Elliott School faculty postpones 4×4 vote

The Elliott School of International Affairs followed in the footsteps of the Columbian College Friday as the faculty voted unanimously to postpone their vote on the four-by-four proposal.

The administration-sponsored four-by-four plan would change the academic structure to a four-class, four-credit system. The school’s failure to adopt the proposal signals that it is unlikely it will be adopted this academic year.

“The key issue is to think about what type of academics our students need, given it is the twenty-first century,” said Michael Brown, the dean of the Elliott School. “The format is a secondary consideration.”

Elliott School administrators said faculty want to wait until University President-elect Steven Knapp takes over this summer to consider the four-by-four. Columbian College faculty cited similar reasons in postponing their vote last month.

“I think we’re going to have somebody look at it from a real academic point of view,” said David Grier, associate dean for academic programs in the Elliott School.

In a four-by-four curricular structure, students would take four classes a semester worth four credits each. Proponents of the plan see it as a way to boost academics at GW, but detractors call it a way for the University to save money by cutting back on professors.

The Columbian College passed a resolution in late March that said the school would review its curriculum next year with Knapp and their new dean. The college is in the final stages of selecting a new dean. But Brown said such a resolution was unnecessary for the Elliott School, as the school has already been undergoing internal and external curricular reviews.

It is likely that consideration of the four-by-four will be held off until next year, if it is considered again at all.

In a statement e-mailed to The Hatchet, Knapp said, “I look forward to working with the faculty on this and other topics.”

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