University of California, San Diego


February 1, 2005


SUBJECT:    Freshman Seminar Program - Call for Proposals, 2005-06 Academic

I am writing to encourage your participation in the Freshman Seminar Program during the 2005-06 academic year. The UCSD Freshman Seminar 87 series, first offered to students during Winter Quarter 2003, provides an important expansion of our undergraduate educational program and is part of a systemwide commitment to enhance the first-year experience of all University of California undergraduates. The Freshman Seminars are now a permanent and essential component of our curricular offerings.

Many faculty who have taught Freshman Seminars have told us that they provide an ideal opportunity to teach in the way that most of us find teaching to be at its very best: a small group of students who have elected to enroll in a course because of an excitement for the material being covered and absent the pressures of a letter grade. Several faculty who have taught Freshman Seminars this year have told us that they found the experience rewarding, and many have repeated their seminar offerings or have taught new seminar offerings.

Freshman Seminars:

* should be on a topic and on a level appropriate for first-year students;

* are conducted in an informal, small group setting limited to 10-20 students;

* meet in department, division, or college seminar rooms;

* meet for 8-10 hours during a quarter, carry one unit of credit, and will be graded P/NP; and

* are offered as: XX 87, e.g. Psych 87 or CAT 87.

* Topics vary from quarter to quarter. Department Chairs have the authority to approve the content of specific proposed courses under the XX 87 number within departments [subject to final approval by the Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy (CEP)]. Topics that do not logically fall under a faculty member's department may be offered through their College, subject to the approval of the Council of Provosts (and final approval by CEP). If the faculty member's college does not have an approved course approval form for Freshman Seminars, then the seminar will be offered through another college.

Program specifics:

* Freshman Seminars are taught exclusively by ladder rank faculty in General Campus departments or the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

* Faculty members receive a $1,500 Freshman Seminar stipend each time a seminar is offered, not as salary, but as funding available to support various academic expenses (e.g., travel, research, supplies, and seminar instruction enhancement).

* Freshman Seminars are taught only on an overload basis; the seminars may not be used to substitute for regularly assigned teaching.

* Seminars with fewer than 10 students enrolled may not be offered.

How to apply to offer a Freshman Seminar:

If you wish to teach a Freshman Seminar during the 2005-06 academic year, complete and return to your Department Chair the Freshman Seminar Proposal form (available on the web at: http://academicaffairs.ucsd.edu/offices/planning, then select Freshman Seminar Program). Please give special attention to completing the Course Description portion of the form, as this description (with possible minor editing) will be the text used to describe your seminar in the Schedule of Classes and on the Freshman Seminars web site. The description should be clear and brief (no more than 40 words). Please ask your student affairs office if you have any questions about the form. Please use only the 2005-06 Freshman Seminar proposal form. Previous versions of the form cannot be accepted.

Your Department Chair determines if your proposed seminar is appropriate for offering as a Departmental Seminar. If the Chair determines that the proposed seminar is appropriate as a Department Freshman Seminar and that the department will provide the location for offering the course, your proposal will be forwarded to the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education for final processing (including review by CEP).

If the Chair determines that the proposed seminar is not appropriate for offering as a departmental offering but should be considered as a College Freshman Seminar, your proposal should be forwarded to the Council of Provosts for their consideration and recommendation. The Council of Provosts will then forward your proposal to the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education for final processing (including review by CEP). Final approval for all courses offered at UCSD rests with the Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy.

The deadlines for submission of proposals for each quarter during the upcoming academic year are listed at the beginning of the proposal form. Seminar proposal forms must be received in the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education by: 4:00 p.m. on the dates listed. If you wish to offer a Freshman Seminar during Fall Quarter 2005, your immediate action is needed. The due date for proposals for Fall Quarter seminars is: Friday, March 18, 2005. If feasible, please submit all proposals for the 2005-06 academic year by the March 18, 2005 deadline.

Information that you might find useful can be found on the Freshman Seminars website. This website includes: (a) program details, (b) the answers to frequently asked questions about the Freshman Seminars 87 series, (c) links to Freshman Seminar offerings, (d) links to listings of UCSD Undergraduate Seminars (courses numbered 90), and (d) links to Freshman Seminar Program websites at other UC campuses. You may access this website at: http://academicaffairs.ucsd.edu/offices/planning, then select Freshman Seminar Program.

Please feel free to contact Mark Appelbaum (x2-4358) or April Burcham (x2-5855)with any comments or questions.

Your participation in this initiative is greatly appreciated. The continued success of the Freshman Seminar Program is important for the University of California, our campus, and most importantly - for our students.

David R. Miller
Acting Senior Vice Chancellor