semester in 1992-93 to approximately 1,750 in spring 1995, an increase of over 100%. Preregistration for the fall 1995 semester indicates that enrollment should approach 2,000 students.
The number of Anthropology majors has increased from 80 in 1992-1993 to 150 in 1994-95, an increase of 88%.
The teaching load has been redefined so that faculty members are now expected to teach three undergraduate courses and one graduate course per year, instead of the previous load of two graduate and two undergraduate courses.
The size of the graduate program has been limited to 10-15 incoming students per year.
In response to the College of Arts and Sciences' expansion of area requirements to include a non-western component, the department added new courses to its curriculum which are of general interest to undergraduate students across the University.
During the first semester the new courses were offered, enrollment in anthropology courses increased by 50%.
New 300-level courses were developed to better link the lower-level lectures with the upper-level seminars.
ANTH 332 (Advanced Study in Symbol and Ritual) was created to serve as the bridge between ANTH 232 (Symbol and Ritual) and advanced 500-level courses in symbolism and ritual analysis.
ANTH 360 (Sex, Gender, and Culture) was created to coordinate a sequence of courses including ANTH 224 (Race , Gender, and Medical Science), ANTH 242 (Language and Gender), and 500-level courses in this subarea.
A new course, ANTH 301 (History of Anthropological Theory), was introduced in 1994 to provide a synthesis of the discipline's important theoretical traditions.
The number of ANTH 401 (Senior Seminar) offerings was increased from 4 to 6 each year to accommodate the increased number of majors.
The number of majors choosing the Distinguished Major Program increased to approximately 25% of the fourth-year major class.
The admissions committee has been changed to reflect more balance among sociocultural, linguistics, and archaeology faculty members with good conflict-resolution skills and committed to maintaining a healthy balance between sociocultural and archaeology students and the resources committed to them.
To organize the department's course offerings in its four subdisciplines (biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and sociocultural anthropology) in a more coherent and integrated manner to take advantage of the shared interests of the faculty.
To plan additional team-taught graduate courses stressing the overlap between the subfields of sociocultural anthropology and archaeology. This will enable archaeology students and faculty to define themselves as such, but within an intellectual context informed by sociocultural theory; and it will encourage sociocultural students and faculty to study archaeological theory, which they tend to overlook.
To begin documenting "one-on-one" teaching relating to master's theses and doctoral dissertations, advising students in writing proposals for outside funding for graduate research, and supervising field work, in order to include this critical kind of teaching as part of the department's formal educational mission.
To hire a linguistic anthropologist to replace a retiring faculty member. Replace future retirees with a new faculty member in the area of sociocultural anthropology with expertise in the areas of Africa or Native America, and one with expertise in biological anthropology who can offer interdisciplinary links to research and teaching at the medical school and other branches of the sciences at the University.
Department of Art
Since there is no graduate program in studio art, the teaching load for tenured studio art faculty was increased from two to three courses per semester. This increase in undergraduate teaching has allowed the department to redesign the studio art major, and to offer new courses in computer graphics in the studio art curriculum.
Admissions to the graduate art history program have been cut in half, to 6-7 students per year, and the emphasis shifted from predominantly M.A. to Ph.D. candidates. In order to shorten the time to degree, departmental financial aid eligibility has been limited to four years for doctoral students.
The University is one of seven university and six museum participants in the Museum Site Licensing Project of the Getty Art History Information Program, which investigates issues of intellectual property rights, network security, and information standards for digital images. The project is dedicated to defining the terms and conditions for the educational use of museum images and information on campus networks, and to demonstrating the value of digital media in the study of art and culture. For the Digital Image Study part of the project, the department has digitized images with full cataloguing information used in art and architectural history classes, and made them available to students at workstations in the Fine Arts Library. This joint project of the department, the library, and Information Technology and Communications is entering its third year, with six classes fully supported and three more planned for the fall of 1995.
A new team-taught course, ARTS 100 (Practice and Purpose), was added for non-majors.
To implement an introductory course in World Art that will be integrated into the Getty Project and into University information technology systems.
Division of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (AMELC)
[Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Sanskrit, and Urdu]
AMELC currently hosts film festivals for the languages of Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, and Japanese.
The Hindi-Urdu faculty were instrumental in coordinating with Clemons Library the purchase of approximately 2,000 Hindi-Urdu videotapes--the largest collection in the world.
AMELC has coordinated efforts with the International Center to sponsor cultural events connected with Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
AMELC faculty gave presentations in their specialized fields at conferences around the Commonwealth in 1994-95 as part of continuing education for teachers teaching Asian and Middle Eastern civilization at the high school level.
The Japanese faculty coordinated a statewide conference for high school Japanese language teachers in spring 1995 in conjunction with a Japanese essay program.
East Asian faculty are participating in the "University on the Lawn" program for continuing education for alumni.
The Chinese faculty in 1990 organized and hosted an international symposium on the topic of "The Child in Premodern Chinese Civilization."
The Chinese faculty will be hosting the 28th Annual Sino-Tibetan Conference in October 1995.
Restructuring and proposing courses
The faculty have proposed new courses and restructured existing ones to better meet the needs of majors in these areas and have changed course times to make better use of the facilities on grounds. These courses have been approved by the UVa Faculty of Arts and Sciences and will be implemented into the regular curriculum starting in the fall 1995 semester.
Hindi and Urdu will now be taught together in the second year, since they are the same language with respect to grammar and basic vocabulary even though they are written in two very different scripts. This change will reduce redundancy in teaching materials and allow for reallocation of faculty.
Courses have been rotated among faculty members to encourage faculty to take a fresh approach to their teaching.
Chinese and Sanskrit faculty are working on creating interactive computerized teaching materials for students in their languages. Computerized software (Supercard 2.0, Autoware, and Nisus Writer 4.0) has been ordered for the AMELC Division by Information Technology and Communications (ITC) to assist in the production of teaching materials for the classroom. These materials will be used as models for teaching the other languages in the division.
To coordinate more closely with faculty in other departments which offer Asia-related and Middle East-related courses, thus breaking down boundaries between AMELC and the Arts and Sciences departments of Anthropology, Religious Studies, Government and Foreign Affairs, and History; and the schools of Education, Graduate Business, Law, and Medicine. These disciplines and schools have turned toward an international approach to teaching and learning, and their offerings are well complemented by AMELC literature in translation and culture courses.
Department of Astronomy
The Department of Astronomy has undergone significant changes in the past two years in preparation for projected enrollment increases and emerging technological advances. The change in science area requirements and institutional restructuring mandates has forced the Department to reallocate faculty and space resources to accommodate an increase in students (particularly non-major students) while decreasing overall faculty FTE. Changes in technology and access to resources previously unavailable to the University have allowed the Department to increase teaching loads without suffering loss of individualized attention.
Undergraduate Non-Major Teaching
The Department is experiencing a substantial increase in non-major students due to the change in science area requirements. Overall, a 30% increase in non-major students taking additional science courses will result from the area requirement change. The Astronomy Department will accommodate more of these students than any other department. To accommodate this student increase without increasing faculty resources, the following measures have been taken:
Multimedia resources and instructional technology are used in introductory astronomy courses, allowing for larger enrollments yet individualized attention to subject matter. Utilizing the latest images from NASA space probes and satellites, students have immediate access via computer programs. Network access to the programs allow students to retrieve the images and text from classrooms, computer labs, dorm rooms, or residences. Thus, Astronomy courses have accommodated almost a 30% increase in students without an increase in the number of faculty.
Two new sections of ASTR 101 and 102 will be offered in the fall and spring of 1995.
At least two 300 level courses will be offered each semester (open to non-majors as well as majors).
Faculty have been shifted from teaching undergraduate major and graduate courses to teaching of non-major courses. All introductory courses are taught by senior faculty. The teaching load for those faculty who are not currently as active in either graduate thesis supervision or grant-sponsored research has been increased.
Teaching Assistants have been reassigned so that each section of the introductory courses has a TA assigned to it to assist the faculty member.
Clark Hall 140, the classroom where most introductory Astronomy classes are taught has been renovated. This has allowed an increase of 40-60% in the maximum enrollments in the lecture classes taught there. The Department used departmental funds to provide modern multimedia audio-visual facilities in the room. Enrollments in the introductory courses have increased by more than 40% from the spring of 1992 to the present.
