Senate Oks New Adult Degree Program
15, 1999 -- The Faculty Senate voted unanimously
to approve the University's newest degree offering, a bachelor of
liberal studies, at its Dec. 10 meeting. The Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools has granted preliminary approval for the
new program. Pending OKs from the Board of Visitors, who is re-examining
the name of the degree, and the State Council of Higher Education
for Virginia, U.Va. plans to enroll students in the program by this
DeMong, chair of the senate's Academic Affairs Committee, said the
program was developed to meet the educational needs of adults unable
to enroll in U.Va.'s traditional degree programs. The new BLS program
will enable students with an associate's degree or 60 hours of acceptable
college credit to continue their undergraduate studies on a part-time
basis at U.Va. in courses offered year-round during evening and
weekend hours. Classes will be taught by U.Va.'s general faculty,
its "newly minted Ph.D.s" along with graduate students who've completed
all but their dissertations, emeritus professors, community college
professors, and occasionally teaching faculty at U.Va.
curriculum for the BLS program, and all academic and administrative
policies, were designed by a committee appointed by Vice President
and Provost Peter W. Low, in consultation with the deans of Continuing
Education, Arts & Sciences, Commerce and Engineering and Applied
Science. The group, chaired by History professor Thomas Noble, has
met every week since May, DeMong said.
new Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree will enable us to make available
to members of the community the extraordinary resources of Thomas
Jefferson's University in a way that is meaningful to their economic
and intellectual well-being," said Sondra Stallard, dean of Continuing
Education, which will administer the new program.
BLS program was developed in response to U.Va.'s new initiative
toward public service and outreach. Planning for the new degree
program was endorsed last March by the Board of Visitors, which
had heard a report in 1997 from Curry School Dean David Breneman,
based on a year-long task force study on continuing education. The
study recommended an undergraduate degree program be offered at
U.Va. through Continuing Education. This recommendation stemmed
from citizens' requests that there be such a program, Stallard said.
enrolled in the new BLS program will choose from four areas of concentration:
information technology, business, humanities and social sciences.
As the program develops, other concentrations may be added to meet
will be assessed at the same rate as for residential U.Va. students.
The University will continue to pay for employees to take one course
U.Va. students will not be able to take BLS classes.
BLS students will not be able to take regular U.Va. courses without
several levels of approval.
have already been 485 inquiries about the program with little publicity,
Stallard said. U.Va. expects to admit between 75 and 100 students
initially and enrollment could grow to 350. The provost has given
seed money, which the program should recoup in two to three years.
"It will be self-sufficient and may in time generate revenue," DeMong
during the Faculty Senate meeting, President John T. Casteen III
spoke on several topics. He gave an update on the Campaign for the
University -- $800 million has been raised to date. He also reviewed
the charge to Virginia 2020, the name recently given to the four
planning commissions for the fine and performing arts, science and
technology, international activities and public service and outreach.
[Inside UVA will cover the work of the commissions in an upcoming
reports on the commissions' work will be available online at http://www.virginia.edu/virginia2020/.
Individuals can also subscribe to VIRGINIA2020 -- Subscribe Majordomo
Senate chair Ed Ayers mentioned a new senate effort to communicate
faculty concerns with local legislators. The senate has also continued
working with peer bodies around the state, he said. Faculty Senate
chair-elect David Gies recently attended the groups' statewide meeting
as U.Va.'s representative.
minutes of the Dec. 10 Faculty Senate meeting are online at http://minerva.acc.Virginia.EDU/~facsen/facmeet.html.
Spring semester Faculty Senate meetings will be Monday, Feb. 8,
in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, and Tuesday, April 6, in Minor
Hall Auditorium. Both meetings will run from 3 to 5 p.m.
information on Continuing Education's Bachelor of Liberal Studies
program, call 982-5274, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit