Senate actions with short history

Taking responsibility for curricular reform relative to General Education, the Faculty Senate initiated its process in Fall of 2011.

Prior to that step, a joint administrative and faculty committee worked on developing the UVM General Education concept from 2009 to 2011. An overview of that process is available on the Faculty Senate pages:

Updates on the several general education initiatives led by the Faculty Senate are available at:

The six overarching learning outcomes, developed in 2010-11 by the Joint Committee on General Education of the Faculty Senate and the Central Administration, were endorsed in principle by the Faculty Senate in May 2011, pending the continuation of an open and inclusive process that would determine detailed implementation and assessment plans to be approved by further votes of the Senate. As the ad hoc Faculty Senate General Education Committee began its work in Fall 2011, it chose to focus its work on "writing and information literacy." That process resulted in the initiation of a pilot phase for first year writing outcomes in AY 2012-13. The committee continues its work on 2nd through 4th year writing outcomes.

On 30 Nov. 2012 the first meeting of an ad-hoc Faculty Senate Committee on Sustainability Learning Outcomes was held in Memorial Lounge to begin the process of developing the next set of learning outcomes along with implementation and assessment plans. The model process developed by the Writing and Information Literacy Committee were followed as appropriate

From this first meeting until 7 April 2014, the committee presented five times to the Senate, administered an online comment blog, and conducted two open forums, collecting feedback from the UVM community on the learning outcomes. At the 7 April Faculty Senate meeting, the committee presented its final report and a resolution to 1) adopt the Sustainability Learning Outcomes, and 2) create a Sustainability Curriculum Review Committee (under the Curricular Affairs Committee). The Final Report is linked below. The resolution was approved by the Senate.

Final Report to the Faculty Senate - March 28, 2014

The Sustainability Review Committee (SCRC) began its work on September 12, 2014 and met a total of 16 times to conduct its work during the academic year. Co-chairs presented to the Faculty Senate four times during Academic Year 2014-2015 and on March 9, 2015 the Faculty Senate voted to implement the Sustainability Learning Outcome Requirement for all UVM undergraduate students starting in Fall of 2015. The End of Year Report from the SCRC to the Curricular Affairs Committee (CAC) of the Senate is linked below.

End of Year Report to the CAC - May 15, 2015

NOTE: The University of Vermont has committed to a Learning Outcomes approach to its General Education requirement. Other universities have chosen a course-based approach to General Education whereby students need to choose one or more courses in a topical/subject area. This has saved those institutions the process of specifying the detailed or general learning outcomes expected from those courses. For example, some universities have an environmental or ecoliteracy course requirement. A large list of courses satisfy those requirements, and only a very general set of criteria have been applied to what course can satisfy the requirement.

Student Government Association Resolutions

The UVM Student Government Association has been an important partner in developing general education at UVM and the sustainability requirement in particular. However, the student interest in sustainability pre-dates the General Education initiative.

In 2001 the SGA made the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Student Government Association supports sustainability in Vermont and the development of an ecological economy. Be it further resolved that the Student Government Association recognizes and supports Visionary Vermont's goals in advancing UVM and Vermont's environmental, social, and economic ambitions.

In March of 2010, the SGA introduced and passes a resolution supporting the creation of a General Education requirement concerning sustainability. They felt that it was an important part of the vision of the University of Vermont, part of the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan of UVM, and was supported by a majority of students in their 2009 student survey. The specific resolution is quoted below, with the full resolution linked below that.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Student Government Association Senate at the University of Vermont, supports the creation of a university-wide sustainability curricular requirement for all incoming undergraduate students at the University of Vermont,

(pdf of Full Resolution)

On March 23, 2014 the SGA endorsed the Sustainability Learning Outcomes as developed by the Ad-hoc Senate Committee on Learning Outcomes.

Student Government Association (SGA) Endorsement of SLOs - March 23, 2014