The availability of Astronomy 103 has been expanded. ASTR 103 is the only introductory laboratory course taught at the University that has been designated especially for non-science majors.
Undergraduate Majors Teaching
The Astronomy Department offers the only astronomy majors programs available in Virginia. Students may choose from twenty-two courses, as well as more specialized tutorials which are taught to individual students, within three majors programs which lead to Bachelor of Arts degrees. The undergraduate major and minor programs have improved as a result of the following efforts:
The Astronomy-Physics major is offered jointly with the Physics Department, and prepares the student for graduate study in Astronomy or Physics. The Department is in the process of doubling the number of majors by a factor of two.
The Astronomy Minor program has been strengthened through a restructuring of the tutorials, allowing senior faculty to teach more lower division courses. Minor students are also now required to take a seminar course and make a presentation to the faculty in their final year.
The observational laboratories for majors and lower division courses have been strengthened through the acquisition of new telescopes, binoculars, small personal computers, CCD cameras, and other auxiliary equipment. The Department has also introduced self-paced laboratories performed on a PC-level computer.
The Department has improved its efforts to attract students through visits to science-oriented high schools, discussions with school guidance counselors, individual faculty visits to elementary and middle schools, and distribution of posters provided by the Office of Admissions.
The Astronomy Graduate Program maintains between 18 and 22 students in residence and attracts students who generally go on to postdoctoral positions. The program provides student support by external grants from NASA, NSF, and other federal agencies.
Research and Staffing
The three major research concentrations in the Astronomy Department are theoretical astrophysics, extragalactic observational astronomy, and astrometry. All research areas receive external grant support from NSF or NASA and faculty work collaboratively across research areas.
The Theoretical Astrophysics program was recently rated as one of the top five departments in the country and overall, the department is generally rated in the top 10 or 15 departments nationally.
The Department has balanced research and graduate education programs and has kept pace with the rapid expansion of astronomy worldwide through the space program, new observing technologies, large ground-based telescopes, and supercomputing. At the same time the Department has anticipated the impact of faculty retirements and formulated a strategy for replacing outgoing faculty.
In response to staff restructuring mandates, the Department has successfully negotiated early faculty retirements with three faculty members. Only two of the positions will be filled, thus saving one FTE.
A course on extragalactic astronomy should be added to the core program. This field has become one of the most important and rapidly changing areas of astronomy, and its omission is the most serious gap in the graduate curriculum. To accommodate this addition, the stellar atmospheres course should be dropped since much of this material can be covered in other areas of study.
The Department should hire an observational astronomer with interests which strongly overlap those of the existing faculty. Faculty with observational backgrounds are better prepared for the planned expansion of computerized instruction in the areas of networking, databases, and image processing.
Department of Biology
Since 1990 the Department has recruited four new female faculty members and recruited three new faculty as members of University research centers.
In 1994-95, the Department was awarded sponsored research grants totaling $4.6 million.
Biology is now the second largest undergraduate major in Arts and Sciences. We have seen
the number of B.A.'s granted per year triple since 1989,
a 50% increase in total course enrollment in the last 5 years,
the addition of 12 new elective courses in the past 2 years,
a doubling of undergraduate research activities.
The Department has received a five-year award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for improving undergraduate instruction.
In the past 4 years the Department has received the following major grants:
An NSF Research Infrastructure award for continued renovation of research facilities in Gilmer Hall ($1.3 M; 1994);
An Academic Enhancement Program grant ($700K) and a National Science Foundation grant ($200K; 1995) for creating the Advanced Cellular Imaging Facility;
An Academic Enhancement Program grant ($1.3M) and a National Science Foundation grant ($8.0M; 1991) for creating the NSF Science and Technology Center for Biological Timing.
Replace the current two-semester course for undergraduate non-majors (BIOL 101,102) with a new, two-semester course sequence with more relevant subject matter;
Introduce new elective courses for undergraduate majors in cell biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, genetics and molecular biology;
Expand and restructure the Distinguished Majors program;
Install LCD projector systems in the two large auditorium classrooms of Gilmer Hall.
Biology and Psychology will jointly fund these installations, using ETF funds, Academic Computer Support funds, and research overhead.
Develop training programs for faculty for multimedia presentations in the classroom;
Develop improved strategies for the recruitment of higher quality graduate students;
Consider changes in the structure and goals of the graduate program in response to changes in local and national needs.
Department of Chemistry
The chemistry program consistently ranks among the top five in the U.S. with respect to undergraduate degree production, according to statistics published annually by the American Chemical Society. Among graduate schools, medical schools, and industrial employees, the graduates of the program are considered to be among the best in the U.S. with respect to training and overall education. The Department has been able to maintain high standards with a disproportionately small faculty. Each year nearly 1,900 students enroll in lower level chemistry courses. The same number of students at UNC-CH are taught by a faculty twice the size of UVa's. Efforts to cut back in enrollment are inconceivable since more than 95% of the students taking courses in chemistry are doing so to meet degree requirements. The steps the Department has taken to cope with this student demand are listed below.
Significant efforts are underway to develop a more integrated curriculum for undergraduate chemistry majors. The general chemistry and organic courses for B.S. majors (as well as the associated laboratory courses) have been redesigned to offer an integrated four-semester treatment of general and organic chemistry. Three different laboratory courses in physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and inorganic chemistry have been combined and redesigned into a unified three-semester sequence which integrates these topics and also inorganic synthetic methods.
Several laboratory courses, notably organic chemistry, intermediate chemical experimentation, and biological chemistry are being redesigned to give students exposure to the most modern instrumental and experimental technology available. A new undergraduate nuclear magnetic resonance facility has been funded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences ($25,295).
Several lecture courses have been revised to promote and facilitate "active learning" in the lecture environment. These courses utilize large numbers of in-class demonstrations, the frequent presentation of thought-provoking questions and the solving of chemical puzzles in a TV game show ("Jeopardy") format, and small learning/discussion groups.
Computer-based enhancements have been incorporated into several lecture and laboratory courses, and plans to explore the expansion of these enhancements into other courses are ongoing. The Chemistry Auditorium (500 seats) has been upgraded to become an "electronic classroom," with installation of a projection system to display the output of either a laser disc player, a video cassette player, or computers on a large screen at the front of the auditorium. Four of the general chemistry and organic chemistry courses are based entirely on multimedia presentations. Lectures are taught using a collection of "layered" slides prepared by the faculty and displayed electronically.
In general chemistry laboratory courses, the Department has introduced computer-based checking routines with which students can verify the correctness of arithmetic and logic in their numerically intensive lab reports. These routines are available from server computers to students using the PC clusters in Chemistry, Clemons Library and Cocke, Thornton and Olsen Halls.
The Department has purchased 24 486PCs for use in the undergraduate laboratory courses. These computers will be used routinely in laboratory sessions for three-dimensional molecular modeling, analysis and simulation of nuclear magnetic resonance experiments, tutorial exercises, and problem-solving programs designed specifically for individual experiments within these courses.
Several of the Department faculty routinely utilize e-mail mailing lists to provide instant on-line communications with their classes. Faculty use mailing lists to provide problem sets, corrections to textbook errors, announcements related to quizzes and exams, and other essential course information. Photocopying costs and paper usage in these courses have dropped by as much as 80%.
Course-specific "sites" on the WorldWideWeb (WWW) have been developed. Biological Chemistry offers a Web site that permits students to connect their own UVa, dorm or apartment computer to dozens of chemical and biochemical databases at universities and research centers around the world. Using these databases, students can study (and download) detailed, full-color molecular graphic images of proteins, protein and DNA sequence information and other relevant data on thousands of biomolecules and biomolecular complexes. Two other courses (Chem 222 and 551) share information on the WWW with an analytical chemistry course at VPI. The Chemistry auditorium has been linked to the UVa Ethernet and the Internet, and biochemistry lectures in the auditorium now use these databases at sites around the world in real time during lectures.
Planned electronic learning enhancements in chemistry include the establishment of public server computers that will offer more complex video demonstrations and other data directly to students, and the interfacing and networking of most of the instrumentation used by students in laboratory courses.
Non-Science Majors Courses
The Department offers two courses for non-science majors. To provide greater variety without increasing teaching loads, more courses will be available, but on a rotating basis. The Department will also increase the number of USEM seminars on a rotating basis as well.
