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Giving fair warning

Giving fair warning

Dean for Undergraduate Education Margaret L. A. MacVicar '65 should be commended for her decision to inform undergraduates about the educational reform issues facing the faculty this semester. By sending explanatory letters to all students more than two months before the faculty plans any action, MacVicar has given the community ample time to comment on the proposals, which would eliminate the second term of freshman pass/no-credit and add an additional requirement to the science core.

MacVicar's letter, however, downplays the proposed elimination of pass/no-credit grading during the second term of freshman year, instead of clearly bringing this point to students' attention. The letter could have gone farther in alerting students of the controversial elements of the proposed changes.

Still, the timetable for educational reform changes this spring is much improved over the debate on the new Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences distribution requirement in the spring of 1987. At that time, students had to petition the faculty to delay its vote on the requirement in order to provide enough time for community input on the proposal. This time around, MacVicar has given everyone fair warning.