Authority over the Subject A requirement on the Davis campus and the authority of the Catalog in general

[Advice to Joe Kiskis, Chair of the Undergraduate Council 1/1/2004]

This advice was a response to particular questions, some of which referred to Divisional Guidelines, a category of divisional rules that were eliminated or converted into divisional regulations in Spring 2004.  Only parts of the advice that are of continuing relevance are reported here.

Question:  It appears that our implementation of Subject A for those students who enroll without having already satisfied it (i.e. English 57) is not in the DD Regulations or Guidelines. It is in the Catalog.  By what authority is it in the Catalog? By some previous "official" determination of Prep. Ed. or the Representative Assembly that was not a Regulation or Guideline? By an informal negotiation between Prep. Ed. and the administration? ...

CERJ knows nothing of the history of Subject A or its relationship to the Catalog.  As a general point, the Catalog itself is, at best, a convenient record of procedures and rules relevant to students; it is not an authority; and being in or out of the Catalog, is not decisive.  Nevertheless, it is clear that the Catalog represents a major conduit between Senate curricular authority and the student.  It should, therefore, present an accurate reflection of the rules and policies of the Senate.  In times past, the Catalog was reviewed by appropriate Senate committees.  It is probably time to reinstitute such review.

Question:  Could the Prep. Ed. committee just do it, and that would be the end of the story?

Preparatory Education is certainly the right committee.  CERJ believes that the rules on Subject A ought to be embodied in most cases in Regulations.  Regulations must be formally adopted by the Division in a vote of the Representative Assembly or a mail ballot.  If any policies of the committee are weaker than Regulations, they must be adequately memorialized (with the date of adoption and authority) in a way that students will have access to them.  We hope to propose to the Division a more systematic way of preserving such records in a publicly accessible form; but, in the meantime, committee policies might, for instance, be posted on the Division's website and incorporated into the Catalog (with appropriate oversight from divisional committees).  The Committee on Courses of Instruction has a nice website attached to the Davis Division site that may serve as a model.