The Chemistry Department's faculty is one of the smallest among the science departments in the College, but its graduate and postdoctoral training programs are by far the largest. The size of the graduate program currently reflects a reasonable equilibrium between quality of applicants, numbers of students in the program, availability of research grants and graduate fellowship support, and the job market for new Ph.D.s in chemistry. Additionally, the Department receives $250,000 in annual support for graduate fellowships from industrial sponsors. Approximately 25% of this amount is for unrestricted fellowships.
To attract and retain the highest quality graduate students, the Department has placed the evaluation of M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. programs as its highest priority. One example of the progress made is that the Department has overhauled and reorganized the Candidacy Exams for second-year graduate students. Now, all second-year students are examined in a four-day period, with the entire faculty involved in as many exams as their schedules permit. The result is that a much larger number of faculty are able to evaluate each student's performance, and the ability to compare student performance is greatly improved.
New strategies for mentoring and training graduate students include the establishment of the Department's own teaching assistant orientation program as part of the required graduate seminar course. Topics in the seminar include professionalism in teaching and research, ethics, media utilization, and job placement issues.
Fellowship support has been greatly enhanced through a Development Office-assisted campaign. Thus far, the campaign has generated $750,000 in gifts and pledges for the establishment of two endowed dissertation-year fellowships for graduate students.
Utilizing graduate courses offered by other departments in the University will allow the Department to continue to accommodate the demand for undergraduate instruction while maintaining the level of graduate course offerings.
Faculty Recruitment and Development
Despite the relatively small faculty size, the Chemistry faculty generated $6.3 million in research grants and awards during FY 1993-94, and the Department (through its alumni and friends) raised an additional $750,000 in private gifts and pledges over the past year. The sponsored research grants and gifts accounts in Chemistry currently support 46 postdoctoral research personnel, provide direct salary/stipend/tuition support for two-thirds of the 118 graduate students in advanced degree programs, and underwrite the cost of all undergraduate research activities in the Department. Two new faculty appointments in organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry have targeted specific areas of research expertise and scholarly activity that will strengthen the Department and complement existing research efforts.
Extramural Liaisons and Partnerships
For the past several years, the Department has received at least $500,000 annually in industrial grants and awards to support ongoing research. In addition, the Department routinely receives support for postdoctoral fellows and research scientists as part of collaborative research programs with several national laboratories. New opportunities for extramural liaisons and partnerships are being explored that should create additional financial support for departmental research activities, provide access to research equipment and facilities, and generate employment opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral associates.
Interdepartmental Programs and Bridges
Several faculty hold joint appointments in other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the School of Medicine, while others are pursuing collaborative research ventures with other laboratories in the University's interdisciplinary programs in Biophysics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular Medicine, and the Medical Scientist Training Program. New areas of interdepartmental interactions are being explored, including the utilization of graduate courses in other departments for Chemistry graduate students and the sharing of undergraduate and graduate courses between departments.
Department of Classics
The undergraduate Latin curriculum has been revised to accommodate the largest component of the Department. These revisions include
a restructuring of the second-year Latin sequence. Latin 201 is required as a prerequisite to Latin 202 and the two courses must be taken in sequence. Diagnostics tests have been incorporated in all 201 sections during the first week of classes to ensure that students are properly placed. Faculty oversight of the second-year Latin sequence has been tightened to ensure coordination between sections, and course-wide exams and exercises have been introduced.
a restructuring of the advanced Latin program. Latin courses at the newly created 400 level have been introduced for advanced students who have completed at least two 300 level courses, but are not ready for 500 level (graduate) study. In addition, the International Studies Office has approved the Department's membership in the Intercollegiate Center in Rome, which will allow advanced undergraduates to spend a semester's study in Italy.
the creation of sections in the heavily enrolled Mythology course, which will allow for student discussion and papers in a class of 200 students.
a revival of the "Age of . . ." courses. These courses at the 300 level center on a prominent individual (e.g., Homer, Pericles, Alexander, Augustus, Augustine) and feature the literature, history, art, and culture of a period. The courses, models for interdisciplinary studies, are targeted at a general audience without prior experience in the literature and culture of the ancient world.
The Department is making active use of advanced technology.
As a result of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae project, nearly all of Greek literature is now in machine-readable form available from any Macintosh machine networked to Alderman Library. A similar program for Latin literature will soon be available.
A substantial library of texts, translations, pictures, maps, and images useful for students of Greek Civilization is available through the Perseus program, whose soon-to-be updated version will offer even more extensive materials.
The Art Library's digitized images project and the computerized catalogue of the slide collection make access to its materials efficient for Classics students and scholars.
The Graduate Program has been strengthened by
increasing the support package from $7,500 + tuition to $8,000 + tuition, thus attracting better qualified candidates.
structuring the program so that students can complete the Ph.D. in no more than 5 or 6 years (or 3 or 4 years after the M.A.).
greater coordination and cooperation at the graduate level with affiliated faculty in other departments. Classics students already take a variety of courses in the departments of History, Religious Studies, Art, and Philosophy. Students from those departments likewise attend courses in the Classics department. All Classics graduate students are required to audit the Ancient History Survey in the History Department, and conflicts in scheduling are avoided between Ancient History seminars and Classics offerings. The department intends to pursue further venues to coordinate offerings and scheduling as well as exploring new possibilities for interdisciplinary and team-taught courses and colloquia to enrich offerings and to bring together students and faculty concerned with the ancient world.
recruiting visiting faculty with specialties in areas not typically covered by regular faculty. Experts on Roman Comedy and the Greek novel will hold visiting professorships in 1995-96.
limiting teaching assistants to 3 or 4 hours of teaching per week. This teaching load allows students to balance their graduate studies with their obligations to their own students. TAships are not offered to first-year graduate students.
offering teaching assistantships in translation courses (Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, and Mythology) crucial to broadening the perspectives and experience of TAs, and to success in the academic job market.
offering both Greek and Latin prose composition on a regular basis.
The Department will submit a proposal for a Distinguished Major in Classics to the Educational Policy Committee in the fall of 1995.
The Department should continue to monitor the "Age of . . ." courses for their effectiveness and explore additional opportunities for presenting the ancient world to a wide spectrum of the undergraduate population.
Department of Drama
Concerning curricular restructuring
The department recently completed a five-year restructuring of its graduate and undergraduate curricula by
eliminating the M.A. degree,
suspending the M.F.A. programs for Lighting Design and Playwriting from 1993-1996,
revising the M.F.A. program by admitting an acting company of seventeen graduate students every three years, instead of an annual class of 28 incoming students,
eliminating some specialized areas of concentration from the graduate program and refocussing efforts upon the remaining programs,
revising and refocusing the B.A. curriculum,
redefining teaching load expectations to approximately 1/3 graduate instruction and 2/3 undergraduate instruction,
improving student access to productions through the Arts Dollars program.
Concerning programmatic accreditation
Applied for admission to the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the accrediting agency for theatre arts, and initiated the self-study process required by that organization.
Concerning the faculty
Developed a set of policies and procedures to clarify departmental expectations for tenure and promotion, and procedures for continuing evaluation of senior faculty every two years.
Connected departmental computers to the Ethernet and instituted a series of computer workshops and tutorials for faculty.
Established post-show seminars involving faculty from other departments in discussions of the productions.
Initiated a process of faculty self-evaluation of courses to ensure that the objectives of their individual courses are consistent with the overall objectives of the department.
Concerning enrollment demand
Doubled the number of Drama majors since 1990 to approximately 60 students in 1995.
To suspend the M.F.A. in Directing.
To reinstitute the M.F.A. programs in Lighting Design and Playwriting and to offer a new M.F.A. degree in Theatre Technology.
To reduce the number of core courses in the graduate curriculum from six to three.
To upgrade the department's audio-visual and computer capabilities.
To assess the feasibility of larger courses, given the current teaching overloads for faculty members who are also staging productions.
Department of Economics
Concerning the undergraduate curriculum
Increased the number and variety of undergraduate courses, especially courses at a technical level appropriate for non-majors. The number of undergraduate courses requiring only the introductory principles course as a prerequisite increased from 5 in 1993-94 to 11 during 1994-95.
