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Roots of Contemporary Issues RCI

Administration and Oversight

As one of the highest impact undergraduate courses at Washington State, the RCI program is committed to maintaining consistent and transparent standards of governance, oversight, and assessment. The following allow us to maintain a meaningful curriculum across all sections of History 105/305, ensure high-quality classroom instruction, and maintain clear coordination with WSU’s learning goals.

Steering Committee. Chaired by the Director, this committee made up of tenured/tenure track faculty from the History Department; faculty from the RCI Program on the Pullman, Vancouver, and Tri-Cities campuses; a representative from WSU libraries; at least one faculty member from another department; and representative from the History Graduate Student Association. The committee oversees and vets course content and assignments, and its members participate in programmatic assessment, including syllabi review and classroom observations. It is also responsible for rethinking and improving the RCI program at the programmatic level, provides oversight of the Director’s activities and offers a place for the Director to get feedback. In Spring 2019, the Steering Committee prepared materials for the successful renewal of History 105 and 305 UCORE [ROOT] designation (see UCORE Committee below).

Hiring Committee. Each year, we hire nationally competitive postdoctoral teaching fellows who are experts in the content of the program and in their teaching and research fields. We receive 80‒100 applications each year. The Hiring Committee is chaired by the RCI Director and also includes the Assistant Director and/or Curriculum Coordinator and at least one member of the History faculty.

UCORE Committee. In 2018–2019, Clif Stratton (then serving as RCI Assistant Director) served on and chaired the UCORE committee in order to coordinate ROOTS activities with the larger undergraduate educational mission of WSU. Stratton also serves on the UCORE subcommittee for assessment. In 2019-20 begins service as Director of UCORE out of the Office of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate education. The Interim Director will serve on the UCORE committee in 2019-20 to complement these efforts. This is particularly important for aligning RCI’s assessment with the university’s assessment, but also for aligning RCI’s approach to UCORE with the university’s broader general education initiatives and reforms.