This column aims to inform students about their elected representatives and their interaction with the campus community. This week, I hope to give you an overview of my work as Academic Affairs Commissioner. I serve regularly on three of the college’s faculty committees. As Academic Affairs Commissioner, I am a voting member of the Academic Procedures Committee (APC). Four faculty members, the registrar, and another student also sit in on the APC. The committee, which meets weekly, evaluates student petitions for exemptions to current policies. The committee’s charge is not to decide if the college’s academic policies are appropriate but whether or not the petitioner’s request for exception to the policy is merited by the circumstances. This committee’s confidentiality is vital to the fair enforcement of academic policy, and its decisions are important to many students at Pomona.
On the Curriculum Committee, along with two other students, I advocate for your concerns in long-term curricular and academic policies. The committee’s routine work involves evaluating new course proposals and approving new, revised, and special majors at Pomona, but we are also tasked with guiding the college’s academic policies and culture. In the past, the Curriculum Committee has revised the college’s general education requirements and has made changes to class scheduling and the ID1 program. It is currently involved in a several-year initiative to study and change the college’s grade compression. Finally, as a member of the Faculty Position Advisory Committee, I help assess requests for permanent faculty positions, transfers of faculty from one department to another, and conversions of programs into departments.
In addition to these regular faculty committees, I am also helping Pomona implement major changes to the Career Development Office (CDO) on the Career Advisory Group. In its current form, the CDO does not serve the wide diversity of student needs and desires, and the group hopes to consider how to best reshape the role of career services in Pomona’s liberal arts environment. The group needs student input for the effective reevaluation of our CDO, and I encourage you to voice your opinions. I am only one of many voices at Pomona College. Each of you has unique experiences in different departments and areas, and I cannot fully represent all of you. As you can see, there are many opportunities for your input in academic affairs, and it is important to the future of Pomona that you tell the administration what works and what doesn’t.