Added eight new courses to the undergraduate curriculum: Economics of Education, Economics of Welfare Reform, Law and Economics, Public Choice, Economic Forecasting, Managerial Economics, Economics of Health, and Corporate Finance.
The increased number of courses was achieved with no additional expenditures by relying on faculty volunteers and advanced graduate students.
Enrollment in these new options has been extremely high.
Based on the responses to a recent survey of departmental alumni,
the department has added one additional hour per week to the required statistics course to give students more experience in doing statistical calculations on computers, and
beginning in 1995-96, the Chair will encourage faculty to offer more courses fulfilling the University's Second Writing Requirement by limiting enrollment in such courses to 15 students.
Concerning graduate study
Eliminated the field of Comparative Economics Systems.
Established a policy requiring that all graduate courses enroll at least three students for credit.
Facilitated progression to degree by instituting a policy to allow students who have a B+ average in the courses in one of their fields to avoid the preliminary examination in that field.
Deleted, added, renumbered, and improved the descriptions of courses to give students a more accurate picture of the economics program.
Revised rules to insure that students start working in earnest on their dissertations at the appropriate time and present a satisfactory dissertation proposal within a reasonable time.
Beginning in the fall of 1995, the Department will improve its advising system by assigning individual advisers to incoming graduate students, with whom they can consult if they have doubts about whether to continue in the program or if they have general questions about alternative career paths within and outside economics.
Concerning departmental administration
Appointed an Associate Chair to collaborate with the Chair in reorganizing the work of the staff to better serve the faculty and students and to do some of the routine administrative jobs, thus freeing more of the Chair's time for the hiring, retention, and development of faculty.
Department of English Language and Literatures
Teaching workload norms were revised for 1994-95 with the expectation that faculty members will devote 3/4 of their time to undergraduate teaching.
The size of the graduate program has been reduced while the number and range of undergraduate courses have increased.
A new three-course sequence, "History of Literature in English," has replaced the previous two-semester "History of English Literature" sequence in an effort to de-emphasize the current Anglo-centered vision by placing increased emphasis on the broader global context of literature written in the English language.
The credit-hour requirement for undergraduate majors was increased from 32 to 33 credit hours of upper-division (300-level and above) courses, including at least one 400-level seminar; the three-course sequence of the History of Literature in English; one course in Shakespeare; one Medieval, Renaissance (excluding Shakespeare), or eighteenth-century course; and one nineteenth-century, twentieth-century, or American literature course.
To enrich the course offerings for our students by cross-listing a range of relevant courses from other departments of literature within the University which focus on other national literatures.
To re-examine the Second Writing Requirement for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
To consider the appropriate nature and amount of writing in 300-level courses and to address the ways in which the writing in these courses differs from that in undergraduate seminars.
To require for each 400-level seminar a project or paper that develops undergraduate students' research skills in the use of both primary and secondary materials and that helps students learn to assess competing views.
To establish a new semester-long graduate course, "Introduction to Teaching," in an effort to help beginning teachers develop skills they will need in the classroom and to think critically about pedagogic problems and methods.
To limit enrollment in graduate courses to 25 students.
To shift departmental focus to 900-level seminar courses, instead of 800-level lecture courses.
To study the functioning of the department's graduate advising system, the effectiveness of dissertation advising, faculty workload issues, and the potential for instituting a M.Phil. Program to recognize substantial work done beyond the M.A. degree by A.B.D. students who might otherwise leave the program without an appropriate and useful credential.
To discontinue the current practice of offering several graduate courses every summer.
Master's of Arts program
To offer a more streamlined, cost-effective, and specialized M.A. program, with distinct rationales and ends of its own, not designed to lead to the completion of the Ph.D..
To make it possible for students to complete some M.A. programs in one calendar year.
To offer funding through teaching appointments to a limited number of M.A. students.
To take greater advantage of the existing strengths of the department in such fields as textual editing, electronic texts, and textual theory in redesigning our M.A. program, so as to offer courses and degrees with relevance both to the changing discipline of English studies and to the nonacademic job market.
To make the special topic section of the Ph.D. oral examination more effective as a transition to the writing of the dissertation.
To add a required graduate course in twentieth-century and/or contemporary theory and methodology. Such a course (or courses) should be team-taught and rotated among faculty to heighten their effectiveness and relevance to professional activity.
To increase financial support for Ph.D. students, not only to increase the number of fully supported students, but to bring the level of support up to that offered by peer institutions.
To establish a standing committee on pedagogy to supervise the graduate pedagogy courses, oversee a public file of course syllabi and assignments, and encourage an ongoing discussion within the department about the theory and practice of teaching.
To appoint a full-time director for the Writing Center.
To join a with local secondary school teachers to form a working group to consider how the Department might enrich its programs for potential teachers of English. (The Department received a grant for this initiative in 1995 from the Modern Language Association, one of six awarded nationally.)
Department of Environmental Studies
Since the mid-1980s, the ratio of majors to faculty members has increased by 650%, demonstrating a more efficient use of faculty resources. In 1994-95, the Department consisted of more than 300 undergraduate majors, 125 graduate students, and 23 faculty.
Teaching labs in Hydrology, Atmospheric Sciences, and Ecology were improved in the past two years using $150,000 of Higher Education Equipment Trust Funds. Overhead recovery money was spent to improve the Department's computer labs.
The undergraduate curriculum was revised by updating and expanding the range of 300/400 level courses to provide majors with additional upper-level courses in hydrology, geology, atmospheric science, and ecology; and by eliminating several 100/200 level courses that were determined to be unnecessary.
The undergraduate advising structure was revised to redistribute the approximately 300 majors more evenly among faculty members.
The quality of teaching was improved by replacing retiring faculty with younger faculty, requiring performance review discussions with the department chair, and initiating within-discipline discussions to coordinate course content.
Department of French Language and Literature
The number of regular full-time faculty has been reduced from 17 to 16 since 1990, and will be reduced to 15 when a current faculty member retires and that position is eliminated. Teaching responsibilities have been redistributed and the curriculum has been modified to maintain coverage in all major areas of French literature, linguistics, and civilization.
The focus of the summer TA workshop has been shifted from grammar and vocabulary to an emphasis on whole language approaches to teaching foreign languages.
A new computerized placement test has been in place for two years, resulting in lower administrative costs and faster scoring.
New textbooks for 100- and 200-level course sequences have been adopted to emphasize writing, authentic texts, and the French and Francophone worlds by using content-based, task-oriented approaches which require students to think, to infer meaning, and to make cross-cultural observations as they use the language. The textbooks provide opportunities for interactive activities such as small group work, peer-editing, and cooperative learning techniques.
The undergraduate major has been restructured to allow greater flexibility for students to mix and match upper division courses through a greater array of interdisciplinary, generic, and problem-centered courses.
A series of French in Translation (FRTR) courses have been developed on topics which should attract a wider audience of students who might not normally enroll in French courses, and thus maximize enrollment. Two of these courses will be offered each semester.
Initial enrollment for courses in the required major sequence has been limited to balance class sizes across the available time slots. As daily enrollment updates begin to indicate full classes across even traditionally unpopular class times, enrollment capacities are gradually increased.
Approximately 20-30 undergraduates currently spend either a semester or a year abroad in programs recommended by the Department.
Under a national grant to the Center for Liberal Arts, the department will design a major curriculum to enhance the preparation of secondary school teachers of French.
A preregistration reception has been instituted at the French House, where students can obtain faculty and peer advising on departmental courses, foreign study, and the distinguished majors' program.
The department has published a comprehensive handbook for advanced students to answer questions about academic programs, foreign study, awards and honors, and the French House, thus allowing faculty to use their advising time more efficiently by focusing on special issues and problems rather than on routine matters.
Entering graduate enrollments were limited to five to eight students each year, thus reducing entering enrollments to less than half of the average for the last five years.
A one-credit Theories and Methods of Language Teaching course was established for first-time TAs to demonstrate the linkages between the theories of foreign language teaching and practice.
The M.A. curriculum was streamlined in 1994 by eliminating the core courses from the M.A. program, thus reducing the number of graduate courses the department is obligated to offer from 13 to 8. Efforts are underway to streamline the Ph.D. program, and a new program is planned for the fall of 1996.
Since 1989 the department has capped financial aid to graduate students at two years for the M.A. and five years (beyond the M.A.) for the Ph.D. in an effort to shorten the time to degree.
