Ready to Launch, UK Gen Ed Needs a Name

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2011) — The following message is from University of Kentucky Provost Kumble Subbaswamy.

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

UK faculty members have been working on a reinvention of the University’s General Education program for the past seven years.  The effort began with reviews of our current undergraduate studies program in 2004 and has resulted in development of a progressive curriculum that embodies our emphasis on excellence in undergraduate education.

The faculty designing a reformed General Education program were guided by student-learning outcomes that articulate the University’s expectations of our students upon graduation: 1) to use the processes of inquiry in the arts and creativity, humanities, natural and physical sciences, and the social sciences to solve problems; 2) to communicate effectively in written, oral, and digital media as will be expected of them in the global marketplace; 3) to understand and utilize mathematical concepts and inferential reasoning and analysis to evaluate information and make sound, critical decisions; and 4) to understand the underpinnings of U.S. citizenship and our global interdependence.  The student-learning outcomes and a curricular framework were approved by the University Senate in December 2008.

From that important starting point, faculty created course templates to guide the development of classes in 10 areas across these four student-learning outcomes.  The templates were approved in May 2009 and have been used by faculty as they designed new and redesigned existing courses for the General Education Program.  In May 2010 the Interim General Education Oversight Committee was formed to guide curriculum development efforts.  In December 2010, the University Senate voted to move forward with implementation of the new curriculum beginning fall 2011.

Anticipating the fall start date, a number of implementation activities are currently under way.  One priority is communicating to both external and internal audiences what General Education Reform entails, how creative the interdisciplinary curriculum is, and what a dramatic impact the curriculum will have on the lives of our undergraduate students.

It is with that communication effort that I am seeking your input.  To date, this program has been known as the General Education Program, or more simply, Gen Ed.  Such a name, while convenient, lacks creativity and fails to embody the comprehensive and progressive changes that are being made in our undergraduate core curriculum.  A new name is needed, one that is descriptive and creative and reflects our expectation for excellence in undergraduate education at UK.  At a practical level, we also need a name that can be used in recruitment of the next generation of undergraduate students.

What creative name might we develop for the University of Kentucky’s "Gen Ed?"

I am asking for your assistance in the naming of this new curriculum.  To participate in this naming campaign, simply visit the General Education website at  There, on the front page, you will find a link to a form where you can submit your idea. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2011.

With the benefit of your suggestions, the University Senate will select a name for the new General Education Program.

We owe a great deal to the faculty whose leadership has guided development of the General Education Program and to the generations of students who have inspired this work.