Update on General Education Implementation at Boston University
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Among the top priorities of BU’s strategic plan is the timely and effective implementation of our first University-wide undergraduate general education program, known as the BU Hub. This effort has been steadily progressing through several stages. As a reminder, in May 2016 the University Council– BU’s faculty governance body – approved the intellectual vision and framework, as well as formal changes to the Boston University Bylaws and University Council Constitution that enable implementation of the BU Hub. Since that time, faculty and staff have made enormous strides to advance this initiative, working collaboratively and devoting significant effort to developing the standards, learning outcomes, communications strategies, systems, and tools for evaluation that are essential for a successful rollout for students in the Fall 2018.
I write to update you on some of the key developments in BU Hub implementation, particularly those related to oversight and faculty governance of general education at Boston University.
Critical to the launch and long-term success of this signature initiative are the full involvement, participation, and shared governance of the BU Hub by our faculty. Last year, the University Council voted to establish a standing faculty committee – a General Education Committee – with the authority and responsibility for reviewing and making determinations about the courses and co-curricular activities proposed for inclusion in this new program. This past summer, BU Faculty Council Chair and Questrom Professor J. Robb Dixon and I appointed the inaugural General Education Committee (GEC) of the University Council – a panel co-chaired by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Beth Loizeaux and CAS Chemistry Professor Tom Tullius and comprising a full breadth of disciplines on the Charles River Campus. Membership of this new committee is listed below. The committee began its work in July and sent out its first round of responses to proposers in early September. Further information about the committee’s progress will be shared in months ahead to communicate about the innovative offerings they are fielding from faculty across the University.
In addition to the GEC, I would also like to update you on some significant changes to both the administrative organization and physical location of the BU Hub’s implementation effort. On September 11, the administrative team supporting the implementation of the BU Hub moved to a new, expanded headquarters on the 5th floor of the George Sherman Union. The move locates the BU Hub centrally on campus and accommodates the growth of the new program as we add staff and programming space in preparation for its formal launch.
As part of this move, we welcome three new members to the BU Hub leadership group: Amanda Urias as Managing Director, Laura Johnson as Director of Advising, and Marlee McDonald-Yepes as Administrative Coordinator.
As the BU Hub’s inaugural Managing Director, Amanda Urias reports directly to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and will work collaboratively with the schools and colleges and the many other groups involved to coordinate the Hub’s timely, efficient implementation, and to provide continued oversight as it evolves in the years to come. Amanda previously served as Manager of Academic Program Review and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Provost since 2011. She brings wide knowledge of the University’s academic programs to this role, as well as the ability to effectively manage complex projects and work closely with faculty and leaders across the schools and colleges.
As Director of Advising, Laura Johnson coordinates with our existing BU Hub infrastructure and with the undergraduate schools and colleges to support and assure excellent academic advising as part of its implementation. Laura previously served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the BU School of Education since 2015, overseeing that school’s Office of College Access and Completion, Undergraduate and Graduate Student Services, and Student Records and serving as its senior diversity officer.
Finally, as Administrative Coordinator, Marlee McDonald-Yepes provides operations support to the BU Hub Managing Director and other members of the BU Hub leadership team in the Office of the Provost. Marlee arrives at BU from the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where she worked the last two years as Program Manager for its strings, piano, theory, composition, and early childhood development departments.
Please join me in welcoming Amanda, Laura, and Marlee to this exciting effort, and I invite you to visit the BU Hub’s new offices in the GSU or to learn more about the initiative online at www.bu.edu/gened.
2017-2018 General Education Committee of the University Council
Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs; and Professor of English, College of Arts & Sciences
Tom Tullius, Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences
Houchang Chehabi, Professor of International Relations and History, College of Arts & Sciences and Pardee School of Global Studies
Dana Clancy, Associate Professor of Painting, College of Fine Arts
Cutler Cleveland, Professor of Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences
Sandra Deacon-Carr, Master Lecturer in Organizational Behavior, Questrom School of Business
Uri Eden, Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences
Solomon Eisenberg, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
Lynn Eustis, Associate Professor of Music, College of Fine Arts
Peter Garik, Clinical Associate Professor of Science Education, School of Education
Walter Hopp, Associate Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences
Sarah Madsen Hardy, Senior Lecturer, Arts & Sciences Writing Program, College of Arts & Sciences
Megan Sullivan, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, College of General Studies
Susan Walker, Associate Professor of Journalism, College of Communication