EPCC to review new curriculum proposals

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

Recently, the Educational Policy Curriculum Committee, EPCC, looked at a variety of different proposals from several different departments, including one study abroad program.

The EPCC is responsible for deciding on proposed curriculum changes that are brought in front of them.

This year’s committee is headed by Mark Juffernbruch, associate professor of accounting.

For faculty members at Simpson College who want to make changes to their curriculum, the place to visit is EPCC.

“At most institutions, the faculty is responsible for the curriculum,” Steve Griffith, vice president and dean of academic affairs, said. “They delegate that responsibility to an academic committee. It helps shape proposals for full faculty approval.”

Juffernbruch said the committee is set up to give each department a voice, as well as to get a variety of views on tough issues.

“There are ten voting faculty [on the committee],” Juffernbruch said. “There are two from each division, and the idea is that you have representation from different departments. We’ve got a very diverse group.”

Of the recent proposals brought before the EPCC, the study abroad program is one of several that have been overhauled.

“There have been significant changes to the math major and communication studies program,” Juffernbruch said. “This past week we looked at a study abroad program in French Polynesia.”

Juffernbruch said that when it comes to proposals, there is no telling when they will come to his attention or what they will be about.

“Sometimes, somebody will call me, but they’ll mostly just show up, and I can coordinate that to the committee,” Juffernbruch said.

However, Juffernbruch did say there are a few proposals that are known and coming up for discussion.

“I know we have some biology proposals and computer science proposals,” Juffernbruch said.

According to Griffith, once the EPCC approves a proposal, it is then sent to the full faculty for a vote. This happened recently with some proposals brought to the EPCC.

“The policy proposals have gone to the full faculty, and they were just approved at the last meeting,” Griffith said. “There are [also] a couple political science courses.”

Griffith also agreed with Juffernbruch that proposals are always in front of the EPCC.

“They are dealing with proposals all the time,” Griffith said. “You have to think of the college like an organism in that it’s always changing.”

The faculty are not the only people who serve on the EPCC. There are three students who assist with the committee.

Freshman Hannah Landgraf is one student who serves on the EPCC.

“It’s interesting [being on the committee],” Landgraf said. “It’s nice to have a student’s perspective on the board.”

Landgraf said that she joined the EPCC after not being selected for another group.

“First I applied for the Academic Judicial Board,” Landgraf said. “I didn’t get on, but [senior] Kyle Liske suggested I get on EPCC.”

Juffernbruch said that proposals can come to the EPCC from faculty members via their department chairs.

“Individual faculty that believe a change needs to be made will make a proposal through the chair of their department,” Juffernbruch said. “After it’s approved by the dean of academic affairs. At that point it comes to us for recommendation. If the EPCC agrees with the proposal, they’ll recommend it for full faculty consideration.”

Juffernbruch also said the meeting schedule depends on how many proposals need to be looked at.

“We have regularly scheduled meetings at the second and fourth

Tuesday of the month,” Juffernbruch said. “If we get backlogged, we may add another meeting.”

According to Juffernbruch, there is a misconception that once the EPCC approves a proposal, it is the final word.

“When we approve it, we are streamlining it for the full faculty,” Juffernbruch said. “Sometimes, it needs to be reworked. There we would send it back to the proposer.”