The department offers all of its 100-300 level language courses during the Summer Session to provide a full range of offerings for undergraduates and summer stipends for TAs.
The Department does not currently conduct its own French program abroad, but it participates in graduate student exchanges with Universite de Bordeaux III - Michel de Montaigne, Universite de Nice, Universite d'Aix-Marseille, and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To reintegrate, at some future date, a visiting faculty position into the regular faculty.
To build a stronger relationship with the international program in the McIntire School of Commerce in order to attract students interested in French-related careers in business and to investigate possible areas of collaboration, such as foreign study programs and internships.
To create a French area studies program, which would allow students to count courses from areas other than French language, literature, and civilization toward the major.
To revise the numbering and prerequisites of Commercial French (FREN 336) to attract the enrollment of those who have studied economics, contemporary French history, government, or civilization, while making clear that Commercial French is not a refuge from literature.
To establish a department-sponsored Writing Skills Center allowing students to improve their composition through consultation with graduate instructors.
To limit the number of students offered financial aid for graduate study, emphasizing full funding for a smaller number of nationally competitive candidates.
To replace the Department's receptionist with a work-study student receptionist.
To secure additional space for faculty offices, graduate TA offices, a lounge, and storage. At present, several faculty members share small offices, and graduate TAs regularly meet with their students in the hallway.
To disseminate information on the required course sequence and to personalize the computerized telephone registration system by establishing drop-in advising staffed by TAs during the first and second weeks of class.
To update the language laboratory with individual CD ROM stations to allow students to access self-paced, interactive computer software.
To install the computerized placement test on a server in the Media Center or a multimedia classroom to enable the department to administer the test throughout the year to third- and fourth-year students who would like to take French, but whose placement scores are outdated.
Department of Germanic Language and Literature
The Department ranks among the top 10 German departments in the U.S.
The Department has a graduate student exchange with the University of Tübingen and is working to establish undergraduate and faculty exchanges with the Universities of Bonn and Dortmund.
A Foreign Studies Abroad program with the University of Jena will begin in the fall of 1996. The participants will be UVa German majors entering their third year.
The department helped to establish, and participates in, the annual Transatlantic Summer Academy (TASA) at the University of Bonn, which began in 1994. The TASA provides an opportunity for students of government, history, and German Studies and for high school teachers to study first-hand the ongoing restructuring of Germany and the European continent. In 1995, the Department selected two UVa undergraduates and two Virginia public school teachers to attend the TASA.
Beginning in the fall of 1995, the Department will each year invite a distinguished visiting scholar, to be designated the Max-Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor, to offer undergraduate and graduate courses in German literature, German studies, and literary criticism.
Since 1980 the Department has participated in the Summer Foreign Language Institute which promotes innovative teaching and serves high school students, University undergraduates and graduates, senior citizens, and high school teachers.
In order to train, supervise, and evaluate the performance of graduate student teaching assistants, the Department provides
a five-day orientation session for all new TAs in the fall semester, with supplemental two-hour sessions in both the fall and spring semesters,
a senior graduate student instructor who serves as a model teacher and adviser to new TAs,
a weekly two-hour Praktikum for 101 and 102 instructors, during which issues of a practical nature--texts, tests, difficult lessons, classroom strategies--are addressed,
an observation program, in which new 101 instructors visit and critique one another's classes. The faculty language coordinator and a faculty advisor also visit each instructor's classes.
a videotaping program, for all new instructors, which includes a debriefing session with the language coordinator,
cohort teaching at the 300 level, in which TAs teach the same syllabus as faculty, give the same paper topics and exams, and inform their pedagogy through weekly conferences with faculty, mutual classroom visits, and written critiques.
In order to reflect a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of German literature in a larger cultural context, the department will begin to offer a German Modern Studies major in the fall of 1996 to supplement the long-established German Literature major. This new major track aims to take a fresh approach to German culture from 1870 to the present, treating politics, cinema, psychoanalysis, history, and the Holocaust.
The department has opened itself to other disciplines and departments by offering courses that are taught in English and designated as GETR (German in Translation). Since the fall of 1991, the department has offered almost thirty-five GETR courses, ranging from courtly literature and children's literature to the fairy tale and Hermann Hesse.
Starting in the spring of 1996, the Committee on Comparative Literature will be chaired by a senior German Department faculty member (Benjamin Bennett).
The faculty director of the Committee on Comparative Literature should be assigned a graduate student grader/assistant.
The University should ensure the continuing existence of the Summer Foreign Language Institute, which is essential to the University's outreach effort as well as to the training of German majors and minors. It is our belief that the framework of the SFLI is adaptable to other languages and intensive programs on grounds.
A faculty development grant to promote our budding Business German courses. Training of one professor (Beth Bjorklund) for permanent assignment to this program would aid our restructuring.
The Dean has approved a faculty development grant for this training.
Department of Government and Foreign Affairs
Restructuring the graduate program
The M.A. program in Public Administration has been eliminated and will be phased out beginning in 1995-96.
Master's degree comprehensive exams have been eliminated, and the 32 Ph.D. sub-field examinations have been replaced with exams in the four major fields of political science--comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and American government.
Core courses in the four fields of political science have been established for graduate students.
The size of entering graduate classes has been reduced to 35 students.
A more rigorous review of graduate students' progress toward degrees has been introduced.
Redeploying resources to undergraduate programs
The redefinition of faculty workload--five undergraduate courses and three graduate courses over a two-year period--has resulted in more undergraduate courses and fewer graduate courses.
Numerous courses were renumbered to provide more undergraduate offerings and to make some graduate courses more accessible to undergraduates.
For example, GFAG 873 (Financial Administration and Budgeting) will be renumbered and retitled GFAG 569 (Federal Budget and Economic Policy).
Course sequences will be established for Middle East and East Asia areas beginning at the 200 and 300 levels, and culminating in advanced courses at the 400 and 500 levels.
The 400/700 courses in International Relations have been restricted to the 400 level.
Undergraduate offerings in political economy have been expanded by the revision of two courses and the addition of three new courses to form a course sequence from the 200 to the 400 level.
The Department received a favorable assessment of its bachelor degree programs in Government and Foreign Affairs from an outside evaluation team; many of their suggestions were incorporated into the departmental self-study.
Teaching assistants are now required to attend a two-part training session conducted by the Teaching Resource Center.
To reduce the size of the entering graduate class to 30 students per year.
Department of History
Quality of the program
Recent polls rank the Department among the top 20 history departments in the nation.
In recent years, four members of the Department have won University teaching awards, and two have won the State Council of Higher Education's Outstanding Faculty Award.
The department has reduced the size and increased the quality of the graduate program by reducing the number of entering graduate students from 70 in the fall of 1992 to 30 in the fall of 1994. A smaller but more talented graduate student body has
decreased the average time to degree, an outcome further encouraged by requiring that Ph.D. students take their qualifying examinations before the end of the second semester of their third year,
decreased the number of course offerings at the graduate level, with those at the undergraduate level correspondingly increased,
increased the proportion of undergraduate courses taught by regular faculty members.
The undergraduate advising system was revised to make all faculty members, rather than a select few, more available to students as advisors.
The undergraduate curriculum was redesigned to broaden its scope in recognition of the globalization of knowledge and to better prepare students for the intensive work required in the 400-level seminars and colloquia.
Majors are now required to take at least two courses in non-western areas and at least two courses in European history, one on the period before and one on the period after 1700.
Majors are expected to work with advisors to devise a rational sequence of 300-level courses in a single subfield in preparation for a research seminar or colloquia.
Changes to the format of many 300-level lecture courses, especially in American history, to include one hour of discussion and two hours of lecture each week, have resulted in
additional small discussion sessions,
increased interaction between faculty members and undergraduates in a setting where students are asked actively to engage reading material rather than passively to take lecture notes,
enhanced opportunities for graduate assistants to discuss teaching strategies with faculty members on a regular basis.
To further reduce the average time to graduate degree by
creating a second-year graduate seminar in European history in which students earn 3 credit-hours for seminar papers that will become their M.A. essays.
changing the requirement for the number of the 700-level colloquia graduate students now must take to allow substitution of new 500-level colloquia.
