From the Senate...

On Nov. 17, the Senate dealt with a matter of educational standards and reviewed topics on which the Provost plans action in the coming year.

The Senate passed a resolution formally setting standard requirements for the two types of non-diploma documents the University awards to students for completing course work in a defined area of specialization.

The weightier document, the statutory certificate, would require at least 20 points if pursued along with a related master's degree, as is common in the School of International and Public Affairs, or 24 points if pursued alone as clinical or professional certification. Current examples range from a certificate in psychoanalysis to Middle East studies.

The statement of attendance, the lesser credential, may be earned by students who finish at least 12 points or 100 hours of specialized course work. Current examples include a recognized writing program and seminars in technical areas of business or teaching.

It was pointed out that in an era of desktop publishing, schools should be aware that they are not free to produce and award official-looking certificates for programs not recognized by the University under these two categories. Ultimately the regulations are intended to preserve the value of the Columbia diploma.

Provost Jonathan Cole also answered questions about major projects undertaken by his office this year. Each fall the Senate receives a letter from the Provost that Senate committees may use as the basis for setting their agendas.

The next meeting of the Senate will be held Dec. 15, at 1:15 P.M. in the auditorium of the Schapiro Engineering Building.

Non-senators who wish to attend as observers may obtain tickets by presenting a valid C.U.I.D. at the Senate office, 406 Low, or at 3-411 P & S, by 11:00 A.M. the day of the meeting.


Columbia University Record -- December 1, 1995 -- Vol. 21, No. 11