- Duke University is indefinitely postponing a proposed revamping of the institution's undergraduate curricula after faculty from the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences realized more consensus was needed, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- Committees have worked for five years on the new curriculum in an attempt to include more opportunities for exploration and creativity than they thought the university’s current curriculum offered. That curriculum has been in place for two decades.
- The new curriculum, named “Blue Print,” has been criticized by a variety of faculty; some professors felt the curriculum’s single-course requirement for a foreign language was not enough, and others believed the curriculum was difficult to understand.
The push to revamp the university’s curriculum mirrors similar efforts at institutions like the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. But with industry and technology changing rapidly, institutions can afford to work five years on a new curriculum if they are to remain relevant, and they certainly can't discard efforts after investing so much time. With new industries requiring increased proficiencies in tech, liberal arts institutions are forced to detail the necessity of their existence. Muhlenberg College President John Williams, recently said in an Education Dive interview that a liberal arts education was complementary to (and perhaps necessary for) success in today’s world.
It will be important to note how four-year liberal arts universities adapt to new economic realities. Though many curriculum overhauls can take years, the guiding principle seems to be that schools strengthen their adherence to a wide-ranging, diverse education, doubling down on the attributes of these schools that some critics deride as being irrelevant to the modern world. As two-year colleges and universities redirect their focus on more “job-relevant” curricula, four-year institutions are also under pressure to readjust their curricula.