To reduce the number of faculty members who teach the undergraduate Distinguished Majors Seminar in the fall semester from two to one, thus freeing faculty time for additional undergraduate courses.
To expand the number of limited-enrollment 500-level colloquia open to both advanced undergraduates and graduate students from one or two to three or four by the spring of 1996.
To emphasize small undergraduate colloquia and seminars in redistributing resources from the graduate to the undergraduate program.
To renumber the faculty-taught 100-level introductory seminars for undergraduates as 200-level seminars to correct the misimpression caused by the current numbering, reflect more accurately the intended content and rigor of the courses, and to attract the best students.
All of the above recommendations were approved by the department faculty in April 1995 and will be implemented in the fall.
Department of Mathematics
The Math Tutoring Center was established to tutor students enrolled in MATH 103, 111, 112, 121, 122, 131, and 132. During its first two semesters of operation in 1994-95, the Center received 1,160 student visits and favorable student evaluations.
The undergraduate major curriculum was revised to include a requirement in computer science, a new course in Basic Analysis (MATH 331), and a newly established core curriculum of four courses. The department will open a new undergraduate computer lab in September 1995.
A summer program funded by the U.S. Department of Education was established to provide better training to graduate students as teachers and to provide special instruction at crucial junctures of the graduate school experience in an attempt to shorten the time to degree. The summer sessions include courses to provide students extra problem solving experience, courses on teaching, uses of computers in mathematics, preparation for the general exams, and training in probability and statistics in preparation for teaching MATH 111 and MATH 112.
All new teaching assistants are required to attend the Teaching Resource Center's workshop in August. In addition, international graduate students with teaching responsibilities must participate in the Teaching Resource Center's screening program and receive remedial work if necessary.
A departmental committee has been established to visit the classes of first- and second-year TAs, to aid them in improving their teaching, and to review their student evaluations.
The Department of Mathematics was instrumental in establishing the Committee for Curriculum Cooperation in the Mathematical Sciences composed of representatives from Mathematics, (former) Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, and Economics. Its first project has been to understand the whole mathematical curriculum as presently taught on grounds, to gather information on what departments consume mathematics and what departments produce mathematics, and to get an overview of how various math courses fit into the mathematical landscape. Its immediate goal is to produce a handbook listing all courses with substantial mathematical content, arranged by subject matter instead of by department. This handbook should be of value to students and advisors, revealing related courses or applications of courses outside the student's major department. In connection with this project the committee is polling all departments about the adequacy of the current math instruction, explicitly asking for suggestions on needs not currently met. The Committee is also deliberating about ways to reduce barriers to student access to courses. One idea under consideration is the establishment of recognized mathematical concentrations which could cut across school boundaries.
The Handbook has been published and was distributed to students and advisers during the fall semester advising and registration period in August 1995.
Department of Music
The Department has moved to a position of leadership in new fields of musical research, theory, and composition by the strategic replacement of retiring faculty. For example, an ethnomusicologist will replace a departing music historian to infuse the program with an increased diversity of ethnic perspectives, and a new retirement hire in composition will increase the visibility of the Virginia Center for Computer Music and enable the department to offer an introductory course in computer music through the computer-assisted instruction facility.
The number of offerings in composition and related areas was increased with the addition of a new undergraduate composition course in fall 1994 and an undergraduate course in computer music techniques in fall 1995.
The introductory music history course for majors was updated to provide students with rigorous training in critical approaches and in the specialized field of writing about music.
A music historian was awarded the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award in 1995 for redesigning the introductory music appreciation course and the first semester history sequence for majors, and the introduction to musical research for graduate students, and for initiating a training program for teaching assistants in the department.
A music theorist is collaborating with both theory and history faculty in the Department to develop an integrated theory sequence for fall 1995.
Several new lower division courses, including Music and Philosophy, Music and Psychology, and Movie Music, are in the planning stages.
A new conductor and professional principals have made the orchestra one of the best in the region.
Significant progress has been made towards long-term goals to strengthen the performance program.
The orchestra principals, the touring piano trio-in-residence, and higher professional standards for the performance faculty have improved the quality of the curricular organizations, private instruction, and student performances.
A new part-time trumpet principal and upper bass instructor beginning in fall 1995 and a part-time replacement in vocal technique and opera direction to begin in 1996 will remedy weaknesses.
The performance program has expanded to include new curricular offerings in jazz ensemble, jazz improvisation, wind and brass ensemble, chamber chorus, and opera workshop; a new faculty chamber music series, and the establishment of a music lesson scholarship program for talented non-music majors.
Following the Department's restructuring efforts, the number of music majors has increased from approximately 30 to approximately 50, the number of students participating in the performance program has increased by 50%, and the number of graduate students has increased from 3 to 10.
The faculty workload policy was revised by encouraging each faculty member to teach one large course for non-majors, by reducing the number of upper division and graduate seminars by alternating the years in which some seminars are offered, and by rotating teaching assignments for demanding courses.
In 1994-95, the Department expanded computer music instruction to include introductory level students and to facilitate the use of computers for computer-assisted learning throughout the program by
establishing a computer-assisted instruction facility with three PowerMacs,
acquiring computers for all academic faculty and set up mailing lists for faculty members, majors, and graduate students,
securing funding from the Academic Computing Support Committee ($13,000) for additional computers, synthesizers, and software,
collaborating with Information Technology and Communication (ITC) on the use of electronic classrooms,
training faculty in the use of the WorldWideWeb and effective use of electronic media for teaching, including creating Web pages for the Music Library and the Department,
establishing a Digital Music Center and a computer-assisted instruction facility in the Music Library,
beginning on-line catalogues of the Mackay Collection of chamber music and other research collections.
The University's ARTS$ program has enabled the Department to greatly expand opportunities for University students to experience excellent live performances drawn from a broad spectrum of musical repertories.
With the introduction of ARTS$ program, student attendance at music performances doubled during the first year and has remained stable over the past two years despite the disruption caused by the renovation of the Cabell Auditorium.
The Department continues to support residencies in non-Western music by planning a 1995-96 residency for African drummer Fred Dunyo.
Administrative reorganization and efficiency
In 1994-95, the Department's fiscal technician began producing integrated bi-monthly budget reports, allowing the Department significantly greater budgetary control and efficiency.
Increased budgetary control, economy measures, and savings realized from in-house production of printed materials (all made possible because of the recent computerization of the Department's office services) plus fees assessed from ticket revenue, an infusion of ARTS$, Equipment Trust Funds for musical instruments and computers, and increased public support have enabled the Department to reallocate resources to support new initiatives in the academic, performance and computing programs and double the funding for teaching assistants.
Consolidation and streamlining of administrative procedures enables office staff to cope with the increased demands of a growing program.
Handicapped access funds, classroom improvement funds, and private sources will be used to accommodate handicapped access and to redesign and renovate space in Old Cabell Hall to meet current needs.
To continue to develop plans for a Ph.D. program in music with specializations in history and criticism and in composition.
To explore possibilities for an interdisciplinary undergraduate program linking music, engineering, and cognitive science.
To increase student attendance and participation in music performance through the use of ARTS$, and to explore other sources of funding to support part-time faculty in musicianship as well as visiting artists and performers.
Corcoran Department of Philosophy
The Department has increased the number of small 100- and 200-level introductory seminars and changed the format of the informal logic (critical thinking) course to accommodate the growing demand for these courses and to promote interest in further study of philosophy.
The Department has added a new set of 300-level seminars ("Topics in Philosophy"), which will allow greater flexibility in meeting the needs and interests of undergraduate students.
The Department has created an informational brochure on the Philosophy Honors Program to alert first- and second-year students to the benefits of this program.
A new undergraduate program in Bioethics has been established that will offer Philosophy majors a wider range of courses and practical experience in the area of applied ethics.
A new interdisciplinary course in Philosophy and Music has been established which will be team-taught by a member of the Department and a member of the Music Department.
The required graduate course, PHIL 701 - Writing Tutorial in Philosophy, has been replaced with PHIL 703 - First Year Seminar. The aim of the seminar is not only to help students make adjustments to the demands of written work at the graduate level, but also to ensure that students will have a common background and framework for subsequent courses in the graduate program. The seminar also promotes a sense of solidarity and esprit de corps among students in the entering class.
