General Education Council


The General Education Council (GEC) was formed as an independent standing committee of the Faculty Senate. The GEC has direct lines of communication and coordination with the Undergraduate Council and is composed mainly of faculty, with appropriate administrative support from the areas of Undergraduate Studies, Academic Assessment, and Institutional Effectiveness. The GEC reviews and approves general education courses, promotes and distributes assessment data from the program to the University community as formative feedback, and oversees the continuing curriculum improvement process.


The General Education Council is a standing council of the USF Faculty Senate and receives authority for its actions through that body.


The General Education Council is responsible for the ongoing development, implementation, and assessment of an effective general education program. Responsibilities include the evaluation and approval of courses for the liberal arts curriculum, as well as the periodic evaluation of the general education policy. The council shall advise the President, the Provost, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies on the development of future general education programs at the university and provide continuous assessment of the general education curriculum.


The council shall develop its own operating procedures, subject to approval by the Provost, which shall include:

  1. Provision for establishment of a collegial process that encourages the widest possible faculty participation in the development and delivery of general education courses;
  2. Provision for approval (certification) of courses following the criteria established in the Quality Enhancement Plan;
  3. Provision for the development of additional general education courses, especially in areas where options for students are limited;
  4. Provision for review of approved courses on a periodic basis (e.g., every three years) to ensure that the courses continue to satisfy the established criteria;
  5. Provision for continuous assessment of the general education to ensure that the expectations established by the Quality Enhancement Process are met.


  1. Membership shall consist of two faculty representatives from each college offering an undergraduate program, plus one additional representative from any college having more than 250 full-time faculty members; a third faculty representative from any college having more than 400 full-time faculty members; two members from the Library and, due to the nature of the general education program, an additional four members from the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty members will be appointed for staggered three-year terms, with one-third retiring each year. Members may serve two consecutive terms, after which they must retire from the council for one full year before seeking reappointment. Retiring members may not be reappointed during the year following the last year of their terms unless appointed to a vacancy on the council.
  2. Three undergraduate students to be appointed for one-year terms; may be reappointed. Students are full members of the council with voting privileges.
  3. Registrar (ex officio and nonvoting) or designee
  4. Chair of the General Education Council from the preceding year (ex officio and nonvoting)
  5. Dean of Undergraduate Studies (ex officio and nonvoting)
  6. Chair of the Undergraduate Council (ex officio and nonvoting)
  7. Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ex officio and nonvoting)

If a member of the General Education Council accumulates three unexcused absences per year from regularly scheduled meetings, that person shall automatically cease to be a member of the council and shall be replaced promptly according to the standard procedures for nomination and appointment. Excused absences may be granted by the Chair/Coordinator or Vice Chair/Coordinator of the General Education Council and shall not exceed four in number per year.

Standing Subcommittees and Ad Hoc Committees

All subcommittees and ad hoc committees shall report to the full membership of the General Education Council and may only make recommendations to the council. Such recommendations will be voted upon by the full membership of the General Education Council.


Nominees will submit nomination forms to the Committee on Committees of the Faculty Senate, which will review each nominee. The Faculty Senate President will appoint the members of this council upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate.


The Chair shall be elected by the Council from among its members. The Chair shall be a voting member of the Council.



Date of Adoption: 02/16/05

Revised: 03/21/07; 07/11 (new appointment process); 11/11 (membership section for consistency; removed regional campuses representation); 10/12 Director of ATLE added; 04/14 change in selection of council chair