| the history of wake forest
ot 1955–1956, the last year on the old campus,
there been a comprehensive review of the curriculum of
the undergraduate College. During the intervening years the qual-
ity of the student body, as judged by commonly used standards,
had improved: course offerings in the various departments had
expanded; and there was a widespread concern, among both faculty
members and students, that too many specific courses were still
being required for graduation. Besides, as with the rules governing
student life outside the classroom, and as dramatically indicated
by the disappearance of chapel, every requirement or practice in-
herited from the past was being looked at critically, and words like
“freedom” and “innovation” and, especially, “relevance” were used
to humble academic traditionalists and to point the way toward a
more “challenging” future.
Within that environment—suggesting, as it did, a need for
change and reform—the College faculty asked the Dean (the year
was 1967, and I was still serving as Dean) to appoint a committee
to undertake a curriculum study which would “particularly look into
adjustment of the number of clock hours of class time required of
students” and “consider any other aspects of the College’s program
which similarly affect the intellectual productivity and growth of
students and faculty.” The committee was asked to bring its recom-
mendations to the faculty within the next three years.
The Curriculum Study Committee1, as it came to be labeled, did,
in fact, spend most of the allotted three years (1967–1970) on its
assignment. All members of the faculty were invited to submit their
opinions about curriculum change, and many did. The Committee
chapter four
A Whirlwind of Ideas
For this extended
discussion of the
curriculum I have
relied upon the
minutes of the
Curriculum Study
Committee and,
subsequently, the
printed agendas
of the College
faculty meetings.
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