Selected graduate students are now permitted to teach their own sections of basic introductory courses, allowing for more and smaller sections as well as providing teaching experience to graduate students.
The Department has increased its efforts in assisting job candidates, and recently assembled a comprehensive Placement Guide. All graduates of the Ph.D. program in the past two years have found academic teaching posts, most of them tenure-track positions.
The Undergraduate Advisor should take an active role in the organization and ongoing activities of the Undergraduate Philosophy Club in order to ensure its continued existence and contribution to the student experience.
A series of core courses in the major areas of philosophy should be instituted to better prepare graduate students for the Ph.D. qualifying exams.
A plan to monitor and evaluate graduate students' teaching in a more systematic way should be established to ensure that courses are being well taught and that student teaching is continually improved.
The Department should explore in detail the possibility of establishing an exchange program with the University of Jena (Germany). Such an opportunity would provide UVa students with a solid background in 19th and 20th century German and Continental Philosophy, an area that is neglected in the current program.
All of the above recommendations have been approved by the department, and will be implemented beginning in the fall of 1995.
Department of Physics
The undergraduate curriculum was redefined by modifying the B.A. track to make it genuinely distinct from the B.S. This new track includes a two-semester course entitled "Widely Applied Physics," and has fewer mathematical prerequisites. It is designed to address the particular needs and interests of students not planning to pursue graduate study in physics, such as those preparing to be school teachers, science writers, or physicians.
The Department has introduced several introductory survey and special topic courses to satisfy a wide range of needs and interests. A revised "Concepts of Physics," and courses on "The Physics of How Things Work," "Galileo and Einstein," "The Science of Sound and Music," and "Science and Technology Issues" are proving to appeal to many students.
A reorganization of 500-level courses was completed to allow average course size to increase, thus accommodating downsizing of the graduate program.
The Department introduced two new courses for high school physics teachers, Physics 613 and 615. This brings the total number of such courses available in the Department to seven, in keeping with the need to improve the relatively weak position of the U.S. in precollege science preparation.
The 40-year old Engineering Physics graduate program offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is being replaced by a new joint program between SEAS and the Physics Department.
The new Ph.D. in Engineering Physics will require a minimum of 4 courses in physics, 2 in engineering, and 2 in graduate mathematics, followed by a joint comprehensive examination.
The Department houses and actively participates in the Center for Science Education, which promotes improvements in science education by working with Virginia teachers and school divisions.
Administrative and support structure
The Department is in the process of hiring a computer systems specialist to offer technical support for both teaching and research. The position will be funded by pooling computer support with support for electronics and for machine shop personnel in a technical services pool, and increasing the rate charged for these services.
A new lecture/demonstration support staff member has been hired by the Department to meet the instructional demand for demonstration experiments and multimedia materials. The position is made possible by a reduction in administrative staff through a reorganization of research administration and other functions.
To explore future research directions--especially in biophysics, astrophysics, and computational physics--as well as the appropriate ratio of theoretical to experimental faculty, in part by inviting visitors for colloquia to obtain their ideas for possible candidates and their perspectives on the current subfields and future directions of the discipline.
Department of Psychology
Two new faculty members were hired to teach general psychology (PSYC 101) in 1995-96. The course is important to the Department as a means to attract majors, maintain a subject pool for departmental research, and provide teaching experience for graduate students.
To compensate for the enrollment declines in PSYC 101 associated with the retirement of Professor Raymond Bice, the number of courses providing a pool of undergraduates as subjects for departmental research have been expanded to include six 200-level courses that involve human psychology (PSYC 210, 215, 230, 240, 250, and 260).
Lab schedules and policies were changed to reduce the workload for graduate teaching assistants.
A Distinguished Teaching Fellows program was initiated for the 1994-95 academic year to increase the availability of seminars in areas requested by undergraduate majors, and to provide teaching experience for outstanding senior graduate students. Two fellows were selected for each semester of the 1994-1995 academic year.
Undergraduate complaints about the lack of seminars have declined since the implementation of the Distinguished Teaching Fellows program.
First-time graduate teaching assistants are required to participate in a training and evaluation program consisting of
two Teaching Resource Center half-day workshops at the beginning of each semester,
four workshops prepared by the Teacher of Teachers (who is selected from the top graduate student instructors from the previous year),
required mid-semester evaluations, peer observation of discussion sections, and videotaping of discussion sessions,
semester-end student evaluations,
regular interaction with the course instructor.
To review the Distinguished Teaching Fellows program on an ongoing basis.
To eliminate optional discussion sections in most courses, and offer required discussion sections in targeted courses instead, especially at the 200-level. Plans are in place to add required discussion sections in Child Psychology and Introduction to Personality beginning with the spring semester, 1996.
To enhance faculty mentoring of graduate teaching assistants by scheduling regular meetings between instructors and their TAs to discuss responsibilities and goals at the beginning of the semester, to discuss progress and concerns throughout the semester, and to review and discuss student comments on the mid-semester and final evaluations.
Department of Religious Studies
Quality of the department
The Gourman Report has for the past five years rated this department as the best undergraduate religious studies department in the United States.
The department's faculty is the largest religious studies faculty of any public institution in the country, and it annually awards more than 10 Ph.D. and 12 M.A. degrees.
Graduate applications to the program have doubled the past eight years to more than 150 in 1994-95. Each year four or five candidates are awarded University Presidential Fellowships.
The requirements for the major have been revised over the last five years to
increase the number of required credit hours from 27 to 30,
permit specified 100-level courses to be counted toward the major,
clarify the structure of the curriculum by renaming a number of courses according to their designated area of focus (Christianity, Buddhism, etc.),
establish a new majors seminar to synthesize the course sequence.
All of the following recommendations have been approved by the faculty and have been, or soon will be, implemented.
To redefine faculty teaching responsibilities so that every faculty member teaches at least one undergraduate course each semester and no more than two graduate seminars every three semesters.
To institute a departmental curriculum committee to review and approve course proposals, project the biennial budget of the Department, and insure an appropriate allocation of resources between the graduate and undergraduate programs.
To create additional courses to respond to the increased undergraduate demand and to supplement the offerings in currently under-represented areas (e.g., social-scientific approaches to religion, Islam, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Chinese religion).
To develop at least two additional large-enrollment, lower-division courses to accommodate the growing demand for undergraduate electives and to stabilize the Department's enrollment base.
To institute a pilot series of 100-level seminars in religious studies in order to provide lower-division students with more small class opportunities and to emphasize the development of writing skills.
To reconceive 500-level seminars so that they serve advanced undergraduate students as well as beginning graduate students, and to encourage majors and other advanced undergraduates to make more use of courses at this level.
To renumber certain 700 and 800-level seminars as 500-level seminars to make them more accessible to advanced undergraduates.
To increase the use of computer applications to classroom work, by
increasing the use of electronic bulletin boards as a means of communication among faculty and students,
using computer terminals as teaching tools in both the classroom and the library,
using imaging technology in the classroom,
developing new courses that take special advantage of electronic technology.
To encourage and enable curricular development by providing individual faculty members with temporary teaching-load reductions for the planning and implementation of new courses and for major revisions of existing courses.
To teach some undergraduate courses on a biennial rather than an annual basis to allow for a greater variety of offerings and for the development of additional courses without adding faculty members.
To emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of religious studies by cooperating with other departments on curricular issues, cross-listing more courses, and encouraging joint appointments in religious studies for faculty in other departments.
To reduce the seven graduate concentrations and faculty field committees to three broad areas: Historical Studies; History of Religions; and Theology, Ethics, and Culture.
To restructure the graduate curriculum by
developing a series of two or three required seminars in each concentration with a view to consolidating the field, providing a common basis for all students in the field, promoting interaction among graduate students in the field, and dealing with fundamental problems, methods, and resources of the sub-discipline,
streamlining graduate offerings by revising some seminars to eliminate duplication and rotating seminars to promote variety.
To seek a more efficient integration between graduate and upper-division undergraduate instruction and between departmental and extra-departmental curricula by
coordinating some middle- and upper-level undergraduate courses with graduate courses,
using courses offered by other departments and schools of the University more extensively to meet graduate degree requirements in religious studies.
To revise the comprehensive examinations by
diversifying the format of the exams by adding an oral component, specialized papers, and submission of a course syllabus so that the exams may lead more directly to the dissertation and contribute to students' pedagogical training,
ensuring that the expectations and procedures for the exams are consistent across concentrations,
requiring students to begin comprehensive exams within six months of completion of coursework, and to complete them within two consecutive examination periods,
requiring "incompletes" to be completed by the beginning of the second semester following the semester in which the course was taken.
To emphasize pedagogy in graduate education by
developing one or two graduate seminars in each area that distinguish pedagogy from research,
making better use of undergraduate course sections as teaching laboratories,
exploring the possibility for graduate students to develop and teach courses of their own within the departmental curriculum,
requiring TAs to participate in the annual teaching workshop sponsored by the Teaching Resource Center.
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Three students participated in the newly established exchange program with the University of Kazan in the Tatar Republic of the Russian Federation in 1994-95. Three more students are scheduled to attend the Kazan program during fall 1995.
The cost of a semester at Kazan is _ to of that of other exchange programs in Russia, such as those sponsored by the Center for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR).
Upper division Russian courses were restructured to make them more proficiency oriented and to make extensive use of authentic contemporary texts.
Curricular restructuring efforts were supported by a Lilly Foundation Fellowship to a faculty member and by Teaching Resource Center and State Council for Higher Education awards.
Computer hardware and software for developing computer-assisted Russian language teaching materials was purchased using an Information Technology and Communication (ITC) grant.
The recent purchase of a scanner has enabled the Department to update computerized course materials by scanning current newspapers and other documents and texts.
The Department continues to work with ITC to develop a Russian language component for an electronic classroom.
During the summer of 1995, a departmental faculty member will be participating in a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored project developing computer-driven Russian language materials for testing listening comprehension.
A course on the methodology of teaching Russian was introduced in 1992 and has been regularly taught by a visiting Russian pedagogue. An August workshop for TAs was added in 1994.
A mini-methods course for TAs will be offered as a pilot in 1995-96. The plan is to have such a pedagogical course, taught by faculty and required for TAs, to parallel each language course in which teaching assistants provide instruction.
The Russian language graduate exams (both M.A. and Ph.D.) were made more proficiency-based, requiring students to use the language, to write and speak about their work, and to present evidence of passive knowledge.
Beginning in 1995-96, a new set of master's degree proficiency exams used for placement purposes will be evaluated.
Many courses are now offered in alternating years in an effort to stretch a faculty of eight to accommodate growing student interest in both language and non-language courses.
That alteration allows the department to offer at least one non-Russian course each year, and to cover the main non-Russian Slavic languages--Czech, Polish, and Serbo-Croatian--on a two-year rotating basis.
A Student-Faculty Advisory Committee was established in 1994 to formalize the process of student input.
The Advisory Committee conducted a survey of graduate students and undergraduate majors, exit interviews with undergraduates, and "town meetings" with graduate students.
To investigate adding a non-language component, such as archival research and field work, to the exchange program with the University of Kazan.
To establish a summer exchange program at Kazan starting in 1996.
To add computer-assisted instructional materials, such as a writing packet, to the curriculum in 1995-96.
To improve the undergraduate curriculum further by
increasing in-class student language use in first- and second-year Russian courses,
increasing the number of class hours per week at the second-year level,
splitting first-year Russian into two or more tracks, one for students with no prior exposure to the language, one for students who had Russian in high school, and perhaps one stressing international trade.
To examine and restructure the current 500-level language courses in Russian to better accommodate the disparate levels of Russian language proficiency among incoming graduate students.
To develop a regular channel of communication among the foreign language departments for the discussion of common problems.
Department of Sociology
Section size for the required statistics course (SOC 311) was restricted to 12 students to allow for intensive student interaction with TAs.
A requirement that all majors complete three 400-level seminars with enrollments limited to 20-25 students was established to ensure that all majors actively participate in discussions and write extensively.
For the fall of 1995, the Department will offer ten 400-level seminars (and six graduate seminars).
With rare exceptions, all faculty in the Department teach at least one undergraduate course every semester.
The sequence of graduate-level methods courses was revised to improve instruction in the general logic of conducting social science research.
A new course, Research Design (SOC 510), was offered as a pilot during the spring 1995 semester, and will be offered as a required course every fall semester for incoming students.
Survey Methods (SOC 511) will move to the spring semester, and will be revised to reflect the content of the new SOC 510 course.
SOC 514 has been retitled "Qualitative Methods," and will require students to complete the new SOC 510 course as a prerequisite.
New graduate students will be required to complete Research Design (SOC 510), Intermediate Statistics (SOC 512), and Qualitative Methods (SOC 514) or Survey Methods (SOC 511).
As a result of the recent visiting committee's recommendations, the Department has made its existing strengths in stratification and culture the foci of the graduate curriculum by
introducing a new survey course entitled "Stratification,"
introducing a new Sociology of Culture course beginning in the fall of 1995,
requiring all graduate students to take either Stratification or Sociology of Culture, and advising students to take both courses.
A new voluntary program was established in which interested faculty members accept students as "research apprentices" with the intent of producing a jointly authored paper suitable for a journal or professional meeting. Students receive graded course credit; faculty members direct their work on an overload basis.
Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
Total enrollment in the Department over the past three years has risen from 1600 to 2178, majors have risen from 150 to more than 250, and minors have risen from 60 to 96.
The teaching of tenured faculty has been reorganized so that instead of teaching, as now, one undergraduate and one graduate course each semester, they will teach two undergraduate courses per semester at regular intervals.
Following the model of the study abroad program at the University of Valencia in Spain, a new program has been established with the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador, to begin in the spring of 1996.
New teaching assistants are required to take a full-scale, three-credit course (Spanish 821 - Practicum in Teaching) to better prepare TAs for undergraduate teaching responsibilities.
The Department requires all graduate students to attend a new short course designed to improve their approach to criticism through systematic guidance in theory and practice, paper writing at a sophisticated level, familiarization with conference procedures, and the preparation of articles for professional journals.
Division of Statistics
Three new undergraduate statistics courses were developed and proposed by the Division. Approval of these courses is expected in fall 1995.
The number of School of Engineering and Applied Science graduate students enrolling in graduate statistics courses increased during 1994-95.
The Division has instituted more extensive methods for recruiting new graduate students, such as using the Internet to advertise the graduate program.
Results of the new emphasis on recruitment have included the award of a President's Fellowship to a doctoral student and a significant increase in the number of unsupported master's students entering the program.
As of June 1995, all Statistics graduate students who received degrees in 1994-95 have either accepted or are being interviewed for permanent employment, with the employment modes ranging from corporate to government.
Collaboration with other University and external units
The Division's broad revision of its graduate programs resulted in greater administrative efficiency, lower operating expenses, and an increase in the quality of its offerings.
The program revisions include a component of practical training in statistical consultation which has led to increased contacts and joint publications with researchers from other University units.
Graduate courses offered by the Division have been designed to be accessible to graduate students with non-mathematical backgrounds.
Arrangements with the Division of Biostatistics in the School of Medicine have been formalized to allow for the cross-listing of biostatistics courses for statistics graduate students.
Faculty and students provide advice to the Southeastern Rural Mental Health Research Center in all aspects of statistics, including the analysis of research data, the writing of grant proposals, and the use of computer packages. In return, Statistics students have received financial assistance through research assistantships and summer stipends, and faculty have received travel grants for conferences.
Collaboration with the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science have resulted in a research assitantship for a Statistics doctoral student and joint publications for both faculty and students.
Two Statistics faculty members have joined the "Committee on Curriculum Cooperation in the Mathematical Sciences" which seeks ways to foster cooperation and to eliminate duplication among the mathematical sciences at the University.
A teaching evaluation system has been established that requires graduate TAs to be reviewed each semester by the Division Chair and the graduate advisor, and faculty members to be evaluated each semester by a faculty committee. A new course evaluation form will be completed in the fall.
The Division requires that newly-hired junior faculty attend a two-day advising session with the Division Chair and other senior faculty members to review all aspects of employment at the University, including academic and non-academic matters. All faculty are required to meet with the division chair at the end of each academic year to review their performance.
Faculty collaborated with staff to improve the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the Statistics office by implementing a computer spreadsheet system for the Division's budget.
To continue the discussions concerning
a joint undergraduate major program in statistics and mathematics,
using the Division of Statistics to teach statistics and probability courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
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